5 Random Encounters in City of Mist TTRPG
Random encounters are a staple of many different TTRPG’s. If done right, these small moments can help flesh out the world and give players a quick bit of fun outside of the main plot. But ironically enough, if the MC just throws a random Danger at the crew without thinking about what it is, it can feel like an unwanted interruption or, even worse, a complete tone-breaker.
That’s why in today’s video, we’ll be going over 5 random encounters that are built to be plugged into almost any City of Mist campaign. These encounters are ‘random’ in that they’re separate from the main case, and MC’s can prepare them ahead of time or roll for one randomly. Let’s start with–
#1. The Street Race
You can place this encounter any time your crew is driving from place to place. As they wait for a stoplight to turn green, describe a spruced up hot rod driving up next to them and then narrate the driver staring at the crew while they rev their engine three times. If the crew revs back, the race is on!
For this encounter, use the Getaway Vehicle Danger Profile from the MC Toolkit. This profile is great for mundane street racers, and you can add story tags like flaming wheels or chariot of the gods for an extra magical flair. You can also check out the NPC Nula Dawg from the Fortune Row district for some cool racing tags.
You can resolve the street race in a single roll of Take the Risk if you want the race to be quick, or you can rebrand the Getaway Vehicle’s catch or outrun spectrum to simply outrace for a more involved encounter.
This encounter works great for PC’s who are getaway drivers, gearheads, or crews who just can’t back down from a challenge. Bonus points if they have a car in their Possessions theme or the Ride extra themebook! What this encounter does best is give those PC’s who invest in their vehicles a chance to really have fun with their toys. We cover how to run races in more depth in our City of Mist In Action video on chase scenes, so be sure to check that out for more tips.
#2. Attack of the Skoonies
The City of Mist has many gangs, both big and small. A lot of times these gangs end up being the main focus of a case with a hidden figure controlling them at the top, but sometimes a street gang is just a street gang. Still trouble, but just enough to make for a single fun encounter.
One such gang is the Skoonies. These small, spiky miscreants are goblin-like rifts of the Native American Pukwudgies and they spend most of their time decorating sewers and alleyways with whatever they can get their hands on. Because they count the whole city as their turf, it can be really easy for a crew to accidentally stumble across them and make them mad, especially if they disturb some of their ‘urban landscaping’.
This encounter can go one of two ways. If the crew gets in a fight with the Skoonies, they’ll have to deal with the Skoonies’ ability to vanish out of thin air and then ambush the crew with poison-tipped arrows. The crew can also try to reason with the Skoonies, but they usually prefer to communicate through high-pitched giggles and screeches, so good luck with that.
You can find the Skoonies Danger Profile in the story arc book Nights of Payne Town. While the Skoonies hold a special place in my heart, you can also run a small street gang encounter with the Horned Snakes or the Undercity Spirits, both of which are found in the expansion Shadows & Showdowns.
#3. Superhero Showdown
City of Mist derives much of its aesthetic from noir films, which we touched on in our Playing a Noir Game video, but another large inspiration for the City of Mist TTRPG is superhero comic books. In a gray world of crime and mystery, it can be really fun to shake things up with a superhero in brightly-colored spandex.
To run this encounter, wait for when some or all of the crew is going about a regular day in the city. Then, break the peace as two people in masks start fighting each other, superpowers at full blast! You can make it clear who’s the supervillain and superhero, but you can also throw in a bit of mystery. When a gargoyle and a masked luchadora start throwing hands, who do the crew help? And if they can’t tell who’s in the right, do they even get involved?
This kind of encounter expands the City in a way that lets the crew know they’re not the only “main characters” running around with superpowers. Depending on their actions, the crew can also make powerful allies with a superhero that can then help them in the main case. There are a few traditional superheroes in the City of Mist you can use for this encounter, including the Gargoyle found in the MC Toolkit, La Aguila de Plata in the expansion district La Colonia de Sombras, and Moonwraith found in the case Cult of the God-King, in the Nights of Payne Town story arc book. But if superhero comics have taught us anything, it’s that anyone can be a hero, especially if you use any of the power sets found in the MC Toolkit to create your own.
#4. The Troll Booth
We’re getting back in the car and taking a shortcut for this next random encounter. Troll Booths are put up all around the city and allow for access to a special ‘troll road’ that cuts right across town. But convenience is almost never free. Each of these booths is manned by a large troll, who can change the toll to whatever they want at the current moment.
Mechanically, the Troll Booths can get the crew where they need to go as fast as possible, and can even get them out of a dangerous chase. It also makes the crew flex their negotiation skills, unless they want to try shaking down a ten-foot tall troll. Honestly though, I just think they’re hilarious and they’re an excellent fit for the magical-meets-mundane worldbuilding of City of Mist.
You can find the Troll Booths Danger Profile in the expansion Shadows & Showdowns. Here’s a quick disclaimer though: If you play a troll that asks for a toll, there’s a 90% chance your players will start singing in a Danny DeVito voice.
Our last random encounter puts the emphasis on random. One of the most powerful Rifts in the City of Mist is a lone drifter named Alice. This hitchhiker can be found wandering the streets of the City and taking in the sights like any tourist. But it’s when those sights are the lights and sounds of nightclubs and raves that things get a little…trippy.
In truth, Alice is a powerful reality bender who can unwittingly turn everything around her into complete pandemonium. Logic, proportion, and the laws of physics all evaporate for as long as she’s tripping out. And when the crew gets caught in the middle, things can get even more weird.
This encounter is perfect for MC’s who want to stretch their descriptive skills and narrate scenes that are truly psychedelic. Because literally anything can happen in this pandemonium, creative MC’s can also tailor these hallucinations into visions that trigger Mysteries and Identities in the PC’s. If the crew hangs out with Alice long enough, they can become permanently changed.
For MC’s who want to go through the looking glass, you can find Alice’s Danger profile in the MC Toolkit.
If you think this kind of video was helpful, let us know in the comments and we’ll see about making even more random encounter videos in the future. And while you’re there, tell us about a memorable random encounter you ran in your own City of Mist game.
Until next time, have fun!