Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Play Test of Mouseguard

When my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I drew a bit of a blank. I had pretty much everything I wanted sitting at my house, so I honestly couldn't think of anything for a few minutes. I then joked to Maria that I wanted Mouse Guard, and she laughed along with me at the absurdity of getting yet another RPG. But then I started thinking. Mouse Guard is a simplified version of Burning Wheel, and was one of the better RPGs, by all accounts. And considering that my parents have been... dubious... since the beginning of my obsess-er-hobby, I figured that if there was something to introduce them to my hobby, this was going to be it. The joke had become a reality.

Easter Sunday was the day we all sat down to play. I decided to try out the create-a-character rules, and was in for a nice surprise: these are the easiest character creation rules I've ever used, bar none. It took the entire family, half of which had never played an RPG in their entire lives, about an hour. All of them. All six people who were playing. Yeah, you heard me.

All. Of. Them.
No complicated math, no BS formulas, nothin' of the sort! Most of the time you just pick from lists and create a character from those lists. Some basic math was needed, but that was it. I was overjoyed that it was so painless! Play started up soon afterwards. The actual session was not one of the best yours truly has ever run, but here's the rest of it put into bullet points.

  • The cards in the boxed set are AWESOME. They sped things up so much because of their tactile nature I wonder why people haven't done this more often.
  • The game does not have a Steel stat, which completely changes the nature of gameplay. There's no stopping due to fear. The mice are way too badass for that. 
  • It is to this system's credit that the most tense moment of the entire game was an Argument, where both sides knocked each other out at the same time. 
In short, get the boxed set. The cards are amazing, the GM screen is amazing, and the game has a real heart to it that's really easy for people to latch onto. While the game has the same basic system as Burning Wheel it's streamlined to run much faster for a completely different type of game. While I miss the finicky bits of Burning Wheel I truly appreciate just how...simple... this game is. I'll be running this game this summer right along with Burning Wheel.

In other words, as I said on the Burning Wheel forums, the Kool-Aid's really good...