In Last Train to Bremen, Hell is something we inflict on each other

Four bandmates flee a contract with the Devil, but players will find their past is much harder to escape.

In Last Train to Bremen, Hell is something we inflict on each other
Credits: Conner Fawcett/Caro Asercion

Have you ever held tightly to a dream, or a promise, despite your self-preservation screaming at you? Have you ever listened a bit too long to the reptilian growl in the back of your head that wants to suddenly jerk the wheel of your car? Have you cursed with one hand and loved with another as both embrace your closest friends? Then, you’ve already played a sliver of Last Train to Bremen, a tabletop RPG built around Liar’s Dice and a final attempt to renege on a deal with the devil.

Four musicians sign a contract with Old Scratch, himself, in exchange for fame, fortune, and an ever-rising star. Somewhere along the way, it all goes sideways and forces the quartet to hop a train car to Bremen in the hopes that the owner of their immortal souls doesn’t come collecting. It’s a tale as old and familiar as American Folklore and Blues music, but designer Caro Asercion decorates the bones with a narrative focus on the secrets and sins that haunt us all.

At 30 pages cover to cover, Last Train to Bremen is not a long-winded game. There are no chapters on roleplaying in this setting, nor are there maps of Bremen, the Black Barn music venue, nor any other location. This is a roleplay experience with intentional boundaries—four players, four bandmates, one boxcar, and a lot of things left unsaid. This is one of those RPGs that lean quite literally on the ‘R’, telling players they will either portray the fiddle-playing face of the band, Cockerel; bass guitar and band manager, Cat; songwriter and guitarist, Hound; or Mule, the drummer and finances behind this doomed enterprise.