Logos Themebooks in City of Mist TTRPG
Last week, we talked about the Mythos themebooks that give your Rifts their legendary powers. But a character isn’t just super strength and laser eyes. The life your character lives in the City is just as important as it sets the foundation for who they are, where they come from, and why they do what they do.
The Logos themebooks in City of Mist take the more mundane aspects of your Rift and makes them core parts of your character sheet with mechanical benefits. They also create the opportunity to play out more relatable and human conflicts. Sure, you defeated the werewolf terrorizing 4th St., but did you make it in time to your daughter’s recital? The more Logos themes you have, the more gritty and defined your character becomes.
One more thing to mention is that Logos power tags are just as powerful as Mythos power tags. You get the same +1 to your Power when invoking a mundane revolver Logos tag as you do from a fire-breathing Mythos tag; they’re just useful in different ways. Sometimes your villains will be impervious to mundane weapons, other times they can snuff out Mythos powers or are impervious to all but your personal charm.
There are seven Logos themebooks in the City of Mist Player’s Guide, and today we’re going over all of them.
We’ve all heard the origin stories. A child’s parents are shot down in an alley and the child swears to fight crime from then on. Or perhaps in City of Mist, a mysterious ghost possessed YOU to commit the terrible crime that night. Whatever moment changed your character forever, you can create it in the Defining Event themebook.
The Defining Event Power Tag questions focus first on the strong emotions your character has held onto from that moment before moving on to what else they’ve gained. The event could be a moment of intense trauma or, conversely, great enlightenment. Either way, your character carries the past with them, and that could come with a unique philosophy, unlikely allies, or even an important object from long ago.
The Defining Event Theme Improvements can bring in new Power Tags from your former life and make it harder for people to delve into your past. What’s interesting to me, though, is how these theme improvements can also create different storylines for your character’s personal growth. Is your character Over It and now actively working to put the event behind them? Or are they Getting Good at This and becoming comfortable with who they are now?
As you play through the game, you get to choose if the Defining Event truly defines your character. But if you want to focus on your character’s past, give them a clear motivation in the present, and perhaps give your MC something to use in the future, this is the themebook for you.
The Defining Relationship themebook makes it clear that there’s someone or some group that is very important in your character’s life. Who’s Achilles without Patroclus? Who’s Luke Skywalker without Obi-Wan? Your character is more than a lone wolf, and has come to depend on the people around them. Be careful though, because they may come to depend on you as well.
Defining Relationship Power Tag questions spell out the emotional and social benefits you gain from this bond, whether it be what you’ve learned from your time with them to who you can call on when the going gets tough. Investigative reporter Lance Sullivan is a Rift of the knight Don Quixote, so who would he be without his Sancho Panza by his side?
Defining Relationship Theme Improvements give you even more benefits from being with the object of your relationship, like combat bonuses from being Back-to-Back. Who’s the Boss is a fascinating improvement because it aids you when you’re going against your relationship. If you need to hide your magical life from your family, it’s probably best if you power up Sneak Around!
From a writer’s perspective, one of the best ways to present your character is to have another character they can bounce off of. From an MC’s perspective, it’s always great when a PC has a favorite NPC that you can put in mortal danger!
If your character has a goal they’ll work tirelessly to achieve, then the Mission themebook is right up their alley. Your character’s Mission fuels everything they do. Is there a conspiracy board in their office to deduce the identity of the Crimson King? Or perhaps they’ve sworn an oath to a broader Mission, one of protecting the City or seeking out monsters?
Mission Power Tag questions give whatever tools and expertise your character needs to move toward your goal. This has the obvious benefit of making it easier for your character to complete their objectives. However, they can also make your character too focused. Your character may be the best assassin in the world like Post-Mortem, but that may not help in a situation that doesn’t call on tracking and killing people.
Mission Theme Improvements give you excellent benefits when you and the people around you are pursuing your Mission. Gung Ho is the most obvious one, giving you a gung-ho-1 status to add to any actions you take toward your next objective. While I could see this rule being exploited by a player who tries to make absolutely everything about their mission, note that your character marks Crack whenever they complete their next milestone, making this an improvement that could lead to your character replacing this theme sooner rather than later.
What drives your character forward? What is your character once their Mission is complete? Can their Mission ever truly be completed? These are all questions you’ll contend against within this themebook.
The Personality themebook puts your character’s unique quirks front-and-center. This themebook is the bread-and-butter for social characters and makes your appearance and people skills as useful as any superpower.
Personality Power Tag questions identify the core of your character’s nature and how it can be utilized. Is your character a socialite who can put on a mask for any occasion? Or perhaps they’re a quiet observer, well-versed in reading peoples’ intentions?
Personality Theme Improvements give you bonuses when putting yourself out there and being unapologetic about who you are. That said, the improvement Reinvent Myself allows you to replace this theme with a whole new Personality theme if you want, losing your previous power tags in the process but keeping the character development and Build-Up points from your past perspective on life.
If you want your character’s personality to be another tool at their disposal, this themebook is for you.
Some say the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys, and the Possessions themebook wholeheartedly agrees. Your character has a suite of objects at their disposal, whether it’s an outfitted conspiracy van, a junior detective’s kit, or maybe even just a bunch of guns. Or if you’re like Excalibur, your Possessions can be piles of money and the power that comes with it! I like to call this the “Utility Belt” theme because it’s all about your hero having the right tool in hand.
The Possessions Power Tag questions are simpler than most. Rather than going into deep, emotional concepts, the power tag questions have you list out what objects you have at your disposal and the different ways you can use them.
The Possessions Theme Improvements give you options to gain new possessions as temporary tags and prolong how they’re used. If you don’t mind sharing your stuff, Quartermaster also allows other characters to use your Possessions power tags, creating an excellent support role for your character.
This themebook is all about utility and can be used to enhance any part of the game, whether it’s investigation, combat, or sneaking around. These Possessions are still objects though, so be sure not to lose them!
Sometimes you have to take time off solving mysteries to go to your dayjob, which is where the Routine themebook comes into play. Your character can have a job or go to school without this theme, but choosing Routine makes the activity you spend so much time on an important part of your character.
Routine Power Tag questions are where you can define what your character does with their time, whether it’s their job, their political career, or even their life as a homeless bum. Whatever it is, they’ve picked up a few things including skills, tools, and information.
Routine Theme Improvements give you benefits to anything you do related to your routine, representing the skills you’ve gained from practice. Good Memory is an interesting improvement for investigation, as it allows you to risk your secrets and well-being for additional Clues. It makes me think of a cop or a journalist digging too deep and risking exposure, which is always fun to play out.
If you want to spend time exploring what your character does outside of mystery-solving, the Routine themebook is for you.
Our final Logos themebook for today is Training. You don’t have to be Liam Neeson to have a unique set of skills, as this themebook turns your character’s specialized Training into the power tags they need to get the job done. For those of you used to classic RPGs, Training is the themebook to represent your Skills.
Training Power Tag questions have you name your character’s best skill and then specialize it from there. Is your character an expert getaway driver like Baby New, or maybe a hard-boiled detective like Enkidu?
Training Theme Improvements make it so the more you’re in your element, the more benefits you gain. Broad Training lets you expand your expertise and create a temporary story tag, like remembering the Spanish courses you took in college. Expert Advice puts you in a mentor role and lets other players use your power tags (provided you could reasonably teach them).
Just like with Mission, the more specialized you make your tags, the more you trade off Power for versatility. But when all hell breaks loose, you’ll be glad your character took those kickboxing classes (and tags) when they could.
City of Mist is often a game about balancing your magical life with your mundane life. Without any Logos themes, your character becomes consumed by their legend, losing their identity and turning into a dangerous Avatar as a result. When choosing your Logos themes, go beyond what power tags could be most useful and think about who your characters are as people. Because at the end of the day, no matter what they can summon or how much they can lift, that’s who they are. People.
What’s your favorite Logos themebook? What’s an interesting life your character has led? Let us know on social media or on the City of Mist Discord.