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I'm very new to RPGs but I'm very interested in Mouse Guard. I have been thinking a lot about trying to start a novice group as the GM. I have read the 1st Ed. Core rulebook several times and one thing still confuses me regarding mission design: the two obstacles + twists "rule".

Say I run the Find the Grain Pedlar mission using sample characters. I play Gwendoline giving the mission, we might have some "in character" dialogue. They get on the road, I give some descriptive narrative, then we get to the, "If you want to find the Peddlar you need to make a Scout test," and they pass. Next, bit more dialogue, they decide to interogate the peddlar. Now, as a first game with novice players, I'd avoid a conflict and play a versus test. If they pass, then that's two obstacles and the GM turn is done!

Is that OK? Is that an overly strict interpretation? Won't that make for a really short GM turn? Or is that fine because I'm deliberately simplifying?

I understand that this turn of events is statistically unlikely, and that it would allow for a really meaty player turn, but I just want to check I'm not missing a huge element of the process!

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Sometimes the players just get lucky. It's fine to have a short GM's Turn occasionally. Note that when this happens the players only had two opportunities to earn checks, so the Players' Turn is also going to be pretty short, with no new Conditions to recover from, etc.

As players get more used to the game, they're going to want to earn checks and try to earn the right kinds of tests. Almost by definition, earning checks puts the players at a disadvantage. Smart players will see an easy obstacle, consider the consequences of failure, and try to earn some checks. A player fishing for a failed Pathfinder test (so that they can advance) might eschew help or decide to find a new shortcut.

You can also give them a Conflict on the GM's Turn, either as a backdrop for the session (“We have to save this town from flooding!”) or something that they're building up to during the session (“Now that we're finally here, the mayor of this town needs convincing!”).

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