In celebration of the City of Mist Core Book PDF becoming available (, or drivethrurpg) here’s a third and final favourite sidebar from the book. This one is from Chapter 2: Who Are You?, with a piece of advice about absolute power vs. narrative power.

Full disclosure: I am the editor for the book, and this is of course posted with Amit’s (the creator) blessing. The art is from the book as well.

Demigods and Street Cleaners: Absolute Power Level vs. Narrative Power Level

Depending on the balance of Mythos and Logos in their themes, the characters in your crew could range anywhere between a simple Touched street cleaner who is only beginning to open up to his Mythos powers and an almighty demigod Legendary who boasts various mythical powers, with little to hold him down. At a first glance, this may seem like a potential imbalance among the lead characters and their abilities.

That may have been true if the City of Mist rules revolved around absolute power measurements. From that perspective, the demigod is far more powerful than the awakening street cleaner and could therefore achieve much more. However, the City of Mist rules deal with narrative power, the power to influence the story. Think of stories where heroes incredibly weaker than the challenges they face still manage to overcome them and reach their goal. The heroes often don’t have the sheer power of their opponents but they have other qualities or abilities that allow them to prevail over adversity. Those qualities receive the same airtime as the incredible powers they are pitted against. While they seem to be weaker in absolute terms, they in fact have the same power to change the course of the story.

In City of Mist, power tags are the currency of narrative power because they improve your chances to succeed in making moves that influence the story. Mythos and Logos themes have the same number of power tags (three, to start with) and therefore all the lead characters at the beginning of the game have the same number of power tags and the same narrative power, regardless of whether they are Touched, Borderliners, or Legendaries.

While the descriptions of their power tags may vary, the so-called demigods and street cleaners player characters in City of Mist are not all that different: they have the same capacity to steer the course of the game. Some do so with a green poisonous ray they shoot out of their glowing third eye while others use their reliable broom and a heart of gold, but their narrative power is the same.

City of Mist is a cinematic detective role-playing game, set in a city inspired by neo-noir comic books and TV shows, where ordinary people channel characters from myths, legends, and fairy-tales, gaining supernatural powers at the cost of their humanity.