Will, Health, Nature and advancement

I’m a bit unsure about a few things:

1: Will and Health advance just like skills and Resources/Circles?

2: Nature advance like skills when it’s taxed but do it also advance like a skill above its normal value (thereby giving the mice a reason not to use its Nature too much by raising the normal value)?

  1. Yes they do.

  2. Nature also advances like a skill. But be wary of the maximum nature of Mice. It’s a double-edged sword.

  1. Will and Health do advance. You can see at the Character Sheet, they have the P/F circles just like Skills and Resources, so they advance too. Advancement is at p.227.

  2. Yes, you can “advance” Nature, but I would think you’d not want to do that. Too high nature means your mouse is too mouse-like and therefore will lose interest in being a Mouse Guard and would like to live life like a mouse. Too low nature means your mouse becomes too human-like and therefore will have to take a break from being a Mouse Guard since he’s too “odd” to be mixing in with mouse society and will most likely be giving the Guard a bad name more than helping the Guard. I see Nature more as a “reservior” of dice for use when you need that extra oomph for heroic mouse-acts. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the answers. We have one mouse with quite a low Nature and one with quite a high Nature and both are interested in those answers.

Glad to help! Just remember, Nature is more of a “stat” that determines how mouse-like or human-like you are. Higher isn’t necessarily better, unlike with skills.

If their Nature get’s too high they can always keep using it until it’s taxed. Then take the permanent hit to Nature to reduce it once more.

Aye, that’s a good plan. However, remember that it takes a lot to “level up” your Nature since you don’t use it often (you’d use Skills more, I’d wager) and getting rid of Tax can take time!

You can instantly get rid of Tax by taking a permanent -1 Nature. Which if you’re Nature was at 6 might be a good idea. This is on p. 233 Depleting Nature.

I like how the best way to learn new un-mouselike skills is to have your Nature at 1. That way you only have to use Beginners Luck once and then you’ve learned the Skill at a Rating of 2. It makes sense that the more human you are the easier it is to learn new skills.

Taking a permanent -1 nature gets rid of tax by making some of it permanent. And it may be a good move, but boy does that -1 hurt when you need all the dice you can muster to kill the evil weasel overlord.

Well say you have nature 6, and you’ve been using it pretty heavily so it’s taxed down to 2. You’ve got 5 success and 4 fails, then if you want to get really any benefit from it in the middle of said Weasel dungeon, you’re probably going to want to take that -1 and go back to your new full Nature 5. And if you’ve been using your Nature this much, but don’t want to become completely mouse-like it’s going to be as good a time as any to knock back down to 5.

Scipion, I do agree with your points. Valid. But metagaming (that is the right term, correct? Sorry, English isn’t my first language).

Also, when do you get to use Nature? Nature is just for escaping, climbing, hiding, and foraging. How many times do you do that PER SESSION? Once maybe, twice if you’re lucky. So even for a Nature 5 mouse, that means 5 successes and 4 failures, THAT means a minimum of using Nature 9 times. Assuming they use Nature twice per game, at a game a week, that’s a month before you get to level up Nature.

How do you recover Nature? By giving a prologue or by being absent from a game or by a winter session. So unless you’re the only player, you can recover one point of Nature at MOST every other week! I’ll make you guess how many times you come across a winter session during a game campaign, so while that is an option, it is too small to be considered.

What does all this mean? Sure, it’s easy to tap Nature but remember, if you are going against it, you lose at least 1 point for Tax. Lose by a MoS of 1 and your Nature 6 is now Nature 5/6, lose by MoS of 2 and you’re at Nature 4/6! Subsequent use of Tapping Nature uses the current Nature value, not the max value, so unless you knock off one point every now and again, tapping Nature yeilds you less and less. Sure, it’s easy to knock off one point of Nature to get it all back, but see my points above regarding levelling Nature back up.

While having a Nature at 1 means it’s easy to learn new skills, you have to make sure you don’t use your Nature. Nature 0 means you get a trait changed, and you may have to retire your character until next spring (and only the GM knows when that will happen!). IMHO, a very fair mechanic and makes sure to reign in abuse.

Now, from a player’s perspective, how many times would you want to have your Nature to help you out? At least once per game, I would assume, and not all of that would be acting WITH your Nature! So again, you risk losing your Nature every time you use it!

You will find that Nature is very handy and very easy to use, but very hard to recover — that means it is very valuable! It isn’t like D&D’s Action Points that gets recovered every session!

Hope that helps you appreciate Nature! :wink:

Yes, -Ice, it’s metagaming. However, the entirety of the line is open to metagaming. In fact, some metagaming is encouraged in MG, and it’s actually an explicit part of the play of Burning Empires.

Ah, thanks Aramis. Sorry about that, but I’m really not much of a fan of “using the system to get an advantage.” I am all for character optimization, but not at the expense of roleplaying. Just a tender spot for me and one of the reasons I’ve dropped other game systems.

So, what would you call invoking your trait against yourself in order to earn a check, if not metagaming?

Yes, those are the things that are within your nature, but those aren’t really the only things you can use Nature for. Just the only things you can use Nature for at no cost.

I’m sorry, but that is not metagaming for me. You are SUPPOSED to do that to earn a check. Hmmm… let me illustrate using Scipion’s example. While knocking off a point of Nature to get rid of all Tax is valid, I do not approve of it as a “game strategy,” and I approve of the game system making such a strategy do-able, but difficult to recover from. If it happened in-game, in a critical moment that raises the definition of “awesome” to a whole new level, I am all for it! In fact, I would even see myself suggesting such an action to a player. “Oh no, it’s the last battle and my Nature is all Taxed out!” “Yes, but did you know you can knock off one point of Nature and remove all tax?”

However, having it as a “game strategy” whereby a player actually starts off with a higher Nature with the intention of doing so… does not rub off well with me.

On your example, if the player invoked a trait against himself to make the story cool, no problemo! But if he’s doing it all left-and-right and trying the weirest of reasons to justify using the trait, well, that does not rub off well with me either.

Reading the wikipedia definition of metagaming, I feel the term doesn’t quite grasp what I’m getting at. It’s more of “using the rules to gain advantage,” not in the role-player sense but in the power-gamer sense. I’ve not quite hit the nail on the head, but that’s a bit closer.

Scip is pointing out a valid strategy of play.

Agreed. Like I said, I can see it’s uses, but again, using it in the power-gamer way… Oooo! I can still recall how much anger I had on players who played this way. That’s one reason I only game with family now (the online game I’m starting is my first game with “strangers” in, oh, four years?).

Again, it’s all cool, I’ve just had bad experiences with such “techniques” if used in a certain way. You can all safely ignore me while I vent. :smiley:

There’s an interesting little section in Instinct about how Saxon keeps drawing his sword willy nilly. I don’t have the book to quote it, but it seems to imply if there’s a valid time to use a trait or follow an instinct go for it!

There’s an interesting little section in Instinct about how Saxon keeps drawing his sword willy nilly. I don’t have the book to quote it, but it seems to imply if there’s a valid time to use a trait or follow an instinct go for it!

Yes, I remember that part. That is what I like to play with, roleplaying your character even if it isn’t optimal “strategy-wise.” I hate squads that operate like a well-oiled machine. Again, feel free to ignore me as I vent.

Yes, those are the things that are within your nature, but those aren’t really the only things you can use Nature for. Just the only things you can use Nature for at no cost.
Hmmm… yes, and using Nature there would still earn you pass/fail marks, right? I guess I underestimated how easy it is to level up Nature. Still, I’d wager the players would rather use skills than Nature, and unless I’m mistaken, tapping Nature to aid in a skill test does not earn pass/fail marks on Nature, just on the skill being tested, right?