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Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game
[1-932386-88-2]
$34.95 $19.99
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment LLC
by Jesse A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2009 22:38:04
Every gamer should play this game. Never have I been so impressed by a gaming product, and I have treasured superb works by the likes of Monte Cook's Malhavoc Press (among others) for years.

The game is simple to pick up, dynamic in play, and has some strengths not mentioned in the previous review. For instance, the typical session length is two to four hours. Once everyone gets the hang of the game, don't be surprised to clock in well toward the shallow end of that range. In a session - a two and a half hour session - the story moves forward significantly, every character gets a chance to shine, and interesting decisions are presented and resolved. If you are at all like me, the call for a game that can be played on a weeknight with work in the morning without sacrificing story advancement is acute. If you have more time to play, just stack several "sessions" in to one sitting!

Specific mechanics aside, the game embodies its obvious philosophical position - rules should be fun, move fast, and invoke interesting situations with meaningful choices. Every time the dice roll in this game, the situation changes, something significant happens, and the game rolls on.

Did I mention that the art, conspicuously present throughout the entire book, is gorgeous and evocative?
Go buy the damn thing, but more than that - play it!

A couple of notes. If you are planning on printing this product, don't. Buy the physical book, the production values of which are stellar. You won't be sorry... but you don't want to print this. The previous reviewer's reasoning on this point is spot on. However, the square format of the book means that it is perfect for reading on a screen - one does not need to scroll at all to see a whole page clearly on most monitors, which makes paging through the digital product quite pleasant.

Also, I disagree with the previous reviewer that an expert GM is called for - the game itself is a robust manual on good Game Mastering, sessions are highly structured, character creation is simple and intuitive - and I mean intuitive even for children - a dozen pregenerated characters and three full adventures are included, and the conversational tone and accessible writing of the rules will make a suitably expert GM - and player - out of any engaged and intelligent participant in short order.

In conclusion, every gamer should play this game, and that's the best endorsement I've ever given a game system. In fact, I'm putting that sentiment up at the top just to make a point of it - I've played and run various editions of D&D for years, toyed with a few other systems for almost as long, and have never encountered a simpler, more robust game, nor one that so effectively develops good role-playing and descriptive skills. The game is based on Burning Wheel - Mouse Guard is, from a rules perspective, essentially Burning Wheel Lite - but is much simpler to pick up, sit down and PLAY. Oh, did I mention that the art is beautiful?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game
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