Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Commentary On S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks By Gary Gygax For Advanced Dungeons and Dragons First Edition As Science Fantasy Adventurer Funnel For Crawling Under A Broken Moon & Dungeon Crawl Classics

"You're PC's farms and families are being attacked by slaughtered by mutated  monsters from the mountains, once more you and fellow villagers have taken up arms and warriors from nearby courts to help deal with it but the blood lust and killing has changed you. No longer can you go back to farming and the pleasant village life! You must find out who or what is responsible for this violation of your way of life. Perhaps it has to do with that ill begotten star that fell from the sky! The king is hiring and perhaps it is time to take up the life of the warrior! Ezoriza the crazy one has come to possess the powers of the dark magicks and has been declared a wizard. Maybe its time to go with the soldiers and leave this place behind. So many have been slaughtered. There is rage in your heart and blood on your hands! There are so many who are answering the call of the Duke. Now is the time to join them.

Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is one of the most polarizing adventures for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons by Gary Gygax. The adventure is looked down upon because it takes science fantasy elements and places them with the world of Greyhawk.
According to Wiki ,"Expedition to the Barrier Peaks takes place on a spaceship in the Barrier Peaks mountain range of the World of Greyhawk campaign setting.[3] In the adventure's introduction, it is explained that the Grand Duchy of Geoff is under constant attack by a succession of monsters that have been emerging from a cave in the mountains. The Grand Duke of Geoff has hired the characters to discover the origin of the creatures, and stop their incursions."
But what if it didn't? What if instead the adventure took place in the Colorado Rockies of Umerica? What if the Duke of Geoff was local royalty whose dealing with these things out of legend that have come down through word of mouth and are now all too real. The strange radiations leaking from the things of the ancient ones in the cave? The return of the magick  powers foretold by prophecy and the crazed seers and wise people.

Modifying and playing around with the premise and setting of Expedition allows the module to be used as a high level funnel for taking a selection of PC's into a blender of weirdness where your going to end up with adventurers capable of dealing with the challenges of the adventure. Expedition To the Barrier Peaks is the perfect way of adding in the classic  fantasy elements and blending them into a science fantasy campaign with out batting eye especially in the wastelands.

This module can also be used to introduce lots of traditional AD&D elements and bring on the post apocalyptic vibe in spades while turning up the players onto the Metamorphosis Alpha background music.
This module could get the PC's into that sort of mode for when you switch them up to DCC's version of Metamorphosis Alpha. This is the sort of stuff that brings home the tone and ideas of MA;'The cave is actually an entrance to a downed spacecraft whose inhabitants have succumbed to a virus, leaving them dead. Many of the ship's robots are still functioning, however, and the players must either avoid or defeat them; some may also be ignored. As later seen in video games, "plot coupons" need to be collected. The adventure requires the players to gather colored access cards (the "coupons") to advance to the next story arc"

There are so many ins and outs for Dungeon Crawl Classics in this module that its not even funny. Expedition has so many encounters and potential that it can be placed across a vast array of venues and yields a ton of potential for DCC games. Part of what needs to be done is dissect the module for lots of useful bits such as patrons and potential Umerican elements to add to your DCC games.
To get the maximum out of Barrier your going to need Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine issue #4  which has many of the elements that are going to roll off the encounters and mayhem found within this classic adventure. Any of the issues with robots, guns, and post apocalyptic material are going to come in really handy for making this process work and getting your players into the right gonzo mindset of Expedition To The Barrier Peaks.

One might think that this module is far too pricey and out of reach but they sell for nine dollars for a used copy on Amazon. This is a classic module that can be mined for a wide variety of perfect DCC to fit adventure elements!

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