Tabletop RPG design studio Son of Oak has had enormous success with City of Mist, a game that combines superhero action with a setting steeped in noir atmosphere and mythological magic. In fact, it’s so full of cool ideas that I put it in our list of the best alternatives to D&D.
It turns out, it’s been such a hit that the company’s decided to do a spin-off, called Legend in the Mist. It’s a fantasy game—out of the core book, it’s designed to be used with your choice of setting, but there’ll also be an original setting detailed in a separate expansion book called Hearts of Ravendale.
It’s a little odd to see the creators of one of the most distinctive settings around making a generic fantasy RPG—but Son of Oak says it’s “not another tactical fantasy D&D clone”, and certainly it does seem like the team will be putting their own stamp on the genre.
Mechanically, it’s following in the footsteps of City of Mist. That means that instead of numbers, your character is made out of tags—words and phrases that reflect who they are. One of those could be something like “Master of Fire Magic”, but equally it could be “Wide-Eyed Farmer”, and both would have equal ability to affect the story thanks to the narrative-driven mechanics.
One benefit of that approach is that it means characters of wildly different power levels in the fiction can stand on equal footing in the system—the tone of the game takes inspiration from Lord of the Rings, where the humble hobbit characters drive the story just as much as the far more skilled Gandalf and Aragorn. Unlikely heroes going from zero to hero will be a core theme, with characters growing and changing dramatically based on how they lean into either their Origin or their Greatness tags (similar to the struggle between embracing humanity or the supernatural in City of Mist).
The result is what Son of Oak call “rustic fantasy”, hoping to create “the feeling of an old fireside tale” in play. The gorgeous art certainly gets that vibe across—we’ll just have to see if that’s enough for Legend in the Mist to stand out from countless other fantasy TTRPGs when it launches on Kickstarter in February.