Posts Tagged ‘Mouse Guard’


Thin Blue Line update 3: shocking changes

21 February, 2011

I hope there are still people out there who like me are very excited about my Thin Blue Line game, formerly known as Down in the Hole. I can’t be the only one wanting a slow-mo police procedure focused game, but I want to play this very much. I also wish I could go back in time and use this system for our FBI campaign we ran more than 10 years ago, it would have made a great game even better. At that time we used a mix of fiat and hand-wavey freeform disguised within a modified Storyteller hack. That system – or: lack of explicit system – sucked ass big time. Thin Blue Line is my answer to that, Lars and 2x Thomas, if you are listening.

At the moment I’m slimming the already slim Mouse Guard system even more, hopefully without damaging the delicate system it is, and to make it possible that my friend Joe likes it and wants to play it. Joe is my target audience.

Here are the most shocking changes from Mouse Guard:

  • Persona and Fate points merge into Destiny points, and are not two different things anymore
  • Instinct is now called Hunch. It’s mostly colour, but can still earn Destiny points
  • No workhorse or MVP awards – these are gone, puff, vanished
  • You also earn “checks” for the players’ round when you fail a test (once per scene, not in conflicts)
  • Simplified advancement – not entirely sure how yet, but no more tracking passed and failed tests

    The Pawlice – The Wire done Mouse Guard

    20 December, 2008

    I just finished reading Mouse Guard and watching the second season of The Wire. I guess you know where this is going, right? I couldn’t fall asleep last night and lay awake for three hours thinking about how perfect the Mouse Guard mechanics would be for a The Wire style game. This is what I’ve got so far, and if you haven’t read Mouse Guard or Burning Empires you may well be struggling already at what the heck I’m babbllng about.

    One of the main things about The Wire is that a case investigation lasts a whole season, where the detectives gather evidence bit by bit over a long period of time. The Burning (whatever) system of eating away at a disposition suits this incredibly well, so I guess Burning Empires would be just as good a fit for this, but MG is more refined, more honed, simply: better. What I would like to nick from BE is the phase disposition – in this game that will tell us how well the case has been solved,  but more on that later

    So, the big kahuna, the case, the investigation that overarches the whole thing and lasts for many sessions is the seasons. Every time the GM uses a twist based on the case, you move one space forward in the big picture, and when you reach the end the case is closed, whether it’s solved or not. Sometimes the bad guys get away, and that’s fine. In this the police version you have to start from the beginning, of course, whereas in MG you can start in any season. The player group may determine from the outset how many sessions the want the case to last.

    That leaves the winter season. I’m not sure whether I need to bring that over, but just have Beginning, Middle and End as the “seasons” in the police game. The middle would then be extra long and hard, like so for example:

    Beginning (3) – two sessions
    Middle (5) – four sessions
    End – (4) – two sessions

    Every game session will be a GM-set mission turn and a player turn, just like normal MG, which is also perfect for this. And after each full session each side gets to try and eat away at the “case disposition” – the players for the police side and the GM for the criminals’ side.

    Mission problems: case, location, authorities, people.