The Bee -Team
Before we start, think about what kind of character you want to play in the world of Mouse Guard: A grizzled veteran, a young upstart or something in between. What’s his personality like? What’s his specialty?Will wants to make a younger guardmouse. He’ll become a fighter, but right now he doesn’t like fighting.
What level of experience or rank would you like to play? There are five ranks for the Mouse Guard: tenderpaw, guardmouse, patrol guard, patrol leader, and guard captain. All have their benefits and drawbacks.
Tenderpaws are fresh recruits. Guardmice are the foot soldiers of the Guard. Patrol guard are veteran guardmice responsible for complicated or independent missions. Patrol leaders are Patrol guard who have demonstrated they can think independently and guide other mice. Guard captains are powerful mice appointed to the highest rank in the Guard due to their longstanding service and exemplary valor.
There can only be one patrol leader player in your group. Guard captains are rare and may only be played at the discretion of the group. If a tenderpaw is played, one of the other players must be his mentor.Will decides his character will be tenderpaw rank. He wants to keep it simple.
Mouse Age and Ability
Your starting Will and Health scores are determined by your Guard rank. Choose an age based on your rank.
Will decides his tenderpaw is a young 15 years old. His Will is 2. His Health is 6.
Nature stands for the mouse’s natural qualities and tendencies. It represents what he was born to do, what helps him survive in the wild and cruel world.
Nature is rated from 0 to 7. The higher your Nature rank, the more mouse – like you are. The lower your rank, the more “human” you are.
For mice, there are four aspects that follow: Escaping, Climbing, Hiding, Foraging. These describe the situations in which you can use your Nature without penalty. If you use your Nature in situations outside of escaping, climbing, hiding and foraging, you risk losing a bit of it.
All characters have a base Nature of 3.
Answer the following three questions to determine your final starting Nature score. The choices will limit some of your skill and trait choices later. Note any restricted items on your character sheet list for now.
- Do you save for winter even if it means going without something now? Or do you use what you have when you need it?
- When confronted, do you stand your ground and fight or do you run and hide?
- Do you fear owls, weasels and wolves?
If you save for winter, increase your Nature by 1. You may not take the Bold or Generous traits.
If you run and hide, increase your Nature by 1. Decrease your starting Fighter skill, if you take it, by 1.
If you do, increase your Nature by 1. You may not take the Fearless trait.
Will decides that his character saves for winter. He stands his ground when confronted, but he does fear owls, weasels and wolves. His starting Nature is 5.
Where Were You Born?
Choose a mouse town or city in which your character was born. Each city has its own culture as represented by the skills and traits it provides.
A busy working-class town.
Skills: Carpenter, Potter, Glazier
Traits: Steady Paw
One of the oldest cities and home to one of the two mines in the Territories.
Skills: Smith, Haggler
A once prosperous city, known for its medicinal moss.
Skills: Carpenter, Harvester
Renowned for its bakers and bread.
Skills: Harvester, Baker
Traits: Hard Worker
The home of the Mouse Guard.
Skills: Weaver, Armorer
Traits: Generous, Guard’s Honor
A busy little port town between Darkwater and Rustleaf.
Skills: Boatcrafter, Weather Watcher
Traits: Tough, Weather Sense
A simple town known for its delicious drinks!
Skills: Mason, Harvester, Miller
Known for its scientists, medicine and scent concoctions.
Skills: Scientist, Loremouse
Traits: Inquisitive, Rational
Choose one trait and one skill from the city in which your character was born. Note them on your character sheet and put a check next to them.
Will decides that his tenderpaw is from Elmoss. He notes the Carpenter skill and Alert trait on his character sheet in the appropriate spaces. He puts a check next to them both.
You will be given a number of choices in each of the following sections. Each time you choose a skill, check it off or note it on your character sheet. You may choose or check a skill multiple times, either using multiple choices from one section or from various sections.
Each time you check a skill, you’re making your character more experienced in that area.
Starting Skill Ratings
To determine your starting ratings in the skills and wises you chose, count up the number of times you checked each one and add 1. That total is your starting rating for that skill. Note the rating on your character sheet next to the skill.
Checking a skill three times gives a starting rating of 4 — three checks plus one.
The maximum starting rating for a skill is 6.
The character sheet lists a number of skills that are most common to guardmice. Your character probably won’t start with ratings in all of those skills. Most likely, you’ll choose to focus on a handful of skills. That’s okay. You can learn those others during play, or rely on your patrolmates to pick up your slack.
If you want to choose a skill that’s not listed on your sheet, write it in an available space and place the appropriate number of check marks next to it: one, two, three, or whatever.
Pick an area in which you’re naturally talented.
Tenderpaws and guard captains choose two. Guardmice, patrol guard and patrol leaders choose one.
Will chooses Orator and Survivalist. He puts a check next to them on his character sheet.
What was your parents’ trade?
Tenderpaws choose two; all others choose one. Also, note this skill next to your Parents on the character sheet.
Will chooses Carpenter and Glazier for his parents. He puts a check next to the skills on his character sheet. He already wrote Carpenter in when he decided he was from Elmoss.
How do you convince people that you’re right or to do what you need?
Patrol leaders and guard captains choose two; all others choose one:
Chris chooses Orator again. He wants his character to be able to stir people. He puts another check next to it on his sheet.
With whom did you apprentice for the Guard? What was that mouse’s trade?
A young mouse seeking to join the Guard applies in either the spring or fall. They meet with a guardmouse in charge of new recruits and are welcomed into Lockhaven. These raw recruits are then distributed among the various tradesmice in Lockhaven to act as assistants, laborers and apprentices. For their first two seasons of service, they are apprenticed to these senior artisans. In this capacity, they help see to the material needs of the Guard.
Check one skill from the list below. In addition to checking a skill, note the choice next to the Senior Artisan.
Will’s character’s senior in Lockhaven was a Carpenter. He checks the skill again.
What did your mentor stress in training?
After his apprenticeship, the recruit is assigned a mentor. This guardmouse slowly introduces the tenderpaw to patrolling and other Guard duties. The tenderpaw’s job is to do the labor and grunt work so the mentor’s paws and mind are free for facing the dangers they encounter. After a few seasons of tutelage, the mentor will recommend the mouse recruit to Gwendolyn for promotion to full guardmouse status.
It is the mentor’s role to train the recruit as he sees fit. Some mentors may have more rigorous training methods or requirements than others. Some may focus on different aspects of Guard life — some may emphasize Weather Watching as one of the most important ways to stay free of danger, while others may focus on Fighting and some stress Scouting and Pathfinding.
Each guardmouse is trained by a mentor. Tenderpaws and patrol leaders choose two; all others choose one:
Will, being a tenderpaw, needs a mentor. Godric’s player says he’ll be the mentor and suggests that Godric stressed the Survivalist skill during training.
What kind of experience do you have in the Guard?
All guardmice have a range of training and experience in skills important to their role. Within that training, some mice specialize in just one or two areas while some try to keep a broad skill base.
You may choose from the following skill list based on your experience with the Guard. You may make a number of checks based on your ranking as follows: tenderpaw 3, guardmouse 6, patrol guard 8, patrol leader 9, guard captain 12.
Tenderpaws may consider Laborer part of the above list.
Guardmice may consider Haggler part of the above list.
Patrol guard may consider Cook part of the above list.
Patrol leaders consider Persuader and Loremouse part of the above list.
Guard captains may also consider Orator, Militarist and Administrator part of the above list.
As a tenderpaw, Will has three checks to spend. He puts two checks next to Healer and one next to Survivalist.
What’s Your Specialty?
Each player, except for tenderpaws, may add one check to a skill from the list below. Each player must choose a unique specialty — no two players can have the same skill as their specialty.
Will is a tenderpaw, so he doesn’t get this bonus. Sucks to Will!
Count check marks made for each skill and add 1. That total is your starting rating for that skill.
The maximum rating for a skill is 6.
When everyone has tallied their skills, continue on with the next set of questions.
Will’s skills look like this: Orator 3, Survivalist 4, Carpenter 4, Glazier 2, Healer 2.
What are you particularly knowledgeable about?
There is a special subset of skills known as wises. These skills represent pure knowledge and experience.
You start with a number of checks in wises in proportion to your rank. You may only spend these checks on wises. Tally your wises checks when you’re done — count the checks and add one to determine the starting rating.
Rank Checks for Wises
Patrol Guard 3
Patrol Leader 4
Guard Captain 6
Mouse Guard Wises
Choose from the alphabetized list below or read the Specific Wises headings for guidelines on creating your own wises:
Apiary-wise, Armor-wise, Autumn stormwise
Badger-wise, Barkstone-wise, Bird-wise, Blizzard-wise, Bramble-wise, Brush fire-wise, Burrow-wise
Celebrations-wise, Clear and warm weatherwise, Coast-wise, Cold rain-wise, Cold snap-wise, Copperwood-wise, Coyote-wise, Craft-wise, Crime-wise
Darkheather-wise, Deer-wise, Drought-wise
Elmoss-wise, Epidemic-wise, Escort-wise
Famine-wise, Flash flood-wise, Forest firewise, Forest-wise, Fox-wise, Freezing-wise, Frog-wise
Governor-wise, Grain-wise, Guard captainwise, Guardmouse-wise
Harvest-wise, Hawk-wise, Heat wave-wise, Herb-wise, Hidey hole-wise
Ice storm-wise, Ice-wise
Lake-wise, Leaf cover-wise, Lockhaven-wise
Mail-wise, Medicine-wise, Moose-wise, Mosswise, Mouse Guard-wise, Mud-wise
Open ground-wise, Owl-wise
Path-wise, Patrol guard-wise, Patrol leaderwise, Planting-wise, Poison-wise, Pond-wise, Predator-wise
Raccoon-wise, Rain-wise, Raven-wise, Rebellion-wise, Recipe-wise, Road-wise, Rocky terrain-wise
Scent Border-wise, Shaleburrow-wise, Shieldwise, Shore-wise, Shortages-wise, Snake-wise, Snow-wise, Sprucetuck-wise, Squirrel-wise, Star-wise, Stream-wise, Swamps-wise
Tall grass-wise, Tenderpaw-wise, Thorn-wise, Thunderstorm-wise, Tide-wise, Tradesmousewise, Trail-wise, Transport-wise, Trap-wise, Tunnel-wise, Turtle-wise
Unseasonably cold-wise, Unseasonably warm-wise
War-wise, Weasel-wise, Widget-wise, Wild country-wise, Wild mouse-wise, Wolf-wise
Specific Town Wises
The wises list provides examples of wises for towns — Lockhaven-wise, Elmoss-wise, etc. If you wish to take a wise for an unlisted settlement, you may. Note the settlement and add “-wise” to it. You’re done.
Specific Animal Wises
The wises list provides example wises for animals — Raccoon-wise, Owl-wise, etc. If you wish to take a wise for an unlisted animal, Turkey Vulture for example, you may. Note the wise on your character sheet as Turkey Vulture-wise or whatever animal you wish.
Specific Mouse Wise
You may take specific wises for types or groups of mice—Mouse Guard-wise, Governor-wise, Wild Mouse-wise, etc. If you do not see the group of mice listed in the wises, you may develop your own wise to represent the group. For example, Armorer-wise, Apiarist-wise, Bandit-wise and so on.
For his character, Will chooses Hidey Hole-Wise 2.
Resources represent the Guard’s pay, but also how resourceful and clever the mouse is with his possessions and material goods.
Your character’s base Resources rating is determined by his rank: tenderpaw 1, guardmouse 2, patrol guard 3, patrol leader 4, guard captain 5.
The following six questions can modify that score:
- In winter, do you still practice a trade like weaving, smithing, or pottery for the Guard?
- Are your parents smiths, politicians, merchants or apiarists?
- Do you like to buy gifts for yourself and your friends?
- Are you thrifty?
- Have you ever been in debt? Or are you generally bad with money?
- Do you always pack carefully for a journey, ensuring you have everything you need?
- If so, increase Resources by 1. You must have the skill for the trade in question. You may not take the Leader trait to start. You’re too busy.
- If so, increase your Resources by 1. Your parents must be of the noted trade and may not be in the Guard.
- If so, decrease your Resources by 1.
- If so, increase your Resources by 1. You may not take the Generous trait to start.
- If so, decrease your Resources by 1.
- If so, increase your Resources by 1. You may not take the Bold or Fiery traits to start.
Will decides that his character practices Carpentry in the winter at Lockhaven ( + 1). His parents aren’t any of the indicated types (±0). His guardmouse is not particularly generous (±0). He’s not thrifty (±0). But he’s been in debt (-1). Being a survivalist, he does pack carefully for long journeys ( + 1). This is a net of + 1 added to his base of 2. His character starts with a Resources rating of 3.