A Ferret served as chief captain in a weasel army, which would be pretty difficult for something with just Clever, Stealing, and Hiding. So I would assume at least more advanced Ferrets have full skill blocks like a Weasel and can use equipment…
But what about Martens, Minks, and Sables? Since allies in general are noted as acting as scouts and advisors, I presume the others aren’t purely primitive beasts. But are they up to skills and gear?
Dancing beyond the weasel block, what about hares? They are noted as not using equipment, but are sapient and do things that wouldn’t work to well outside their nature choices… like towing and bargaining for finished goods.
Are any other things likely sapient on that scale?
Bats in the comic are sentient, but don’t seem to have “skills.” And I always wondered about rats - I find it’s easy to imagine them as the evil counterparts of a mouse, but they could also be almost primitive, brutal. Like barbarians to the civilized mice.
In your game you could have almost anything be sentient, but I like the idea of keeping things simple and reverting to the animal’s nature to see what it can do/cannot do. Keep skills to what’s special in the game: the Mice.
I was tossing some thoughts about rats myself, and if I ever did something with them I’d want to dodge the overly evil angle since that is what weasels are for and its a little cliche. My one thought would be to have them as more a gypsy culture: They would be flamoyant nomads who would arrive in the Territories selling shiny baubles and fake fortunes, assist (for a hefty fee) with a few small problems that would turn out to be caused by them in the first place, and then vanish into the night leaving the mice bewildered but a little wiser.
Actually, your description of trickster gypsies reminded me more of squirrels (think Chip and Dale). And my impression of rats has always been “bigger, uglier, and stupider” (therefore barbaric) than mice.
Well, squirrels in MG have already been established as larger, dangerous animals so repurposing them as tricksters seems a bit problematic. And they and the weasel allies probably fill the barbarian niche pretty well.
My view of rats is probably a bit softer do to a childhood fondess for Templeton from “Charlotte’s Web”, the rats from “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”, and various pet rats friends and I have had (most of which where frighteningly clever and surprisingly affectionate).
Rats, if never fed meat, make excellent and loving little pets, provided they are kept stimulated. If they get bored, they get destructive. If they eat meat, they get mean. Not quite as bad as ferrets on the boredom aspect.