The Kilburrie Outback Pub is a system-neutral Australian pub (tavern) setting built to be dropped into your campaign at a moment’s notice, complete with characters, backstories, your choice of adventure tangents, and pub menu!
The air hangs thick and heavy, radiating with the scent of baked earth and sun-parched grass, swirling red dust paints your clothes and skin. You instinctively swat away at an onslaught of flies buzzing around your nose, eyes, and ears, a pointless endeavor giving you mere seconds of relief before you are swarmed once more. The solemn stillness of the outback is pierced by an unlikely duet, a rusty windmill groans and creaks in the dry breeze, intertwining with a symphony of chirping insects. The merciless sun beats down from above, turning the earth to iron and baking your exposed skin. The hot air parches your throat dry, relief seemingly but a distant dream, and then you see it, shimmering like a mirage on the horizon, a promise of shade and ice-cold brews rising from the dust, the Kilburrie Outback Pub.
The Kilburrie Outback Pub
Following the footsteps of their colonial ancestors, ambitious entrepreneurs established the Kilburrie Outback Pub back in 1898, coinciding with the rise of cattle farming that swept through the surrounding Kilburrie shires. Hidden away in the vast Australian outback, the old pub and its neighboring hotel stand defiant against the scorching sun whilst continuing to welcome weary travelers into its respite from the unrelenting heat. This remote outpost, a haven for those seeking escape and adventure, has earned its place as a semi-popular tourist destination. Its distance from the strangling nature of city living only adds to its charm, attracting those eager to experience a slice of authentic rural Aussie life.
As the original owners aged and were no longer able to run the pub, they passed the torch onto their children, who kept the business going until they too grew too old to continue. However, with all their children lured by the prospects of city life, there was no one in the family interested in carrying on the legacy. Faced with this unfortunate situation, the owners were forced to sell. Despite receiving several offers from wealthy out-of-towners, they were determined to find the right buyer – someone who would respect the heritage and history of the pub and the surrounding town.
Spotting the opportunity, two lifelong locals, Ben Yarran & his wife Sharon gave up their own thriving cattle farm to buy the building and continue on its legacy. Their decision was met with relief by the community, who were happy to see the beloved pub remain in local hands. However, Ben and Sharon soon discovered that their commitment to preserving the pub’s history came with a price. Any attempt to make changes, no matter how well-intentioned, was met with resistance from the locals. While this makes it difficult to implement the necessary improvements that may keep the business thriving in the long run, the pub remains a popular destination, a relic that continues to embody the resilient spirit of the community.
Meet Ya Mates
Pub owner, Bartender, Male
Middle-aged, thick curly greying black hair and dark brown eyes. 5ft. 8″, stocky well-fed build
Leaning against the bar, sun-kissed and as easygoing as the breeze rustling through the gum leaves, the Aboriginal bartender mirrors the heat shimmering off the tin roof in both his demeanor and the sweat beading on his brow. He barely registers your entrance, his gaze briefly flickering in your direction before drifting off to some unseen point overhead. As you approach, though, warmth spreads across his features, a wide grin revealing a row of bright white teeth that’d blind a dingo at midday. He leans forward slightly, a friendly glint in his eyes as he greets you with a gentle beckoning wave. “Welcome, welcome, fellas! What can I getcha?”
Ben Yarran, a bloke as sun-baked as the outback itself, spent most of his life run ragged on a cattle farm. So when he and his missus, Sharon, decided to chuck it all in and buy a pub, you could say he eased into the new job like a goanna sunnin’ itself on a rock. Yet much to Sharon’s spewin’, Ben decided to run the place like a long-awaited retirement. Now, don’t get me wrong, Ben’s no slouch, he’s just got a generous soul as wide as the outback, known to sling a free beer to the regulars like a stockman flingin’ a lasso. He’s got a laugh that’s infectious as a bushfire and a smile that warms you up like a billy on a campfire. The locals love him, fair dinkum.
But Ben’s casual, laid-back style leaves most of the heavy liftin’ to Sharon. Now, Sharon, bless her, thrives under pressure. She runs that pub like a dingo after a rabbit, but let’s just say she ain’t too thrilled about Ben’s habit of handin’ out free bevvies like it were water at the cattle station.
All in all, Ben’s a top bloke, and for now he’s content to be the laid-back, happy-go-lucky barkeep that the locals have come to know and love.
- Havin’ a yarn with patrons (Having a chat)
- A ripper of a laugh (If you make Ben laugh enough you’ll often earn yourself a free pint or two)
- Slinging some snags and sinking some tinnies with the crew (Chucking some sausages on the BBQ and drinking more than a few canned beers with his mates)
- Bloody galahs (Obnoxiously loud and rude people)
- Slobs (Patrons who make excessive mess in the pub)
- Bludgers (Someone who constantly takes advantage of the generosity of others without giving back)
- Taking the mickey (Despite his laid-back nature, Ben won’t stand by idly if someone mocks him with malicious intent)
Farmer, Peacekeeper, Male
Middle-aged, sun-weathered skin, unkempt curly brown hair, pale green eyes. 6ft. 3″, muscular, hands like sandpaper
The pub doors swung open like a rusty gate in a dust storm, a blast of furnace heat searing your face. In the doorway stood a figure sprung from the pages of a Banjo Paterson poem: tall as a fence post, built like a brick dunny, and sporting a smile as wide as the Murray River. He tipped his Akubra, removing it with a flourish and wiping his face with his shirt collar, leaving a streak of damp red dust across his sun-baked forehead. “G’day, Ben! How’s life treatin’ ya?” he boomed, his voice like a jackhammer on a corrugated iron roof. “You know me, Graham, livin’ the dream!” Ben replied, the exchange rolling off their tongues like a well-rehearsed yarn. The newcomer ambled towards the bar, the red dust clinging to his bare arms and legs like a second skin. His sparkling eyes and weathered features were etched with a lifetime of laughter, a stark contrast to the harsh reality of his work. You could tell this was a bloke who’d seen a fair share of sunrises and dust storms, and while he seemed gentle as a kookaburra, you wouldn’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of his good nature. He slapped his calloused hand on the bar, the sound echoing through the saloon like a thunderclap. “Gimme the usual, Ben, I’m drier than a dead dingo in a drought.”
Graham Hill ain’t your average bloke, he’s the community-appointed peacekeeper of these parts, mostly ’cause the nearest cop shop’s further away than a kangaroo can hop in a dust storm. Any minor scuffle or pub brawl, Graham’s there, sorting things out with a firm hand and a calm head. His reputation alone is enough to make most drongos reconsider their options. But if they don’t, well, let’s just say they’ve never met a fella with a grip tighter than a dingo on a wombat. Tossin’ out rowdy patrons? Nothin’ to it for Graham.
But he’s more than just a tough guy. Graham’s got more outback know-how than you can poke a stick at, a true jack of all trades. Need a fence fixed? He’s your man. Got a sick cow? He knows just the bush remedy. Stranded on the Nullarbor? Don’t worry, Graham’s got a compass and enough bush-scavenging tricks to feed you and your extended family. And he’s never too busy to help, even if you’re a stranger just passing through.
With his good nature, rock-solid strength, and knowledge of the land passed down through generations, Graham’s a true Aussie legend. He’s the kind of bloke you’d be lucky to have by your side, whether you’re navigating the outback or just need a hand with a flat tire. He’s a true beaut, that Graham Hill.
- Fair dinkum blokes (People who are genuine and honest and don’t deceive or hide intentions)
- Hard work (It’s hard to say what would happen if Graham had a day off, most would argue it has never happened)
- Lending a hand (Graham will never show impatience or anger towards someone in need)
- Music and storytelling (One of the few times you’ll be glad some bloke brought a guitar to the party, Graham seemingly has endless tales to tell, and bush poetry that’ll get a laugh out of anyone)
- Having a crack at it (If for some reason Graham doesn’t know how to do something, he’ll certainly give it his best shot anyway)
- Bogans (A simple-minded person lacking class who frequently resorts to trickery, theft, and bullying to get what they want)
- Entitlement and laziness (He’ll always be willing to lend you a hand, but you’ll be down getting your hands dirty too)
- Blowhards (People who brag and boast, often without being able to prove their accomplishments)
- Disrespect for the environment and the natural order of things
Tradie, Welder, Female
Young adult, sandy blonde hair, blue eyes. 5ft. 7″, thick arms and stocky build, visibly covered in soot and grease
A bellowing “Come on ya mongrels!” echoes from the back of the pub’s gaming room, punctuated by a fist slamming against a worn wooden table. A series of expletives can be heard, each yell more passionate than the last, followed by the clatter of a wooden stool crashing to the floor. There, amidst a sea of empty pint glasses, stands a woman, a frothy mug in one hand and a crumpled wad of betting tickets in the other. She jabs her finger threateningly at the TV screen ahead, her voice a fierce blend of cheers and taunts competing with the on-screen action. Greyhounds streak across the screen, hot on the heels of a mechanical rabbit, as the crowd in the stands goes wild, fists pumping the air.
Alice Bricknell wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she was born with a welding torch in her hand. From the moment she could stand up straight, she was out in the dusty workshop with her old man, learning the secrets of fire and steel.
More than just a woman with a trade, Alice was a true blue Aussie legend. When the dust storms rolled in, threatenin’ to bury the town under a blanket of red, it was Alice who stood tall, her welding torch a beacon in the darkness, mendin’ broken roofs and rebuildin’ lives. And when the droughts hit harder than a roo in ya headlights, it was Alice who built additional water tanks from scrap, her ingenuity kept the crops fed and the cattle watered.
A local welding legend, a force of nature, a woman woven from the very fabric of the outback.
- A job well done (Alice won’t stop until she’s given a task all she has)
- Gambling (An unhealthy habit to be sure, but she’s earned herself some leeway)
- Fixin’ (Alice sees scrap and broken down junk only as opportunities for something new & improved)
- Gettin’ paid (She’ll give you a fair price considering the quality of her work but gambling aint cheap)
- Being bossed around
- Weaklings (Soft bellied city folk who couldn’t lift a wet teabag)
- Ungrateful sods (Some good ol’ true blue hospitality goes a long way when she’s doing you a favor)
Barry ‘Baz’ Mitchell
Independent Contractor, Cash Only, Male, Dropkick
Mid-30s, a glorious dark brown mullet, bearded, green eyes. 5ft. 9″, faded tatts, outstanding beer belly
Bustin’ outta the toilet door like an emu on a bender, beer stubbie in one hand and a mullet so majestic it could shame a galah, struts this fella. Now, the mullet clearly gets the royal treatment, ’cause the rest of him looks like he rolled outta a dusty ute tray after a long day at the mines. Scrawled across his arms are faded tattoos, resemblin’ a graffitied dunny stall door more than artwork, and at least one involves a bit of anatomy that’d make a butcher blush. Peekin’ out from under his singlet, a tattooed Southern Cross sits proudly on his chest. With a smile as smug as a pig in a mud puddle he barks a self-satisfied laugh, his walk exuding a drunken swagger that would make a peacock jealous. You know one thing for sure, this is a bloke in his element.
Now look not all blokes out in the sticks are fair dinkum true blue Aussie legends, some others’d make you wonder if they were bottle-fed grog instead of milk, Barry Mitchell, for example.
Now he’s not all that bad, he’s a decent fella when you get to know ‘im, but let’s just say he has a knack for getting the better end of a deal. He’ll take cash in hand to do whatever you need him to, a service that comes in handy from time to time. Whenever the job’s not worth botherin’ the professionals, Baz will be there, suspiciously acquired tools in hand and ready to take on anything you throw at ‘im.
But you gotta give it to Baz, he never lets anything or anyone get to him, and he’s always up for any adventure you can think of. He might be a bit rough around the edges, but Baz has a heart of gold and he’s a good mate to have when the chips are down. Just don’t ask him about his tax return, aye?
- Crackin’ a cold one with the boys (Having some cold beers with his mates)
- Crackin’ a cold one with strangers
- Crackin’ a cold one by himself
- Smartasses (People embarrassing him by use of superior intellect)
- People minding their own business (He’ll get right up there in your business especially if you look like you want to be left alone)
- Coppers (He has a long record of arrests, but he’s innocent of them all, of course)
- Bullies (He’s rough around the edges, but he’s not a bully and will defend victims where possible)
Sharon ‘Shazza’ Yarran, Middle-aged, Female, Pub Owner
Bec Wright, Young Adult, Female, Pub Cook
Will ‘Willy’ Jackson, Young adult, Male, Farmhand
Sally Jackson, Middle-aged, Female, Horse Keeper
Ben’s wife and co-owner, spends most time in office, stern, speaks plainly and to the point, impatient
Chain smoker, grease aficionado, cooks your steak perfectly every time
Son of Sally Jackson, simple-minded, good-natured, trusting, naive, looked out for by patron regulars
Mother of Will Jackson, tough, hard-working, never complains, generous to neighbors
Darren ‘Daz’ Taylor, Young Adult, Male
Bruce Roberts, Middle-aged, Male, Bikie Gang Leader
Sonia Clarke, Adult, Female, Bikie Gang Member, Tattoo Artist
Roy Macdonald, Adult, Male, Bikie Gang Member
Bully, loud, heavy drinker, lack of intelligence, always trying to bum a ciggie, easily provoked
Gruff, loud and obnoxious, keeps his gang in line, unfriendly with outsiders and newcomers
Bruce’s second-in-command, smart mouth, doesn’t shy away from a fight
Bruce’s fixer, short temper, heavy drinker, fight starter, only takes orders from Bruce & Sonia
Bruce Roberts Big Gang Scheme. There have been whispers that Bruce Roberts is planning a big score, the specifics are unknown but some people believe it’s drug-related, and could hurt the reputation of the town.
(True; Bruce and his gang are expecting a large under-the-radar shipment of drug-lab equipment, with plans to rise from being the middle-man in their operation and move into production and distribution all on their own. The shipment is likely to be protected by armed guards. The gang is cutting the higher-ups out of the drug operation and therefore making some powerful enemies, potentially resulting in the town’s destruction.)
Protection Money. In very hushed whispers you may hear locals complaining about the bikies (Bikers) and claiming they demand protection money from pub owners Ben & Sharon.
(False; While occasionally the more drunken members might try to intimidate a free beer out of Ben, they’re generally kept in line by their leader, Bruce, who knows they have far more valuable prospects ahead.)
The Nocturnal Monster. Something that blends with the night is emerging to chew on the wiring of expensive farming vehicles and machinery, rendering them defunct until a costly repair can be completed.
(Half-True; Not a monster, but an oversized wombat is emerging from its burrow in the dark of night, and for some reason has a taste for expensive machinery. Using tracking techniques the party should be able to track down the wombat after investigating one or more of the scenes. The farmers are likely to be very willing to pay a fair price for solving the problem.)
Abandoned Goldmine Still Has Much To Give. The older folk in the town will often mention what a waste it is that no locals are interested in getting the mine up and running again, as it is supposedly still full of gold-mining potential.
(True; The abandoned goldmine will be a valuable prospect, but the task of fixing it up and clearing out the pests will be too dangerous for the average person. Perhaps a team of skilled locals would be of service, like a legendary local welder, a knowledgable and capable farmer, or even a drunken stooge.)
The Kilburrie Outback Pub Menu
|Bush Chook Draught
|(middy) 4 cp | (schooner) 6 cp | (pint) 8 cp
|The cheap local beer, often a favorite for establishment frequenters, served from a cask or keg, poured from a tap after running through ice-cold pipes
|One Fifty Smashes Pale Ale
|(middy) 6 cp | (schooner) 8 cp | (pint) 1 sp
|A light golden ale, a refreshing beer with fruitier notes when compared to a lager
|(middy) 5 cp | (schooner) 7 cp | (pint) 9 cp
|A popular lager, heavy on the malt with a clean and slightly bitter finish.
|Jimmy Squires Ginger Beer
|(middy) 8 cp | (schooner) 1 sp | (pint) 1 sp+2 cp
|An alcoholic ginger beer made with real ginger that burns on the way down, a great palate cleanser.
|Longbow Classic Apple Cider
|(middy) 6 cp | (schooner) 8 cp | (pint) 1sp
|A common and affordable cider, very sweet, often available both on tap and bottled.
|Bourbon & Cola
|(middy) 8 cp | (schooner) 1 sp | (pint) 1 sp+2 cp
|1 x 30 ml (1 fl oz) of bourbon mixed with on-tap cola.
|Rum & Cola
|(middy) 6 cp | (schooner) 8 cp | (pint) 1 sp
|1 x 30 ml (1 fl oz) of rum mixed with on-tap cola.
|Vodka Blue Bull
|(middy) 6 cp | (schooner) 8 cp | (pint) 1 sp
|1 x 30 ml (1 fl oz) of vodka mixed with a heavily caffeinated cherry-flavored fizzy drink.
|(plain) 2 cp (buttered) 3cp (cheese) 1sp
|A small loaf of rustic bread, traditionally cooked on a campfire, simulated in our kitchen by cooking it in a cast iron over a flaming grill
|A bowl of steaming hot deep-fried potato wedges served with sweet chili sauce and sour cream (Warning: Will burn the roof of your mouth every time)
|Adorable local kangaroos ground up and slapped on the grill, topped with iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, and bbq sauce (Served with a side of chips and tomato sauce)
|Roo Burger with The Lot
|Roo Burger but with added bacon, beetroot, pineapple and fried egg (Runny yolk compulsory)
|Meat Pie (1 serve)
|Small individually baked pies filled with minced beef and… other stuff, simmered in beef gravy (Served with your choice of chips & tomato sauce, OR mashed potato, peas, and gravy)
|Emu Pie (1 serve)
|Small individually baked pies filled with minced emu simmered in beef and beer gravy (Served with your choice of chips & tomato sauce or mashed potato, peas, and gravy)
|An Australian take on Chicken Parmigiana (Chicken Parmesan), crumbed chicken schnitzel topped with pureed tomato, sliced ham, and cheese, baked until cheese melts and served with chips (Ordering a Parma instead of a Parmi will result in your ejection from the premises)
|Known elsewhere as sirloin or New York steak, a great middle-range cut of lean beef, chargrilled to your desired done-ness (Served with chips, garden salad & your choice of red wine, mushroom, or black pepper gravy)
|Scotch Fillet Steak
|A boneless ribeye, tender and marbled with fat, chargrilled to your desired done-ness (Served with chips, garden salad & your choice of red wine, mushroom, or black pepper gravy)
I’m sure that you can find a use for this Australian pub in your game, we hope you’ll share your story in the comments below. 🙂
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