A tiny duet adventure
Playing a mouse curbed the murder hobo in my 7 yr old
Recently a fellow podcaster and the creator of the amazing hexflower table system as well as other RPG products, Goblins Henchman, put up a video where he DM’d his kids through a game of mausritter and it was inspiring to hear the joy in the voices of the kids.
This past weekend my wife had to leave town so my 7yr old (further on called CB) and I had a boys’ weekend. He asked to play a game and so I spun up a quick one-shot of mausritter.
We rolled up the character per the rules which he enjoyed doing - at first he wasn’t sure what he would ever use a metal file for and wanted to trade it out for a bow but I encouraged him to keep it and see if it could become useful later. He was super happy that his character was “wise” from the moon and said that the patch on the back of the black mouse was in the shape of the moon.
The adventure started off in Stumpsville (stolen directly from G.H). The town was gearing up for its cheese-making season and they required a brave mouse to head up the forested hill to the human farm, steal a bottle of milk from the farmers’ barn when he was up milking the cows, and return home with it.
Luna set off and not long after entering the forest found the path was blocked off by a fallen tree and two squirrel guards guarding it while another group of squirrels was quickly moving nuts from the hollow of the tree to a neighboring one. The squirrels said no one could pass until the transfer was complete - after some negotiation and a failed will check Luna was allowed to pass at the cost of 3 pips. Luna shrugged off losing most of her pips by saying “when I return with the milk the town will gladly give more pips”
I really wanted CB to explore options other than combat because often any other time we’ve played he goes full video game mode and wants to stab everything. This time though it seemed he understood that as a single mouse he was small, that he only had 2 HP, and that he had to find other ways.
Further up the road he encountered a beaver working away on a log - worried the beaver might be building a damn (which would stop his plan of floating the bottle down the river) he talked o the beaver to discover he was working on building a boat. The beaver offered to let Luna test ride the boat the following morning if a riddle could be answered. The beaver said “Tell me something I like to chew on, it can be chopped but is not a carrot, it has rings but is not an onion, it has syrup but is not a pancake”. The CB thought for a minute and goes - “I knew it was a tree as soon as the beaver said rings”. So with that Luna had an escape vehicle for her heist.
As she continues down the path things get a bit darker as the forest grows thicker, and she rounds a bend only to see another mouse wrapped up in spider silk hanging from a tree branch. I asked what the CB he’s like to do and he said, well I need to get him down but I don’t see a spider around, Luna is wise so Luna wants to look around carefully to see if there is a spider … smart kid. He finds the spider and swings his hammer and bops the spider on the head giving it a few points of damage - the spider then ran away (with a large bump forming, which caused a chuckle). I then asked how he was going to save the other mouse and he said - “this is why I wanted a sword not a hammer”, and as he looked down at the inventory said - well I could use the file couldn’t I? And so he rescued another mouse named Simon who agreed to travel with Luna for the rest of her journey.
So as darkness fell the two mice exited the forest and found themselves in a wheat field the barn now visible in the distance however knowing the farmer wouldn’t be milking the cow until the morning the two mice bedded down in the field and luckily no encounters came up on the encounter roll.
The next morning the duo split a ration (Simon had no belongings) and made way to the barn only to find that the farmer had arrived and was busy milking the cow - a complication was also discovered as there was a barn cat wandering around as well. I rolled and set a timer saying that CB had 10 turns to complete this before the farmer was going to get up and walk out with the crate of milk bottles.
CB again realized that they were mice and decided he wanted nothing to do with the cat and declared this was going to be a sneak and steal. A bit of observation to see how feline and human were moving and some good dex rolls resulted in Luna and Simon being next to the milk crate. Simon completed a strength roll to lift Luna into the crate and it took Luna two attempts to lift the heavy milk bottle out (all the while getting lucky on encounter rolls so that neither the farmer nor the cat discovered them) and then the two mice quietly rolled the bottle out of the barn.
Loot acquired they made their way down to the river to find that beaver was there waiting for them with a tiny boat. The boat wouldn’t hold the bottle but CB’s original plan was for the bottle to float down the river anyway, the beaver pointed out that they should have a way to secure the bottle to the boat in case the water gets bumpy. Luna decides to use her metal file and cut down a couple of pieces of wheat from the field and use the stalks to tie the bottle to the boat.
If you are enjoying this please consider supporting the Toronto Sick Kids hospital, it’s the preferred charity of the Redcaps Podcast.
Sailing down the river they did come across some bumpy water and Luna discovered the cork on the bottle looked like it was coming off the bottle, after some discussion between Luna and Simon Luna tightrope walked across the wheat tether and used her hammer to pound the cork back in place.
Eventually, the trio (Luna, Simon, and the Beaver) arrived back in Stumpsville with the milk, and a grand party was held in Lunas’ honour.
CB really enjoyed this adventure and it played out in about 90 minutes or so. I didn’t run everything exactly to the rules, but pretty close and I was really impressed with how the setting and character really changed his outlook on what actions he should take.
I do know he wants to play a more traditional dungeon crawl with the monsters he loves from the monster manual, later that same day he came up to me with this dungeon that he drew which contains a beholder and a dragon.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this little recap of our game and check out mausritter, you can get the PDFs for free and the book is fairly cheap (unfortunately at the time of writing the box set seems to be sold out,).
The Redcaps is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.