City of Mist Characters – Introduction

So a while back I wrote about the fantasy-noir PbtA game called City of Mist. I still have this game on my list of long-term campaigns but now that it has a new campaign book on Kickstarter it seems like the time to revisit this awesome game and give it the attention it deserves. In order to explore the possibilities of this game, I’m going to go through the process of world- and character-creation for the campaign that I’d happily launch tomorrow, players pending.

I was searching around for inspiration for a City of Mist campaign until I found the amazing Modern Disney Princesses gallery by the amazing Fernanda Suarez. Blame it on listening to so much Get Hype and Warda but just like Aly Grauer I’m really interested in reimagining Disney movies from my childhood through the lens of adulthood.

Series Concept

Starting on a City of Mist campaign involves some collaborative worldbuilding to create just what The City is and what sort of story you are telling. The city for this campaign is Park City (like theme park? yeah?) which is a fictional city somewhere on the U.S. east coast. It’s got a real Boston vibe since I’m familiar with that city but it could be anywhere from Virginia to Maine. We’ll leave that vague for now… and possibly forever since one of the conceits of City of Mist is that none of the main characters ever leave the city.

Eventually in an extended campaign the rest of the city might be fleshed out but the focus of this particular campaign will be Belleview. This neighborhood has been a trendy, artsy place for a while and home to communes and coffee shops since at least the 60s. Lately, though, it has been the site of a new artisan/organics grocery store called Stone Market. It’s a national chain but this is the first store that Park City has seen and people are crazy about it. The prices are higher but it hits all the right notes with millennials and hipsters so it’s actually driving out some locally owned stores in Belleview.

More worryingly to our heroes, though, is the fact that Stone Market seems to be growing. Not getting more popular, although it is by the day, but actually getting bigger. It was a small store when it opened but every time the main characters stop by it has a new set of windows or a new door or it’s taken over the shop next to it. No one else in the city sees anything weird, of course, and they just talk about the store’s amazing produce. The cult-like brand loyalty that people are showing combined with the personal affront of ruining their home means that the characters in this campaign have a vested interest in taking this place down.

City of Mist - The Girls
Images by Fernanda Suarez

The Characters

I’m going to outline a group of characters for this campaign over the next few weeks but here’s a quick rundown of who they all are.

  • The heart of the group, if there is one, is Alexis Liddell the proprietor of Mad Hatter Tea Co. in Belleview. This is one of the shops hit by the growing popularity of Stone Market, but more importantly it’s a meeting place for a group of Rifts and that spells trouble for whoever is behind the strange shop.
  • Alexis’s business partner lives with Anna Rose, a veterinary grad student at Park City University. She’s often at the cafe studying and is knowledgeable about plenty of topics from science and literature to the Mists themselves.
  • Heather Dunbroch has gone through plenty of jobs in her day (she has a habit of getting fired due to her short temper) and her latest for the past few years is as a barrista at Mad Hatter Tea Co. She’s a formidable warrior and often pulls her fellow Rifts out of trouble.
  • Lastly, Ophelia Calume-Harris is Alexis’s childhood friend who moved to Park City recently and reconnected. She worked as a barrista at the cafe for a bit when she first came to town but now she has her own business as a graphic artist.

We’ll be looking at all four members of the Gang in upcoming weeks, as well as their enemies! Stay tuned for background information, character sheets, and the design process for these PCs, which you can freely steal for your own City of Mist games.

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