Backroads Adventures Gateway to the Pastis a 55 page companion book for Backroads. It is stuffed with20 adventure hooks, 10 non player characters, three one shot scenarios, and two one sheet adventures. The GM can adjust each story to increase the difficulty or number of players, if desirable.Each scenariotakes the characters deep into the ruins of St. Louis. Want a preview? Check out the media section below, which includes actual play previews for these adventures. The book also includes adventure hooks for characters to explore within the city of Meecham and one sheet adventures that explore the countryside of middle America.
Backroads Adventuresalso includes two maps and 11 tokens for virtual tabletop platforms.
Please note that scenarios do not necessarily create a comprehensive story or campaign between them. Instead GMs can adapt or combine them to fit their own campaigns.
Scenario The Secrets Within.
As Old World technology becomes “slim pickens” within The Village area of the ruins, scavvers grow more and more desperate. Yet, one of them a man named Blake Watson has struck it rich somewhere deep within the Tangle. Every day he brings back old medical equipment and loads of copper wiring. But things start to heat up for our adventurers when they discover his corpse at the edge of the park and a mysterious map in his back pocket. Could it lead them to treasure or Old World knowledge? What secrets lay within the ruins? And what dangers lurk there as well?
Scenario The Glass House.
A group of scavvers is hired a locate a mysterious plant cited by several other expeditions during their travels. This small and mysterious bush produces little red fruits, the bean like seeds of which can be dried, ground, and steeped to create a potent brew. The person who hired the crew, a rich merchant from the Heartlands, believes this to be a “Coffee” tree from the legends of the Old World. However, these trees are not known to grow in St. Louis. The patron suspects the plant is within an abandoned plant conservatory and botanical garden, hidden within a notoriously dangerous part of the ruins called “The Tangle.” If the scavvers can survive the trek, what will they do when they discover the prints of a gigantic beast within the botanical gardens?
Scenario The Golden Pheasant.
While other scavvers go into St. Louis looking to salvage technology, this group of scavvershas been hired to locate a rare animal spotted within the abandoned city. Nicknamed “the Golden Pheasant,” this bright colored bird has been sighted by several parties that recently dared to go within the Tangle. The party has been hired by Hieronymous Dahl, a mid tier executive for the powerful Providence Trading Company, which operates out of the city of Meecham, across the river. After arriving at the abandoned city, the scavvers gather information about the bird and where it was sighted, learning that most parties never go beyond the Tangle andthat spotted the bird went as far as the labyrinthine Ruins, where the bird was spotted among a densely wooded park that is supposedly home to an ancient, Old World zoo.
One Sheet Adventure
He Who Walks Behind the Rows
“He Who Walks Behind the Rows” is an adventure inspired by the American gothic tropes involving the deep discomfort of endless cornfields in America’s “fly over” states and short stories like that of Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn.” The adventure begins with a mystery, a missing child in a peculiar, forgotten town. It relies more on horror mechanics (Resolve rolls and duress) than damage and ends with a dynamic combat encounter. The GM can use this scenario as an interlude while traveling through the Outskirts between New Orleans and St. Louis. “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” tells the story of a missing child in the unmarked town of Hope Springs. Here, corn is overly abundant and invades the countryside. It is so rampant that it seems as if it would swallow the town whole, if it weren’t for the town walls. The story goes that a child wandered into the corn the day before the characters’ arrival, never to return. However, the town is acting peculiarly. They refuse to search the corn themselves and do not seem too keen on hiring the characters to do it. Only the mother seems truly distraught and requests the characters’ assistance.
There are signs of drunken revelry at the corn’s edge, and the corn itself seems to whisper and move on its own. Slowly, characters uncover that a spirit haunts this corn, supplying an abundance and prosperity for the town, so long as they make it a sacrifice. Several other children have been sacrificed to the spirit, and they protect its grove of corn.
One Sheet Adventure Death Drag
“Death Drag” is an adventure inspired by the outlandish countryside adventures of Mark Twain and the peculiar aviation stories of William Faulkner. The adventure focuses on exploration style gameplay with an added competitive element, as they race against two other groups of scavvers. The GM can use this scenario to introduce exploration gameplay in search of Old World technology and can adapt the story for travel within the Ruins of St. Louis, as opposed to the Outskirts. “Death Drag” tells the story of a drunken daredevil of scavver with the dream of restoring, flying, and selling an Old World airplane. All of the other scavvers laugh at her, until one day a plane buzzes overhead. The ecstasy is short lived when the plane misses its landing, turns south of Meecham, and eventually sputters and crashes. A column of smoke rises in the distance, a two day journey from town. Two groups of scavvers decide that they can profit on the pilot’s failure and seek to uncover the wreckage and salvage the plane’s valuable parts. If the characters want to make some coin, the race is on…
AsaDonald(he/him)& Alex Johnson(he/him)are the creators, designers, and primary writers for the Backwater series. They became friends years ago through a friend’s ttrpg group. They remain friends after moving to different wards in the American Lands. Icons by Collin Wilhelm.
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