Sean's Picks of the Week (0312-0316) - Mighty Mice Week!
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0312-0316) - Mighty Mice Week!

    Perhaps one of my odder choices for a theme week, but I do find it fascinating how many creators and fans are drawn to the idea of mice (and rats, and related critters) as heroes and villains within genre stories. I mean, let's face it, Secret of NIMH remains one of the most fascinating and well-done "not-Disney" cartoon movies of the 20th century. It also seems using mice is a neat way to get kids interested, as many of these games and products indicate. Last (but most assuredly not least), I get the impression a lot of artists just really enjoy drawing mice in cool costumes...


    Gonna be a short week, since I didn’t get in until late yesterday and was exhausted (AndoCon, Kickstarter launch). While at AndoCon, I met the great folks of Shoreless Skies Publishing, the creators and publishers of Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse. They are great folks, fun to hang out with, and as passionate about this thing we do as I am. And this product suggests one of my strangest themes for SPOD ever – Mighty Mice Week! So check out this FATE-driven Sons of Anarchy-meets-cartoon mice bit of wonderful.

    Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse is the tabletop roleplaying game of mice and their motorcycle clubs!

    You and your friends make your mice, found your club, and hit the streets. These are mice with the gusto to build their own motorcycles and set off into an intimidating world where they are outsized, but never outclassed.
    HMTM uses the rules of Fate to tell stories about the drama of city mice and their motorcycle clubs. It’s an RPG that works best with 2-5 players (plus the GM). It’s fit for episodic play (sessions last about 3-4 hours) and epic campaigns!

    Your stories are set in Thunder City, USA. For small creatures existing in a place which doesn’t belong to them, these stories will be filled with the drama of their lives, and the trouble, both inside and outside, of a biker gang. Will your gang be Robin Hood-like doers of good, springing cheese from unwatched refrigerators and delivering it to needy widows, or will you be thugs and thieves exploiting the weak? Your mouse, your bike, and your gang all belong to you and the stories you tell at your table.


    As we continue with Mighty Mice Week, let’s look at the latest in the Pugmire world of post-human fantasy, Monarchies of Mau. I had the very distinct pleasure of playing in a special game with Eddy Webb himself at AndoCon, one in which a team of cats and a team of dogs met up, negotiated around significant social awkwardness, and wound up united against science-and-sorcery obsessed mice and rats. It was a wonderful time, and you owe it to yourself to grab this and explore a world where, among other things, mice and rats want to turn those research tables on the rest of the world.

    Before we were six. Now we are one. We differ on many points, but on these we agree: always trust our instincts, always reward loyalty, and always pounce upon minions of the Unseen. Without these tenets, we are no longer worthy of the adoration of Man.

    — Monarch Trillani Persian von Mau, deceased

    Cats have inherited the world, unifying their six fractious monarchies after untold centuries.

    These cats have been uplifted to use tools and language, and they seek to rediscover the ruins of the Old Ones. Some have learned to use the leftover technology of humanity, but they believe it to be magic given to them by their lost worshippers. Others seek to create a cohesive nation, using Precepts of Mau agreed to after years of political conflict. The world is dangerous and mysterious, but the instincts of a good cat will always be true.

    Monarchies of Mau Early Access is a pre-release, advance look at the upcoming Monarchies of Mau roleplaying game.

    It is a near-complete rulebook allowing players to dive right into the world of Monarchies of Mau as the final game is still in development. Some highlights of Monarchies of Mau Early Access include:

    • An evocative and mysterious setting that’s both family friendly and deep enough to create compelling stories.

    • A traditional fantasy rules system redesigned for streamlined play and easy creation of heroic cats, with an emphasis on cooperation and action over competition and violence.

    • A variety of callings and houses that give access to several fun and interesting secrets.

    • Rival species to interact with, like dogs and rats, along with terrifying and dangerous monsters that roam the landscape.



    Another fun Pick for Mighty Mice Week, this one features grim sword-and-sorcery adventures… with mice facing down barbarian rats and monstrous foxes and owls. If ever you wanted to introduce your kids to the old school concepts of pulp fantasy adventure, Hyperborean Mice is an interesting gateway to it.

    HYPERBOREAN MICE is a role-playing game of grim Swords & Sorcery action… as portrayed by talking mice and rats.

    The ancient White Lords, albino mice with magical powers, rule over the valley of Hyperborea, but their empire is crumbling. Barbarian rat tribes, deadly predators and political intrigue threaten to bring their mousy civilization to an end.

    Terrible predators like foxes and owls take the place of giants and dragons. Voracious shrew clans raid the Fallows, seeking mice and rats to fill their larders. Centipedes scuttle beneath the underbrush, seeking prey. Hawks force the inhabitants to stay under cover during the day, while owls stalk the sky at night. The system includes rules for dangerous predators such as shrews, foxes and weasels, as well as less offensive creatures like crows and pigeons.

    Legendary horrors stalk the land, unique predators with potent magical abilities of their own. The terrifying Mocker, a centipede whose only voice is the imitated cries of his victims. The serpent Ssaaa gathers a cult of worshipers to do her bidding in the valley. And no mouse dares stand against dread Hoorooru, the ancient ruler of Rookswood and the enemy of the gods.

    Play a Royal Mouse, White Mouse, Common Mouse, Jumping Mouse, White Rat, Common Rat or even one of the brutish Wild Rats. Your character might be a lowly commoner or even an outcast… or a wealthy noblemouse of high standing.

    HYPERBOREAN MICE uses a simple stat+skill+2d6 system that supports multiple levels of success, different critical success results for different weapons, and an original magic system focused around six different magical arts and four levels of spell effects. There are dozens of combat and non-combat non-magical powers for characters to take and rules governing conflicts between creatures of vastly different sizes.


    Closing out Mighty Mice Week with the ultimate mice-as-heroes RPG, Mouse Guard. Based on the NYT best-selling comic book and graphic novel series, the author David Peterson himself is part of the team (alongside Luke Crane) that brings you this family-friendly, deeply satisfying adventure-filled world.

    For Mouse Guard fans who own the original Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set, or anyone who’d like to enlist in the Mouse Guard for the first time, the second edition of the rule book is available separately as a PDF with all-new art from David Petersen.

    Mouse Guard RPG 2nd Edition contains everything players need to know about the world of the Guard, including rules for forming patrols and leading missions into the beleaguered territories.

    So remember that Freedom Squadron Kickstarter I've been talking about? Yeah, it's off and running and we're doing really, really well. I want to thank everyone here who's been so awesome about supporting it (and so patient with my constant sharing). I've shared a lot of great content out there, but I want to share something exclusive here for all of you EN World readers who've kindly indulged my promotions. This is one of the Vocation Frameworks we're about to unlock, the Guerilla Fighter -

    Guerilla Fighter

    There's training, and then there's practical experience. A Guerilla Fighter is someone who got more "on-the-job training" than any formal method provides. In 2051, most Guerilla Fighters are veterans of World War III, probably from parts of the world where they were the last line of defense against the brutal forces of the Neo-Communist Bloc. Alternately (or possibly in addition), a Guerilla Fighter may be someone who's been fighting VENOM's incursions into their lands since they were revealed to the world at large.

    Guerilla Fighters are natural "special operations" soldiers; most of their experience is surviving harsh conditions, fighting superior numbers armed with better tech. This makes them resourceful, tough, and often practical to the point of ruthlessness. Those who can be convinced to work within the structure of Freedom Squadron are some of the most dangerous Commandos in the field.

    Hero's Journey (Three Rolls)

    They're not the best-of-the-best in terms of education or training; Guerilla Fighters are highly prized for all the varied things they've learned how to do as a matter of surviving intense combat and harsh conditions. They gain two rolls specifically on the Black Ops, Infantry, or Special Operations charts. They gain one more roll that can be made on any chart in this book except Aviation or Naval Operations.

    Guerilla Fighter Abilities and Bonuses

    Guerilla Fighters are good under pressure, experts in their chosen environments, and tough as nails. They also tend to know a lot of useful things from simply having survived.

    • Get Tough or Get Dead: It's a harsh reality the Guerilla Fighter lives in, demanding resilience to survive. All Guerillas start with a d6 Vigor.
    • Grab a Gun and Start Shooting: One day, they were a teacher, a grocery clerk, or an accountant. The next, they were shooting invaders and praying they made it through the day. Guerillas start with Shooting at d6.
    • Healthy Paranoia: Those that survive against the worst odds develop a finely honed sense of potential threats. Guerilla Fighters have the Danger Sense Edge.
    • Home Turf: Guerillas are fighting for their homes, which makes them inherent experts on the terrain and conditions. A Guerilla Fighter starts with either Streetwise or Survival at d6.
    • Seen the Elephant: By definition, a Guerilla Fighter's been in real combat and knows how to keep cool under fire. They have the Combat Reflexes Edge.

    One of the many Vocation Frameworks (based, mechanically, on the Iconic Frameworks I designed for Savage Rifts) available in Freedom Squadron.

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Olgar Shiverstone's Avatar
      Olgar Shiverstone -
      Mice & Mystics?

      I know it's kind of an RPG-boardgame-minis game dungeon crawl crossover.
    1. Zarithar's Avatar
      Zarithar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone View Post
      Mice & Mystics?

      I know it's kind of an RPG-boardgame-minis game dungeon crawl crossover.
      This. I'd love to see the setting get a full RPG treatment. I love Mice & Mystics!
    Comments Leave Comment