The Secret Tenth Case in Nights of Payne Town
At its core, City of Mist is a game about secrets. Whether you’re solving the case of a local murder or pursuing the inherent Mysteries of your mythos, your character will be spending most of their time searching for clues and finding answers. But what if I were to tell you there’s a huge secret hidden within Nights of Payne Town...so secret, you have to play through the whole book to uncover it?
In our previous video on Nights of Payne Town, we covered the nine public cases that you can play in the book. But there exists a secret tenth case. A case that flips everything on its head and uncovers secrets that have been present since the City of Mist Player’s Guide.
I’ll do my best to talk about this case without spoiling it completely. Even giving out the name of the case is dangerous enough. But if you’re like me and can’t help but delve further into mystery, then join me as we examine the secret tenth case, Percival.
What Is Percival?
The Percival case carries a lot of narrative weight in Payne Town. It’s the final case in the book and acts as the story that ties almost everything together. Unless your crew works to uncover its secrets, they will never know who is the figure standing behind the curtain, secretly running the show.
Yes, there is a secret mastermind. It wouldn’t be a City of Mist campaign without one!
Each case in Nights of Payne Town reveals a villain going about their own agendas to change the City. You might stumble upon serial killers, drug dealers, or mutant carnies with no apparent connection to each other. Indeed, these villains might not know each other and their goals may not even align. But there is something shared that connects them. Something that they may even share with the players’ themselves. Only by finding what they have in common can the crew hope to uncover the case.
How Do You Unlock Percival?
Percival is not a case you're expected to play in one shot. Instead, the clues for Percival are actually scattered across the City. Your crew won’t even know to investigate this case until the strange things they find start lining up.
So how does that work? Excluding the secret case, Nights of Payne Town has nine cases for your group to investigate. Each case can be played by itself, or as part of a greater story arc called a Vein. Each Vein is made up of three cases. There are three veins: the Personal Vein, the Mystical Vein, and the Criminal Vein.
What Percival does is connect the three Veins together. During each Vein, perceptive crews can find special clues, called Red Clues in the book, pointing toward a greater conspiracy. At the end of each Vein, the crew will have an opportunity to dig further and perhaps uncover something else.
In practice, this means that the Percival case is actually split up throughout the book. If you’re playing Nights of Payne Town as a full campaign, your crew will potentially be able to uncover a third of the case after each Vein. But be warned. There are figures in Payne Town who do not want you to find out what’s going on, and digging too far could have disastrous consequences for your character, crew, and the City at large.
What Else is in Percival
I’d love to help your crews out with the mystery, but unfortunately, I’m only able to reveal so much. What I can say is that Percival is an incredible case, one that includes new Dangers and new mechanics for really out-there concepts! It’s also a treasure trove of City of Mist lore that casts the events of Payne Town in an entirely new light.
But the most special part of Percival is its finale. If you play through all nine cases and truly work to figure out what’s going on, your crew will come face-to-face with the figure behind it all. It’s a grand moment that could end in violence or in peace.
The final villain of Payne Town won’t go down so easily. Your characters will not only need to confront the mastermind; they’ll need to confront the worst parts of themselves as well. Players who are coasting along and only adding a power tag to their themes once in a while will more than likely fall to this great force.
But those who delve into their characters by testing their Identities and pursuing their Mysteries just might have a chance at solving the case. At that moment, they’ll have the fate of the entire City in their hands.
Good luck on the dice rolls!
Nights of Payne Town is one of my favorite RPG campaign books, in part because it’s not afraid to play around with structure. Like I said before, you can play each case as a one-shot or play them as a Vein. But if you put in the time and solve every case, the book provides a climactic finale that your group will be talking about forever.
You can pick up Nights of Payne Town on the City of Mist website. We also have a special sale starting today on Nights of Payne Town bundles. If you want to pick up the greatest cinematic modern fantasy RPG, now’s the time to do it.
If you pick up the Into the Mist set, not only will you be getting the expansion Shadows & Showdowns, which includes new themebooks, Dangers, and lore. You’ll also be getting a large map of the City, complete with clues your crew can pin onto the map to help them solve the greater mystery of Payne Town.
Tell us about your crew’s favorite Nights of Payne Town moment! Let us know in the comments, on social media, or on the City of Mist Discord. Until then, have fun!