City of Mist: The University

I’ve got something for your City of Mist campaign today, straight from my City of Mist game! I have a new character entering the fray who is a professor at the university in the Old Quarter and I thought it was worth fleshing out a little more.

Despite being a core feature of the City and a big part of many chapters in Nights of Payne Town (which Kickstarter backers are getting in chunks), the university doesn’t even have a name. I figure this is to allow you to customize it to your game… so that’s exactly what I did!

University of Saint Anthony ★★★★

The brick buildings and ivy lattices of the University of St. Anthony look like many other classic university campuses, but the grounds themselves are a Rift. As a crossroads of different forces in the City, the university channels the legend of Papa Legba who is a loa in Haitian Vodou responsible for mediating communication between worshippers and higher spirits. The University of Saint Anthony (a Catholic figure syncretized with Legba) fulfills a similar role for academics and students within the City and can help or hinder your goals depending on how you approach it.

For students, staff, and faculty at Saint Anthony’s, the campus’s influence protects them from outside meddling. They are free to push and pull at each other but someone coming from outside to mess with the business of the school finds road blocks at every turn. Like Legba, this hinderance can be appeased by sacrificing to the operations of Saint Anthony’s but trying to find a shortcut and cheat the system will end up badly in most cases. If visiting Rifts of truly thwarted by the university and put in their place they might spy a mischievous grin on the mouth of Tony, a bronze statue of a dog in the campus center which is beloved by the university community.

Mythos: Papa Legba  |  Logos: University in the Old Quarter

Disrupt Operations 5  |  Embroil in Scandal 3  |  Hurt or Subdue –

  • Brick and Mortar: The campus is not an entity that can be physically fought in the usual way. The university is immune to any attacks that are not large-scale damaging effects, and all other physical harm statuses are reduced in tier by 2.
  • Campus Security: As a hard move, a couple of campus security guards show up (use Beat Cops/Security Guards).
  • Crossroads to Guinee: When the university takes a status from a source that is inherently evil or dark, reduce the tier of the status by 2.
  • There Are Systems For This: When you try to circumvent the bureaucracy of the university, you are Taking the Risk.
  • University Attorneys: At the end of every downtime or as a hard move, the university can give you bad-publicity-2 or legal-red-tape-2, or create a new Danger to go after you (choose from City Official, reflavored as a university executive, or Corporate Lawyer).
  • Monolithic: At the end of the scene, remove any statuses on the university’s disrupt operations spectrum.
  • Academic Offerings: When you Investigate, Face Danger, or Convince a student or employee of the university while they are on campus, they have the story tags of institutional gatekeeping and university oversight which assist them. Likewise, any player characters who are students or employees benefit from these story tags when they Face Danger on campus. These story tags can only be removed with Change the Game involving a sacrifice to the university such as volunteering your time, buying university merchandise, or giving your information to a canvassing student.
  • Give you the run-around visiting offices (worn-down-3).
  • Student protest or campus tour coming at just the wrong moment (blocked-path-2).
  • Protect someone from harm (protected-2).
  • Banish someone, teleporting them to the edge of campus. Thereafter they have a status of marked-2 as campus security watches them, which can only be affected by offerings to the university.
  • “You’re going to need to fill out this other form too.”
  • “Do  you have a minute to hear about this cause?”

Dr. Herman Schild ★

The president of the University of Saint Anthony is an old man walks with a wooden cane and has an old-fashioned tweed jacket with elbow patches. A close examination, however, will show a sly twinkle in his eye and a quick mind despite his slow speech. For those who have puzzled out the Rift identity of the university grounds, he actually looks similar to some depictions of Papa Legba, though the truth is a little trickier.

Mythos: The Tortoise (Who Raced the Hare)  |  Logos: University President

Hurt or Subdue 3  |  Legally Bind 3  |  Scare 3

  • Secret Plans: When you spend a Clue to ask a question about Dr. Schild, the MC can choose to give answers that are fussy, incomplete, or part-true part-false (as in the 7-9 option of Investigate).
  • Slow and Steady: At the end of the scene, remove any statuses on Dr. Schild’s legally bind or scare spectra.
  • Convince someone to take a course of action (convinced-3).
  • Drone on to make you fuzzy-headed (sleepy-3)

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