Throughout history, travelers often had to rely upon the kindness of strangers, but sometimes they found temporary shelter from the elements in inns, establishments designed especially for pilgrims and similarly transient visitors. Some inns offered little more than a dry piece of dirt to lie down upon (modern-day “fare-saver” motels seem to have embraced this lamentable tradition). A few inns provided for every comfort, but they charged increased fees for doing so. Thanks to Hollywood, many people think that inns were a fixture of ancient and medieval life, but the truth is that, throughout history, relatively few people have ever been permitted to travel very far from the place of their births, and inns weren’t as ubiquitous as mass-market fiction would lead people to believe. For example, the inns of the Roman cursus publicus, the famous system of imperial roads, could only be used by military personnel and government couriers with special permits. Conditions were not much different in medieval Europe, as travelers other than merchants (and sometimes even them) were looked upon with suspicion. Only when the world grew much safer did anything resembling the modern concept of inns, motels, and hotels come into being.
Some motels simply offer a clean bed, working bathroom, and cable television, amenities they deliver with reasonable success. Hotels in major cities sometimes incorporate themes, in much the same manner as casinos, in order to attract customers. In places like Las Vegas, and in resorts around the world, it can be hard to differentiate between hotels, casinos, and nightclubs: The concept have of- ten been merged, to keep patrons coming through the door and staying longer.
Don’t Miss …
The main entrance of the Westmarck Hotel opens onto a foyer decorated in Art Deco style, with sweeping columns and arches, chrome and frosted-glass light fixtures, and gilded fretwork. Two attendants remain on duty at the reception desk at all times, while a concierge is available between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. every day. Beyond the reception area lies the main hall, also decorated in the grand Art Deco fashion and having several couches and single-seat chairs for the guests’ comfort. Two elevators (with decorative folding cage doors) provide quick, quiet access to the upper floors of the hotel. A carpeted grand staircase sweeps up from the lobby in elegant curves, creating a photogenic space for wedding parties and similar outings, while providing convenient access to additional function space and guest suites on the hotel’s second floor.
Also in the main lobby is the entrance to the hotel’s combined restaurant and bar, which has a dance floor and stage for occasional nightclub acts. The hotel offices, including those of the manager and security officer, are located beyond several layers of doors marked “Employees Only.” The hotel’s kitchen prepares meals both for the restaurant and for room service, and its storeroom maintains enough to feed 100 people for two weeks without resupply. The hotel operates its own laundry service, to minimize costs and save guests from regrettable dry-cleaning mishaps. Each floor of the hotel has its own storeroom for linens and other housekeeping supplies, as well as signs that display routes to the fire escape and the staircases. Rooms are well apportioned with luxury bath suites, two full or one king-size bed, in-room refrigerators, microwaves, mini-bars, and color televisions with satellite-cable and “on demand” movie and video game service.
Things to See
+ Color television set
+ Polyester blankets in solid colors (often gold)
+ Crisp, white sheets, pillows, pillowcases, towels, and washcloths
+ Plastic bucket with matching lid designed to keep ice cold
+ Small two-use bottles of shampoo and hand lotion and three-use bars of soap
+ Heavy wooden-and-metal hangers
+ Full-size iron with a freestanding ironing board
+ Thin plastic cups with the hotel’s logo on them
+ Digital clock with bright red numbers
+ Heavy lamp with a off-white lampshade and a small metal knob to turn it on
+ Unwieldy push-button phone with buttons marked for various hotel services, such as room ser- vice, front desk, and messages
People to Meet
Hotel executives and employees have 2D in each attribute with one or two additional pips in business, charm, know-how: housekeeping, and scholar: local attractions. Larger and more exclusive hotels employ house detectives, but even the smallest mo- tel may sometimes hire a security guard, if local conditions demand it (late-night robbery is still a problem in certain rural areas). For these individuals, use the attributes and skills of the security guard.
Front Desk Clerk: Reflexes 2D, brawling 2D+1, Coordination 2D, piloting 2D+l, Physique 2D, lifting 2D+2, running 2D+1, Knowledge 2D+1, business 2D+2, scholar: local area 3D, tech: computers 2D+1, Perception 2D, investigation 2D+1, Presence 2D+2, charm 30+1, persuasion 3D, will- power 3D. Move: 10. Strength Damage: 1D. Body Points: 9. Wound levels: 2.
Things to Do
+ Johnny DeSoto, a jazz trumpet player from a popular club in San Francisco, is on the run. Rumor has it that he got a little rough with someone else’s sweetheart and left town before her corpse was dis- covered. At this point, the police only seek him for questioning. Miles away, the players’ characters have come to the Westmarck Hotel to investigate a string of attacks on local women, all of whom have dark hair and share the distinction of having attended a jazz performance at the Westmarck. Tonight the case became a murder investigation – one of the players’ characters discovered the body of a city councilman’s wife in the back row of the hotel’s nightclub during a jazz performance. The murdered woman, who also had dark hair, was apparently bitten in the neck by something with powerful jaws, and much of her blood had been drained. Another player’s character recognizes the jazz band’s trumpet player as Johnny DeSoto, having seen his picture in the papers a few days ago in relation to the crimes in San Francisco. If approached, Johnny willingly answers questions. He believes he is not guilty of any crime, but he admits that he has been suffering severe headaches and periods of amnesia ever since a bad car accident several months ago. If confronted by the police, or if the police are mentioned, he will not submit to captivity, and instead attempts to flee. Catching him proves to be quite a task, as he seems to be endowed with superhuman strength and agility, leading one to suspect if he really is innocent after all.