Making characters took up most of the session. A 4th person joins us next week.
Everyone was excited by the Sprucetuck situation (especially science mice run amuck) and didn’t have changes.
But I may have presented Sprucetuck in an overly balanced way. Here are a few player quotes: “of course Sprucetack should tax everyone”, “it makes sense to give less money to the Mouse Guard with Sprucetuck stepping up”, “Lockhaven is old and outdated”, “Lockhaven needs reform!” 2 of the PC’s enemies are Mouse Guard Patrol Leaders! Although they also have significant complicating connections to Sprucetuck, their ally Copperwood, and their rival Elmoss.
2 playes have never played so we ran a brief mission to learn the rules.
Mission: “Extract Brynn from Sprucetuck and escort her to Lockhaven”.
Brynn is one of the PC’s friends, a retired Mouse Guard from Elmoss who suspects Sprucetuck is behind the flying squirrel attacks Elmoss is suffering from.
PCs meet a panicked Brynn fleeing Sprucetuck carrying what appears to be an acorn but underneath the fake shell conceals a locked metallic safe. The PCs question her and she reveals that she thinks inside the safe is the proof she needs. She stole it from Sprucetuck but was sprayed with a sticky awful smelling gunk as she ran off. The PCs weren’t all comfortable with the idea that Brynn was a thief!
The PCs discovered that Sprucetuck is now protected by its own mini scent border (possibly explaining why the flying squirrels attacking their neighbor Elmoss haven’t attacked them).
The PCs try to figure out what Brynn is covered with. They learn it’s similar to the scent from the border except it could be used to track Brynn or draw certain animals to her. They learn how to remove the scent but decide they’ve wasted enough time and must run to Lockhaven now (as a GM this surprised me, I thought they would remove the scent first but this was more exciting)!
They fail a Pathfinder test and are attacked by a Flying Squirrel, possibly from Elmoss, who’s attracted to the scent covering Brynn and the acorn. The PCs decide to go with a Fight Animal conflict instead of a Chase conflict. My goal was “capture Brynn and the acorn” with a starting Disposition of 7. PC’s goal was “force the Squirrel to runaway” with a starting Disposition of 8.
I wanted to go easy on the players so I haphazardly scripted Feint, Feint, Attack for my first round. Of course this actually ended up being fairly effective as the players scripted Defend, Maneuver, Attack. I won with a remaining Disposition of 1 and owed the PCs a Major Compromise. The Flying Squirrel abandoned the acorn and dragged a screaming Brynn away leaving a bloody trail behind that could be tracked if the PCs choose to pursue!
And then we ran out of time. We’re going to finish this mission and play a second mission next week when our 4th player joins us.
The 2 players new to Mouse Guard had no issues with the rules, tracking passes and fails, spending Fate, or scripting. How Nature and Persona work was still fuzzy for them but I’m sure it will be clear soon. The biggest rule issue they had was in character creation with marking skills checks. They kept looking for where to mark their checks on the character sheet. And for some reason adding +1 to their check total to determine the final skill rank was also momentarily confusing. Everyone may have just been hungry waiting for our food delivery.
Here are the 3 PCs…
Guard Rank: Patrol Guard
Home: Port Sumac
Fur Color: Brown
Cloak Color: Green
Friend: Thom the Weaver from Lockhaven
Enemy: Sloan the Loremouse from Sprucetuck (works with senior Scientists)
Belief: The Mouse Guard can do more than fight and I will show them how!
Goal: Find out more about what goes on inside Sprucetuck!
Instinct: In danger, hide and attack with bow!
Gear: Bow, Arrows, Small Knife
Traits: Tough 2, Sharp-eyed 1
Abilities: Nature 5, Will 4, Health 4, Resources 6, Circles 2
Skills: Fighter 2, Hunter 2, Instructor 2, Pathfinder 3, Scout 5, Survivalist 2, Weather Watcher 2, Cartographer 3, Persuader 2, Scent-border-wise 2, Sprucetuck-wise 2, Pirate-wise 2
Guard Rank: Guard Mouse
Fur Color: Blonde
Cloak Color: Light Blues
Friend: Sloan, a Scientist in Sprucetuck
Enemy: Hannidy, a Patrol Leader from Lockhaven who thinks Finn only got into the Guard because of his wealthy Armorer family
Belief: If you do what right, you will always find a way!
Goal: I will prove myself worthy of my cloak!
Instinct: Always defend the honor of the Guard!
Gear: Sword, Fancy Helmet
Traits: Guards Honor 2
Abilities: Nature 4, Will 3, Health 5, Resources 5, Circles 4
Skills: Fighter 5, Weather Watcher 4, Haggler 3, Armorer 3, Harvester 2, Persuader 2, Ettiquete-wise 2, Economics-wise 2
Guard Rank: Patrol Leader
Fur Color: Gray
Cloak Color: Tattered Brown
Friend: Brynn, retired Mouse Guard from Elmoss whose suspects Sprucetuck is behind the Elmoss Squirrel attacks
Enemy: Walmond, Patrol Leader from Copperwood who is close to Copperwood’s leaders who have allied with Sprucetuck
Belief: The Guard has lost its moral center, so I’m keeping my head down and avoiding politics!
Goal: Keep Brynn from harm!
Instinct: Always have an exit strategy!
Traits: Alert 1, Skeptical 2
Abilities: Nature 4, Will 5, Health 4, Resources 3, Circles 4
Skills: Fighter 4, Healer 2, Hunter 5, Pathfinder 2, Scout 2, Survivalist 3, Carpenter 2, Insectrist 3, Elmoss-wise 2, Mouse Guard-wise 2, Flying Squirrel-wise 2, war-wise 2