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Officially, of course, there is no U.S. Route 28. Don’t try to locate it on any map or road atlas – you will not find it. Yet it exist, and sections of it seems to wind improbably through every state of the continental U.S. Just as strangely, its meandering path somehow avoids every major city. Exits for U.S. Route 28 can be found along every Interstate, yet a person can drive their entire life and never see one.

The missing, the lost, and the desperate haunt Route 28. They inhabit its odd motels, staff its bizarre roadside museums, and drink in its shadowy bars. Most who pass along the road continue on to their destinations in blissful ignorance. But an unlucky few learn the full extent of the horrors that lurk amid its truck-stops and diners.

These tables are the beginning of a “road-trip” setting for Groovy Ghastly Affair, but anyone gaming in a Weird Americana environment could use them. Naturally, they assume a time-frame of the Swinging Sixties and Groovy Seventies, when one would still encounter hitchhikers, and before the highways of America were completely consumed by the corporate chains that dominate them today.

GENERAL PROCEDURE

1) Every 10 minutes, roll 1d10 times on Table 1: NEARBY VEHICLES.

2) For every 10 minutes of travel in-game, roll on Table 2a: ORDINARY HIGHWAY FEATURE, or table 2b: Table 2b: ORDINARY BACK ROAD FEATURE.

3) For every 30 minutes of travel in-game, roll on Table 3: NOTABLE ROADSIDE ATTRACTION.

4) For every hour of travel in-game, roll on Table 4: CHALLENGING ROAD EVENT.

5) If players turn on the radio, roll on Table 5: RADIO STATIONS OF THE UNCANNY HIGHWAY.

 

Table 1: NEARBY VEHICLES (roll 1d10 times)

d12

The nearby vehicle is a…

1

pickup truck,

2

station wagon,

3

two-door coupe,

4

convertible coupe,

5

four-door sedan,

6

sports car,

7

compact car,

8

motorcycle,

9

delivery truck, or utility vehicle,

10

van,

11

luxury car,

12

“Bug”,

d20

…painted…

1 – 2

black.

3 – 4

white.

5 – 6

dark blue.

7 – 8

metallic gray.

9

cherry red.

10

burgundy

11

brown.

12

sky blue.

13

blue-green.

14

bright yellow.

15

mustard yellow.

16

orange.

17

forest green.

18

lime green

19

pink.

20

purple.

Roll a d20 to determine the age of the car.

Encounters with Buses, Tractor Trailers, Classic Cars, and Hot Rods are considered potentially challenging Road Events, whose occurrence is determined on Table 4.

Table 2a: ORDINARY HIGHWAY FEATURE (roll every 10 minutes on a highway)

d20

Ahead, there is…

1 – 4

apparently just this same stretch of highway.

5

a curve in the road

6

a train trestle overhead (5% chance something falls or is thrown from the trestle)

7

a 3-way intersection

8

a 4-way intersection.

9

a cloverleaf.

10

a u-turn junction.

11

an elevated section.

12 – 13

a split in the road.

13

a truck weigh station (with no other facilities).

14 – 15

an exit for a two-lane Back Road.

16 – 18

an exit for a small town. (population d100 x 100)

19

an exit for a college town. (population 2d20 x 1000)

20

an exit for a small city. (population 3d20 x 1000)

 

Table 2b: ORDINARY BACK ROAD FEATURE (roll every 10 minutes on a back road)

d12

Ahead, there is…

1

apparently just this same stretch of road.

2

a curve in the road

3

a bridge over a stream (or dry river bed)

4

a railroad crossing

5

a split in the road.

6

a foot path leading from the road into the countryside.

7

a crossroads.

8

a state park.

9

a national park.

10 – 11

a small town. (population d100 x 100)

12

an exit back onto the Highway.

 

Table 3: NOTABLE ROADSIDE ATTRACTION (roll every ½ Hour)

d20

On the side of the road you see a…

1

Hitchhiker.

2

Animal.

3

Farm Stand.

4

Abandoned Vehicle.

5

Odd Billboard.

6

Strange House.

7

Quirky Eatery.

8

Bar / Roadhouse.

9

Gas Station.

10

Mysterious, Unmarked Road Exit.

11

Truck Stop (Gas, Weigh Station, Showers, Restaurant).

12

Motel.

13

Souvenir Shop.

14

Monument / Shrine.

15

Amusement/Theme Park.

16

Roadside Museum.

17

Trailer Park.

18

Drive-In Theater.

19

Church.

20

“Mystery Spot” or “Gravity Hill”.

 

Table 4: CHALLENGING ROAD EVENT (roll every Hour)

d12+d8

Suddenly…

2

a person in back seat of nearby car appears to be calling for help.

3

your car blows a tire.

4

a bird flies into your windshield, or a gun is fired at your car.

5

road garbage flies at your windshield.

6

a flirty (or exhibitionist) driver pulls up next to you.

7

you encounter a rough patch of road.

8

you see a distracting custom car, or hot rod (50% chance owner wants to race).

9

you see a distractingly decorated “hippie van”. (d8. Occupants are 1 = “deadheads”, 2 = a marijuana smuggling operation, 3 = drug-crazed murderers, 4 = sex cultists, 5 = neo-pagan witches, 6 = ordinary college students, 7 = actually government agents, 8 = “meddling kids” out to solve mysteries.)

10

you encounter a gang of 2d12 biker(s) traveling together.

11

you see loaded tractor-trailer ahead.

12

a driver ahead is going far too slow.

13

an aggressive driver cuts you off.

14

there’s a speed trap (with waiting Police car.)

15

you see a bus (d4: 1 = travelers, 2 = nuns, 3 = musicians on tour, 4 = prisoner transport).

16

a drunk driver starts crossing lanes.

17

an animal or person runs into road. (Person has a 50% chance each of being: a) nude, b) blood-spattered, c) incoherent, d) on the run from a psycho-killer; e) a kidnapping victim fleeing their captor.)

18

objects fall from the bed of a truck ahead of you.

19

a nearby driver loses control of their car.

20

the road becomes impassible. (d4 1 = car crash, 2 = tree (or utility pole) fallen across road, 3 = flooded road, 4 = sinkhole.)

Challenging road Events will generally require some kind of Ability Check to avoid trouble, or an accident.

Table 5: RADIO STATIONS OF THE UNCANNY HIGHWAY (1d6 stations for every 1 hour stretch driving on highway or road)

d20

Searching the dial, you find a station broadcasting…

1 – 2

Rock n’ Roll,

3 – 4

News,

5 – 6

Country Music,

7

Soul.

8

Jazz,

9

Blues,

10

Easy Listening,

11

Oldies, (Rockabilly, Doo-Wop, 50s Rock n’ Roll)

12

Big Band Swing,

13

Polka,

14

an interview with a local celebrity,

15

Public Radio educational shows,

16

Christian music,

17

a bizarre sermon, (Roll on Table 6a.)

18

an insane conspiracy theory, (Roll on Table 6b.)

19

songs that seems to be soundtrack for your current day,

20

music in an unknown language,

d20

and the DJ / announcer sounds…

1

bored.

2

drunk.

3

giddy.

4

drunk.

5

stoned.

6

frenetic.

7

monotone.

8

enthusiastic.

9

dimwitted.

10

incoherent.

11

insane.

12

halting.

13

smooth.

14

sleazy.

15

foreign.

16

snobby.

17

very young.

18

elderly.

19

lisping.

20

familiar – you know that voice.

Note: The call signs of American Radio stations are four-letter codes. A call-sign for a station west of the Mississippi River has “K” as the first letter in its sign, while one east of the Mississippi begins with “W”.

Table 6a: BIZARRE SERMONS ON THE RADIO

d20

The apparent topic of this preacher’s sermon is…

1

Jesus wants you to send me your money.

2

Vietnam is/was a Holy War to save Christianity.

3

The richer you are, the more Jesus loves you.

4

The Lava Lamp – an idol of Satan!

5

Tithing is more important than eating.

6

The End Times are here now.

7

All true modern science is foreshadowed in the Bible.

8

Evolution is a lie.

9

Jesus, the investor.

10

Meditation is Devil Worship.

11

Elections are pointless, because God selects our leaders.

12

Richard Nixon – God’s Chosen One!

13

The U.F.Os are demons in disguise.

14

The Pope is the Antichrist.

15

God is an American, and always has been.

16

Football is God’s favorite sport.

17

All Rock n’ Roll songs are written by Satan.

18

Christians should only use “Biblical” medicine.

19

The Barbie Doll is the Whore of Babylon.

20

American Christians are the true Israelites.

 

Table 6b: BIZARRE CONSPIRACY THEORIES ON THE RADIO

d20

As much as you can make sense of it, this person is ranting about…

1

the Rothschild family.

2

the “Trilateral Commission”.

3

Feminists trying to destroy the American family.

4

the “Campus Communists”.

5

the “Eastern Bankers”.

6

the “Bilderbergers”.

7

the Illuminati conspiring with Space Aliens to impose Communism on America.

8

the “Liberal Media”.

9

the United Nations, and their plan to occupy America.

10

the coming Ice Age.

11

the British Royal Family.

12

the “International Satanic Conspiracy”.

13

how Satanists control local government.

14

the “Homosexual Agenda”.

15

the Communists in Hollywood.

16

C.I.A. mind control.

17

Soviet Agents in Congress.

18

how the Jesuits created Communism.

19

the “Bohemian Grove”.

20

fluoridated water being a Communist plot.


Coming up: Tables for determining characteristics of hitchhikers, quirky eateries, strange amusement parks, and more.