Hello everyone! I’m GM’ing my first Mouse Guard game this Saturday and I wanted to run something of my own creation. I’ve created a mission outline called “Stinky Trouble” and I’m in need of some feedback. Read on if I’ve piqued your interest.
The mission begins in early Spring with the patrol being called in to see Gwendolyn. She is in the room with an old fur Guard Captain finishing up a discussion. “Yari was such a calm and collected guard mouse. It’s sad to see him reduced to this.” Gwendolyn says. “Yes, I agree. Perhaps its time we start looking for a new scent-master,” the Guard Captain replies. She nods and he leaves. Gwendolyn then turns here attention to the patrol. She says that she has a new mission for them. Officially, they are to deliver accumulated mail to Lonepine and then Wolfpointe. Unofficially, they are to investigate rumors of strange happenings at Wolfpointe. Rumors include cult-like activity of its residence. Their mission is to check out the situation and determine if the situation requires any intervention from the Guard. “Wolfpointe is known for its more wild and isolationist nature. Perhaps this is just a misunderstanding,” she says.
(If one of the players is from Wolfpointe, he will be sent with the patrol because of his familiarity with the area and its inhabitants.)
So given this is the first Mouse Guard game for all the players (first RPG ever for two of them), I want to introduce them to a very low risk conflict. I was thinking an animal conflict. Could definitely use some advice. I just borrowed this from one of the sample missions.
Animal obstacle: During one of the mornings the patrol realizes they are not alone. A couple of crows have located the patrol sleeping in a hollowed out stump. Their goal is to steal their stuff - weapons, mail, etc.
Wilderness twist: The rising temperatures melted much of the Winter snow and have led to a flash flood. They are trapped on a small elevated area and surrounded by rising waters. There’s a small branch above them. They can either attempt to climb to safety (Ob 3 Nature roll) or attempt to swim to safety (Ob 3 Health roll). Failure on either of these rolls results in one of the mice being swept downstream and gaining the Tired or Sick condition. It will require an Ob 4 Scout roll to find him.
When the patrol reaches Lonepine, which I’m envisioning as a small village consisting of homes built right on the side of the tree trunk. When they arrive, the town is very excited. This is the first patrol to visit them since the break of Winter. They all gather around the mice excited for their name to be called as they receive their mail.
At this point, I think I’ll let the players have a small player turn. I’m also thinking there might be something at Lonepine that interests the characters. Perhaps one of the residents went missing a few weeks prior and they are asking for help from the guard. Any thoughts?
Eventually the patrol reaches Wolfpointe one evening. In stark contrast to Lonepine, the residents are not so happy to see them. Instead, very few mice are seen in the town. If they make enough noise, several mice will come out and stand around them staring queerly. If the patrol starts reading names to distribute the mail, the mice won’t respond. This kind of disinterest / distrust of the guard continues, but the no one will attack them unless provoked. The tavern keeper, an old fur named Kip, will talk to them but not give them any information. If they as what is going on in the town, he will simply act like he doesn’t understand the question. If they ask for lodging, he will offer them stinky, ill kept rooms.
At night is when it gets interesting. They are awoken to sounds of howling that should like a high pitched wolf. When they investigate (Ob 2 Hunter/Scout), they find a large group of townsmice howling at the moon and generally acting crazy. They wont attack the characters because they are mice but they immediately head across the scent border and start hunting other animals… maybe they even drink their blood or something. If the patrol interferes, the mice will enter a conflict, but only until the patrol submits. The next morning, all the crazy mice will be asleep - they are now nocturnal. They may also notice that only the young mice are in the hunting party. Old furs are still awake in the town but act very oddly and antisocial.
If they successfully search the town (Ob 3 Nature or Scout), they locate very stinky utility barn. Inside is a broken barrel. It’s nearly empty, a thick green substance is all over the ground. A successful Ob 2 Scientist roll will reveal this as a recent scent border barrel. (The scent border was just refreshed.) At this point they may realize that the scent may be causing the mice to change their nature. Cleaning up the mess will require another Scientist roll at Ob 3.
At this point, I’m not sure where to go. The players should remember the conversation with Gwendolyn where she mentioned that something went wrong with the scent master. The mystery is solved when they find out that the scent master has the same condition, but he is old so it affected him differently. If they travel to Sprucetuck, possibly at the urging of Gwendolyn, a search of his workshop will show that the recipe changed. He was experimenting with some kind of new preservative - some mushroom or something. Long term exposure to this ingredient causes this reaction. What do you all think? BTW, my inspiration for this mission was from grasshopper mice in the Senora desert. They actually howl at the moon and hunt at night.