Starting a game with wife and daughter

I’m starting a Mouse Guard game this weekend. My two players are my wife (who hasn’t been in one of my games in years) and six year old daughter.

The plan:

[li]Provide a few templates and let them each pick one.
[/li][li]Work with my daughter to focus on Name, Belief and Goal, leaving instinct, friend, mentor, and other details to be filled in during later sessions unless they come up as part of her belief or goal (e.g. “I want to prove to my mentor that I’m a good Guard Mouse”)
[/li][li]Have my wife complete her character, encouraging her to create connections to our daughter.
[/li][li]Jump into the Grain Seller adventure
My goal is to have a game in an hour to an hour and half. More than that and I’ll lose their attention.

Note: I specifically want my daughter to me able to make her mouse as I remember loving character creation as kid (hell, I still love character creation).

Feasible? Too ambitious? Suggestions?

You can go through character creation, but I’d reduce some of the option lists to ones she finds interesting. Massive lists to choose a few things from will feel like too much work for a 6-year-old. Narrow it down and propose those options. Skip some questions if they seem a bit much. For traits, I would just ask her how she sees her mouse, then propose traits that are closest to what she describes.

In other words… you ask her for her ideas, and you choose from the lists those which most closely match.

Sounds good Rafe. She’s probably going to give me a long story about her mouse from the get go (she tends to do this when we play pretend) so I’ll pull trait, etc from that.

I figure the template will take care of most of the mechanical bits. The things I really want her to choose are Name, Belief and Goal but I may be able to derive that out of her story as well.


I don’t think you should do more than customizing the cosmetics and B/G/I of the character.

Pick templates, change the details, get to playing quickly.

That said, two adult players should have no trouble making characters from scratch in 90 minutes. But add in the six-year-old and it’s a different story!

That sounds like the best plan. Thanks guys.

Success! The game was even easier than I thought it would be to start. My daughter, who had read some of the comics with me, started off “I want to be Sadie” and that pretty much got the ball rolling.

My AP report of the game is up on my LJ here:

Hey, Sean. Nice cliffhanger!

Just one question: why did the snake attack twice? Did you kind of divide it into two so it was less likely to be lethal?

It seemed fate lent a hand. When Kenzie fought it first there was a tie, Kenzie had no traits to give with (calm, tall and leader) and they had already exploded 6s. I forgot the second tie breaker roll (switch physical skill to Health and re-roll) and went right interrupting the fight. Kenzie smash the snake right on the nose and sent him slithering back the bushes but not defeated. It worked out really well when Kenzie was reading the map and Sadie got a chance to advance her goal of “be friends with Kenzie” by protecting her fellow guard from the Snake (and finishing it off this time).

I’ll admit that I was biased by the comic, as it happened in a very similar manner there.