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Tabletop Game / City of Mist

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City of Mist is a Tabletop RPG created by Son of Oak Game Studio and running on a variation of the Powered by the Apocalypse engine. It can basically be summarized as "Urban Fantasy meets Film Noir".

The players play as "Rifts", people living in the titular City who just so happen to have legendary stories living inside of them—their Mythos, which grant them extraordinary powers. Those who don't have these powers are called "Sleepers", and they are prevented from seeing anything supernatural by the Mist.

Being a Rift sounds cool, but there are more than a few catches. Not only do you have to deal with all the problems of mundane life, you also have to contend with other Rifts, the enigmatic Avatars and their city-spanning operations, and the Gatekeepers, who are out to destroy you solely for existing. To top it all off, your Mythos has its own agenda, and to fulfill it better (and thus gain more power) you must completely sacrifice your old life.

The game is noteworthy for its unique take on character creation: instead of a few archetypes to choose from, players get four "theme cards" each, all with different classifications. They then write down exactly what these cards do in the form of tags: three Strength tags and one Weakness tag per card. This allows for much, much greater freedom with character creation than in most other Apocalypse Engine games.

This game contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Even the weakest Avatars are Nigh-Invulnerable Physical Gods thanks to being almost completely in tune with their Mythos, with the rules outright stating that any fight between the players and an Avatar is a Hopeless Boss Fight that needs to either be avoided or thought around. However, all Avatars share two significant weaknesses: they need to flawlessly follow their Mythos' directive at all times, and each of them possesses some kind of "anchor" that serves as a reminder of their mortality. If either is ever disrupted, their Mythos will collapse and the Avatar will either revert to a Sleeper or be outright erased from existence as their Mythos overcomes them entirely.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Truth, a group of extremely powerful Rifts dedicated to enforcing Status Quo Is God. Of course, many of them have their own agendas.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Rifts can embody concepts (especially religious ones) in addition to mythological figures and creatures. Chairman Chow, for instance, is the Avatar of Tanhā, the Buddhist concept of craving and bottomless greed.
  • Anti-Magic:
    • Shrouding, the Mist-based ability that is the foundation for all the abilities and gear wielded by the Gatekeepers. It works by using the Mist to blanket out expressions of Mythos power, with especially talented Gatekeepers able to bind Mist into objects to create anti-magic weapons or even forcefully cancel out Rift powers mid-battle.
    • Rifts who lose their powers and become Sleepers once more can enter a state called "Denying the Beyond", where their former Mythos powers instead enforce the Weirdness Censor and suppress the powers of all Rifts who come in contact with them.
  • City Noir: The core setting is this trope.
  • City of Adventure: Right there in the title.
  • City with No Name: The game takes place in The City, and it is strongly implied that it is actually an archetypic representation of the idea of cities. Just like its inhabitants. It also includes classic locations in a city, like The Docks.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The Mist doesn't mean that a Player Character will get away with murder, but Sleepers won't be able to see that the weapon was a magic wand. And then there's the Gatekeepers to ensure that any Rift who's particularly blatant with their powers won't get too far regardless.
  • Fantastic Noir: The game has all the trappings of Film Noir (the main characters are detectives, play largely revolves around solving cases, and sessions even start with a voiceover monologue by the players), but with the twist that the people involved have magical powers.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Mythoi can be of any story, from myths to fairytales to classic literature to even real-world events that have attained legendary status. Naturally, that makes the City this.
  • Godzilla Threshold: One of the moves you can make, called "Stop. Holding. Back." You make the full use of your powers, allowing you to defeat a threat at a cost determined by how well you roll. This can range from burning all the power tags on a Theme to outright replacing a Theme with one of the opposite kind, to just dying. The more Themes you have related to mythical powers, the less control you have over this as you are already riding the edge of diving into your supernatural nature. The range of prices is also determined by the long-term, so if you use this move to, say, kill the major villain of the campaign in one fell swoop... that's probably the Ultimate Sacrifice, and you'll likely have to say goodbye to your character.
  • Invisible to Normals: Everything the Rifts can do is covered up by the Mist, keeping Sleepers out of the loop.
  • Lord British Postulate: The most likely reason why the Avatars aren't given stats.
  • Masquerade Enforcer: The Gatekeepers, as well as those Rifts who lose their powers and become Sleepers
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The corebooks note that the lead characters never leave the city, and in fact that there doesn't seem to be a world outside the city. They suggest that either the residents are extremely focused on the city or it's another aspect of the Mist.
  • The Men in Black: The Gatekeepers are the Men in Gray. Their job involves making sure that the truth of the City never becomes widely known, and they can manipulate the Mist to alter memories, cancel out Mythos powers, and even (in special cases) forcefully warp reality to ensure that the truth stays hidden. The player characters getting on their radar is generally bad news, though there are instances of Gatekeepers working alongside Rifts, especially when there's a greater threat that needs to be taken down.
  • Muggles: Sleepers. A Player Character can even become one if they let their Mythos fade away.
  • Promoted to Playable: Gatekeepers are strictly kept as NPC antagonists in the core book, but the Suits Unveiled expansion adds rules for creating them as player characters, with their own "Mist" theme books that grant abilities in parallel to the Mythos powers of normal player characters, and guidelines both for playing them alongside Rifts or as full-on Gatekeeper storylines.
  • Token Good Teammate: Within the Truth (and, in fact, among all of the Avatars) Ganesha is this—her entire operation is centered around helping people, rather than exploiting them for her own ends. Dr. Leyland counts as well.
  • Uplifted Animal: Animals can become empowered by a Mythos as well; those that do often gain sapience and are known as "Familiars". The example given in the book for one is K9, three bloodhounds that collectively serve as the Rift of Cerberus and puppet around a human corpse made up to look like their handler.
  • Weirdness Censor: While the Mist is usually what stops Sleepers from seeing the way things are, a Player Character can develop a Weirdness Censor so strong that it prevents Rifts from using their Mythos abilities in the PC's presence.