Of Mice and Women

This entry is part 1 of 6 in TD1α – Origins

David Petersen's Mouse GuardIn December of 2010, while browsing in a local game shop, I stumbled upon a role-playing game called Mouse Guard, based on the works of David Petersen. Out of interest, I purchased a copy and enjoyed the art and concept so much that I later found myself picking up all the related comics as well.

I was exploring Petersen’s world backwards in its publication incarnation, but I eventually came back to what caught my attention from the beginning, the game itself.

Having never played the Burning Wheel, I found myself reading an old review on Gnome Stew about the system.

The Mouse Guard RPG is an absolute gem, with a system that’s meatier than it looks, a fun, simple concept, and beautiful artwork and design — and if you want an RPG to play with your kids, or to run as a first-time GM, this is it. But this gem won’t be for everyone; the scope and the structure of play may turn some folks off.

I wasn’t a first time GM, but for kids? Hm. I had already been playing games with my girlfriend’s two daughters and I’m not sure why playing a role-playing game with them never occurred to me.

My gaming group in college had two women, so it wasn’t my mind disregarding their gender. The girls were already dungeon crawling via LAN with Icewind Dale and exploring the depths of Warhammer in Advanced Heroquest. So, where was my disconnect?

Regardless of why I was so slow in bringing these elements together, the seed of an idea was already growing in my head.

2 Responses to “Of Mice and Women”

  1. 1 Shane Mangus October 21, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I like this game a lot. I have never played Burning Wheel, so Mouse Guard was my first exposure to the system. I really like some of the features built into the game, and the way it helps facilitate roleplay and rewards the players for doing so. I enjoy reading the MG graphic novels, and feel the game captures the setting perfectly. I don’t think I would pick this as my “go to” system or setting, but it serves as a nice distraction from time to time.

  2. 2 burnedfx October 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Shane, I agree with your thoughts about the system. I particularly liked how creating the character was also fleshing out something that is normally tacked on as character background outside the rules of the game. I don’t particularly want a lengthy story from the players, since the “true character” and story always emerges through actual play, but I did like how you couldn’t help but know a lot about your mouse before setting out on your first patrol.

    Also, the goals created by the players provide a good focus for each session.

    As far as “go to” games, that’s exactly why I felt more comfortable falling back on a system I was more familiar with running. I didn’t want to be thumbing through the Mouse Guard rule book, learning the game myself, questioning whether or not I was doing it right, while trying to teach it to the kids.

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