During the [Rhythm of Mouse Guard | Game Master's Turn] the guardmice receive their mission from their leader, Gwendolyn.
The Game Master then imposes obstacles in the way of the mission. Maybe after a heavy rainfall the gully you hoped to cross has become a raging rivulet and you'll have to figure out away across. Maybe a badger is on the loose, smashing towns apart. Perhaps a mouse you encounter on the road is actually a spy.
Your job is to think of a way to overcome these obstacles. Once you get an idea, you put it into practice by testing your character's abilities. This is done by rolling dice.
Let's say you want to cross the rivulet. You come up with an idea to build a bridge out of twigs. The Game Master says, "That's a clever idea! You'll need to use your Scientist skill to make sure the bridge is sturdy enough to support your weight. That's an Obstacle 3." (Obstacle X means that you'll need to roll the dice, and get X dice showing 4 or higher.) Your character is pretty smart, so you have Scientist 5 (a high rank in the skill), so you roll five dice and hope that at least three of them show 4, 5 or 6).
Beating the Obstacle
If you roll well, congratulations, you overcame that obstacle! You can then move on to the next one, and hopefully complete the mission.
Failing to Beat the Obstacle
If you roll poorly, the Game Master can do one of two things:
- Allow the player to succeed but hurt them in the process (making them tired, hungry, angry, sick or injured)
- The players fail and confront a more dangerous obstacle
That's basically how things go in the game! There's a lot to know about improving your odds, and a lot to say about especially difficult obstacles called "conflicts," but that's the general flow of a mission.