Nights of Payne Town: A City of Mist TTRPG Story Arc Book
For every Master of Ceremonies with a busy schedule (myself included), pre-written adventures are a great way to take care of most of the legwork in planning a session. In the past, I’ve mentioned the adventure Shark Tank, which is available in the City of Mist Starter Box. But today I’ll be talking about the new campaign book for the City of Mist tabletop RPG, Nights of Payne Town.
With the release of Nights of Payne Town comes nine pre-written cases for your crews to investigate. Each case can be played (and bought) individually, giving you nine separate one-shots. But as with all things City of Mist, there are hidden connections. Each case is also written as part of a greater story, which you can play in separate 3-case story arcs called Veins. If you decide to play all of them as one BIG story, Nights of Payne Town includes a secret tenth case to tie them all together.
I’ll be dancing around the details as I go more in depth into the book but, as a fair warning, there are minor spoilers ahead.
THE PERSONAL VEIN
Each Vein is made up of three cases within Nights of Payne Town, with each Vein dealing with its own themes and motifs. The Personal Vein consists of the cases Killing Her Softly, Carnival of Machines, and Broken Glass. A murder mystery revolving around a distraught jazz singer and her hooded stalker leads the crew down a troubled path. Soon they will find themselves in dark alleyways, abandoned fairgrounds, and an asylum with a secret.
These cases are the closest to a classic noir style, with traditional murder mysteries and a gallery of characters with haunted pasts. The Personal Vein focuses more on individuals rather than the whole City and deals with questions of emotional overload, mental health, and the nature of hatred. There are also quite a few Dangers who are just waiting to tug at your heart strings until they snap.
THE MYSTICAL VEIN
But maybe you want to delve more into the magical nature of the Mist. The Mystical Vein in Nights of Payne Town consists of the cases The Furnace, Cult of the God King, and The Alchemist. A new drug called Candy has hit the streets, and it’s said to make your wildest dreams come true. Those who follow the trail of clues get pulled into a mystery of gingerbread zombies, magic cults, and yokai Yakuza.
These cases are for the urban fantasy lovers who want to dig deep into the mystical Mist that permeates the city streets. While facing a cult obsessed with a twisted transcendence, perhaps your crew will come into their own transformation? Or perhaps, if they’re not careful, they may lose their powers altogether.
THE CRIMINAL VEIN
The third Vein in Nights of Payne Town is The Criminal Vein, which runs through the cases Albion Awakens, Home is Where the Heart is, and The Streets Bleed Neon. Factions rise and gangs clash as a battle for the City’s streets rages on. Investigate the front line and you’ll find gangs of biker knights, terrifying monsters, and a war that threatens to destroy the City for good.
The Criminal Vein is for fans of crime dramas and takes a larger perspective on the communities within the City while also focusing on the people who seek power with them. Following this Vein will have your crew ally with one of Payne Town’s factions as they answer a very important question. In the immortal words of Rihanna, who’s gonna run this town tonight?
I won’t go into the tenth case, as it’s meant to be a culmination of the previous three veins. What I can say is that if you play the entirety of Nights of Payne Town as one big storyline, there are clues hidden throughout every adventure that tie it all into one fulfilling finale. Be warned, as by the end of the campaign, the crew will become permanently changed.
You can purchase the Nights of Payne Town campaign book on the City of Mist website, or you can buy the cases individually. When you pre-order Nights of Payne Town in print, coming tis July, you get the PDF download instantly. Son of Oak Studios has also recently announced a Deck of Legends add-on, with 40 beautifully-illustrated Danger cards you can use in Payne Town. If you purchase the Into the Mist set, which includes the expansion Shadows & Showdowns, you also get a crime board map of the City with pinnable clues to help your crew follow the investigation.
What Nights of Payne Town cases have you run? Tell us your favorite moment! Let us know on social media or on the City of Mist Discord. And please be sure to mark your spoilers for those who haven’t played it.
Until then, have fun!