Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (2019)

Goodman Games’ Original Adventures Reincarnated version of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (2019) feels like the one they wanted to do from the start, but which also didn’t make sense as the first volume (as much as I am ambivalent of Borderlands, it is the right starting point, I think, and Isle of Dread the natural follow-up). Barrier Peaks though has that over-the-top vibe that has become Goodman’s bread and butter; I’m glad we got this before, say, Tomb of Horrors or the Giants modules (honestly, I don’t know if we need either of those).

The 5E conversion is arranged around the central promise of more, more, more. There is, well, just more of everything, more areas to explore, more handouts, more monsters (I feel like there are more grell in this than the original, and there are definitely more weird mutant versions of well-known monsters), more ways to die horribly, more fantastic art. The price of admission is worth it for Peter Mullen’s imperious otyughs alone, 100% serious. Thanks to Goodman’s experience with D&D, DCC, Metamorphosis Alpha and MCC, the expansion material feels both natural and extremely fresh.

I enjoy the little ways real world technology and several decades of sci-fi inform the adventure in small ways. The best and clearest example is Appendix A: Against the Venomous Warlord, a short adventure within the adventure, introduced via the ship’s virtual reality interface. I do miss the Gamma World-style flow charts for figuring out how to use alien tech, though.

If you’re going to buy just one OAR publication, this one is a good bet.

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