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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Mouse Guard Mods Reply with quote

Knights of the Old Republic

The main change is to make Nature = The Force. Using the Force is identical to using Nature or Tapping Nature.

Jedi would have the Light Side descriptors: mercy, compassion, self-sacrifice, and peace.
Sith would have the Dark Side descriptors: anger, fear, aggression, and revenge.
If they hit Nature 0 then they would convert to the other side with a Nature of 1.

Other changes:

  1. Use Traits to cover over specific Force Powers. In broad terms, you really only need Control, Sense, and Alter. The bonuses you get reflect using these powers (Mind Trick could aid Persuader skill for example) and using them in a way that gets you in trouble (often seen in the movies) is already covered.
  2. Cloak color becomes lightsaber color.
  3. Skills need to be changed to appropriate equivalents.

And there it is - simple.

Addendum: make Light Side and the Dark Side in to a Paired Nature - meaning that both add up to 7. So if a Jedi has a Light Side of 5, he also has a Dark Side of 2. Now the fun part - the Jedi may Tap his Light Side Nature by using a point of Persona as normal, but the Jedi may also Tap his Dark Side Nature for Free (to represent the temptation of the easy path to the Dark Side).

The Dark Side:
Originally for a Ravenloft game.

Darkness: In addition to whatever other Emotional Traits they possess, characters in Ravenloft must keep track of an attribute known as Darkness. This represents the degree to which they have become corrupted and attracted the notice of the Dark Powers.

Starting Darkness: +1 Darkness if the character has ever murdered a living being in cold blood. +1 Darkness if the character has ever stolen purely to satisfy a desire (as opposed to a need). +1 Darkness for each of the following lifepaths: Corrupt Sergeant, Venal Priest, Street Thug, Torturer, Blackmailer, Kidnapper, Pillager, Poisoner, Thug, Desperate Killer, Bandit, and Freebooter. (maximum 3 points of Darkness). +1 Darkness if the character possesses the Lost Faith trait. +1 Darkness for any other horrible sin the character has committed. -1 Darkness for any genuine, selfless relationship the character possesses. -1 Darkness if the character has seriously repented his past actions.

Total these to find starting Darkness, if any. A character may choose to spend five points of Darkness to shade-shift the Trait to grey.

The character may choose to tap into the gifts of the Dark Powers, spending a Persona point, which allows him to add any number of dice, up to the exponent of his Darkness. There will be a consequence- this only fuels the growth of evil in his heart to a greater degree!

Tests to advance Darkness are made whenever a character uses a persona point to add some part of his Darkness exponent to a roll, or whenever one of the following conditions are met. A Darkness test that comes from using Persona points to activate Darkness will have an obstacle equal to the number of dice added. Routine tests always count for advancement for Darkness.

Ob. 1: Failing to do simple good deeds for others out of a motivation of spite. (I advise you not go crazy calling for these tests.)
Ob. 2: Kicking a puppy. General jerkitude. Anything that happens in an episode of House, M.D. (In some episodes House makes Darkness tests as high as Ob. 7- see episode 2.21!)
Ob 3: Dishonesty in business dealings. Lying to your friends to conceal a shameful secret. Betraying an Instinct for selfish motives.
Ob 4: Stealing something to satisfy a want (rather than a need). Betraying a Belief for selfish motives. Doing down a friend in order to benefit yourself.
Ob 5: Manipulating to bring about the downfall of a rival. Killing a living human in the heat of passionate emotion.
Ob 6: Killing a living human in the heat of passionate emotion and then trying to escape blame.
Ob 7: Causing serious loss to a friend for your own benefit. Perpetrating fraud that causes loss to a large number of people.
Ob 8: Murder of a living human in cold blood. Rape.
Ob 9: Killing for petty gain or small vengeance.
Ob 10: Sincerely swearing yourself to the service of evil. Selling your soul.
(Please feel free to fudge these based on your own personal sliding scale of evil.)

A character who has reached the beginning of the campaign without earning any Darkness is by now less likely to earn the attentions of the Dark Powers. He is not required to make a Darkness test or open the Darkness trait unless he earns a Darkness test of at least Ob. 6.

The Embrace of the Dark Powers: The Dark Powers tempt those who make the first steps on the road to Darkness by offering power. When a character’s Darkness reaches 5, he receives a free Trait that offers a small benefit, generally a die trait offering a one-die benefit to certain types of rolls, while applying a similar penalty to some other type of roll. One character, a sneaky type, might be able to meld with shadows, receiving a +1D to Stealthy rolls while in darkness, but become slightly blinded while in bright light (+1 Ob to all Observation and fine manipulation rolls). Another might gain the ability to talk to rats, which begin to constantly flock to him, possibly interfering in his social life.

At Darkness 7: the character receives another free Trait, this time something more powerful and clearly supernatural. He also receives along with it an equally problematic curse. The sneaky character from our first example might become permanently invisible as his desire to remain unseen grows to consume him. The rat-talker might become able to summon and control rats, while slowly turning into a rat-man himself.

At Darkness 10: the character is consumed by evil. If he is a PC, he probably should stop being one. The Dark Powers take him to their bosom, and… you know the story.

Removing Darkness: Repentance is possible in Ravenloft, but in general, a character who wishes to turn towards the light must perform an act of great selflessness for each point of Darkness he wishes to remove, as the Dark Powers begin to doubt their hold on him. Exactly what these acts may be is up to the GM and the character’s player.

Change "Darkness" to the Dark Side and other minor changes since this was originally a mod for Burning Wheel. Calling upon the Darkness could work as an alternate to Nature without having to spend Persona.

Additional Thoughts and Ideas:

Using the Force is via a Trait or Jedi Nature? Mind Trick, Telekinesis, Body Control, Energy Control and Farseeing.

Last edited by Irminsul on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:19 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An idea for using magic in a fantasy game (or even in Mouse Guard).

Use the inverse of Nature for the dice rolled when casting a spell, meaning that the higher one's Nature the less dice the user has to cast spells.
So if the magic user's Nature is a 4 then the magic roll would use 3 dice (7-4=3).
This would suggest that magic is not natural to characters. (But it also serves a purpose rules-wise because then Nature is good when high or low).

Magic can then have different Orders that limit and determine what the magic user can actually do with magic. (Such as a Pyromancer being able to use fire-type spells, but not anything unrelated to fire).

I would also limit magic to those who have the proper Trait (Gifted, Magically Trained, or some-such).
Additional: The Trait could also be the Order of magic. So a Trait of Pyromancer or Order of Flame means that is in fact their magical Heritage or Tradition.

Idea: include a "magic use" skill and then Nature becomes the limit on how many dice can be used (so the above character with 3 magic has a magic use skill of 4, but can only use 3 dice because of the Nature limit).

Last edited by Irminsul on Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dwarf Guard:
A hack to use dwarves instead of mice.

The Dwarf Guard keeps the areas between the Dwarven Holdfasts safe. They go on missions above and below and keep the ways between the holds safe. Not only that, but they have to deal with the fact that the Holds and the Clan Patriarchs who rule them are family-based, insular, and suspicious of the Dwarf Guard.

Gear works a bit like Traits. You can carry your health Health Rating in pieces of Gear at a time. You can only use one piece of Gear per roll.

  • Level 1 Gear: adds 1D to one relevant independent test, or versus test, or all of one conflict, per session.
  • Level 2 Gear: adds 1D to all relevant tests.
  • Level 3 Gear: lets you reroll successes (and has an exception to the one Gear per roll rule) once per session.

Note: in conflicts, Level 1 and 2 Gear items are defined as helping with +1D to each of two actions (Attack and Defend, Attack and Feint, etc.), or +2D to one action type.

There is no fixed set up for weapon differences for axes, swords, or hammers. Players define their Gear when they create or purchase it.

  • Level 1 items can be made by ordinary skills, or bought with Resources.
  • Level 2 items can only be made by Artisans. They cannot be acquired via Resources tests.
  • Level 3 items are artifacts, and cannot be made by mortal hands.

Option: if a piece of gear is used in a test that fails, the gear may be damaged as a possible consequence.


Skills have stayed mostly the same, with the following changes:

Carpenter is called Builder (as wood is not as common), Healer is called Khirurgeon, Insectrist is called Herdsman, Loremouse is simply called Lore (with appropriate Wises), Scientist is called Runescribe, and Weather Watcher is called Tunnel Sage.

There are two new skills: War-Artisan (for weapons and armor), which replaces Armorer. And Craft-Artisan (for generic items and gear). Both of which are required for use in the new Craft Item Conflict type. Using them is the only way to acquire Level 2 Gear.

Guard Ranks:

Stay mainly the same, but Tenderpaw is replaced by Ingot, and Guardsmouse is replaced by Guardsdwarf. Ingots become Guardsdwarf in a ceremony called "the Forging".

Dwarf Nature:

Dwarf Nature is Hoarding, Stubborn, Defending, Drinking.
Not written in stone as I'm not sure about these...

Last edited by Irminsul on Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:26 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing as Humans:

Nature pretty much defines the Mouse Guard game and as such to modify the game to be played as humans (or elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.) there are a few ways to take Nature and work it into a variant.

Nature in Mouse Guard is a force at odds with the duty that must be performed.

Thoughts: one thing that makes Nature so conceptually nice is that everyone shares the same Nature in Mouse Guard. So when choosing the Theme of the campaign great thought should be given as to what direction the game will take. For example in a Star Wars Jedi campaign all the characters should probably share the same Force Nature.

  1. Everyone shares a Role: A simple mod would be to make everyone Rangers. Such as a Middle-Earth hack from Mice to Rangers of the North.

  2. Nature becomes:

    • Class/Occupation/Path: such as warrior, mage, rogue, paladin.
    • Cultural identity: such as Gondor, Rohan, Eriador.
    • Racial traits: such as elf, dwarf, orc, hobbit.
    • Personality/Passions: such as descriptors for each character.
    • Combination: such as choose one from each catagory.

    Note: any Nature descriptor that is violence-related should be very carefully monitored. Also be careful about Nature replacing skills - one of the nice things about Nature is that it ties the group together in a nice way.

  3. Mouse Nature to Class Nature:
    Class Nature is a measurement of your characters heroism and general adventurous spirit.

    A person with a high Class rating is:

    • Supremely confident in his own abilities.
    • Ever seeking new challenges.
    • More and more elaborate/epic goals.

    A person with a Low Class rating:

    • More likely to want to live a normal life.
    • Fearful of the creatures of darkness.
    • Will relate better to the feelings and habits of normal men.

    Everything else can be used in a similar fashion to Mouse Guard or things could also be taken from Burning Wheel to modify the game more.

  4. Nature as an Emotional Attribute: (See Burning Wheel) Hatred, Greed, and the like. In a general way it could be used to help skills, but it also would define the character. But once again a shared Nature is one of the things that makes it nice.

List of Nature Descriptors: climbing, hiding, foraging, fleeing, aggressive, foraging, running, escaping, gloating, clever, stealing, hauling, powerful, eating, talkative, intelligent, greedy, mischievous, stealing, trickster, silent, deciever, secretive, playful, stubborn, et cetera.

Last edited by Irminsul on Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:07 pm; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


While I really like the rules as written in Mouse Guard I'm thinking about the possiblity of changing Disposition to a more common way of thinking, and to do that I will look at FATE for my inspiration. Since FATE has a similar Condition Track called Stress.

Ultimately I would only use these rules if I was wanting to run a more traditional style game.

In FATE the idea is that when a character takes damage their Stress Track is lowered, but to stop the damage a character may choose to instead take a Consequence (such as broken leg, fatigued, and so on).

To transfer this idea to Mouse Guard one could either:

  1. Use the Conditions already in place in Mouse Guard as Consequences.
  2. Let players make up interesting Consequences (like in FATE).

Characters would still roll for their starting Disposition and take damage to Dispostion as normal.

A character will take a Condition if they wish to reduce the amount of Disposition lost. Conditions are applied during the Conflict, unlike Conditions in Mouse Guard, which are applied after the Conflict as Consequences. Characters may take [a limited number of Consequences]: modelled after the FATE engine of 2/4/6 - a character may take one Condition for each level 1/2/3 to reduce Disposition lost.

Condition levels:

  • Minor: Angry, Hungry/Thirsy, Tired (1).
  • Moderate: Player-made Condition (2).
  • Severe: Injured, Sick (3).

    Note: Minor Conditions do not directly affect the current Conflict, only future Conflicts, which is why they are Minor.
    Option: a Moderate Condition is a player-made role-playing quirk (ala FATE) that gives a -1D penalty to a single aspect (Fighting, Health, etc.).

The possible hitch would be that Conditions are also part of the FATE point economy. Although it could also just serve to make the game more grim and gritty as well as recovering from Conditions would be difficult when combined with Consequences recieved from conflicts. Not to mention that adding in Consequences means conflicts will take longer (since Disposition is not the only factor), although this is somewhat mitigated by the lack of the Compromise phase after combat.

Summation: Conditions are taken during the Conflict to reduce the amount of Dispostion lost. Consequences are taken after the Conflict, once either Team is reduced to 0 Disposition. So Consequences would take the form of role playing Compromises such as swallowed by the snake, made an enemy, left for dead, et cetera. With the possibility of adding on other Conditions if desired.

Last edited by Irminsul on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exalted Hack

Nature becomes {Caste} Essence.
Each Caste has specialties:

  • Dawn: tactician, archery, melee, war.
  • Zenith: pious, devout, perseverance, survival.
  • Twilight: knowledge, magic, crafting, investigating.
  • Night: hiding, sneaking, aware, dodging.
  • Eclipse: travel, diplomacy, unarmed combat, linguistics.

Note: each Caste should have 4 specialties.
Anima Effect/Abilities?
Motivations/Intimacies = Beliefs.

Last edited by Irminsul on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alternate Weapon Qualities:
Just because I don't agree with the Qualities as they are written.

  • Axe: same. Add Mace to this category.
  • Bow: same.
  • Halberd: use as Axe with -1 to Feint and Defend. Or as Spear with no Thrown.
  • Hook and Line: same.
  • Knife: add +1D to Feint. +1s to successful Maneuver. Remove Disarming.
  • Shield: same.
  • Sling: same.
  • Spear: add Thrown.
  • Staff: add +1D to Defend. Remove Thrown.
  • Sword: same.

Can't say I changed much.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


A hack for Mouse Guard - Rangers of the North in the Fourth Age of Middle Earth.


You are the Dunedain Rangers, sworn defenders of the Realms and personal envoys of King Elessar. Rangers keep the the civilized areas in Arnor safe from Shadow creatures and other dangers. They keep these missions quiet for the benefit of the common men and hobbits who do not really want to know what lurks in the dark. They also have to deal with the fact that most local leadership is family-based, insular, and suspicious of them.


Hunting down Shadow creatures (Orcs, etc) which have moved into the wild lands after the fall of the Dark Lord Sauron. Exploring old settlements to determine if these are accessible for reclamation. Clearing and scouting paths between settlements. Rescuing people, delivering important mail, escorting people, and assisting trade caravans. And anything else their King or Captain tells them to do.


As per Mouse Guard with the “weapon” mods being applied to special other gear also.


Rangers are from Gondor or from Arnor.


There is not as much danger in the seasons. Bad weather may still delay or even harm the Rangers but the Seasons are not the biggest danger.


Lots of miscellaneous monsters, but the most important are Orcs and Human Shadow Servants. However Trolls, Wolves/Wargs, Spiders, and other Shadow creatures also pose a danger to the Rangers and to the people they are sworn to protect.

Orc Nature is Foul, Angry, Destructive, Fighting.

Shadow Human Nature is ???

Troll Nature is Tough, Big, Strong, Fast Recovery.

Wolf Nature is Sensitive Ears and Nose, Pack Hunter, Claw&Bite, Stealthy.

Spider Nature is Patient, Poison Bite, Webbing, Alien.


Skill have stayed mostly the same, including the 24 skill limit with the following changes:

  • Apiarist is called Herdsman.
  • Insectrist is called Animal Trainer.
  • Loremouse is Lore (Access limited to types based on personal background).
  • Scientist is called Alchemy.

There are new skills: Riding, Augury.


The Wises need to be modified - I’ll work on that soon(ish).


Obviously, some Traits need to be modified and a few more added. I’m working on that soon.

Fur & Cloak Color:

Fur Color is LINEAGE.
Cloak Color is HOUSE HERALDRY.


There are five ranks:

  • Tenderpaw is replaced by Recruit.
  • Guardsmouse is replaced by Scout.
  • Patrol Guard is replaced by Ranger.
  • Patrol Leader is replaced by Senior Ranger.
  • Patrol Captain is replaced by Noble (Captain).
  • Matriarch Gwendolyn is replaced by King Elessar.

Ranger Nature:

  • Grief: the weight of the tide of time upon the immortal and long-lived.
  • Tradition: the rituals, etiquette, mores and values of this most venerable culture.
  • Family: the deep-seated instinct to build families, dynasties and lineages.

Note: could become - Grieving, Traditional, and Familial?

  • How do you use Grief? You use it for funeral rites. You use it to swear vengeance or enact revenge on your father's murderer. You use it to forgive.
  • How do you use Tradition? To right fallen communities, to bring them from the path of the Shadow. To go before the king. To teach children, to impress foreigners, to be really conservative assholes. Why did Numenor fall? It broke with Tradition.
  • How do you use Family? To sire children, to convince your wife, to argue with your father, to put your upstart brother in his place.

Everyone’s nature begins at 2, modified by the following questions (limitations coming later). Minimum 1, Maximum 6.

  • Have you killed a Shadow Creature? If yes +1 Nature.
  • Have you survived something in the Wild that could have killed you? If yes +1 Nature.
  • Can you trace your lineage back to the Second Age? If yes, +1 Nature.
  • Do you want to be alone? If yes +1 Nature.
  • Do you have a home in a city? If yes -1 Nature.
  • Are you married? If yes, -1 Nature.
  • Do you stay in touch with your friends and family? If yes, -1 Nature.

If you reach 7 Nature you are too much a loner for the Rangers. After the mission you go off by yourself and become a hermit or you fall to a tragic doom (if you take this option you may carry any Fate or Persona forward to your new character).

If you reach 0 Nature you are too civilized for the Rangers. After the mission, you settle into a position/pension in Gondor, get married, have fat babies and forget about the dark, wet, cold, and danger of your previous life of a hardened Ranger in the Wild; or you leave right now abandoning your team (if you take this option you may carry any Fate or Persona forward to your new character).

Birthplaces: (short write-up and Traits coming later):

Minas Tirith
Morthond Vale
Ringló Vale

Also looking for places in the North characters can come from. I may not use all of these but its cool to think about it.


Slightly modified, replace the second question with the following:
Are your parents nobility, stewards, master craftsmen, or merchants?
Yes: +1 Resources.


Stays the same.


Same basic conditions with the following modifications:
You may take a number of Injured Conditions until you lose all dice in either Will or Health. When this happens you are Dying and may not continue in the mission without a Healer passing a Ob 4 test. Each success above the obstacle reduces the die penalty by one down to a minimum of -1D (the Ranger must remain Injured since you eliminate the Dying condition before you can address the Injured condition). A later Health or Healer test may alleviate this Injured condition as per the book rules. With a failed test you reduce Will and Health by one but you are stabilized and recover to the lower values. You should make sure to Heal your compatriots so that this does not happen to anyone.

Here is the original idea.
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