Friday, 28 February 2020

S3 Barrier Peaks Bumper Book

So I got this big bad boy (i drew a dick on it so you know its mine).
Went from USA to Switzerland to Australia then all the way back and then back again so was late.

Vol 1 B1-2 Was well-resolved start to series and I was keen. Having both versions of two modules was a bit tedious but had some merits. The new content was ok but the new art for the 5th ed a bit ho hum. Both are classic adventures vut Keep on Borderlands to me is the classic dnd module with wilderness, a frontier town and a dungeon which by mid 80s was lost to railroad plots with mini dungeon sequences and probably more moralistic. KOTBL is a wild west frontier magnate for murder hobos who do as they please when they want and plenty of players attacked the keep.

Vol 2 X1 Had great the extra art by William McAustland really made the book shine. The extra content was enjoyable and usable. It was especially good to see the old tsr of 81 into the mid 80s slick design. The older gear has charm but the info organization of later ones, readability, players handouts and art was significantly changed. So one module in two versions which had stark contrast. I wasn't going to persist but I enjoyed this. This was the first view of the known world

Vol 3 S3 So I have written about this adventure (December?) and I have run this the most often of the three volumes so I know it well. This book feels a bit scant on new art. It has shiny paper stock vs thick matte of the other two and the spine is a bit more square. So I always knew there were some minor changes to artwork in both versions and I think an error on the map. But thank god two versions enough. It was good revised 5th ed version has new interesting maps. The new content and levels and setups were great. Lack of monster images here so two of the major creatures added to the campaign are not illustrated which is kind of a big hole. When I see page stat blocks for slightly different monsters I am relieved I don't play 5th ed. Some of the new art like others a bit quick for my liking but new pix in the Illustrated guide section were very much goodman house and fit in with the oldschool art well.

I would probably recommend anyone running it go pick your fave dnd monsters that could be alien and throw em in here. Several planar and psionic monsters here trapped so a few more fine. I'm still tempted to do some tables for s3 and perhaps use Dyson's triangle ship layout. A new section has no monster art with stat blocks, unlike others. Revised equipment section does not list weapon damages as the original did. Nor does it tabulate the data. A bit odd. New section repeats maps twice. No maps have original cyan al B&W.

I found some of older TSR modules a bit dense and hard to read as I approach 50. So revised versions a bit more space. But Part of me likes cramming every bit of space too as preferable to some layouts. As far as adding a wilderness and an alternative start and quest which is a fairly significant addition and departure. You get to hunt the wilds for the site and meet various strange creatures and organised camps of androids and biological barley humanoid infantry. As these creatures feature heavily in pre dungeon and the new level no image of them a bit blah considering how much more visual new-gen gamers are to engage. I am possibly more likely to use this revision than the earlier volumes.

The Strength of S3 was not the well-paced adventure it is the exotic inclusion of science fantasy which should have been injected to the standard games DNA. How different dnd now would be if we got stats for androids and robots in Monster Manual 2 instead of fake rabbit killer trees and squealers.  

So I do appreciate these volumes and I do await the next volume as it should expand to fill out the vol4 the Lost City. As there have been huge fan made companions filling out extra levels and awesome drugs Im interested If any of that content would be used. The fan product is pretty similar to these books anyhow. Zargon always big fun.

Ive considered making these tables:
d100 ruined spaceship crate contents
d100 ruined ship room contents


  1. Yessss I need those tables for sure!!

  2. I have a gammaworld and planet psychon pdf which has lots of tools to do this now

  3. The guy on Dyson's Dodecahedron has been doing new maps for Barrier Peaks; making the ship migger and cooler (in my opinion). I thought you might be interested if ya hadn't seen it . . .

    1. Dyson is a top bloke
      I do like these
      he has bunch of links to me too

  4. Yeah, I noticed that after I sent you the link. I just really liked maps that could be easily used with the descriptions already published


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