I’m working on my event for 11.11.11. It’s a Mouse Guard / Victorian adventure hack. Here are some early thoughts:
So, I’m taking the Mouse Territories and pushing them three hundred some years into the future, into the growing pains of the industrial revolution. I’m drawing inspiration from Victorian adventure fiction: stuff like Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells. Essentially all the inspirations for The League of Extraordinary Gentleman layered on top of Mouse Guard.
Lockhaven has grown to a sprawling metropolis, build of brick and wrought iron. Factories belch smoke into the air. Old Lockhaven is a looming citadel above the labyrinth of tenements and workshops.
Deep, deep underground, the mice have found a pocket of natural gas. Not only do they power gaslamps and heat throughout the city, but the city walls have iron pipes built into them with steel nozzles pointing out. When the gas is turned on, huge jets of flame shoot from the walls, repelling even the most curious bear or moose. All animals fear fire.
The metropolis is also defined by huge stumps, where trees once grew. In a huge, treeless area like this, birds of prey would be a major threat. I think every few blocks, there is a huge four (mouse) story tall iron spike that rises above the city, creating a deadly barrier for the birds above.
Lockhaven has absorbed many of the smaller settlements around it. Although these neighborhoods are, in theory, still governed by their local borough chief, there is constant tension between the local leaders and the privy council at Lockhaven.
I’ll be updating the skill list to better fit the setting. Less wilderness skills, more urban ones. I was going to hack Nature, to add some element of the stifling pressure to conform to social norms that pervades Victorian literature, but I’m not sure how much it would add. The hacking Nature thread does have me thinking, though.
THINGS STILL TO THINK ABOUT
In the standard setting, the Weasels seem to be a stand in for the Asiatic “other”, the despots of the exotic East that enslave and sacrifice the European stand-in mice. Do I want to carry that forward? Do I want to deal with its implications?
If I carry it forward, then by 1892, the mice have essentially conquered the Weasels through superior technology and economic development. Where does that put Weasels in Lockhaven society? Are they the coal miners and manual laborers? Have some of them adopted Mouse ways and Mouse attitudes to aspire to something higher in Mouse society?
Most importantly, are there Weasel members of the Guard?
If I break with the whole “Weasel as non-Western “other” stand-in” thing, then do I just write Weasels out of the setting entirely? Did the Mouse Guard eventually wipe them out? Having statues and museums and stuff around that feature the vanquished enemy could be cool. Do they only live in zoos?
What are your thoughts on the issue of Weasels?
Someone must have a hack with guns. Could someone point me to threads with good ideas about how to model firearms in Mouse Guard? I know I want them to be dangerous without being overpowering.
Any and all other comments welcome.