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Adventures in Science Fantasy

So, this is our final week of the Spelljammer and Science-Fantasy coverage.

So, this time around, I'm going to bring you back in time to one of the first D&D Modules out there: Expedition to the Barrier Peak, which came out in 1980 (Though there was a convention preview for it a few years prior).

It takes the classic fantasy heroes into the inside of a mountain range, where they dive into a dungeon that turns out to be a crashed spaceship, with most of the inhabitants having succumbed to a deadly virus.

Here, the heroes must make their way through the various sections of the ship, picking up color-coded cards, and dodging or fighting the monsters and robots that now inhabit the spaceship (including, I think, the first appearance of the wolf-in-sheep's-clothing and the vegepygmy), all in the defense of the "Grand Duchy of Geoff" (I do sometimes wonder which Geoff this was named after. Gary, after all, did have a tendency to name NPCs and the like after friends (or himself) that took part in his home-campaigns.)

As older players would know, it's a classic, and an enjoyable one - reworked into a modern version by Goodman Games with Original Adventures Reincarnated #3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of that version of the adventure, but much as I am a fan of the original there really is a thing that I'm hoping that they did not do: The original fizzles out, without any real aftermath, and that's something I do not miss from the older adventures. It also doesn't feel like much of a cohesive adventure if I'm honest, more like a series of (really cool) encounters lumped together in a single spot. It is just one of those things where modern modules have evolved.

Regardless though, I recommend picking up a copy. If you can't find the original (which you should be able to here) then try and see if you can get hold of the Goodman Games one.

I would be seriously remiss however if I did not address the Pathfinder 1 Adventure Path called Iron Gods, which I personally think is a much more cohesive take on the genre of science fantasy, and allows you to delve into it for far longer. It feels "tighter" as a story, in spite of being spread out across 6 adventures, and it just generally is more cohesive and a more modern version of a game.

Even the blurb feels more exciting:

"Numeria has a long history of mystery and wonder buried under its rugged landscape, for on that one fateful night thousands of years ago, the Rain of Stars scarred the land. The fragmented remnants of a ship from beyond the stars fell from the sky, scattering strange technological ruins and deadly perils across the land. Today, these sites are feared by the barbaric tribes and coveted by the sinister spellcasters of the Technic League. Yet something worse than brutish berserker or super-science wizard has risen to power in these hidden technological halls. The Iron Gods are ready to make their presence known, and if they are not opposed by the region’s newest heroes, a scourge unlike any the Inner Sea has seen will arise!"

So, if you're looking for a contemporary take on the Genre, you now know where to go. :)

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