Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Of Mice and No Men (Part 1)

I have been meaning to run this for a long time, and I got the chance to start it off the other day. For a long time it has been referred to as the "mouse game" but for anyone reading this that doesn't know me you might not know what's going on. So imagine that all humans everywhere disappear for no reason, and mice and a few other rodents suddenly become sentient and conscious beings, walking on two legs and creating civilizations of their own. That is the premise of this setting. Most "people" don't know what humans where and can't read human writings, and few have seen human books at all. They are simply called the "Great Ones the Came Before" and where thought to have been a bit taller, not really as tall as humans really are. No one really knows how long humans where gone or what happened, there are just relics and evidence that they existed, their palaces and grandiose dwellings, and technology. I'll have to post another post as a primer so some of the things and places mentioned will make more sense.

I'll have five in total but rarely a full party at once, this time I had three.

Cynirec Metaskw√ęk (pronounced Metasqueak), a Guinea Pig fire mage and tinkerer from one of the Stone Forests.
Kayro (pronounced Karo), a Squirrel archer and hunter from the Misty Foot forest.
Maroo, a Mouse ninja from the kingdom of Foo.

The year is 156. The player characters were hired as extra guards for a caravan moving from a city called Bridgehead (a city on a bridge over a large river on the border between the Gnoll Stone Kingdom and Middleton) to a city to the west called Bazaar (a city in Middleton and is the known world's largest trading hub and commerce center, literally a city of vendor stalls). The wagon train held a few carts full of nobles' valuables and other more commonplace items being sent to Bazaar to be sold. A grizzled rat was in charge, who never gave his name but wielded a large hammer (a stick with a piece of gravel fastened to the end) and expected bandits. He was in charge of the final half of their payment, 500 bits (the setting currency) upon their arrival in Bazaar, the first 500 bits was their starting money.

The players were placed on the lead wagon, which was open topped and not really used to carry anything more than a few guards and their things. The wagon was pulled by a small cat with wooden barding that doubled as a yoke, the driver was a small mouse by the name of Huton who wore a small, hollowed out pumpkin as a "crash helmet" with a pair of circles cut in it to see through. He was shy and didn't really talk much, and mumbled quietly when he did. It was slated to be a three day trip. The caravan was to stop at night and circle up, due to the Great Meadow's large monsters that were active at night.

Near the end of the first day the players spot a single mouse riding a lizard watching them over a hill. They attempt to scare him away before he slinks back down over the backside of the hill. They don't tell the rat until later, in response they get the first guard shift that night.

As they patrolled around the outside of the wagons a few hours later, the guinea pig notices a smell of a rat in the air and the others begin to keep an eye out in the waning twilight. A few moments later a rat falls out of a tall patch of grass (i.e. a bush), and Maroo surmises that he was probably not alone. He rushes over a puts his rapier (a rusty sewing needle) into the prone bandit. It survives but is incapacitated.

A fight ensues, with three other bandits, they kill two and light the bush on fire in the process, and the last one makes good on its escape.They drag the still living bandit into the circled wagons of the caravan, and the guards raise a mast to hang the bandit from as a warning to bandits. Soon, however the bandit and their chief come to negotiate for their friend's life. Kayro the arrogant squirrel begins to boast on how he can send them packing and the rat is finally agitated, (squirrels have the "yellow" hindrance) and calls the hunter's bluff and sends him to deal with the bandit chief and his eight comrades.

Things break down quickly and Kayro nearly wets himself and is knocked out in a one-on-one duel with the chief, after he gets a hit in on the chief's carved wooden breastplate with his stone knife, and taken captive to negotiate for their friend. At this point Cynirec had already run out of his own volition but was kept from intervening. He tried to persuade the bandits to work from them but the bandit chief was having none of it, much to the player's dismay. They were sent back and their bandit friend was released as the caravan finished its journey to Bazaar without incident.

In Bazaar they were paid 500 bits and released from duty in the large commerce hub. The two went to look for gear, Kayro looking for a better bow but could not find one for what he had. He was however able to buy some flint tipped arrows. He made some extra bits but winning an archery contest, albeit the crowd decided to give him a second shot after he was barely beaten by another archer. This time he handedly ousted the competition, for which he made an enemy and 300 bits. Cynirec went to learn more about weapons and magic, and did so, but not in the intended way. First he looked at weapons, a compound bow in particular and wanted to make one himself, I made him roll to see if he even grasped the core concepts, at a heavy penalty since he grew up a scavenger that saw little technology. The guinea pig found that it was well beyond his grasp, so he attempted to study it to lessen the penalty for next time. He headed to the magic sections next and visited an old man's shop and asked for advice on how to improve his skill. The man told him that without bits he couldn't provide much information, but that he should visit the desert for training on fire magic. He did find lots of artifacts and amulets, about half that were just cheap hokus pokus tourist traps. He then tried his hand at mischief and found that the old man could paralyze his arm he was trying to steal with with a slip of rice paper with "thief" written in a language he didn't speak on it, that is until he left the shop and it lost its magical properties. It did attract a lot of negative reactions from those around him however.

From here they met back up (Maroo's player needed to go home before they made it to Bazaar) in a section of the town that was largely aesthetic, an old part of the inner town. Along the way they had felt watched and followed. This part of town was fairly abandoned compared to the vendor sections around 80% of the rest of the city. Their shadow finally confronted Kayro, as it was the archer who was beaten unfairly. And demanded a duel to the death, which ended up seeing him shot to death with arrows, looted, and dumped in an alley to rot.

We ended the session there.


  1. It's almost like a post-apoc game of Mouse Guard :P

    1. I played the Mouse Guard RPG, and the world had a small effect on how I imagined this. Red Wall is brought up when I talk about this too, but I've never gotten my hands on that to read it. But it is in a post-human world, so yeah! I hope to capture a different feeling with it however, as resources are plentiful.