Translate into Mouse Guard

I’ve run many games in several systems, but nothing like Mouse Guard!

I’ve come up with a scenario that feels thematically appropriate, but I’m not sure which parts of it correspond with the GM’s or players’ turns, which parts of it are twists, etc. Thanks!

A caravan of food and other supplies is wending its way from one town to another when a flash flood wipes it off the path, onto a hillside with no cover. The carts are broken or overturned, spilling piles of food onto the open ground. The caravan’s leader is incapacitated, and several of the porters, beetle drivers, and guards are dead. Others are hurt and need medicine. Of the drivers and porters who survive, three are chosen as runners to seek help from likely directions, leaving behind a handful of able-bodied mice to watch over the wounded and valuable goods.

One of those runners finds the players’ patrol, directs them back toward the caravan, and asks for directions to the closest source of further aid.

After the runners leave, and before the patrol arrives at the caravan, a passing bird tries to land and eat some of the spilled food. The mice drive it away, but not before it batters Grayson, the caravan’s second in command.

Pointing to the likelihood of further animal attacks and the threat of further flooding or mudslides down the hillside, Grayson tries to convince the other ambulatory mice to abandon the goods and wounded. The caravan mice don’t like Grayson and they want to do their duty, but they are afraid.

It is during Grayson’s speech that the players’ patrol arrives.

The first hazard is mice: the patrol must convince the able-bodied mice to stay and protect the goods and wounded despite the danger.

Grayson argues that the piles of food out in the open will attract scavengers, and that the commotion will attract predators. He argues that the weather is still bad and another flood might bury the hillside under mud. He argues that the caravan mice have done their job and it’s not their fault that the goods didn’t make it to the next town. He’ll concede that a coupe of hurt mice can be carried out on stretchers, but says that to stay would be the death of everymouse.

Margin of success or failure determines the outcome of the debate; resounding success results in all the mice staying and being helpful, though Grayson is surly. Marginal success or a draw results in mice staying but refusing to help ward off animals, or some of the mice deserting. Marginal failure results in Grayson leading off most of the able-bodied mice. Resounding failure results in desertion as well as lasting feelings of enmity on the part of Grayson or his band.

The patrol now has a chance to treat the wounded and marshal the caravaners to take what precautions they may, against animals or rising waters.

The second hazard is animals: the patrol must drive off the scavengers before they eat too much of the goods.

After some time, 6 or so Birds (MG pg 207-208) fly overhead and then land nearby, attempting to get at the spilled food.

The birds attempt to bully a lone mouse or two who interrupts their eating but are driven away by a concerted or persistent effort. The birds take turns flying at and distracting their foes while the others eat. Success represents chasing off the birds before they can cause much damage. Failure represents chasing them off only after they have eaten a significant portion, and/or that the battle leaves the mice with conditions.

Eventually a work crew accompanied by armed mice will reach the site, summoned by one of the runners. They will work feverishly through the night to recover the wounded, bodies of fallen mice, and as much of the remaining goods as possible. The patrol is commended for standing by the wounded and much needed supplies. If Grayson left, he and those with whom he went are vilified as deserters and may turn to banditry.

Before the work crew arrives, the patrol can be threatened with further hazards until they are sufficiently taxed as drama requires:

Wilderness Hazard: the rain resumes, raising the possibility of further flooding or mudslides.

The mice may tie safety lines, shift to a more favorable piece of the hillside, bury important goods under stones, or otherwise make countermeasures against flooding. When the predicted rush of mud or water arrives, their precautions add dice to their test to weather the calamity.

Animal Hazard: attracted by the battle with the Birds, other activity on the hillside, or perhaps just wandering by, a predator or scavenger attempts to make off with a wounded mouse. Use this especially if the patrol moves too far away from the wounded for too long.

How does this situation tie into your players’ Beliefs, Instincts, Goals, and Traits? Are any of their relationship characters present among the stranded mice?

Why are the outcomes predisposed before your group has played out the situation? Why are you predetermining what the players should do to address the problems? This is what the dice are for; this is why we play the game, as they say.

Longer answer, because I won’t be able to get to sleep without typing this.

The way Mouse Guard works is going to feel very foreign to you at first. Just follow the mission format in the book.

First off, what season is it?

Assign Mission: A caravan traveling from one town to another has gone missing. Gwendolyn, or the Guard Captain in the town in which the characters are stationed, assigns the patrol to find the missing caravan. They don’t just stumble across the wrecked caravan while on patrol. After the briefing, the players should all write down their Goals for the session.

Wilderness Obstacle: Have the players make a Scout test to find the missing caravan. If they fail you can hit them with a condition (hungry or tired would be appropriate) or a weather-based complication.

Animal Obstacle: Birds are attacking the caravan and must be driven off. This can be a single test with the players helping each other or a Fight Animal conflict.

Reasonably, you could end the GM’s Turn at this point. Set up the situation for your players. There are wounded mice that need tending and broken carts about. A fellow named Grayson (Why not make him a member of the Guard? Or better yet, use someone’s Enemy?) is planning to abandon the caravan and lead to the nearest settlement those able to travel.

Let the players spend their checks as they wish; it’s their turn, after all. If they want to engage Grayson in an Argument conflict so he does not leave, fine (I’d save his “speech” for his side of the argument). They can tend the wounded with Healer, feed the hungry with Cooking, or repair damaged carts with Carpenter. They can make shelter with Survivalist, run for more help with Scout, or try to lead back everyone themselves with Pathfinder. I’d leave as much as possible undefined; there are no wrong answers for how the players approach this situation. The players can spend their checks how they choose; the tests will determine what was successful and what was not.

After all their checks are spent, review Beliefs, Goals, and Instincts, award Fate and Persona, and you’re done. That’s all there is to it. Mouse Guard is going to push back hard against the way you’re used to running games. Your role is explicitly challenging the players and then letting go during their turn. The game is about how they handle the situation and it should arise organically in play. It’s obvious from your post you’re wrapped up in how you think the events should play out.

Exle, has your group played other games with either tight scene-framing or a lot of player authority?

Or if keeping this sort of in-the-field event introduction is desired, it just shouldn’t be the first mission run (since further missions are allowed to arise in any manner the GM wishes). This could be a great scenario to follow one of the missions in the book, spicing up the return trip to Lockhaven…

To maintain wanderer’s story structure where the location still has to found (which is a really good revision), the original poster would just have to have the runner who alerts the players be disoriented (feverish / wounded / whatever) when he arrives (he did just survive a flood and have to wander through harsh wilderness). He only knows the general direction of the caravan, and its far enough off-road do to the flood that it will still require the scout test.

After the players are told the situation by the runner they should have sufficient info to pick their goals, and then things start up. If Grayson is known to any of the players (enemy or otherwise) the runner can mention him as the one who directed the runner to head off, that way goals involving Grayson (“To prove to Grayson I’m not his enemy” or whatever) can be included as well…

I wanted to reinforce the point about writing down Goals at the beginning of the session. The “advanced” technique would be to have the run-in with the runner (another opportunity to incorporate a relationship) serving as the “briefing” and then having the players create Goals before setting off to find the caravan. It’s fine to have things begin in media res like this; my Mouse Guard sessions tend to be very episodic. Just don’t skip the Goals step.

It seems abit too heavy on the background material.

I would have the Patrol come in when the bird is pecking away at the food - They’ve got a mission, they’ve got an Animal obstacle. Whether Grayson is battered or not depends on whether they fail the Animal obstalce.

The first hazard is mice: the patrol must convince the able-bodied mice to stay and protect the goods and wounded despite the danger.

Grayson argues that the piles of food out in the open will attract scavengers, and that the commotion will attract predators. He argues that the weather is still bad and another flood might bury the hillside under mud. He argues that the caravan mice have done their job and it’s not their fault that the goods didn’t make it to the next town. He’ll concede that a coupe of hurt mice can be carried out on stretchers, but says that to stay would be the death of everymouse.

Going with my suggestion, This would be a twist stemming from a failure of the first obstacle.

I would make “Ensure that the vital food is delivered” a heavier part of the set up, to ensure a strong reason to be against Grayson for some mice. I would also be prepared to let some Guard Mice side with him.

Margin of success or failure determines the outcome of the debate; resounding success results in all the mice staying and being helpful, though Grayson is surly. Marginal success or a draw results in mice staying but refusing to help ward off animals, or some of the mice deserting. Marginal failure results in Grayson leading off most of the able-bodied mice. Resounding failure results in desertion as well as lasting feelings of enmity on the part of Grayson or his band.

I think you’re overthinking that a bit much. I would think of terms of Success, The mice stay and get the food, failure, the caravan abandons the food. Other terms can be negotiated in play.

The patrol now has a chance to treat the wounded and marshal the caravaners to take what precautions they may, against animals or rising waters.

The second hazard is animals: the patrol must drive off the scavengers before they eat too much of the goods.

After some time, 6 or so Birds (MG pg 207-208) fly overhead and then land nearby, attempting to get at the spilled food.

Man, that could be a tough animal conflict, depending on what type of birds they are. That Grayson mouse had a point!

The birds attempt to bully a lone mouse or two who interrupts their eating but are driven away by a concerted or persistent effort. The birds take turns flying at and distracting their foes while the others eat.

Thats a little too much preplanning. Let stuff like that flow from the table at gametime.

Success represents chasing off the birds before they can cause much damage. Failure represents chasing them off only after they have eaten a significant portion, and/or that the battle leaves the mice with conditions.

Okay, that sounds good.

At this point I would call a Player’s turn. Some other stuff you probably wouldn’t have planned will have hopefully occured, such as Twists for failures you didn’t expect. and will probably get a mission’s worth of activity by now.

These comments are great and very helpful! I will write a revision and repost. Thanks!

Thanks for the tips; I really appreciate your input! Here are a couple of questions and my first revision based on your suggestions

Are you suggesting I wait to write the adventure until after the players have created their characters, the better to customize? I have often done so in other games, but my intention here was to write something ‘generic’ enough to run with most patrols.

I’ll talk about my GM syle.

I like to give the players a problem and resources, and them let them take what tack they may. I plan for what I guess are their most likely courses of action, and run with it if they do something else. I keep the environment rich- lots of named minor characters who can become contacts, allies or enemies. I also emphasize choices: competing priorities, moral dilemas, mutually exclusive alliances, choice of path, etc. I try to show the world changing in response to those choices. I invite player input in a special way. The players have (in other games) influence not by declaring things about the game world, but through their characters. For example, if a character is interested in mysticism, I may introduce a cult of mystics. If a character works hard to establish contacts, I’ll make sure that network is both useful and requires maintenance. If a character is scholarly, I’ll involve libraries and the learned in the story. Does that answer your quesion?

Thats a little too much preplanning. Let stuff like that flow from the table at gametime. [/quote]
Have to disagree with you there. I find it useful to give a thought to a potential opponent’s strategy and how committed they are to the fight.

The Spill First Revision:

Background
It is ealy in a late Spring. The day is overcast with intermittent rain. The town of [insert town] is low on supplies after [insert calamity]. The relief caravan of food, medicine and other supplies has been washed off the road by a flash flood, onto a hillside with no cover. The carts are broken or overturned, spilling piles of food onto the open ground. The caravan’s leader is incapacitated, and several of the porters, beetle drivers, and guards are dead. There are amulatory and non-ambulatory wounded. Of the drivers and porters who survive, three are chosen as runners to seek help from likely directions, leaving behind a handful of able-bodied mice (ABM) to watch over the wounded and valuable goods.

The GM may wish to insert one or more of the patrol’s family members, enemies, etc. into the ABM or wounded.

Assign Mission/ Mission Briefing
The patrol is on the road between one place and another when they are spotted by a frightened and bedraggled mouse rushing the opposite direction. If appropriate, this mouse (Pip if you need a name) may be or reference one of the Guard Mouse’s background characters. Pip tells the patrol that a caravan of badly needed food and other goods was swept from the road by a flash flood. Many of the caravaners were hurt or killed so Pip was sent to run for help. Does the patrol have any medicine or skill with healing? If so, Pip wants the patrol to see to the wounded while he gets further help. If the players accept, Pip gives them directions to the site, and warns that the way may be treacherous because of the flooding.

Goal Setting
The patrol members set goals at this point. Some hypothetical goals might be to rescue the wounded caravaners, to rescue a particular mouse from a patrol member’s background, to ensure the vital food gets to the beleaguered town, to show up a rival in the ABM, etc.

Arriving at the scene
Finding the washed out section of road requires no checks- it is a major path after all. However, the broken caravan is on the other side of a 3-4 mouse-length drop and a muddy rivulet. (wilderness obstacle). Conditions for failure might be Injured, Angry, or Tired.

Bird Scavengers
When the patrol arrives, the ABM are trying to keep (3?) Birds (MG pg 207-208) from eating the piles of spilled food. If the patrol assists, this is a Fight Animal Conflict. The Birds take turns: some going after grains while others batter or distract mice. A conserted or persistent attack causes them to flee. Success represents chasing off the birds before they can cause much damage. Failure represents chasing them off only after they have eaten a significant portion, and/or that the battle leaves the mice with conditions. Particlarly, the ABM may become dispirited.

Deserters?
After the Bird attack, one of the ABM (Grayson, if you need a name) argues that the ABM and patrol should abandon the caravan goods and wounded mice and try to get to safety. The patrol may try to convince the mice to stay with an Argument Conflict. Some ideas for compromises or consequences or failure are: they stay but are less helpful; some leave, some stay; PC earns the enmity of Grayson or another ABM; they leave but agree to take some wounded; they agree to stay until sundown.

Some ideas for Grayson’s argument: Grayson argues that the piles of food out in the open will attract scavengers, and that the commotion will attract predators. He argues that the weather is still bad and another flood might bury the hillside under mud. He argues that the caravan mice have done their job and it’s not their fault that the goods didn’t make it to the next town. He’ll concede that a couple of hurt mice can be carried out on stretchers, but says that to stay would be the death of everymouse.

Players’ Turn Part I
Some ideas: they can tend the wounded with Healer or feed the hungry with Cooking. They can use Carpenter to repair damaged carts or repurpose them for carrying wounded. They can make shelter or take precautions against further flooding with Survivalist, run for more help with Scout, or try to find a safe way back to the road with Pathfinder.
They can attempt to recover from conditions. Grateful wounded or ABM might help with gear or Wises.

More Trouble
The patrol should have at least one more conflict or test before the resolution to satisfy the drama of their (probable) brave decision to stay in the danger zone safeguarding the food and wounded. These could arise as twists or be scripted as desired. Here are some ideas:
[ul]
[li]Animal: a predator or scavenger attempts to make off with a wounded mouse.
[/li][li]Weather: renewed rains cause further flooding. Characters might scramble to protect goods or the wounded.
[/li]
[li]Mice: a patrol member catches somemouse pocketing something valuable from the caravan or robbing wounded mice. Alternately, one caravaner accuses another mouse of doing so, and asks the patrol to intervene.
[/li][/ul]

Rescue
Eventually a work crew accompanied by armed mice will reach the site, summoned by one of the runners. They will work feverishly through the night to recover the wounded, bodies of fallen mice, and as much of the remaining goods as possible. The patrol is commended for standing by the wounded and much needed supplies. If Grayson left, he and those with whom he went are vilified as deserters and may turn to banditry.

Players’ Turn For Real

Thanks for your input.

Yes. If you want to introduce the other players to the game, run one of the sample missions in the rulebook. Actually, judging from your posts, I think doing this would help you understand Mouse Guard better.

No, this is the kind of thing every GM says when asked about his style (which wasn’t my question). Specifically, what roleplaying games does your group usually play?

Why won’t you let your players be the heroes? In your planned mission, you have the runner find the patrol, Grayson initiates the conflict, and then a work crew shows up to rescue everyone. Your players should be the ones locating the caravan, initiating conflicts with the other mice there, and eventually being the ones to save the day. If you’re not comfortable with your players in this position, I don’t think Mouse Guard is going to work for your GMing style.

Also, it is fine to divide up the mission into multiple Players’ and GM’s Turns, but don’t try and give the players a false turn. When it’s their go, they’re the ones in charge. You can introduce twists as a result of failed rolls, but otherwise the players are directing the action.

You could split the birds into two teams, one group stealing food and the other harassing the mice. This would force the players to have to choose between dividing into teams themselves, and therefore being less capable, or letting one group of birds get away with what they’re doing.

If you use the conflict mechanics, then there likely won’t be clean success and failure. Use the outcomes you’re suggesting as part of the compromise process.

I plan to start with “Deliver the Mail” and start “The Spill” while the patrol is on their way home (or somewhere else). I think writing an adventure is a great way to approach learning the structure of a game.

I don’t play often enough to have a regular group :frowning: . I have run D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Werewolf, Over the Edge, Shadowrun… probably a few more. Why?

If it weren’t for the PCs, the work crew would arrive to find predators have eaten the wounded, scavengers have taken the food, and the ABM are become bandits.

The PCs are the heroes if they navigate the difficult terrain to reach the caravan, drive off the scavenging Birds, exercise leadership or persuasion to hold the caravaners together, and bravely safeguard the helpless wounded and goods until the equipment and laborers to retrieve them arrive. They also have opportunities to tend the wounded, repair things, be clever about moving wounded mice, explore, build relationships with the caravaners, and mediate disputes.

My impression is that Mouse Guard would work for my style (active world: PCs intervene)

Oh, good. Multiple Players’ and GM’s turns suits me!

I like the multiple teams idea. Maybe the patrol can be a team and the ABM can be a team? Or they could mix…

some random comments… just my opinions.

My impression is that Mouse Guard would work for my style (active world: PCs intervene)

My impression is that Mouse Guard and any BurningX RPG works better when the Player Characters are actively involved in the storytelling … not just reacting to the situations the GM has to invent each session.

[quote]Specifically, what roleplaying games does your group usually play?
… why?[/quote]

I think that’s a lead-in question. MG and BurningX RPG are not really like D&D… no, I take that back … D&D was different before 2nd Ed (AD&D)

Let me re-position… A lot of current “roleplayers” are used to a game where the GM spends hours and hours preparing the “scenario”, and the players come in and react to it. There are a few cases where the GM would ask “so … what does your character want to do for a future adventure” or “what are your character’s dreams and goals?” For many GMs, they take the player’s answers and try to shoehorn the answers into an existing campaign.

MG is different. The GM only has about half of the story … and the GM is actually encouraged to have even less! There’s a reason why there’s a “Player’s Turn” … and that is to let the players take the driver’s seat and fill out the rest of the story … often setting up future sessions.

And that’s the reason why wanderer asked about the “roleplaying experience” of the players. Because if the players are used to “being spoonfed” the plot – which is essentially what you get with RPGs like D&D today – then they’ll be surprised when Mouse Guard starts asking them what they will be “cooking up for dinner” … 'cuz a good Mouse Guard GM will probably only bring a potato salad. I fully expect the Mouse Guard players to bring the main dishes!

I appreciate your eagerness, Stormtower, but I’m really trying to work out this with Exle. It will be great hearing from you once you’ve had a chance to play the game yourself.

If no players arrive, then there’s no one to care about the mice and their wrecked caravan. There is no mission beyond the players’ involvement in it.

I see you setting up lots of elements for the players to react to, whereas Mouse Guard is a game about player pro-activity. Even during the GM’s Turn, the players are expected to drive things with their Beliefs, Goals, Instincts, Traits, and relationships. It’s a different style of play than is found in the games you’ve run in the past.

I’m going to keep stressing this point; it doesn’t matter what the able-bodied mice do. What matters is how the players approach the situation. Unless the players actively incorporate them into the scene, the able-bodied mice are just color. You only should be concerned with the players’ actions, whether they decide to tackle either both groups or just one. Taking on both groups, if they succeed they will likely owe serious compromises. If they only fight one group of birds, then they will have to deal with the fallout from ignoring the other. Allow their decision to have meaningful consequences.

Storm, can you talk more about “players taking the driver’s seat?” I think I know what you mean, but maybe you could summarize a section of play or something that shows this happening?

wanderer, please don’t discourage anyone from replying; I value everyone’s input!

The able-bodied mice are there for the patrol to interact with- so the patrol can lead them, persuade them, argue with them, whatever the players want. The able-bodied mice are there as a challenge and an opportunity, not just window dressing.

I like to consider what’s going on “behind the scenes” away from the players’ attention. Keeping in mind a developing backstory helps give my world depth and aids in immersion.

I’m starting to get fuzzy on what your actual issue is with his scenario. The supplies are destined for somewhere, and if they don’t get there people will miss them. The fact the players choose to help the caravan when they learned of it from the runner, rather then just having Gwendoline squeek some orders to go find it, would seem to make them more proactive, not less. Of course there is no mission beyond the players’ involvement: There is no game without the players’ involvement. And if the GM turn isn’t about having elements set up for reacting to, what is the point of the information in the scenarios in the book?

A broken caravan with birds circling and rebellious members is not essentially different then a really big turtle parked in town square. It is something the players have been pointed at that they can resolve. If they weren’t pointed at something (wether made up entirely or inspired by something in a previous players turn or inspired by something on a character sheet), they wouldn’t have anything to do in the GM turn. The GM is supposed to design the situations and usually decide in advance how the players are supposed to resolve them: You set the difficulty and the skill required first, and then players literally have to propose an alternate course of action, which you are free to deny. That is anything but pro-active. When a twist occurs in MG, even in the player turn, the GM sets an alternate situation the players have to react to. Once again they can choose to approach it how you initially decide, or they can propose an alternative, which you can deny.

Basically, Exle’s attempts to consider different things the players could do in the different GM turn events actually seems to provide more choice and proactivity then is written into the system…

Exle – I haven’t made secret my inexperience at this game. So I’d place more weight in wanderer’s comments, and I humbly submit that might mean I should hold back from replying!

There’s plenty of actual play examples in another part of the forum. It’s just kinda buried amid all the burning stuff. You can also google up “Mouse Guard Actual Play” and find more elsewhere. Here’s a few links:

Odie’s “Escort the Supply Cart” – it’s a great read since it first tells the story, then it repeats it with the details … kinda like reading a comic book first, and then seeing how it was “acted out”.
http://www.burningwheel.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7315

MadJay’s “Deliver the Mail” – I liked this one because it’s a player-side perspective. So you can get a feel as to how a player can approach the GM vs Player turn.
http://www.burningwheel.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7175

Shosuro Kando’s Two Patrols (from rpgnet) – this is actually one of the first ones I found on Google. It can be confusing since there are two different groups. But I think you’ll be amazed by how much fun they’re having. You’ll probably also enjoy having access to the characters they generated (total of 9 from the 2 groups), and following their progress with sheets in hand.
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=440613

To make things less buried and more convenient (and try in a non-subtle way to imply a seperate section in the Mouse Guard section might be merited) I just made a single post with links to the 20!!! I spotted in the Game+Life forum block. There is some great stuff in there: Its wonderful idea material and very enlightening to see how many of the common posters on this board throw down with their particular vision of the rules.

Thanks Serpine!

I will read those links for ideas.

Much appreciated.

My point was not that the able-bodied mice shouldn’t be there to interact with, but that there only value should be in being actively incorporated by the players. If one of the players wants to make an Oratory test to lead them against the marauding birds, great. But don;t use them to lessen the impasct of the players’ actions, for good or ill. Don’t be like “While you all drove of one group of birds, the able-bodied mice drove off the other,” if the players didn’t do anything to spur the other mice forward. If the players decided to go after one group rather than both, they have to accept the consequences.

My issue is that the original post was full of predetermined outcomes and the actions of the non-player characters overshadowing the actions of the players. It’s not that the situation should be without context, but the overall impression I had from the original mission description was that it was very dis-empowering to the players. My goal is to get Exle to take a different approach in his presentation that is more fitting to Mouse Guard’s mindset.

Hmm… Okay wanderer, I think I’m seeing it now. Let me see if I can compile detailed specifics into a summary and determine if we are looking eye to eye:


Problem 1) The Runner: Okay, this guy points the patrol to the caravan crash, tells them the backstory, and summons the backup cavalry after leaving. Each of these functions could be addressed without him: The patrol could have in backstory been aggressively patroling the road do to rumors of attacks (and found the runner’s corpse telling them there might be a problem in the area to specifically look for), they could figure out what is happening at the adventure site by going there and looking for themselves, and they could send one of their own members to summon aid rather then rely on an npc non-Guardsman.

Problem 2) Grayson: This scheming little mouse seems to have been waiting for the patrol specifically so he could engage them in debate. Its the classic final-step-in-the-spell-being-about-to-be-cast-just-as-the-players-kick-in-the-door ploy. If he had for instance already finished convincing the other mice to leave, the patrol would see them packing and the wounded begging for aid, which would theoretically give them the option to grab him and his gang by the shoulder and say “Where do you think your going?” to initiate the debate, or wave them off saying “Good riddance, we can handle this ourselves”. This ups the drama and establishes clearly that without the patrol’s intervention, the wounded and supplies would be abandoned.

Problem 3) ABMs willing to do their job: As has been argued in another thread, mice in the territories are so inherently selfish and lazy they hardly deserve to live. Any able mice seem by default to be trying to help if they are there. It should be clear they they stand around like sods unless the patrol specifically and with difficulty convinces them to move a finger every step of the way. I suspect this was the plan in the scenario, but its not explicit. In any case, at most they should only ever be able to provide a couple of dice (they could be considered a helpful npc and / or an appropriate tool) to actions the patrol takes and never execute even background tasks on their own. If the approach mentioned in #2 is followed, they’ve decided to leave and are being held back by the patrol in the first place if still here.

Problem 4) The cavalry (aka work crew the following day): A group of helpful mice arrive fairly soon to attend to the wounded, pack up what is left, and pat the patrol on the back for a good job. The patrol didn’t summon it, or have any difficulty getting it to come, and it arrives quickly enough the patrol might be denied the opportunity to spend several pained days holding back a constant onslaught of further birds. If the the patrol has to send one of their own, who will have to work hard to convince the people at the nearest town to send a even an incompetant skeleton crew into obviously dangerous territory (and always remember the selfish and lazy factor), its more there triumph. Plus it weakens the strength of the team back at the caravan. This also gives more chance for the patrol to make a few more tests in the more obscure skills as they heal the wounded and try and drive off birds in any number of crazy ways. When its all done, since the cavalry is lead by a patrol member when it arrives, it is controlled and escorted by the patrol back to the town, which provides stronger closure and lets them follow plot threads from the caravan (if they wish) in the players turn.


Are we more on the same page now?