City of Mist in Action #1: Alley Fight
Hello everyone! If you’re a fan of this channel, you’ve probably seen our videos on How To Run City of Mist Combat and other Combat Tips. Today, we’re putting those tips into practice and running a full combat demo so you can see what it’s like when legends fight on the City streets.
For today’s demo, we’ll be using a situation straight out of the City of Mist Starter Box. To fill out the standard RPG dynamic of a beefy tank, sneaky rogue, and mystic mage, our crew will have three Rifts: Job, the man who literally cannot die; Tlaloc, the con man who can turn into water and sneak anywhere he wants; and Lily Chow, the punk runaway with the sorcerer spirit Iron Hans by her side.
Let’s begin. Our investigators are walking down an alleyway in Miller’s Square. Suddenly, they see two mob enforcers ahead of them mugging a local shopkeep. With no time to lose, our crew jumps into action.
There’s no initiative mechanic in City of Mist, so the MC decides which player takes the spotlight first. Job is the first one to know what he wants to do, so the MC decides he’ll go first.
As a player, it’s more important to think about what you want to do in a narrative sense rather than a mechanical sense. You don’t want to say “I want to Go Toe to Toe”. Instead, you want to describe what your character does cinematically, and your MC will tell you what Move you need to roll.
In this case, Job wants to get in between the shopkeep and the mobster currently grappling him. As he rushes into the fray, the MC tells him to roll Go Toe to Toe. Job looks at the power tags on his character sheet and decides he’ll use punch out their lights and nothing left to lose, giving him a Power of 2.
Job rolls an 8, bringing his total roll to a 10. A complete success! Job can now choose two of the Go Toe to Toe options. He can ‘achieve his goal’, in this case saving the shopkeep. He can hit the mobster and give them a status. Or he can dodge the inevitable counterattack. Since Job doesn’t care about his own safety, he’ll choose to punch the enforcer and save the shopkeep. Since his Power is 2, the status he deals is tier 2. The player chooses punched-2.
Let’s take a look at the Danger profile. The Underworld Enforcer has a Hurt or Subdue spectrum of 3, meaning a tier 3 status can take them down. But these enforcers have been drinking Olympian Ambrosia, so they have a custom move that reduces legendary damage by 1 and mundane damage by 2. After telling the PC’s these enforcers look tougher than normal, Job’s mundane punched-2 status is revealed to have no effect.
Dangers don’t have their own turns, but they can react off of a PC’s turn. You can check out our MC Moves and Using Dangers videos for more details on that. In this situation, because Job did not choose to prevent the counterattack, the mobster is going to react by smacking Job with a crowbar, dealing broken-arms-3.
To defend himself, Job is now going to Face Danger. This is the reflexive defense move for whenever you’re about to receive a status you can somehow resist or avoid. He uses the power tags ...but you can’t take my life and soul and endure any punishment for a Power of 2. He rolls a 7, bringing his total to a 9. A mixed success. Joe blocks the blow as best he can, reducing a broken-arm-3 status into a bruised-2.
Job’s had his moment in the spotlight to do something cool, so now Tlaloc wants to go next. Unlike his more straightforward friend, Tlaloc wants to catch these goons by surprise. To do that, he’s going to turn himself into water and slip behind them for a sneak attack.
This Move is going to be Sneak Around. For his power tags, Tlaloc chooses turn myself into water, travel between bodies of water, and flow through narrow spaces. With a Power of 3, a roll of 8 quickly turns into 11. A complete success! Turning into a puddle, Tlaloc quickly slips down a nearby sewer drain and reappears out of one directly behind the thugs.
The MC can now decide whether to keep the spotlight on Tlaloc for him to finish his sneak attack or move on to someone else. To keep the fight moving quickly, the MC turns the spotlight over to Lily Chow.
Lily decides she wants to help her friends. Using Iron Hans's ability to conjure fantastical creatures or objects plus his knowledge of the arcane arts, Lily decides to give Job a weapon to defend himself. Since she’s using her abilities to give someone an advantage, she’s rolling to Change the Game.
However, the MC decides to activate one of Lily’s weakness tags before she rolls. To use Iron Han’s abilities, Lily must summon him by calling his name three times, meaning she can’t do this quickly and she might not be able to act in time to help Job. The weakness tag gives a -1 to her roll, but she also gets to mark one Attention on her Sorcerer Supreme theme.
Lily rolls an 8 with a Power of 1, bringing her to a 9. With 1 Power she gains 1 Juice and spends it to create a spectral boxing glove story tag and give it to Job. Because this is a tag created from the Change the Game move with a 7-9 outcome, the glove is temporary and can only be used once. If she had gotten a complete success and chose to Prolong the Effect, then the glove could be used for longer.
Now Job is not only mad, but he also truly fears for the life of the shopkeep. The player suggests invoking his other power tag the congregation and the MC agrees. Using the spectral boxing glove as well, he attacks the thug in front of him for another Go Toe to Toe with 4 tags. However, Job is also bruised-2, which reduces his total Power to 2. Job rolls a total of 11 and decides to get them good and block their counterattack. Job’s tier 2 punch breaks through the enforcer’s mythical status filter, but it’s still not enough to take them out of the fight.
The MC chooses this time to make a soft move, which can be made between player turns, in order to Complicate Things. As Job is busy with one enforcer, the other enforcer is seen pulling out a gun and aiming at Job.
Thankfully, the crew has Tlaloc, who decides to shoot lightning at the mobsters. Because he took the time to Sneak Around and get in a good position, instead of Going Toe to Toe, Tlaloc is going to Hit With All You’ve Got, which has more options and a guaranteed status given on a success.
Using the power tags call upon a storm, thunderbolt manipulation, and electrifying gaze, Tlaloc rolls a 7 for a total of 10. This allows him to deal a tier-3 status with two upgrades. Tlaloc chooses to avoid a counterattack and to get the mobster with the gun good, adding +1 tier to his damage. Now dealing a tier-4 status, Tlaloc hits the enforcer with a lightning-struck-4 status. Even with the filter, the mobster takes shocked-3 to his hurt-or-subdue spectrum, knocking him out of the fight!
With his buddy fried and a priest trying to hit him with a ghost fist, the remaining enforcer flees the scene out of fear.
There’s a lot of different ways that fight could have gone, especially if Detective Enkidu or Baku from the Starter Box were also on the case. In any case, we hope this demo helps you confront the legends lurking in the City of Mist.
Until next time, let us know what you think in the comments, on social media, or on the City of Mist Discord. Until then, have fun!