The specifics of Beliefs

So I’m trying to understand the appropriateness of the BIGs in Mouse Guards. I get that Beliefs are supposed to be ideals to live up to, something not as simple as “complete the mission.” On the other hand, I don’t know how vague Beliefs can be; if they’re too vague, they can be interpreted to mean wildly different things.

Let’s use a possible example: “All mice must prosper or all mice will fail.” I found this line of text somewhere under the description of Lockhaven and the Guard, and it sounds like it fits the guidelines of Beliefs and an admirable quality among the Guard. But what does it mean? That every mouse in the Territories is entitled to the necessities of life and safety and security? What about a comfortable, idyllic existence? What about when the desires of one settlement would result in hardship for another town? If a Guardmouse starts rationalizing inconsistencies with his Beliefs when it becomes too difficult to hold, then does this mean that their Beliefs must change?

I’m leaning towards the idea that Beliefs are supposed to be extreme, in that the most worthwhile principles are the ones which are the hardest to live up to and follow. These above questions are the kinds of things I expect to come up in Mouse Guard games, as the players must bear the Territories troubles upon themselves for the betterment of others.

Are Beliefs supposed to be vague? Can a Guardmouse’s Belief be achievable, or is it supposed to be extreme to the point that very few people can consistently follow it?

Sounds like great questions to put to the test during play.

You’re asking the right questions. We discover what a Belief really means to you in play. Challenging Beliefs is a central part of the game.


So basically, the players’ conviction of Beliefs are determined during moral crisis and difficult choices?

Sounds excellent! Thanks for the answers!