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City of Mists

Publisher Description

City of Mist is a role-playing game of film-noir investigation and super-powered action. It is set in a modern metropolis rife with crime, conspiracies, and mysteries. The protagonists are Gateways, ordinary people who became the living embodiment of a legend, their Mythos. While your Gateways may seek to strike a balance between the mysterious nature of their Mythos and their mortal aspirations, the powers within them always threaten to tear their lives apart. They have unwittingly become a part of a secret world of clashing stories, and soon other legends will come looking for them with demands.

City of Mist is based on the story-driven Apocalypse Engine, but it takes a step further into narrative gaming by introducing several new features:


City of Mists, Second Edition - Rules SummaryCollapse

Character Creation [ edit ]

Although City of Mist is a "PbtA" system, it has several important differences from other PbtA games.  Most immediately, instead of relying on "playbooks", City of Mist utilizes a "character sheet" ... only instead of a literal sheet, CoM spreads out the character's information across several separate cards.

To create a character you begin by deciding on a concept and picking a "mythoi" (mythical character) that matches that concept.  Next you select four themes that describe the character, which can either be "Logos" or "Mythos".

Logos themes describe mundane aspects of a character, such as a defining moment in their history, or a pivotal relationship they have.  Mythos themes instead describe the characters connection to their Mythos, such as a magical item or anthropomorphic animal.  Both themes provide the character bonuses when taking actions related to the theme, but only Mythos themes provide superhuman abilities.

Players not only have to pick themes, but also how they manifest and what weaknesses they have.  Weaknesses are important, because while they decrease a character's chance of success, they also help you to advance your themes (ultimately resulting in more tags and greater power).

Tags are similar to skills in other RPG systems, defining specific powers or skills that a character has (or, in the case of weakness tags, something they're bad at).  Each theme provides four tags (three power tags, and one weakness tag), so a new character has sixteen tags in total.

After selecting Mythoi and themes, and defining other basic details like a name, the character is almost ready to go.  The last step is that they must form a "crew" with their fellow players.  However, it's important to note that characters can change over time in CoM, so the version of the character at the end of creation isn't the same version the player is "stuck with" (forever, as is the case in many other systems).

Core Mechanics [ edit ]

As a PbtA system, to do anything significant in City of Mist, a player must perform a "move" which corresponds to the action. Characters can gain specific moves fom themes, but all characters have the same eight core moves: Investigate, Convince, Face Danger, Hit With All You’ve Got, Go Toe to Toe, Change the Game, Sneak Around, and Take the Risk.

To determine whether a move succeeds the player rolls 2d6, adds the number of relevant power tags (if any), and subtracts any weakness tag.  In general, a result of 10-12 means that the move was a complete success, while a 7-9 instead indicates a success with a possible complication, and a 6 or less results in failure.

However, each move has its own specific details (so many that one reviewer strongly recommended relying on a "cheat sheet" during play).  For instance, the primary combat move, "Go Toe to Toe", has three possible outcomes, and a roll of 10+ allows the player to pick two, while a roll of 7-9 only lets them pick one.

CoM has no special combat rules (eg. there is no concept of "initiative", as in many games),   Instead, in combat players simply make moves, as normal.  Similarly there are no "hit points" to track damage to a character: CoM relies on statuses, which have levels ranging from 1-6 (where 1 is lightly injured, 5 is the worst possible, and 6 means dead).

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