It’s an ordinary day, and you are an ordinary person. Until something happens and you realize you are, in fact, not an ordinary person. This moment, this awakening, will change everything for you. And naturally, you probably have some questions. The good news is there are more people like you out there. The bad news is that they don’t have the answers yet either. Team up together and start investigating in City of Mist from Son of Oak Game Studio (distributed by Modiphius).
City of Mist is a roleplaying game where players take on the role of Rifts—ordinary individuals that are simultaneously a powerful mythical entity. The exact nature of this entity, or Mythos, is largely a mystery to your character, and that mystery is where the journey begins. Your efforts to uncover answers will be thwarted by the very force that kept you in the dark for so long: The Mist. The Mist is what keeps the City seemingly ordinary. Sleepers, those who have not awakened to a Mythos, will forget or excuse any legendary abilities they come into contact with. Players will be balancing their Mythos with their normal lives or Logos. When your character goes through something major, you have the choice to turn it into a Moment of Evolution. This is a player character choice, not the choice of the Master of Ceremonies (MC).
This all works through the Themes that form the basis of a character’s identity. Some of these are Mythos, others are Logos. A Moment of Evolution turns one into the other. If at any point all of a player’s Mythos has become Logos, they become a Sleeper again. The opposite, all Mythos and no Logos, turns a character into an Avatar, completely at the whims of whatever force is inside them.
This focus on character choice is a driving factor in City of Mist. There are rules, of course. Players have eight core actions they can take, though even these emphasize the importance of choice. The Take the Risk action lets players attempt something outrageous, giving fate the chance to let them succeed. Failure results in a consequence, and this is when the MC gets to make their own choices.
Unlike other systems, the MC does not ever roll dice. The interpretation and progression of the story is entirely in their hands. That storytelling focus shows up again with the addition of four cinematic actions available to players. All the moves a player can take are made using dice, and City of Mist only uses six-sided dice. The amount of dice rolled depends on the action you take, and a modifier is added depending on the tags your character has attached to their themes. Tags are flavored descriptors that further flesh out exactly what a Rift is good at, or how they accomplish their goals.
The dice mechanics are fairly straightforward, with complexity added on in the form of the amount of customization. City of Mist allows for a wide range of story and character options, but at its core it is set up to be a story of investigation, of questions, and possibly of answers. This puts a lot of pressure on the MC to come up with some kind of solution for the puzzles they present to the players. The world gives them plenty of room to draw their own conclusions, and with a tool like the Mist, MC’s have many options available to create a compelling and ever-evolving mystery. While a challenge, it will certainly be a rewarding experience.
Are you ready to face the legend inside you? Search the city for answers, find allies, and try to keep yourself in balance. You have the opportunity to explore a world that many see but never remember. What you do after your awakening is entirely up to you. The City of Mist awaits.