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Mouse Guard

Publisher Description

Based on the award-winning Mouse Guard comic book and graphic novel series by David Petersen, this pen-and-paper traditional RPG designed by Luke Crane contains everything players need to know about the world of the Guard including rules for forming patrols and heading up missions into the Territories. Features artwork and extensive background material from series creator David Petersen.

Mouse Guard, Second Edition - Rules SummaryCollapse

Character Creation [ edit ]

Character creation in Mouse Guard is accomplished through a sort of quiz, with the player answering various questions about their character.  Each answer both reveals the character's background (eg. how old they are, where they are from, what their parents were like), and provides their in-game statistics.

The first choice a player must make in Mouse Guard is their mouse's rank (eg. Tenderpaw, for a new recruit, or Patrol Leader for the team's captain).  After that they decide where in the world of Mouse Guard the character hails from, with different areas providing access to different skills (eg. a mouse from Grasslake could choose between Insectrist or Militarist, while one from Sandmason could instead choose Glazier or Weather Watcher).

Next the player picks a skill, as well as a trait, such as Bold or Independent (that choice is also limited by location).  The player then picks a natural talent, which is essentially their "class" (eg. Baker, Cartographer, Scout).  You then pick your parent's trade, style of convincing others (eg. Manipulator, Orator), your senior artisan, and what that mentor stressed in training (another talent).  After that the character picks another specialty (ie. another talent).

After all that the character determines their "nature" score, which refers to how human-like the mouse is.  A mouse with a nature of 0 is extremely human-like, while one with a 7 is extremely mouse-like.  Each mouse starts with a Nature score of 3, and then answers three questions (do you save for winder, do you run ror fight, and do you fear predatory animals).  The answer chosen both impacts their Nature score, and can also provide other benefits.

Finally the player gets to pick two topics that they are "wise" about (eg. "Nut-wise", "Path-wise", or "Wolf-wise"), and they get one more trait (that they were born with).  After that all that's left is to define the mouse's personality, details (eg. their fur color or beliefs) and their name.

Core Mechanics [ edit ]

There are two ways of resolving things in Mouse Guard: tests and conflicts.  Depending on the obstacle faced, one or more tests (ie. rolls) may be required, and if an entire "scene" is being run then the conflict rules are used instead.  Mouse Guard uses d6s exclusively, for all rolls.

To complete a skill test the player rolls a number of d6's equal to their rank in the applicable skill (ie. their "dice pool"), and for each 4 or higher rolled they gain a success.  Different tasks will require one or more successes (as determined by the GM), known as the "Ob" (ie. obstacle difficulty), and if the player gets "extra" successes then they succeed at the action by a greater margin.

Combat [ edit ]

Mouse Guard's combat rules actually aren't just for combat.  Instead, they can be used to cover any sort of conflict, from  physical battles to tense negotiations, and from chase scenes to noble speeches.

In conflicts each player plans their action, which will be one of four options: Attack, Feint, Defend, or Maneuver.  If you own the game's boxed set version, it comes with cards that can be placed face down for this purpose.  The DM also chooses actions, and then both sides reveal their choice, one player at a time.  The player then consults a 4x4 table, combining their action with the GM's to determine the outcome (which likely involves making a test).  There are also rules for players working together, as teamwork was a key part of the Mouse Guard comic.

When it come sto injuries, instead of using "hit points" (like Dungeons and Dragons), Mouse Guard has a condition-based system.  A character can have the  following conditions: Healthy, Hungry & Thirsty, Angry, Tired, Injured, or Sick.  Different conditions can be combined, so an unlucky mouse could at once be Sick, Tired, and Injured.  Each condition has its own description and associated rules.

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