Since I’m a bit fascinated by the ancient mediterranean cultures and Mouse Guard is quite medevial I will try make an hack for a more ancient times based Mouse Guard. I will test and flesh this out in our upcoming Mouse Guard campaign and if it’s fruitful make a few PDF:s along the way. At least for now it’s called SPQM - Senatus PopulusQue Muris.

This is a first brainstorming and I will fill out the text along the way:

It’s the Age of Silver and in the Mouse Territories a loose alliance of mouse cities dreams of the Golden Age wneh heroes battled predators in single combat and the poets sang about the deeds with voices fairer than the birds.

NN plants and harvest the first seed.

Hasta founds the city of Asylum by the river of Aesflumen.

Asylum dominates the surrounding city with it’s Guard called praetorians. They form the Asylum Alliance and patrol the areas between the cities and hunt down bandits and mice who try to dominate the often defenseless farmers. They also offers membership to other cities. For taxation and guards they get organized protection.

NN of Sapientium discovers the recipe for the scent border.

A long time of disputes and skirmishes between the eastern cities led by Asylum and the western cities led by Sapientium. In the end the western cities bows for the eastern cities and Asylum becomes the leader of all civilized mice. In a short time trade start to flourish and long trade routes is established. Sometimes mice criticize the taxes and say that the publicanus, the mice responsible for tax collection, is corrupt. On the other hand they like the organized guard of the praetorians and also like the help in city building that Asylum provides.

A continuous scent border is created.

Asylum unites the cities in the war against the weasels. After the war is won by small mariginals few mice raise their voices about how Asylum is governing the alliance. Without Asylum and the alliance the weasels would have overrun the mice totally and no mice wants to think about what kind of life they would have led if that had been the outcome. Before the war MM the elder was heckled because his constant cries for war against the weasels. Now he sometimes even get credit for the mice not taken totally by surprise when the weasels started the hostilities. Still he is wearing a black toga of mourning to symbolize the degeneration of the mice culture (at least the degeneration he think there is)i.

The cities of The Mice Territories is slave cultures although not as extreme as the late republic Rome. The cities has not waged any big wars against other mice like humans in Rome did against other human cities. Since prisons is a very ineffective and expensive the usual sentence for a criminal is a longer or shorter, usually longer, salvelike work (or for some, banishment from the Territories). Also a mouse that has unpayable debts can give himself up to slavery to pay for the debts or parts of the debt.

A common reason for mice in debt are groups of merciless rich mice who take advantage of not better knowing mice in trouble and buying their land for just a small part of the value. The poor mice then move to the city to find a job and finds it quite overpopulated and stands without income. Many of these mice become slaves for the rich.

Since a child mouse born of a slave mouse also becomes a slave the Territories has accumulated a small salve population. Some say the slaves consists of about a fifth of the population.

The alliance is governed by Asylum wich is governed by two consuls. These two consuls are elected by the mice, the citizens, of Asylum every year.
The consuls are helped by aedils, praetors and quaestors and get advice from the senate who also vote on some desicions.
There are six praetors and these are elected by the citizens every year. A praetor is responsible for high level juridicial matters. He or she also has the right to lead armed forces if the consuls already are busy doing so.
The aedils are elected by the citizens for four years and are responsible for maintainace of the city of Asylum (official parts), precautions against fire, inspect and punish misuse of aeger publicus, the state land open for any mice, the city weights and measures (correct measures kept in Asylum and guranteed by the State (in mice speech res publica), the city’s provisions, giving the poorest mice some food to keep them alive, care of the public games (some a bit likle the olympic games of ancient Greece (including theater plays) and some fights (usually not to the death).
The quaestors handle the city’s finacial matters and are elected every year.

The people of Asylum is divided into proletarians (who own nothing more than their kids), plebeians (the usual working mice) and nobiles (the noble mice who govern the city)

The most noble of nobiles, the ones who can trace their ancestors to the founding of Asylum, is called patricians. Theoretically a nobiles or evan a patrcian can be realtivly poor since the membership of these grups are not based on riches. Most of them though belongs to the senatorial class wich means that they are yet even richer than the equites (the knight class). To hold a certain office there is usually one or more specifications on class and other belongings. For some offices one has to be a plebeian and for others a nobiles. Sometimes someone who has done great things for res publica get a large piece of land, enough to be counted as an equites, and since they have enough riches they besome equites.

The different cities and towns are independent in internal matters as long as they provide taxes and guards and their internal structure varies.








Keep going!

One comment on ranks: equites means horseman, later, knight
Equitatus (LA): cavalry.

If you’re going for a roman feel, the roman ranks were
Tiro (Recruit)
Miles (Private)
immunio (Specialist, “immune” to fatiguing labor tasks)
Principales (NCO’s, actual titles varied, and subclasses existed by pay level, as listed)
• Sesquiplicarius (Pay x1.5 NCOs)
• Duplicarius (pay x2 NCO’s)
• Triplicarius (pay x3 NCO’s, rare)
Centurio (Essentially, company grade officers)
Tribunus (Essentially, field grade officers)
Praefectus castrorum (Camp Commander)
Legatus Legionis (Legion Commander appointed by Senate)

I’d suggest using
Tiro = Tenderfoot
Miles = Guardmouse
Principales =Patrol Gaurd
Centurio = Patrol Ldr
Tribunis = Captain

Yes, I know, it slipped my mind, the thing is that I went for a class of citizen that you could be promoted to but wasn’t, at least after a while, strictly military.

I’d like to have the possibility of a strict military career that could branch off into more civilian status and task. As I remember it legates were apointed from above and from the upper class and all below was strictly military, maybe with the exceptions of the tribune who could be apointed from above. Therefore I’m not really satisfied with the strictly military ranks. But, as you say, equites isn’t perfect either. Maybe lepuites (hare rider)?

Thanks for the response.

Thanks for the encouragement.

I’m sitting here and creating seasons, there will be three not for, something like early summer, late summer and winter. What was the base for deciding about the seasons length and rating? Should I keep a year with a length of 14 even if I only have three seasons and so on?

It’s still the same issue: it’s a title for a miles on mount, rather than an officer.

Tribune, BTW, is not strictly a military rank.

Might use that. It’s of course possible to, in the text about the culture, to explain that to be a tribune the mouse also has to be granted riches to be equites/lepuites or in some other way get hold of riches to be made equites/lepuites to be able to be promoted to tribune. That could even be the source for some social gaming.

As I remeber it, soldiers didn’t got promoted to tribune on experience and good soldiery only (which you could be all the way up to the highest form of centurion). A few tribunes though could be granted land and the title equitesand thereby be eligible to for example the tribune post. Or is my memory fooling around with me?

I’ve uploaded a 0.2 version of a PDF-file at http://www.illertass.se/mustela/spqm/ I will update it as I work with it.

I love the idea of this ideallic society being built on the blood spilt by legions. I so want barbarian mice too!

And could you play slaves fighting for thier freedom?

Mouse Masada

I don’t know about barbarian mice but of course Real Citizens (of the central city Asylum) is better than the citizens of the other cities (except for a few granted citizenships to selected friendly leaders) which is better than the wild mice. I see the bloody struggle being between mice and weasels and who knows where the loyalty of the ferrets lie - in reality? Are they loyal to the weasels or do they want their feedom? Could mice inspire a ferret rebellion in the weasel society?

Slaves fighting for their freedom, yes you could. There’s both criminals and descendants to prisoners of war from ‘‘the uniting of the cities’’ among the slaves (although the worst ones is exiled outside the scent border).

Ah, maybe there’s a story of heroes and blood spilt in the conquering of the last city opposing the unification of the cities…

IIRC, most tribunes were long-service men, 10+ years if patrician, 20+ if plebian. There was no requirement for wealth, tho since they drew about 5-10x a miles salary, they had disposable income. Keep in mind: Miles, Principales, Centurio: These are all categories. Banner bearers, supervisory NCOs, and senior specialists all were principales, but each had specific titles. Really, these are more paygrades and social classes of military life of rome.

Miles could be equites/equinarius (cavalryman), legionarius, marinarius (sailor), or any of a half dozen other roles.

Tribunes were simply commissioned by the senate for some task… they would generally be referenced by task, or by tribune as a group term. That’s what made them tribunes. Most of what we think of as “field grade officers” are tribunes. So are most civil oversight positions.

And a Tribunal is a comittee of three tribunes or more who have been given some authority to act.

Aramis: Thank you. Would have liked to have you in our roman military campaign a few years ago or just discuss some history over a nice shot of espresso.

What do you think about roman mice? Are they different in their nature? Should I use the same Nature as in the original Mouse Guard RPG?

Hey, just throwing out some crazy ideas here. You guys think up some great hacks you know?

Okay, I was thinking weasels. Where do they fit in? I think it would be awesome to make the weasels the barbarians. There outnumbered and the roman mice are trying to take over their land, but since the weasels are so strong (like the Gauls or any other unconquerable barbarian) the Roman mice are finding it hard to take them down. Instead of being oppressed, the roman mice should be the oppressors. Some of the weasels are force to be servants or armor bearers for the Captain mice and some weasels are taken to Asylum to fight each other in the gladiatorial games. Every once in a while there are weasel rebellions and it causes havoc until the Roman mice army gets it under control. Some mice even befriend the weasel servants, weasels who behave and are lucky may earn their freedom.

Further more, I think the mouse nature should be tweaked. It’s no longer about survival. The mice have grown in technology and are far stronger than the mice in mouse guard. It’s about conquering and expanding the Roman scent border. It’s about growing the territories and winning other countries over. It shouldn’t be entirely focused on conquest. I think the soldiers should also have some sort of say in politics and there should be political enemies that are trying to change the heart of what Asylum and the Mice Roman Empire really is. The mice should also have a strong allegiance to the Caesar figure mice, almost worshiping him. Anyone who doesn’t follow him should be looked down on in contempt. Even the players.

The mouse nature should be changed to mach with what’s above. Conquest, loyalty to Caesar, fighting for traditional Empire instead of letting people change it, being prejudice against barbarian weasels, ect.

Okay, those are my ideas. What do you think? I love the idea, but I think it would take a lot to get it off the ground. It would be fun to do some research and dig up a lot of political problems of the time and incorporate them into the hack.

[EDIT] Oops, I realise you have covered some of this already. My bad for skimming instead of reading the details.

But you’re still giving me interesting ideas :slight_smile:

My first idea of the mice - weasel relationship was the the weasels are the eventually big threat that has been unable to conquer and of an unknown size (like the civilizations east of the roman empire). I also was imagining a earlier Rome when it was creating a united Italia rather than the later Rome conquering the areas outside Italia (even if I have built in the ambivalent relationship between Rome and greeks in Asylum - Sapientia).

going the way you’re suggesting would be interesting in one way among others since it would highlight the fact that salvery is really a mental state in both masters and slave since mice dominating weasels that are twice to four times as big and then obviously not physically dominated by the mice. I’m almost inspired doing two variations :slight_smile:

Hmmm, I have to think about this and the other stuff you’re writing about, for example the mice nature. Maybe I do need to change the nature of mice either way or maybe I should not change it to contrast leader figures more against ‘‘normal’’ mice and to more show off a beginning change of society.


I just think the idea of these savage warrior barbarian weasels and would be intimidating at first glance, but really aren’t that much of a threat to mice because the mice have advanced technology wise so far above them. I dunno, oppressed weasels and weasel slaves sounds so cool. Giving the mice some power and upping them on the natural order scale to the same place as owls and such. It would be cool to have mice with great roads, weapons, training, and armor traveling through the territories unafraid of the average animal. Now the patrols would be smaller, so their would still be an element of danger, but I get tired of always struggling with the wilderness and animals. I think it would be cool to make every soldier be able to have a voice and some part to play in the politics of Asylum. There could be political missions and a lot of backstabbing and trying to over mind the Caesar figure mouse. Put in more social/political stuff, and the fighting danger will come with the conquest. When they go out onto the gritty barbarian lands and try to claim them. I love the thought of a loyal weasel baring your armor, and you eventually giving him his freedom though. These are just some ideas.

I’ve uploaded a 0.3 version. I still consider it an alfa release but it for example includes texts about festival in SPQM.