City of Mist: A Deep Dive Into an Urban Fantasy

by Aysel Atamdede

With the tabletop gaming craze still going strong, you might be wondering what kind of game to play. But, sometimes, the most popular games aren’t for everyone’s interest or playstyle. There’s such a variety of settings, themes, goals and systems to explore that it can be overwhelming to find what works for you. You shouldn’t feel pressured to play one specific system because other people are.

Yes, Dungeons & Dragons is the poster child of TTRPGs, but it might not be your cup of tea if you’re not a fan of high fantasy.

City of Mist tabletop role-playing game cover in purple, black and white colors.

Suppose you are fans of noir atmospheres and characters struggling to maintain mundane lives while mysterious forces make themselves known. If you love characters who wield the powers of literal myths and legends while each game’s session resembles a weekly television episode, City of Mist might be the game you’re seeking.

You play in the titular City, where the mystic veil of the Mist hides the truth of the world: that ordinary people can awaken with the powers of legendary heroes, mythical monsters, folk tales and urban legends. However, not everyone in the City knows this truth.

Behind the Mist lurks dangerous individuals, corrupt organizations and secret lives. As a player, you build your character based on the collision of everyday life with the powers of a Mythos. For example, a musician who wields the powers of the Pied Piper or a comic book enthusiast who becomes a literal Good Luck Charm.

Some might grapple with the newfound responsibilities and temptations accompanying these powers, while others might embrace their new reality … it’s up to you to find balance.

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The game runs differently from more linear systems, which could be a refreshing take on leveled playstyles. Instead of growing stronger by gaining levels, characters evolve their abilities through gaining and losing power tags and improvements.

There’s no counting down from a hit point total, nor is there a constant worry about money or equipment loadouts. City of Mist is built for the theater of the mind, with storytelling taking the forefront to describe conditions, encounters and dramatic moments.

It’s a different feel from many settings that rely on leveling, adventuring and combat as primary gameplay. Players investigate mysteries and solve issues cropping up in the City whenever a powerful mythos messes with reality.

Conflicts can be solved with violence, but it can be rewarding to thwart an enemy’s plans through clever negotiation or a well-planned heist. The system rewards creativity and out-of-the-box thinking with your character’s mundane and mystical abilities.

Cover for City of Mist tabletop role-playing game.

Designed by Son of Oak Game Studio, City of Mist offers a highly detailed and in-depth collection of resources and easy-to-access game manuals that appeal to newcomers and TTRPG veterans. You can find game templates on Roll20 for online play and download PDF books from their main website. There are also active communities on Facebook, Discord and an official City of Mist subreddit to help find advice, tips, players and active games.

Son of Oak Game Studio recently ran a successful Kickstarter for a new mythic cyberpunk setting, Tokyo: Otherscape, for fans of cyberpunk aesthetics. You can subscribe to the City of Mist newsletter for updates to the game, announcements from the studio and more information on how the game works.

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