Poppa's Musings Reviews Mouse Guard
I first heard about the Mouse Guard RPG on a Fear the Boot interview with Luke Crane. I picked up a copy of Mouse Guard Fall 1152 soon after; my first graphic novel!
I was hooked. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. The story and characters are compelling. Knowing that there was going to be a role playing game in this setting made it the much more interesting.
I had played a bit of Luke’s Burning Wheel game. I liked it a lot, though it took some work to get into it. But I really liked the way the story was integrated into the characters and the mechanics oft he game.
Luke based the Mouse Guard RPG on Burning Wheel, but streamlined and integrated into the Mouse Guard story and setting. He’s done several interviews in which he describes the new game, and sputters about people who think Mouse Guard is “Burning Wheel Lite.” (Here’s one from the Sons of Kryos.)
NatureBoy and I played through a one-on-one session the other day, and had a good time working through some of the different mechanics. I opted to have his character go solo, rather than tossing him multiple characters or having me run NPCs. Getting into character is the point of these games, after all.
NatureBoy chose to play as Quentin, a guard mouse we haven’t encountered in the graphic novels yet (the Winter collection is coming!), but is included as a pre-generated character in the game text.
Quentin is a Scientist and Cartographer, in addition to being a member of the Guard.
A sudden late afternoon thunderstorm threatened to catch a family of harvesters in the field. Quentin is asked to hurry to the family and bring them back safely to Lockhaven.
As Quentin hurried along the well-marked trail to the field, he paused to update a map with his location. As he did, rain drops began to fall on the leaves and ground. Soon, the storm had begun. He hurried to find the mice in the field.
Although he didn’t see the mice, he did find a small pile of grass seeds on the ground. Further along, another group of seeds appeared as though spilled from a basket. Quentin continued in the direction of the trail of grain, and eventually found the family. They had taken refuge in hole in the stump of an old oak, and the stump was in a small hollow that had filled with rain water.
Quentin looked about for possible options; maybe there would be material for a raft or stick to use to build a bridge. Then he noticed that the nearby shrubs had strong, flexible branched that arched above the stump. He signaled to the family to climb to the top of the stump.
Quentin then used his Nature (Mouse) skill to climb one of these slender but springy branched, and as he neared the end, it flexed and bent down to the stump.
Then there was an argument. Serra and Curt wanted Quentin to take little Ivy back first. Quentin wanted them all to go up the branch before he did. Quentin won the argument, but in a compromise Serra went first, then Quentin carrying little Ivy, followed by Curt. All mice made their Nature (Mouse) tests. They then took a brief rest in the shelter of the shrub, and when the rain slackened a bit, Quentin guided them all home to Lockhaven.
It’s a fun game, and we look forward to playing again.