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A Look Inside Critical Hit

Critical Hit

How do you win a game that’s trying to kill you?

A twenty-nine year-old with a dead-end job and no ambition, Callie Myles lives for tabletop roleplaying at Critical Hit, the premier gaming store in the Appa- lachian hamlet of Jett Creek, Tennessee. There, un- der the watchful eye of her brother and gamemaster LB, she and her friends wage war, harness magic, and battle evil. When the dice are rolling, they are heroes, and all of Callie’s anxieties slip away. The fun stops the night LB burns to death in a bizarre fire.
Asked by her friends to keep the weekly game alive, Callie sets aside her grief. She puts on the monocle LB wore during sessions and finds herself sucked into a life-sized recreation of her brother’s game. Inhabit- ing the body of her beloved character, the legendary Arabeth, she thinks has found the ultimate escape. Her paradise is spoiled when she discovers that something inside the game killed LB—and one of her fellow players was in on it.
To save herself, to avenge her brother, Callie Myles must pull on her armor and beat LB’s game from the inside out. If she gets killed along the way, well, at least she’s having a great time.

A fast-paced hybrid of mystery and adventure, CRITICAL HIT captures the breakneck joy of tabletop gaming, where life and death depend on the whims of a plastic die.

W.M. Akers is a novelist, playwright, and game designer. He is the author of the mystery novels WESTSIDE and WESTSIDE SAINTS; the creator of the best- selling games DEADBALL: BASEBALL WITH DICE and COMRADES: A REVOLUTIONARY RPG; and the curator of the history newsletter STRANGE TIMES. He lives in Philadelphia, but hasn’t traded in his Mets cap yet.
Akers believes tabletop gaming is the greatest hobby in the universe. CRITICAL HIT is a tribute to every brave soul who has ever played a game.

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