Cover of S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

The Grand Duchy of Geoff has recently been plagued by a rash of unusually weird and terrible monsters of an unknown sort. This western area, particularly the mountain fastness which separates the Grand Duchy from the Dry Steppes, has long been renowned for the generation of the most fearsome beasts, and it has been shunned accordingly -- save a handful of hardy souls with exceptional abilities. Within the last few months, however, a walled town not far distant from the area, and four small fortresses as well, have been destroyed by mysterious attacks!

This classic adventure set on a crashed spaceship challenges the players assumptions, and expands on what's possible within the "fantasy" label.

TSR 9033

Written By
Gary Gygax
Published By
TSR
Publication Year
1980
Handouts?
Yes
Battle Mats?
No
Includes Characters?
Yes
Level
Levels 8–12
Soloable?
No
Found In
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Reviews

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Lawface has played this adventure and would recommend it.

A truly bizarre adventure from a different era of D&D. It's a crashed alien spaceship, from an older tradition of science fiction, so everything has a delightfully retro ascetic. There are a lot of fun, wild ideas in here that are perfect for stealing. There are numerous pieces of alien technology that look bizzare and must be experimented with to discover their function. There's an ancient restaurant robot that will attempt to serve rotten food and get irate if you refuse. There's an entire rainforest biome full of killer alien plants and animals. And there's dozens of illustrated handouts! I believe the most ever made for any D&D adventure.

This adventure will take a lot of adaptation however. There's no narrative here, no villain or plot. Just a dungeon full of treasure to claim, and that's supposed to be enough to get the PCs interested. It's also got some dizzyingly complex maps. You'll spend a decent amount of time cross-referencing just to figure out how this whole place fits together. And of course it will need adapting to 5th edition. The monsters are mostly easy to swap out, the ancient technology, like laser guns and power armor, will take a bit more work. There are a couple of adaption guides available on the DMs Guild that can help.

When I ran this adventure I ended up replacing about 60% of the monsters. My players already know what displacer beasts, mind flayers, and beholders are. I needed stranger creatures, so I grabbed a bunch of weird looking creatures from Numenera. That really made the aliens feel alien. I also liked every floor of this dungeon except the bottom floor. There is way less going on down there, too many big open rooms with not enough interesting material in each. I ended up completely rewriting that floor.

This adventure will be a significant challenge to run in 5e, but it will provide an experience unlike almost any other in D&D. It gets my thumbs up.