Myth Struggles to Overwhelm Real Life in City of Mist

Sometimes the mists part in the City and you see monsters behind the mundane. Then mythic power infuses your normal reality, striving to turn you from your normal life into a mythic legend. Can you walk a path between the two extremes while trying to see what is hiding in a City of Mist?


Kickstarted in 2016 by Son of Oak Game Studio City of Mist offers 512 full-color pages of superhero noir investigation and conflict also available in PDF. The action takes place in the City, either a real one or one of the GM’s devising. The characters are normal people and legendary mythic figures combined with both sides fighting to come out on top.

The basic mechanic is 2d6 roll high with 6 or less a failure and various levels of success from 7 up. Added to the roll is Power, the number of tags that can help a character. A character trying to jump across a gap might use the tags beastly athletic and thorny tentacles to add two Power using a beast like ability to jump and tentacles to help reach across and pull.

City of Mist also pits the character’s mundane life, Logos, versus her mythic life, Mythos. Each character picks four themes (Logos and Mythos), with no more than three of each. A character with more Logos is more grounded in real life and one with more Mythos has embraced legendary abilities that make her less than human. The PC, called a Rift, can also see a bit past the Mist which hides monsters and super powers from normal humans.

Throughout the game, each character will see her themes change and experience the pull between the mundane and mythical change. If a character ever gains four themes that are all Logos or all Mythos that player character risks being overwhelmed and lost as a PC.

As the PCs yen and yang through their themes, they also fight other Rifts with conflicting goals. Some Rifts have titanic power, given over completely to Mythos, and are called Avatars. PCs also struggle to unravel the mysteries the Mist itself is hiding and may come into conflict with agents of the Mist.

While many of these themes and conflicts sound lofty, PCs stay grounded by working together on cases. The PCs decide on a Crew theme and determines what the group is trying to achieve. This theme gives additional tags to every PC as well as relationships between PCs.

The GM creates the City and any starting Avatars that might come into conflict with the Crew. To keep things organized, the GM creates Dangers: challenges that have predefined ways to hurt the lead characters and ways that danger can be overcome. Having several Dangers on hand allows the GM to react more quickly to the decisions the Crew makes in pursuit of its goal.

GMs also develop Avatars, someone responsible for countless wrongs who must be stopped at any cost, or someone who directly opposes the crew’s agenda. However, Avatars are never just overpowered challenges; they are a mirror of what could become of the lead characters if they are taken over by their Mythos. Avatars are driven to achieve the goal of their Mythos’ agenda which likely directly or indirectly conflicts with the Crew’s goal.

City of Mist contains so many options, tools, and setting detail that one review cannot possibly cover everything. Despite its size, it is tightly focused on superhero noir violence and mystery in a City of Mist. The game is a treasure trove of beautiful art, comic panels, well developed rules, and an evocative make it your own setting.

This article was contributed by Charles Dunwoody as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. Please note that Charles is a participant in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to DriveThruRPG. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
 
Charles Dunwoody

Comments

hawkeyefan

Explorer
I’ve played this game a couple of times and it was a lot of fun. I like the tags/attributes system, and I think the conflict between the mythos and logos adds a very interesting and unique dynamic to the game.
 
I’ve played this game a couple of times and it was a lot of fun. I like the tags/attributes system, and I think the conflict between the mythos and logos adds a very interesting and unique dynamic to the game.
Did you run it or play a character? If you played, what character did you play? The pre-gens all look interesting to me.
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
Did you run it or play a character? If you played, what character did you play? The pre-gens all look interesting to me.
I played, which was a nice change of pace for me since I usually GM most games. I played a character that the GM made. He picked some familiar archetypes so we picked up the ideas more quickly. The character I played was pretty much Bigby Wolf from the comic Fables. If you’re not familiar with the comic, he’s a detective who also happens to be the Big Bad Wolf. Seemed to fit right in with the setting.
 

ruemere

Explorer
I'm GMing the game. We're on the third case now. It works great.

The game encourages character immersion by making the players consider how they fit the narrative - as a character is a collection of 16 (22 if you count weaknesses) tags, it's on the players to describe their actions so that their tags come into play. In other words, it's not just that you do something, it's also important _how_ you do it, and this adds an extra spice to actions.
 
I'm GMing the game. We're on the third case now. It works great.

The game encourages character immersion by making the players consider how they fit the narrative - as a character is a collection of 16 (22 if you count weaknesses) tags, it's on the players to describe their actions so that their tags come into play. In other words, it's not just that you do something, it's also important _how_ you do it, and this adds an extra spice to actions.
Has anyone had to switch themes yet? What kind of cases are they going on?
 

ruemere

Explorer
Has anyone had to switch themes yet? What kind of cases are they going on?
My apologies for not responding earlier. The answer is no to the first question - people are enjoying themselves too much to change anything yet.
To the second question:
- Sleeping Beauty - Apparently, a daughter of a wealthy patron, has become quite aggressive. Some would even say she's possessed. Our heroes discover ancient legend (a bargain made with a pagan priestess), but fail to act in time to stop Man-Eating Thing from the Forest from waking up.
- Three Little Piglets - A settlement of squatters is destroyed by a freak bout of weather plus a landslide. Apparently, a novice brujah has called upon a wind-wolf demon to avenge her plight at the hands of a youth gang. Now the demon is about to destroy temporary hostel where the squatters were relocated. Spoilers: heroes win, though at the last moment.
- Three Snake-Leaves - A former cop makes a last wish - solve the disappearance of a certain girl fifteen years ago. Heroes eventually find a diary and leads. All it takes is to piece the pieces of this puzzle to learn the truth (and lay some unfinished business to rest).
- The next case will be the Griffin - a case based on three works at demands of a kidnapper.

Regards,
Ruemere
 
My apologies for not responding earlier. The answer is no to the first question - people are enjoying themselves too much to change anything yet.
To the second question:
- Sleeping Beauty - Apparently, a daughter of a wealthy patron, has become quite aggressive. Some would even say she's possessed. Our heroes discover ancient legend (a bargain made with a pagan priestess), but fail to act in time to stop Man-Eating Thing from the Forest from waking up.
- Three Little Piglets - A settlement of squatters is destroyed by a freak bout of weather plus a landslide. Apparently, a novice brujah has called upon a wind-wolf demon to avenge her plight at the hands of a youth gang. Now the demon is about to destroy temporary hostel where the squatters were relocated. Spoilers: heroes win, though at the last moment.
- Three Snake-Leaves - A former cop makes a last wish - solve the disappearance of a certain girl fifteen years ago. Heroes eventually find a diary and leads. All it takes is to piece the pieces of this puzzle to learn the truth (and lay some unfinished business to rest).
- The next case will be the Griffin - a case based on three works at demands of a kidnapper.

Regards,
Ruemere
So no one has marked 3 Fade or 3 Crack yet? Anyone worried that might happen soon?

Sounds like your campaign is going great. The cases sound fun.
 

ruemere

Explorer
So no one has marked 3 Fade or 3 Crack yet? Anyone worried that might happen soon?

Sounds like your campaign is going great. The cases sound fun.
Not yet. Creating cases is quite simple, though it takes a bit of effort to make the investigation meander satisfactorily :)
 

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