City of Myst

  • 8 Replies
City of Myst
« on: January 21, 2016, 09:49:34 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've been working for over a year on a PBTA game called City of Myst about super-powered individuals in a dark urban mystical setting. The two cool game mechanic elements that characterize the game:

1. It runs on roll+tags. The characters are basically lists of tags and the moves are powered by the number of relevant tags you use in a a move. This is a fusion of Apocalypse Engine with tag-based games, e.g. Lady Blackbird.

2. Status spectrums replace harm. Status combines a tag, often negative, with a tier. Whenever the tag applies to what you are doing, the tier acts as a penalty to your roll. The status spectrum is a nice way to merge different effects into one value ("Are they on the same spectrum?") and make the penalty stacking non-linear. I'll share more about that when the Alpha is out.

The Alpha release, due in the next few days, will include the core moves and mechanics and seven ready-made character playbooks (not archetypes but finished characters - the character creation is a whole 'nuther ballgame).

If you want to check out the game website for some more info -- it's at . I will post an update here when the Alpha docs are available for download.

For now - does anyone know of any other games/hacks working with the roll+tags mechanics that I can check out? What do you think about this direction?

Oh and check out some of the art our illustrator has been working on:



  • 138
Re: City of Myst
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 11:30:25 AM »
I just saw the new Suicide Squad trailer, and then I found this. Must be fate.

When you say super-powered, does that mean each character is predominately based around being a hero, and are they simply given these powers to do with as they will? I remember a PBTA hack recently were the moves, agenda and palybooks themselves were all geared entirely towards saving people, knocking out rather than killing villians, and generally being a traditional superhero. Is that going to be the case here?

Re: City of Myst
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 03:34:34 PM »
So the answer is: absolutely not.

City of Myst is not a game about superheroes. It's a game about super-powered street-level individuals and the inner struggle within them between a greater power trying to manifest through them and their personal lives and identity. It's all about the gray tones - not necessarily the dark tones - but the grays. Characters are complex and can have a variety of motivations which conflict not only with other character's motivations but with motivations within the same character. So players can choose to play any kind of character really.

The first showcase character we started sharing info about, Fire Salamander (seen in the above pic, link to post below), is a 'hero' in the sense that he's a good guy: he's kind, he's committed to helping the City, and in a way he's naive and traditional. That can get him into a lot of trouble in City of Myst. Most importantly, it's his personality, not a core theme of the game. The next few characters we'll elaborate on will clarify the game's direction by revealing more complexity.

Hope that answers the question :)

Alpha version is out
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 04:25:00 PM »
Here we go -- the alpha version is available on our website along with some nice art, check it out:

I'd very much appreciate any kind of feedback, from the concept down to the smallest detail.

Specifically, the roll+tags mechanic is pretty experimental and it would be great to get your thoughts on it. It's been going very well on playtests so far, but maybe that's because I was running all of them. Same goes for the status spectrums and Mythos\Logos mechanics.

If anyone is up for running a playtest, I will give you all the support you need. Contact me at .

Hope you enjoy the read!

Re: City of Myst
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 05:23:16 PM »
Anyone has some insight about the roll+tags mechanic?

Re: City of Myst
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 04:11:46 PM »
We just released more free content: "V for going Viral", City of Myst's first playable scenario ("Case"), tells the story of an infectious new evil that's plaguing the City. We also released the MC moves and principles, as well as a tracking sheet for the MC that helps follow the PC's motivations, a crucial component of the Mythos & Logos character development system.

Re: City of Myst
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 12:36:42 PM »
I notice this game is on Kickstarter in its final hours now. It appears to be a well-designed game, perhaps one of the best Apocalypse World hacks I've seen. I am a bit surprised by the use of an identifiable real world religion seemingly as a villain/anti-hero in one of its sample cases (mysteries) though. I remember how that sort of appropriation has caused backlash for tabletop RPGs from D&D in decades past all the way to Monte Cook's relatively recent "The Strange" RPG, which had a setting that used Native American beliefs. That aspect of the "City of Mist" setting caused me to cancel a $150 pledge. But it is worth taking a look at for those who like AW or Fate hacks. I'm impressed with it mechanically and artistically.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 12:42:10 PM by Wambly »

Re: City of Myst
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 01:04:17 PM »
Hi Wambly, this is Amít, creator of City of Mist.

I'm sorry that you felt that a real-world religion was being marked as the villain in the Case "Demons in Cross End". In my perspective, there are no villains in City of Mist, only agendas. Neither the 'Church' portrayed in the case nor the 'Demon' are good or evil; they are just stories trying to take place in the City (which is the premise of the game). To wit, some players have identified with the desperate actions of Christina, the main representative of the 'Church', while others though them morally wrong. This is exactly the type of morally gray story that City of Mist tries to tell, in accordance with its noir theme.

If anyone else wants to read the Case, it's free to download:

At any rate, Wambly, thank you for sharing the Kickstarter link and for the kind words -- 10 hours to go!

Re: City of Myst
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 02:02:38 PM »
Thanks for your response. I don't have a problem with the morally gray scenarios. But the depiction of the "Holy Faith" mythos has the superficial trappings of a real world religion (in powers of the paladin, Catholic church setting, etc.) yet appears to lack respect for core convictions of the implied religion (prohibition of human sacrifice, for one). This would be problematic whether it was the ambiance and feel of Islam or Buddhism that had been appropriated while their sensibilities were trespassed (imagine a bloodthirsty Buddhist-like mythos).

I do really like the mechanics and gameplay you've devised, but I hoped the core rules and setting of the game itself would limit example Mythos to myth, legend and fiction (while not preventing player additions otherwise) or at least respect the core of the present-day religions used in scenarios (they're not off limits). If it did or would, I'd not only pledge anew -- I would increase my pledge.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 05:14:50 PM by Wambly »