WIP Industrial Fantasy Mouse Guard RPG Hack
It occured to me while trying to adapt the mechanics of Ice and Fire Roleplaying for use in the Iron Kingdoms setting that I’d be much better off scrapping that idea altogether and wok with something simpler. Rather than create a totally new game however; I’d much rather spend my time adding features to an existing game. What I’m going for here is an Epic Low Fantasy Roleplaying War Game. I then remembered how much I loved Mouse Guard for its simplicity in both mechanics and setting that I just thought of ways to deliver the things I liked about other games and bring them to Mouse Guard. I’m not chaning Mouse Guard per se; I’m just adding more faces on an already awesome head. I guess this is why you call this a hack or a game mod.
I have two immediate problems with this project: What to call it, something cool, catchy, attractive, and appropriate; and how to organize my ideas properly.
With the first I’ve thought of a number of things.
Mouse Guard: of Mice and Men
Mouse Guard: Fire and Earth
Mouse Guard: Songs of Iron
Mouse Guard: A Song of Smoke and Steel
With the seond, I thought of the following: First, I’ll tackle the changes I’ve made with the setting; Second, I’ll mention any of the changes I’ve made regarding player characters; Thirdly, I’ll discuss ideas on creating organizations; and fourthly, I’ll discuss the interactions between organizations.
The only things I’ve truly done to the game is add aspects or ideas from A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying apart from adding early industrial tehcnology. It’s not necessarily steampunk, almost approaching dieselpunk, but with generous amounts of clockwork embedded into the whole thing. I’m also a big fan of WH40K so expect to see that manly game rear its head here and there.
Consider the above our Foreword.
Now, on to the meat of the matter!
In this incarnation of Mouse Guard, men exist, not as an apparent existence, but more that of a mysterious precursor race. Bits and pieces of Man’s technology and culture could be discovered here and there in the world. It’s a powerful plot hook as the secrets of men are things any ambitious mouse would pursue. Many of the questions and ideas that plague and comfort mice stem from these relics Man has left behind.
No one knows where they are, how they disappeared, why they disappeared, and why some evidence have been found to suggest that Man had a hand in Mouse intelligence.
If your players are into that, go ahead, delve deep. It’s not for you the Narrator to give the answers though, just bits and pieaces of reality. A book here, a dishwasher there, a car engine over there, a piece of art here, dead languages on crumbling paper scattered about; Mice find these things and make their own answers. You could very much say that its a test, the entire Mous experience is one big experiment asking one big questions, what is sentience?
Now that we’re through with the meta, let’s touch the immediate.
The game occurs three hundred years after Midnight’s return.
Midnight saw it a pretty good idea to raise a horde of Rats from beyond the scent borders and rampage across the Mouse Territories. The rats raped, razed, and cannibalized everything in their path. Even the wolves feared them. Some were even broken and used as terrible, slavering mounts.
The Guardmice rose, but they could not resist a horde of savages. Lockhaven fell, and the Guard retreated.
For fifteen long, brutal years, Midnight ruled from Lockhaven until his might was ended by Mice just as willing as he was to feed him his own medicine.
No mouse ever suffered a rat again.
From this fall, The Old Guard returned, but it wasn’t alone.
He was a lot like Midnight, but he hated rats and he loved mice. Eisenreich was born when he and his mice rose to resist Midnight and every Rat found. His became the second Empire of Mice to stand and the only to one still standing long after Midnight was gone.
Eisenreich now rules all of the Mouse Territories within the scent borders. It continues a campaign of expansion, often at odds with the Old Guard and its bitter rival
The Republic of Free Mice.
The Free Mice are those who refused the iron hand of Eisen but saw safety in numbers. They refused him so now they are against him. They occupy the lands beyond the scent border, free from the immediate grasp of eisenreich might yet always open to the dangers of the wilds. They are a relatively small republic, yet strong and enduring.
Only the Imperial Free Cities enjoy a degree of neutrality and liberty amidst these two warring factions. They were the only cities to successfully resist Midnight for those fifteen years, harboring both soldiers of the fledgling Eisenreich, agents of the Republic, and the aging Heroes of the Old Guard. Without them, Midnight would not have fallen, and so they are granted Master. Eisen allows them this as a gift, grateful for their role in the war. The old Guard finds fast friends among the City Mice and Republicans could always build another nest in one of them.
The Old Guard is still up and about of course. They say Eisen was once a Gaurdmouse, just driven mad until he wans’t much of a mouse anymore. They have free reign to go whereever they want, welcome everywhere and anywhere. And though Lockhaven was never returned to them, Eisen did build them a great wall that marked the scent borders. It was tall, built against trees, boulders, rocks, on hills, and dug deep into the ground. It is an epic structure with every tower a fortress, every Gate a city and Citadel.
All roads still lead to Lockhaven, but all Mice go to the Guard and the Guard serves all Mice.
Character Creation Mod to come soon…