View Full Version : Mouse Guard: What's it like?

2011-10-12, 10:34 PM
So I just got the rule book for the Mouse Guard RPG, along with some of the comics. So far, it seems super awesome. I'm just wondering what people who have played the game think of it, and if they have any favourite moments that really showcased the game's system.

Looking forward to reading!

2011-10-12, 11:31 PM
The Chatty DM (http://critical-hits.com/2010/07/13/mouse-guard-chronicles-session-1-part-1-char-gen/) did a number of posts about his experiences with MG...sadly, I have yet to play it.

2011-10-13, 12:20 AM
It's pretty awesome, IMO.

The intro scenarios really do a great job of showing things off, and with three of them (each with a full set of pre-gens) I think MG has probably the best set-up as an intro RPG of just about any game I've seen. And they aren't just good for teaching totally new gamers about roleplaying, they really do a great job of showcasing the system. Especially take a look at the characters and their Beliefs, Goals and Instincts, to see how a good character is set up.

The fact that you're playing as a mouse really gives everything in the game an epic feel, IMO. And I also found it really freed me of a lot of preconceptions and habits from my usual gaming. This was further helped by the mechanical structure of Seasons and GM Turn / Player Turn. This game can get hard! You shouldn't be seeing deaths left and right, but Conditions and Twists can pile up. Many wild animals have pretty high Natures that they get to use for just about everything and conflicts can get very random and messy...

If there's any concerns I'd have with the game, they would be that, first of all awarding Fate and Persona only at the end of the session can keep the players from having the tools they need to really succeed in some situations - this does serve to reinforce how important (or even precious) they can be, and sessions don't encompass too much where this becomes a serious issue, but this does make it worse when you spend them and the dice don't cooperate... Secondly I'm still not 100% a fan of scripting conflicts, and I think it's always going to feel more like a rock-paper-scissors randomizer than an actual strategy thing to me. But if you start from a role-play perspective (ie: "what does my character do" -> "what does that work out to be, mechanically", instead of the other way around) it's not bad. And as a GM I've found myself kind of torn as to how much to foreshadow the opposition's scripting.

2011-10-13, 12:49 AM
Secondly I'm still not 100% a fan of scripting conflicts, and I think it's always going to feel more like a rock-paper-scissors randomizer than an actual strategy thing to me.

It's a little bit deeper than it first appears.

First of all, looking purely at the interactions of the various moves without anything else, "Attack" is the supremely optimal choice. It either beats, or measures up to, every other option. If you want the best chance of winning a conflict, your best bet is just to script 'Attack, Attack, Attack'. If this were just a randomization mechanic, it would be a pretty bad one.

The thing is, it gets deeper when you take into account the compromise mechanic. Compromise should be harsh and bitter, and you should only whip out the full conflict mechanics when there is something important at stake. Once you begin to care about compromise and final disposition, the resolution mechanics begin to reveal their awesomeness.

You're right, though, that the purpose of the scripting conflict mechanic is not primarily to introduce an element of strategy. Its purpose is to make you risk things for what you believe in; to put something important on the line and fight against all odds to preserve it. When taken in that light, I think it does a fairly good job.