World Travelers Society – Docs

Online research is necessary

To fully enjoy this adventure, it is important you read the following:

This adventure is different from the ones you are used to with other “tabletop escape games” where you have all the elements on hand to solve the mystery. This is not the case here! This adventure is closer to an “ARG (Augmented Reality Game) in a box” than an “escape game in a box”.

We’re trying to stay true to a real investigation, and that brings about the following format:

  • This adventure is non-linear, which makes it harder because you can start from anywhere. A detective won’t know where to start, will gather evidence, and slowly put things together. For those used to a linear system, we’ve got you covered as we have implemented a step-by-step guide (you’ll find it in the hint system).
  • This adventure is not entirely self-contained, so you’ll need to do some additional research online. Just like a modern detective, you have all the elements on hand to solve this mystery, but you will need to do more research (talk to witnesses, visit the sites, and browse the internet) to help you connect the different elements and piece things together.
  • You won’t need to have existing knowledge about Shanghai or China because you have the internet. A detective won’t know anything about a new case, but they will have to investigate to gather information.

Getting lost is a bonus! Have you ever had those feelings when you were visiting a place, close or far, and got lost, only to stumble upon extraordinary discoveries? We want to recreate that feeling within this adventure — the thrill of losing yourself and uncovering fascinating aspects along the way.

Shanghai in the 1930s holds a wealth of stories, and this adventure aims to guide you by offering fragments of that era: real people, places, and and historical events seamlessly interwoven into one captivating experience. However, each participant will embark on a unique journey, venturing into different avenues of research, making exciting new connections, and delving deeper into the aspects that captivate their curiosity.

In conclusion, this adventure will be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be because you have the hint system and Discord to help you.

Google Lens

This adventure is based on true people, events, and places. So, do Google stuff but avoid to scan the pictures with Google Lens (or other systems) because it will totally spoil your experience. Most of the pictures, ephemera, basically almost everything are based on existing archives (many are accessible online).


The ones with Chinese characters are old mechanics and a bit tricky to open.

You’ll need to align – with precision – the right characters on top, which is not a convenient place to have a good look and adjust them while they hang on the box.

Then you’ll need to pull the two elements apart to open the lock. One trick is to align the correct characters one row below, then move them all up together and finally pulling apart.

Non-linear Adventure

There are dozens of puzzles to solve, and you can just pick up any random item and solve it. Of course, you might need to find other items and put them together, but the idea here is that the overall adventure is not linear. The proof is that the Scout pledge has everything mixed together inside the Rose’s Notebook (no boxes, no padlocks).

Clues behind padlocks

On rare occasions, for the pledges with boxes, some items needed to solve a certain puzzle will be outside while others will be inside a small box/drawer. In that case, you’ll obviously need to open that particular padlock to solve the puzzle. We did that to enhance the flow, thus your experience.

No specific instructions…

…on what you need to find for each puzzle. Most of the puzzles’ solving is initiated by EH letters, so you kind of know what you need to find or solve. So most of the time, you’ll indeed solve the puzzle, but you’ll need to find a specific keyword and ciphertext to be able to carry on.

The final puzzle, the Secret

While I mentioned there aren’t any special instructions for each puzzle, you’ll need to find specific elements (keyword and ciphertext) to finally be able to discover the WTS secret.

There are some items (ephemera and artifact) that tie everything together. You need to figure out that part; otherwise, you won’t be able to open some padlocks, thus proceed further in the adventure.


A keyword is basically the answer to a puzzle. That implies you don’t need the keyword to solve a puzzle, but you will need to use this keyword to decipher the ciphertext.

Keywords are generally a word or two (but on some rare occasions, it’ll be more).


Each keyword has a corresponding ciphertext. Using the keyword and a certain artifact, you’ll be able to convert a ciphertext to plaintext.

Deciphered code (plaintext)

That deciphered code will subsequently help you move on in the adventure and/or open padlocks, and ultimately discover the WTS secret.

You can check your answers analogically

You don’t need to go online to check your answer, but you need to find out how by yourself.

The vintage coin

It can rust, so don’t get it wet.

Hint and Solution system, where to Start, step-by-step guide

If you’re struggling and need some hints, don’t know where to start or need a step-by-step guide — scan any QR Code in “WTS Through the years” booklet — it will take you to the WTSbot. Keep in mind, the 1st QR Code in the booklet will take you here.

Wedding box assembly

  • Don’t use too much strength and avoid pressing too hard on carved out parts.
  • First assemble all pieces together, then tighten them more firmly because at times you’ll need to loosen up some parts in the assembly process.

Components Exhaustive list

We made sure nothing was missing while packing the boxes, but there is always a possibility that we missed inserting an item (60+ different items). So, follow these instructions if you feel you are missing something, a puzzle makes no sense or feels incomplete or you are completely stuck.

Australia, New-Zealand and Asia, your blooming tea is placed inside the wooden box (not outside like US & EU).


All pledges — content needed for solving puzzles
Exhaustive list of content outside of the big wooden box
Exhaustive list of content inside the big wooden box
Exhaustive list of content inside two small wooden boxes and drawer content (check only if you are stuck)


This page is the continuation of the quick guide you received together with the WTS box. Feel free to contribute to a better experience for other World Travelers Adventure, by editing this open document: I’ll also update it based on your comments and feedback gathered elsewhere.