Legend in the Mist: Your Newest Narrative TTRPG?

Written by Alex Fairweather 

The crows caw high in the pines. The hills are awash with strange colours. The wind is howling and moaning in unrecognisable tones. Creatures of the night crawl from whence they hide. And you, a measly villager, must grab your sword, saddle your backpack, and send out on the adventure of a lifetime. What will you find, and how will you change, as you become a Legend in the Mist?

The TTRPG field has been swamped recently with a vast number of new games, many of which have been coined “Dungeons and Dragons clones”. These games are often based on the classic “d20” system, where randomness is generated by rolling a twenty-sided die, combined with a core of six statistics that govern your character’s skills. This formula has worked excellently for the likes of Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder, but this is a model that seems to be tiring for many veteran TTRPG players. But Son of Oak has come to our rescue, first with City of Mist and now with Legend in the Mist, both boasting revolutionary new mechanics to fuel wholly new stories and adventures.

Starting in 2017 with City of Mist, Son of Oak Game Studios introduced the world to their Tag-based system. Rather than presenting the players with a series of pre-determined powers to choose from, this Noir Detective game gives the player questions to answer. Their answers become power or weakness tags, which add or subtract to a dice roll to give an outcome. This method of generating abilities creates a unique way to craft characters, with no two characters being the same. The tag-based system also allows for a greater amount of flexibility within the narrative, as players can explain their useful powers, letting them influence the story in new ways. The City of Mist continues to use the Powered by the Apocalypse style of giving the GM moves to make without having to roll, truly pushing the Noir narrative the games wish to tell.

So how does Legend in the Mist differ? 

Well, whilst City of Mist has a selection of actions that the players can take, similar to Monster of the Week or other Powered by the Apocalypse systems, Legend in the Mist removes them. These actions would require a successful roll and would allow players to discover something new, inflict a status or similar benefits, and failing would give the GM the chance to take a soft or hard move against the players. In Legend in the Mist, Son of Oak took away the idea of actions and replaced it with simply requiring a roll, adding or subtracting the number of power or weakness tags that are relevant. If the roll succeeds, players can spend their power on a number of different effects, including “Attack”, “Create”, “Enhance”, “Bestow”, “Set Back” or “Discover”, all of which allow the GM and the players to craft the narrative into the story they wish to tell.

Sadly, any of those out there who wish to get their hands on Legend in the Mist will have to wait, as the Kickstarter only just ended on the 8th of March (raising $855,686, blowing their $50,000 target out of the water). With funds seventeen times more than the requirement, the game should be ready by March 2025. Whilst you won’t be able to help fund this exciting new game, you can keep updated on its progress on the Kickstarter page.

In the meantime, why not play City of Mist, or the upcoming TOKYO :Otherscape, Son of Oak’s take on the Neo-Tokyo setting? Both games embrace the use of mythology and mythos, bringing gods and cryptids to city streets. City of Mist is about solving mysteries and apprehending criminals and TOKYO :Otherscape is focused on fighting the state and the ever-oppresive Noise.

So, go out there and brave the mists, embrace the call to adventure and, most importantly, roll some dice!

Written by Alex Fairweather, Edited by Chloe Hayler, Photography by Paige TamasiPublished by Paige Tamasi.