I’ve played and run quite a few one shots of Mouse Guard. But I’ve not been involved in anything longer term. What kind of “Big Picture” elements made the best and most satisfying long term play? I ask because I don’t really think I’ve thought in terms of continuous antagonists and such in the setting.
It’s been a while since my one and only Mouse Guard campaign, but there was a sort of bandit-like uprising (probably inspired partly by Midnight). They were distinctive (called the Red something-or-other) and wore red scarves or something like that. Eventually it came to a climax when the bandits were planning to attack some town or another and we had some obstacles centered around getting the town prepared (MONTAGE) and ending with a warfare conflict.
We didn’t run into the bandits every session, but they kept coming up more often as the game progressed until there was no ignoring the problem. I think that worked out pretty well.
I ran a campaign in which the patrol discovered (a year after Midnight’s defeat) that officials in several towns, not just Barkstone, were involved in the preparations for the Lockhaven War. Further investigation led to the discovery of an ancient highway-like tunnel built by weasels and running under much of the Territories. And there were indications that a great number of mice, possibly slave labor, were working to repair the tunnel.
Eventually the campaign led them deep into the Dark Heather, where they discovered an entire civilization of mice living in servitude under weasel overlords. The mice practiced a strange religion which saw the weasels as the divine lords and protectors of mice, while the proper place of mice was to serve. The weasels were preparing a new offensive as a follow-up to the Winter War. The campaign ended after the patrol managed to sabotage the tunnel and bring word to Lockhaven about the (now delayed) threat.
The campaign ran somewhere around 18 to 20 sessions and used the mission structure. Over the course of it the patrol dealt with the criminal underworld of Copperwood, tangled with the Moss Lord of Elmoss (in a little scenario I like to call Escape from the Dungeon of the Moss Lord), escaped the pirates of Dawnrock and encountered the strange pioneer mice of Windselm, who had a friendly weasel refugee living among them.
For your own long-term games, I recommend that you think about them like television shows, especially ones which blend the episodic and serial forms (e.g., X-Files, which had episodic monster-of-the-week episodes and serial “mythos” episodes that advanced the over-arching plot). You want something that plays out over the long-term, with multiple steps to bring the ultimate event to fruition. Let the patrol stumble over elements every few sessions.
holy crap Thor that sounds amazing, i love the idea of the cultist mice and the weasels over them!
im working on adding a growing threat in my first campaign, going to have a few ex guardmice who, after thier outpost and citizen at said outpost were destroyed/killed by a wild animal, and the guard didnt send reinofrcments (they actually couldnt get there in time after receiving the call for help)
they became guard killers, or the fallen guard… still hunting for a name
they hunt and kill guardmice and subvert potential guard recruits from towns where the guard dont have the best reputation
they also have a sort of patchwork cloak thing going on, each time they kill a guard they take a patch of thier cloak and sew it onto thier own
they believe that the guard have out lived thier usefulness and that towns should be strong enough on thier own, not live under the false feeling of protection lockhaven and her guardmice provide
my 6p campaign focused in the “A Arc” upon finding a rebel group, a group devoted to taking over the territories and then pursing a new Weasel War…
The “B Arc” was a romance between a member of the patrol and the Captain working as Gwendolyn’s right hand mouse.
The “C Arc” was a series of vignettes about the beehive outside Lockhaven.
In the last three sessions, the A and B arcs collided head-on… due to a wise (Rebel Wise 5d) an Ob5, and a wonky roll… the players wanted to rule out the Captain. And said “Captain N. is the head of the rebels.” I wanted a slim chance, as I hadn’t yet decided who in the senior guard staff was it, but really didn’t want it to be him. So, Ob 5.
And it turned out to be him. Which lead to the PC mouse killing her boyfriend, and then having to explain to Gwendolyn that he was the head rebel.