- "Are you a Dead Counter? Brave men needed for crisis management"
- —Dead Counter recruitment poster
This position was commissioned by the Lord Regent Hiram Burrows and started during the Month of Rain, 1837. It is open to City Watch Officers for increased pay which, at ten coins per day, is one and one half the normal salary for Officers. They also receive extra elixir to protect them from catching the plague. Officers must take a test when applying, and if they are selected, they receive two weeks paid training. The Dead Counter has command over the other members of the City Watch in any situation dealing with the plague, but in other matters they must report to a commanding Officer.
There are indications that even though the Dead Counter's salary is high, the position is not popular, due to the obligation of dealing with weepers. During the mission Eminent Domain in The Knife of Dunwall, an Officer can be heard talking to a Watch Lower Guard named Simmons about how much better the job of evicting healthy people is compared to working in weeper dens. Simmons expresses guilt for his actions, but the Officer claims he should be thankful for the job he has.
Dead Counters are also responsible for seizing the property of those afflicted by the plague, due to a new law stating that all possessions of plague victims "immediately [become] property of the state." However, there is ample evidence to suggest that the Dead Counters are corrupt. In his journal, a Butcher notes that, "There are bribes that must be paid to [...] Barrister Arnold Timsh's Dead Counters."
- Although the book Dead Counter Responsibilities says that the position is only open to officers, normal guards are also seen acting as dead counters. This implies that the position is also open to non-commissioned officers, such as sergeants (which normal guards make up).
- In the mission High Overseer Campbell, a Dead Counter can be seen on the bridge at the end of John Clavering Boulevard. He is one of three City Watch members encountered there. He is wearing a mask and counting the bodies with a clipboard as the other two are throwing bodies off the bridge onto a barge. He does not wear an Officer's uniform but does speak like one.
- In his journal, Mace Brimsley notes that before he and his wife were taken to the Flooded District, the Dead Counter did not "check for pulse [and] seemed only concerned in the value of [his] estate."
Enemies in Dishonored