Dead Halt (2020)

Dead Halt (2020) is one of a spate of recent blue collar working class RPGs. You are members of a hotel maintenance staff. This being an RPG, the hotel is not a regular old hotel, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, character creation! That takes place in conversation with the (robot) bartender at the hotel bar, with conversation translating into history and attributes, which are recorded on the character’s ID card. There are a handful of non-human, extradimensional character origins, each of which comes with a unique quirk. Every character gets one special item as well. Health is tracked, but no one can die because grievous wounds are treated by the hotel’s automated cybernetic surgery system (those cybernetics, and other items, can totally malfunction, but that’s part of the fun right?).

Made, characters venture forth to maintain the hotel, which is, well, very strange. The two floors described emphasize this. Floor 71 is a vast desert where players will have to hop into rugged vehicles to find some missing staff members (and a hostile, gigantic, robotic ape). Floor 54 is somehow a crashed spaceship as well as a floor of a hotel. Other floors can be literally anything. The book suggests just using adventures from other game you might have lying around. Successful maintenance runs win gold coins that can be spent in the hotel’s blind vending machines for food, items, weird science and vorpal blades. Rinse, repeat. Dead Halt is fucking de-light-ful.

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