66/52 New RPGs: Zone Compendium 5: Hotel Imperator

I’m on a study project to improve my understanding of roleplaying games. To this end, I already have two reading projects, A Game Per Year and An Adventure Per Year. This is the third, with the goal of reading or playing 52 games made in the last few years. Originally I considered making this “A New RPG Per Week” and that’s where the number 52 comes from, even though a weekly schedule is probably not within my abilities.

The cover of Zone Compendium 5: Hotel Imperator

Hotel Imperator is the fifth release in the series of zone compendiums for Mutant: Year Zero, little booklets with extra scenarios the player characters can encounter as they adventure in the Zone. They’re not complete fully fledged adventures per se, but rather campaign fodder than can be dropped into existing games. This makes them very usable and practical. Everyone who has ever run a long campaign knows they eat up material very fast.

The four scenarios are the titular Hotel Imperator, The Long Road, The Zone Fair and The Great Zone Walker. They also play off other Mutant releases, particularly Genlab Alpha, which introduced mutant animals as playable characters.

Hotel Imperator is a strangely functional oasis of old world comfort hiding one of those rogue science projects that always populate the world of Mutant. The Long Road features a tribe of animal mutants who have escaped their old reservation and are wandering in search of a new life. The Zone Fair places a robot-directed amusement park to the Zone, reminiscent of Nier: Automata. With it’s animal mutant band, The Great Zone Walker also points to a post-apocalyptic reference, this time Mad Max: Fury Road.

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