Whispers in the Dark: MG Mission

Here’s the next mission, I’m planning on trying out with my group. If you guys have any comments / suggestions let me know. I’m still trying to get a good grip on properly scaling the fight conflicts.

Start of Mission:

*Your Patrol has been out in the field for sometime. A messenger from Lockhaven has been looking for you but due to the movements of the Patrol it has taken sometime to track you down. Gwendolyn is desperate to find a Patrol that is in the area and free. When you arrive back in town, there is a young messenger. He hands you a letter. It instructs the Patrol to make haste to the town of Blackrock (p. 182) and to assist the single Guard Captain, Kole, and his Tenderpaw, Dalla, immediately. Gwendolyn tells you to be wary, the town has been placed under martial law following a string of disappearances. Gwendolyn fears that murder may have been committed.

A. Navigate to Blackrock - Obstacle 3 (Pathfinder, Scout, Cartographer, etc) Failures = Hungry Thirsty + Weather

*The Patrol reaches Blackrock a little after dusk. The town gate is shut and barred and there is a postern door and a wiry looking mouse emerges under hood and cape and waves a lantern in your face demanding to know who you are.

B. Persuade Dalla the Tenderpaw that you are indeed true Mouse Guards - Obstacle 4 (Persuader, Deceiver, Guard’s Honor) Failures = Angry.

*Once past the gate, the Patrol sees that the town is completely shut down for the night. Windows are barred, doors are shut, and there is almost no noise from the different homes and buildings. The Patrol soon finds the home of Guard Captain Kole. He hastily pulls the Patrol inside and before even welcoming them, he asks them to assist him. There have been a number of disappearances lately and everyone is frightened. The Captain wants you to either watch a house or to quickly move to a building and to be bait.

C. Terror in the Night - There are six other buildings and homes in the town (Allow 3 nights):
*1. Tavern - This is a large two-story building that normally has a very lively crowd. The bartender Jasper and his wife Lilly, live in one of the rooms on the second floor.
*2. Archives - The town’s prized possession, this building houses a huge collection of documents. Algomin is the head archivist and Trevor is his assistant. Algomin is very proud of his leaf collection (Has a secret tunnel that Algomin uses to leave each night).
*3. Farmer’s Home - Noelan and Nola live here and they do most of the farming for the town. They are twins and are usually very friendly but now they are extremely timid.
*4. Smithy - Folker is the town smith and his shop is essential to the upkeep of the town. He’s a sturdy mouse and a former Guard.
*5. Windmill - Serra is the town’s miller and she lives in a small house next to her windmill. She is very scarred because she lives on the edge of town.
*6. Schoolhouse - No one lives in the school house but since the attack, some few mice have barred the windows and doors and have holed up in the school. They refuse to come out until Guard Captain

  • The Patrol can choose to watch a location (1 mouse) or to lay in wait at a location (2+ mice). Roll a dice to see which location is attacked this night.

  • Successful Attack: An appropriate mouse is taken from the rolled location: Roll a dice to determine what the scene looks like:
    *1-2. Ransacked - The place is mess. Shelves are knocked down, things are broken, it looks like a terrible fight occurred. There is a shattered window and a short trail of broken glass leading away from the location.

(Pathfinder / Scout - Obstacle 4) Failures = Tired
*The direction of the glass is to the north edge of town and there where the brambles and undergrowth is densest, the trail is lost.

*3-4. Untouched - There doesn’t appear to be any signs of struggle, violence, or anything. Yet, somehow, a mouse was taken.

*5. Arson - The building has been firebombed and there is little left to discover what has happened. Only the charred and burnt timbers of the building remain. (Scientist - Obstacle 4: The fire was caused by the burning of a strange chemical.

*6. Calling Card - Written on the wall with a smudge stick is the message, “He will have me… All will be devoured.” (Archivist / Loremouse - Obstacle 5: There is an obscure reference to a prophecy in the Lockhaven archives)

  • Enemy Spotted: A patrol member has spotted a shadow slipping out of the location: - Follow the shadow: (Pathfinder / Scout) Failures = Tired

*The mouse will follow the shadow to the north edge of town and there where the brambles and undergrowth is densest, the mouse will lose the trail.

  • Enemy Ambushed: The patrol ambushes the attacker: - Fight the shadow:

The Shadow: Use the Archivist template (Add +2D to Attack, the attacker is wild and dangerous!) Failures = Injured

*The Patrol manages to fend off the Shadow’s attack but is unable to subdue the criminal. However, there are signs that the attacker was wounded.

D. Day 4 - Captain Kole and Dalla cannot wait any longer. Kole orders the Patrol to guard the town while he and Dalla search for the attacker. This is the patrols chance to try to piece together the puzzle.

  • Search for a trail: (Pathfinder / Scout - Obstacle 4) Failures = Tired
    *The mouse will follow the shadow to the north edge of town and there where the brambles and undergrowth is densest, the mouse will lose the trail.

  • Look for a wounded mouse: Ask the different mice about their physical condition. (If wounded, the patrol will discover the Algomin is not at the Archive and his assistant Trevor has no idea where his master has gone.

  • Investigate the crime scenes again: Allow the players to perform their tests once more at -1 reduced difficulty.

E. Dalla returns! - Find the Locust Tree:

*As the day wears on, the Patrol is met with screams coming from the northern forest. Dalla is clawing her way out of the bramble patch and is bloodied and injured. Upon being questioned, she tells the Patrol that Captain Kole is in danger. Deep in the brambles is a black locust tree with a deep crack running up its length. Captain Kole went in alone despite Dalla’s concerns. Dalla though tired offers to guide the Patrol (Use Robin’s template)

  • Bramble Maze (p. 170) (Pathfinder / Scout / Survivalist - Obstacle 4) Failures = Angry / Tired

F. Enter the Tree:

*The Patrol reaches the tree and deep from its depth can be heard terrible cries of pain. The crack is wide and tall enough for larger animal to squeeze through. The ground slopes down and soon the mice find themselves deep in a winding tunnel.

  • 2x Navigate in the Dark (Survivalist / Pathfinder / Scout / Scientist) Failures = Attacked by the Shadow.

The Shadow: Use the Archivist template (Add +2D to Attack, the attacker is wild and dangerous!, Natural Environment +1D to Maneuver) Failures = Hungry Thirst / Angry

G. The Voice of Doom:

*The Patrol reaches the bottom of the tunnel and it opens into a large area. They can tell by the feel of the air. Also, on the wind is the strong terrifying scent of a fox. From out of the dark comes a sly whispering voice, “You have done well my servant. So easily have they been lured here.” The Patrol can hear Algomin’s manic laugh as he dances about in the dark, rejoicing in his mistress’ praise. Captain Kole calls out for the Patrol to kill them. Scattered about the floor are the ravaged bodies of those recently kidnapped.

*Algomin was once a very normal mouse. However, during one of his many excursions out in the forest looking for rare leaves. He stumbled upon the old locust tree. Braving its depths, Algomin was caught for a time by an injured fox. Over the course of a week, she slowly broke down the terrified and starving mouse’s mind until he believed the voice he was hearing in the darkness was divine. He has since been capturing mice to sacrifice to the “Voice.” (Taunt the Player’s with Algomin’s story during the Animal Conflict, 3 parts, once per round)

Voza, the Voice of Doom & Algomin her Servant: Use the Fox template but use a score of 6 for her Nature (The cave is cramped and she is injured!).

*(If the Fight is Won) If the fight is won by the Patrol, Voza dies of her wounds and Algomin is hurt but with the aid of a Healer he won’t succumb to his wounds. However, now that he has discovered the truth of the Voza’s identity he begs the Patrol to let him die, he is terribly saddened by the evil he has committed.

*If the Patrol feels compassion for Algomin, Dalla will become furious and engage the Patrol leader in an Argument conflict. She is determined to see justice done (Only if Captain Kole has died).

  • Heal Algomin (Healer - Obstacle 2) Failures = Algomin is too weak to carry and slowly dies a gruesome death.

  • Save Captain Kole: Captain Kole is in desperate need of medical attention (Healer - Obstacle 3) Failures = Death. Once he is recovered, the Patrol is able to bring him back to the town. Dalla is thrilled to see her mentor alive and well and will offer to treat their wounds (+1 check to recovery). Captain Kole is glad to be safe and for his town to be safe as well, he promises to speak highly of the Patrol in his report to Gwendolyn. Due to his injury he will have to retire from the Guard and will ask the Patrol to return to Lockhaven and to speak with Gwendolyn, he wants Dalla to be promoted. He also asks that one of the Patrol mice take his Halbred so that he may fight on in spirit (Halbred / Guard’s Honor Trait).

If Captain Kole is slain, Dalla demands Algomin be killed immediately (Persauder / Deceiver - Obstacle 4) and later asks a Patrol mouse to carry her mentor’s Halbred (See Above).

*(If the Fight is Lost)

  • Injured / Dalla is captured by Voza and Algomin as they escape in the darkness. Voza’s voice promises that she will not stop and that she’ll soon find a new town to feast on.

  • Save Captain Kole: Captain Kole is in desperate need of medical attention (Healer - Obstacle 3) Failures = Death. Once he is recovered, the Patrol is able to bring him back to the town. Captain Kole is glad to be rescued but is terribly sad about Dalla’s kidnapping and the true fate of Algomin. Due to his injuries he will have to retire from the Guard and will ask one of the mice in the Patrol to take up his Halbred so that he may fight on in spirit (Halbred / Guard’s Honor Trait). He also asks that the Patrol return to Lockhaven and to speak with Gwendolyn, she must be alerted to Voza’s presence and the need to rescue Dalla.

If Captain Kole is slain, the Patrol must stay on to guard the town until relief can arrive. Have your player’s RP this during the player’s phase.

H. Return to Lockhaven:

(Pathfinder / Scout - Obstacle 2) Failure = Hungry Thirsty

*Present your report to Gwendolyn.

End of Mission.

Are any of the characters from Blackrock? Do any of them have a pre-existing relationship with Kole or Dalla?

I assume everyone is from Blackrock except for maybe Captain Kole.

Going with that, what if you took one of the player’s Mentors and replaced Captain Kole with Captain “Insert Mentor’s Name Here.” That might make it more interesting for your characters. Any ideas of how Dalla might be worked in more?

Also, I added a bit where Algomin is dying but still able to be recovered. He asks that the Patrol let him die. I thought this might add some tension between more law abiding mice and more compassionate one.

Hey Arseniy,

Are these missions you’ve run for a group, or are you just sharing ones you’ve created?

Also, check out how Jasper outlined and broke down his missions in this thread.

So far, I’ve done the first two missions that I posted (Zombie Invasion / Raise a Glass). Both went off quite well with only minor tweaking being needed when something interesting popped up. I saw how Jasper does his and I like his methods / ideas for getting a solid outline / idea down for the mission structure. The reason I’m posting these is that I thought it would be nice to share and also I like being able to have what I’m working on open to criticism so that I can end up with a decent finished product. Mostly, I’ve been aiming for medium sized missions. The sample missions in the book where very fun but as I and my players became more comfortable and faster with the rules they just weren’t able to fill the time properly (3-4 hours). Also, I needed more missions for when my players and I finished the sample ones.

To add, I’m using the seasonal time scale in the book for my players’ first year, so I need a lot of missions. Also, with longer missions there’s more of a sense of attrition in the game with characters constantly being angry / tired / sick and so on. I like the idea that the Guard is constantly being asked to do all manner of silly things and somehow they remain sane the whole time despite rampaging snapping turtle, pesky ravens, and everything else. And lastly, I’m writing these up because my players and I enjoy missions with a deeper narrative structure more often than the simple grab & smash type missions. But it’s been interesting trying to think up a new mission every week.

As far reporting on the mission afterwards, that a neat idea, I’ll take notes next time and post it after the mission brief.

Thanks for the details Arseniy!

So this one turned out quite interesting.

Dalla proved to be a great gate guard and made the Patrol angry with how suspicious she was. After the first night and the subsequent attack at the Mill (Writing on the Wall was the evidence), my players decided to consolidate everyone in the town into one building. I had them do an Orator test and then RP’d Algomin as refusing so that he could look up the prophecy reference and that Folker the former Guard mouse stayed at the smithy. I had to have the Captain step in so that my player’s wouldn’t bodily carry off the refusing NPCs.

The next day, everyone was consolidated at the Archive. Since Algomin the Archivist is the antagonist, this made things tricky. I had him firebomb the Archive and then return during the mayhem to pretend as though nothing happened. There was a Conflict vs the Fire with the margin of error determining the number of survivors. Luckily, everyone survived but the Archive burned down (I told my players that they had allowed the MG equivalent of the Library of Alexandria to burn down =P ).

The last day, because the Archive was no more, my players chose the tavern as their base and herded everyone inside. I had Algomin quietly ransack his room and then escape out from the upstairs window leaving a trail of glass to the north.

Once the Patrol found the trail to the bramble patch and the Locust tree, they made torches with Scientist and then things became interesting as they failed a Pathfinding in the dark and had to fight the Shadow. They managed to fend off its attack and trailed it into Voza’s lair. The fight with Voza and Algomin vs the Patrol, Dalla, and the injured Captain Kole went well. Two of the Patrol were disarmed by the wily fox and her servant but ultimately in a clinch roll, Voza perished.

Also, it was funny because the conflict ended only after 2 rounds and I had broken up Algomin’s back story into three parts, so my players will have to guess what made Algomin eventually go crazy and start kidnapping people to sacrifice to the fox.

At the end, the one player who was a healer failed his test and Captain Kole died. Dalla demanded Algomin’s death but was just barely persuaded to let him live. Finally, my players marched Algomin back and we stopped there for the night. I’m hoping they put him on trial or do something creative in the Player’s phase.

All in all, it went well, but the part where the town was consolidated into one building made things tricky, just had to be creative.