Wolfkilling Mice (too many dice)

Before you tell me, that there is a natural order rule…

I just gmed my first session. The 4 mice came up to a salamander and, having it mistaken for a snake, killed it. But they did it way too easy in my opinion. They made two teams. One mouse was alone, the other 3 forming the second team.

The first acting mice had fighter 5 and the hunter skill (+1D). And a sword (+1D). And was beeing helped by two teammates with apropiate skills (+2D). And by the other team (+1D). And the mouse had an appropiate trait (don’t remember, like very valiant) (+1D).
Skill 5D

  • 1D Self help with hunter skill
  • 1D Sword
  • 1D Teammate#1
  • 1D Teammate#2
  • 1D Team B
  • 1D Trait
    =11D total

Actually the player waved the trait, because she didn’t want to waste it. Leaves 10D, which naturally killed my salamander (running on 3D) easily. But it would have brought a wolf (hence the title) in serious trouble, wouldn’t there be this “natural order”-rule.

Did i oversee something or is it normal that a group of mice get 8D-10D (depending on the starting skill) in every conflict?
Seems to be too many dice…

There’s no “self-help” in Mouse Guard. You can use the “I am Wise” rule if you have an appropriate wise.

But yeah, a team of guard can must a fair amount of dice.

And a Wolf’s Snapping Jaws are kind of tricky to deal with. Let’s the wolf very ably play with its food – netting him +3D to Maneuver!

I’m not positive, but I don’t think the patrol can split into lopsided teams like this. It should have been two mice and two mice.

Edit: Never mind, found it on page 100. Still, it seems like mongering in this situation, to get an extra die from the uneven teams.

You can split into those team, but the lone mouse is very vulnerable.

Not if they kill the animal on the first action.

It’s a salamander… not exactly a huge threat there to a well trained combat squad. An even fight for a commoner sure.

Throw them up against a Snapping Turtle and send them away missing limbs when they try to fight it head on.

As far as wolves go they’re pack animals, so the mice will have a fun time verse a team of them.

Also remember that actions by each team are picked in secret so the two teams can’t collaborate together to always get bonuses. And that team of three HAS to rotate out the mice who are taking the actions so the grizzled veteran fighter doesn’t always get to lead the fray.

Thanks for the quick answers!

@Luke: Great game. But i like BE most. But definitely difficult to find players to play it. Could you next do a game with zombies? Sorry. Just a dream…

I have one patrol leader, two veterans and a tenderpaw. The tenderpaw is the one with the fighter 5. The rest got fighter 4 if i remember right. So it won’t change much when the others are in the spotlight.

They didn’t split into uneven teams to get as many dice as possible. The teams built because of the story. One mice ran away, drawing attention to itself - thus the helping die. The other three fought together.

I picked the salamander (and not something more dangerous) to 1. see if they would feel bad, having unnecessarily killed a mostly harmless animal (salamanders don’t even have “eat mice” as nature) and 2. understand and teach the rules for conflict. To give them credit, they had mistaken it for a snake (“WTF?! The snake got legs?”) and actually felt bad as the poor creature was stricken down.

One of the characters tried to argue with spiders. But thats silly, or not? It’s like having a discussion with a dog, isn’t it?

To me, this stretches the parameters of a fight animal conflict. I don’t see how the running away mouse participates in the fight, but I can go on only how my groups frame conflict scenes.

Arguments with animals, especially insects, are unlikely (if not impossible) in this setting.

You get a helping die from the other team if they script the same action as your team. What did the running away mouse script?

Wow, I just got to thinking…

What if Gwendolyn creates an “elite” team of 4 mice that have ridiculous amounts of Fighter and Hunter levels? WEASEL-HUNTING TIME!! Booyah!


They could at best be Hunter 6, Fighter 6, and Prey-Wise 6, with a relevant trait.
7d+size of team that way.

Like i said: the mouse drawed attention to itself and so distracted the salamander. It was a fun scene so i wanted it to have mechanical impact. But you are right:

I didn’t play that exactly by the rules. But in the next fight the other mouse might shoot its bow - scripting attack, same as the tenderpaw (with its sword) did.

Well there is this skill (loremouse) which allows talking with birds and even snakes. So an argument with animals in general would be possible.
But i think that spiders fall under the insectrist-skill. This seems to be the equivalent of dog-training in human terms. And i can’t argue with my dog. Well i can, but that’s a different matter alltogether…

Might even be Hunter 6, Loremouse 6, Prey-Wise 1 (doesn’t matter how high the wise skill is).
That’ll be 6D+1D(Helpmouse #1)+1D(Helpmouse #2)+1D(Other Team)+1D(Wise)+1D(Weapon)+1D(Trait Level 2) = 12D every roll.
And then you might even spend some Fate to reroll the 6’s and spend a Persona to tap into Nature. But that won’t work every roll.

The helping dice are not unlikely, the wise-die is not unlikely, as is the bonus by equipment. So getting +4D is not that unusual. So dicepools around 7-8D are normal. I thought that it might be too much, but it seems to be ok.

If i understood luke correct he said: Members of the Mouseguard are strong - make the opponents stronger.

I guess that if they’re really good at both Hunter and Fighter, maybe one of them should switch Hunter for Scout and one of them switch Hunter for Survivalist, then some weasel spies won’t return to Darkmoor and after a while the weasel spies will come in pairs (there’s a reason many armies throughout history don’t like lone soldiers and organizes themselves in soldier pairs) and then the fights will be harder but the weasels still won’t return. Sooner or later though one weasel will manage to escace and tell the story and the weasels will start sending scouting parties instead of spies or as distractions for the elite mouse troop.

And we have an arms race and then a new war after head to head arguments and negoitations between the diplomats. And haters and war speakers on both sides (and of course weasel that want revenge). That could be a whole role playing campaign…

Actually, it’s not totally unlike what might be stirring in our Mouse Guard Campaign.

Did the single mouse choose Maneuver to represent drawing attention to itself?

The rulebook and the comics are pretty clear on with whom the mice can and cannot communicate. Luke has said things like arguing are outside of animal nature. But Loremouse and Insectrist allow some rudimentary communication, as you note.

No the player didn’t choose an official action. Her mouse just ran away screaming and i thought that it should be worth a helping die for the distraction.
We’ll do that in the proper, official way in the next session.

Didn’t Celenawe talked to the owl? But ok - that was no civilized argument. Thanks for the link!

umm… Wolves only get +1D to Manuever, is this a typo?

Also I thought you could only invoke your 1st level trait once a session without recharging it? Does the same not apply for Wises? And those Wises are usually pretty specific, probably not going to be Wise on everything you throw at them.

Weapons usually only give you a bonus to 1 action type. Ie. Attack. so it won’t be every roll they get that.

It’ll also be luck if the other team assists since you can’t collaberate on your actioms.

As I’ve understood it you can use wises as bonus several times and having ‘‘your type of weapon’’ (the one you choose during character generation) gives you +1D to every action AND in some cases to a special kind of action like shields for Defend and spears for Maneuver.

True, but you have to narrate it’s use each time and doing so in the same way isn’t good enough. For example you can’t just keep saying “I use my dirty fighting-wise and throw dirt in it’s face!” over and over.

Not every action. Take a sword, for example. The first time you use it in a conflict you get to decide which action you get a +1D to and you can’t change it for the rest of the conflict.

Scip, do you have a page reference on this? I never thought it was the case that two teams couldn’t collaborate (i.e. chatter) about actions, but I could have overlooked it.

Page 97 is pretty clear:

“choose three actions in private”

“After Action 3, all teams who still have disposition of 1 or more privately choose three more actions…”