Creating a Mouse Guard Character
The first step is to decide on your character concept you could be anything from a young Tender Paw up to the lofty heights of Guard Captain. Well I'm looking for something in the middle, without the responsibility of the higher ranks but also with some skills so I opt for Guardmouse, which one of the middle ranks, the foot soldier if you will.
Being a Guardmouse means my character will be aged anything from 18-25, I opt for middle of the road again, age 22, this also means the character will start with a "Will" stat of 3 and Health score of 5.
The next step is to determine the characters "Mouse Nature", basicly how strong is the Mouse as opposed to the anthropomorphic side. Starting with a value of 3, you then answer some questions each of which effects the Characters generation. For instance if your character goes without now so that it can save for
the winter then Nature increases by 1, and so on. I end up with a Mouse Nature of 4.
Next you decide where your character was born. This effects the skills your character gains before joining the Guard. In this case I opt for the town of Copperwood. This means my mouse gains the Skills of Smith and Haggler and the "Independent" trait.
Life Experience is the title of the next section. Here you answer a number of questions with each answer generating a number of skills. During this process may pick the same skill across multiple steps thereby increasing that skills rank.
The first step is to pick some skills, Guardmice such as mine get to pick just one. I opt for Hunter because it sounds cool!
What was you parents trade? This lets you choose another skill, here I opt for Cartographer. My thinking is that if I'm skilled at Hunting that means I'm out and about, so the information I bring back about the terrain would help with the Cartography of my parents and my own skills in that line.
Next comes apprenticeship. All Guardmice serve as an apprentice for two years, you get a single skill from this. I opt to up my Cartography.
Then comes mentoring by a member of the Guard and you get to pick from a sub list of skills. By luck I see Hunter is in the list and up that.
Your experiences in the Guard gain you a batch of Guard related skills, a Guardmouse gets 6. You can pick skills from a select list of Guard skills. In this case Hunter is there so I'll spend 3 on that making it a quite strong skill and spread the rest around. 1 on Fighter, 1 on Pathfinder and 1 on Scout.
Each Guardmouse has a speciality and this earns a skill, no two party members get to pick the same, and there are only 8 to choose from. As I'm rolling this character up as a stand alone it can choose any of the skills. In this case I'll up Fighter so that it's not too weak should an enemy turn up.
Now comes the tallying. What that means is that you add 1 to all of your skills to find their final value.
"Wises" come next. You get Wises, based on your rank, which in my case is Guardmouse, which means 2. Wises allow you "Know" facts, even introduce new facts the GM didn't know and also to augment skill checks. I'm figuring that as this mouse is a very good hunter, he should be Wise about related subjects, so I
opt for "Squirrel Wise" and "owl Wise". My rationale behind these is that Squirrels hide nuts, so knowing about that helps me character hunt out their food, and being outside means that he knows about the terrible Mouse Predator the OWL!
Guard Resources, is your acharacters ability to pay for or at least get hold of Guard resources, such as a replacement shield. As a Guardmouse I start with a rank of 2, but as I answer questions about my mouse this goes up and down, there are six questions. An example is, "Do you buy gifts for friends?". After working through the six questions my final score is 3
Circles is next. Circles refer to circles of friends, this allows you get help , it tells us how well connected socially the mouse is. Guardmice start with a score of 2 and answer some questions to modify that score. For example, Does your character have powerful enemies? My final score is ... 2.
Now come Traits, these represent personality quirks. I've already picked up Independent becuase of where the mouse was born, but the answers I given to questions in previous phase of character generation have ruled out a bunch of possible traits. There are pick lists for each of the trait phases.
Quality born with : I pick Longtail
Inherited from Parents : I pick Early riser
Life on the Road : I pick Sharp Eyed
We're nearly done now. I pick "Kole" as a name, Brown for a Fur color, my parents are Laird and Daye, I apprenticed with Abram, was mentored by Vidar and my best friend is a femail Guardmouse called Rona. My cloak is Red.
Now for the juicey bit. You have to make up an enemy. I decide on a hermit who lives in the wilds nears Copperwood. While hunting one day I picked food from one of his traps. Unfortunately although he's a Hermit he's the son of the aged Mayor of Copperwood.
Next you select a Belief for your character, this is an ethical or morale stance. I make up... "Self reliance is the foundation of the communities strength."
You would at this point, select a "Goal" for the character, but as that is based on the mission, I'll skip it for now.
Instinct is the final attribute. What is the characters first reaction likely to be, what are they trained to do. I make up the following. "Gather information, make an informed choice."
So there you go. Generating a character for Mouseguard . I have to say it is one of the most rewarding character gen' experiences I've had, at each step you feel like you really are building a personality rather than just min-maxing. It does have 21 steps, but each is quick and easy and thoughtful.
Guard Resources 3