SPQM: The ancestors

For my hack Senatus populusque muris the ancestors of the mice will be an important factor. The dead’s spirits can linger and cause problems for the living if they’re not properly buried or have a strong cause/need of revenge. The different family communities of spirits of the dead can from the afterlife realm indirectly influence the living, in good ways if they’re satisfied with their living relatives, in bad ways if they’re not satisfied with them. They can also try to influence competing living families in bad ways to make it easier for their living relatives. On the night between the last day of the year and the first day of the next year the walls between the afterlife realm and the living mice’s world gets weak and the ancestors power flows more powerful into the world of the living, maybe some ancestors even can visit the world of the living this night. This make burial rituals important and also satisfying your ancestors through different rituals.

I’m thinking of a skill ‘‘Ceremony master’’ for doing the rituals. Would you include communicating with the ancestors and lingering spirits in this skill? Would you make another skill or include it in some other skill instead. I reckon that mice being dead for hundreds of years in some never-changing state would become different and probably hard to understand for the living who still has a short perspective on things (and the other way around, the dead will have a hard time understanding the living). Another way to handle it is to state that it is so difficult and strange and so seldom done that there is no skill for it but probably a wise. What do you think?

Weather Watcher is the base game analogue. Weather plays a critical role in GM Turn obstacles. That is likely not a coincidence, though I am not Luke.

The question is what role do the ancestor spirits play in SPQM? If they are a primary source of obstacles, then full-blown skill & rules are necessary. If the ancestors are simply a distraction or side event, then a Wise is probably more appropriate.

As a Wise, the will of the ancestors has more broad-ranging application as a support skill. As a skill in itself, ancestor knowledfe needs its own set of challenges.

As always, this is my opinion, given my subset of knowledge about Mouse Guard’s rules vs Burning Wheel proper.

Thanks for your input, you got my thought going in a direction. We’ll se what I like it when I put it down in print.