10 January 2016

City Of Mists: Characters And Campaigns

City Of Mists: Introduction
City Of Mists: The Law
City Of Mists: The Departments
City Of Mists: The Infrastructure

There are many stories that can be told in the City Of Mists—episodic series, with each session being its own story with independent plot, extended story arcs, or mix of those, individual episodes with elements of greater metaplot interwoven with unrelated events.

Criminal Investigators

City Of Mists as a state has a terrible weakness, it lacks local institutions of higher education and law enforcement academy, having to rely on foreigners and immigrants for the much needed professional knowledge. While uniform services can rely on on-job training and former military experience, investigation and forensics are much less forgiving trades. This makes Department of Justice hire cast-offs of law enforcement agencies from all over the world, often overlooking flaws, vices, violent past, and darker secrets... The loose nature of the local law and procedures leaves them a lot of room to accommodate... Or descent deeper into corruption. Failed medical practitioners and forensics technicians are highly valued too, even if they lost their licenses elsewhere.

In some aspects criminal investigations here are quite anachronistic, mixing style and methods of law enforcement of American fifties, sixties, seventies, with a sprinkling of 21st century technology. Often on lease from a helpful friendly corporation with no strings attached. At other times they need to rely on help from other departments, which is always costly. On the other hand, all departments are always happy to divert extra work to someone else—each department tries to get for themselves cases that might bring prestige and gratitude of corporations and pass the responsibility for less glamorous ones to a different department. Thankfully, criminal investigations are rarely profitable enough for other departments to interfere... Unless they involve their acquaintances or corporations they are indebted to...

Troubleshooters

Another group suitable as protagonist of the stories in the City Of Mists are troubleshooters solving problems for corporations (or gangs). Dozens of big corporations create a tangle of interests, intrigues, and outright conflicts. Critical events might need a push or pull here and there to make the business running, with legitimate and less legitimate methods used alike. Business espionage is big here, with Departments rarely involved as arbiters... But occasionally acting as their own side.

For corporate troubleshooters the City's departments and their representatives can act as allies, enemies, resources to be used, obstacles... Often all of that combined. Unlike the agents of law, the troubleshooters have much better resources and means, even if lacking in direct legal standing. And even the later can be circumvented with friends in right places and a few calls from high ranking corporate managers to commissar of the right department.

Private Investigators And Consultants

In the social and economic cauldron which the City is, lots of people might need help which weak and ineffectual law enforcement cannot or will not provide. While the loyal corporate employees can usually count on their employers aid, the people lacking such patrons are often lacking in options, having to rely on hired private entrepreneurs.

PIs and consultants have the least firm backing, but they still can benefit from the right friends greatly. Of course, in their case tugging on the strands of gratitude and debt is the most delicate for they rarely can make their acquaintances' involvement worthwhile...

Law enforcement, other departments, and corporations are enemy or at least obstacle more often than not, only very rarely becoming a tenuous allies. PIs more often have to rely on criminals and ne'er-do-wells...

Occult Scholars

With the amount of traffic of all sort going through the City, it's no wonder that a lot of "unconventional" things happening here as well. Strange tomes, items of powers, secret knowledge, all of it can pass through the City on its way elsewhere or in the hands of people living on the island. Many of the powerful people living in the corporate towers desire influences extending beyond the mundane world and are willing to pay high price for artifacts and lore, sometimes in cash, sometimes in blood...

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