There is a lot of power in how you play City of Mist, especially if you're coming from something like Dungeons and Dragons. City of Mist is a narrative, cinematic TTRPG. You don't have stats here unlike any other TTRPG I've played. Instead, your character is made up of various "power tags" you create according to various themebooks. To make moves, you take any number of relevant tags and use them to make moves.
Change the Game seems the most "multipurpose" move. Most of the other moves have clear instances when you would use them. You can use it for so many things—to literally change the game! And, unlike the other moves, there's no mixed success (kind of). Rolling a 7 or higher nets you a good result, although a 10+ still gives better results in some instances.
You use Change the Game to heal, give your teammates positive buffs, give your enemies negative conditions, or—the infamous example from the City of Mist discord—create a kitchen knife.
Let's dive into some examples.
You may be wondering how to rejuvenate your character or the others in your crew. There is no dedicated "healing" move—though Montage (Downtime) can also help with healing by choosing the Recover from your last activity option.
For this example, let's say you are playing a character with a medical professional background with power tags such as
medical knowledge and
first-aid kit. Or perhaps you're playing a character who has
control over life and death and can
In both examples, you'll be rolling +2—you have two power tags, meaning you have a power of 2. We'll ignore positive or negative statuses or other story tags.
On a 6 or less, you've failed. Simple as that. Watch out or the MC could make it worse!
On a 7-9, you've rolled all you need to heal. For your success, you get Juice—a game resource that allows you to trade a point of Juice for an effect—equal to your Power. In this example, because you have a power of 2, you get 2 Juice. One of the options available in Change the Game is to Reduce a Status. You can reduce up to 2 tiers of statuses, using 1 Juice per tier. So, you can remove a
broken-arm-2 entirely or reduce two different statuses by 1 tier each. Similarly, you can remove a story tag.
On a 10+, you can do the exact same thing. You could also heal only 1 tier but spread that magic over multiple targets. Change the Game affects one target by default. But on a 10+ and using 1 Juice for the Scale up the effect option, you could provide your entire party with healing magic from one move!
Let's take a classic Dungeons and Dragons example here: a cleric with
helpful words. Alternatively, you might be an alchemist that can use
make weapons better.
Once again, a 6 or below is a failure. I wouldn't be surprised if an MC gives you
bad-advice-2 or an
On a 7-9, you have a few options. Whereas healing has no major limitations, now we come to the "mixed success" for Change the Game. A 7-9 does not provide lasting benefits—at least mechanically. These buffs are good for one roll and one roll only.
With a power of 2, you gain 2 Juice to create up to a single temporary tier 2 status or 2 temporary story tags. For example, you could create
guidance-from-above-2, or you could create
whispers from the gods and
godly advice story tags or statuses and give them to two people.
Similarly, you could create
metallic spiked bat and
sharp and pointy, or just a singular
alchemically-enhanced-2 applied to a weapon of your choice. All of those story tags and statuses are temporary, good for one roll. Now, depending on your MC, the buffs may last narratively beyond the roll, meaning your
metallic spiked bat may still exist after using the story tag but will provide no additional mechanical benefit.
On a 10+, you have a few more options, though it comes at the cost of Juice. If you prefer, this can function exactly like a 7-9. However, if you want lasting effects, you'll need to spend 1 Juice to make what you created ongoing.
With 2 Power, if you use one Juice for the ongoing effect, you can only create a tier 1 status or a single story tag. You can also use 1 Juice to spread the effect out over more than one target, similar to how you can heal the entire party.
This functions similarly to Buffs. I won't go into an in-depth example like above, but there are so many things that can count as debuffs such as
If you feel as if you don't have the power tags for a proper debuff, a good use for this move is to use either no tags—there is a rule where you get a minimum of 1 Juice regardless of your Power!—or something somewhat relevant to create
distracting statuses to boost your teammate's next move. This might also be a good way to give your teammate an opening for Hit With All You've Got.
I touched on this briefly in the Buff section. It's possible to create things using Change the Game. If you're rummaging through a discarded pile of tech, you could Change the Game to find something useful using tags like
eye for details and
know an item's worth. If you're evading pursuers in a high-speed car or foot chase, you Change the Game to create obstacles like
traffic jam or
Now, you only truly need to use Change the Game for mechanical bonuses. If you’re in the kitchen and want to grab a knife, there’s a good chance it’s already there so you can just narratively grab it. However, if you want a mechanical bonus, you’ll need to Change the Game. If you join the City of Mist discord, search "kitchen knife" or "pizza cutter." The conversation is mentioned at least once a month.
Let me know what move I should explain next!
And if you have yet to check out City of Mist, make sure you grab yourself a copy of the Player's Guide!
And if you need help creating your City of Mist character, check out these themekits: