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Barrier Peaks Deck 1

Few modules have dug their way into my brain the way Expedition to the Barrier Peaks has. When I pulled the module out to adapt it as the capstone adventure for my first D&D5e campaign, I realized that I still remembered which numbered encounters were which, the sequence of the colour coded key cards and what they signify, and what creatures were still trapped down on the lowest deck…

But I also remembered the hundreds of nearly empty rooms containing dust, bits of ruined furniture, and d4-1 inanimate skeletons of the crew and passengers of the ship.

Return to the Barrier Peaks - Deck I

Return to the Barrier Peaks – Deck I

I wanted to tighten up the whole design a bit. Make the dungeon a bit smaller without significantly reducing the programmed encounters. Honestly, maybe pick up the pacing a little bit.

I had these huge desk pads of hex paper from squarehex and decided on a whim to try them out instead of graph paper – the original design was based around a cylindrical shape, so I went for triangular instead.

For most of the decks, that immediately eliminates 1/3 of the general space as the whole design is now based around three drop tube shafts instead of four. The removal of the curved walls also reduced the number of “extra” rooms that appear around the outer edge.

I did the redesign and ran the adventure four years ago. I felt that the new maps did what they were intended to do, but the style just didn’t match up with the style of maps I usually release, so they sat unpublished for years – and my cats managed to destroy my drawings of decks III-VI in the interim. So over the next three months I’ll be publishing the six decks as I redraw them digitally for posterity.


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