“Call me ‘beef’ one more time, I find human to be delicious!”
Born into Darkness, Creations of a Mad Man
Legends of their peoples’ origins have long since been an enigma. Some say they were born in service to the glory of the puzzling maze, perhaps they are scions of the Demon Lord Baphomet, to some they are harbingers of the end days. Much like the Minotaur themselves, these legends and stories have traveled across boundless planes. In reality, the archfey lord of Nightmares brought such creatures to life in boundless mazes of his design. Unlike the myths, these labyrinths weren’t made to protect something or to hide his work, but as a means of psychological torment and dastardly experimentation. Few know the truth, but they have likely been driven to insanity by their petty pseudo-god. Like all beast folk of Arcadia, their kind was not initially born but remade. Several creatures ensnared under the Nightmare Lords grasp were warped into their current form, in an attempt to create relentless servants of chaos. To this archfey, an army of unstable beastly horrors is exactly what was needed to turn the tides in war.
Fierce in Strength and in Spirit
While the Nightmare Lord’s brainwashed army of bovine-headed horrors began to ravish the material plane, not all were controlled to commit horrible acts. Those who broke free from this control fled to dark corridors and sprawling tunnels. Ironically, such hiding places were much like the horrible conditions they were tortured in for so long. Even so, their familiarity with dungeons and mazes lead to them building complex mountain-side societies. Rather than build over the land, they built into it; eventually developing all sorts of defensive methods against intruders and invaders alike. In the years following, they had met conflict with the subterranean mound fey, human settlements and extraplanar entities. This never deterred their survival instincts and knack for defensive innovation. Eventually, some of their own became among the first to ascend. A described high queen of healing and life was among those most powerful. Those devoted to her cause can craft salves of magical healing through prayer and meditation.
Beyond worship of ascended minotaur powers, their societies have emerged to be an industrious and militant society built on protection and honor. Some are driven by a passion to fight for what they believe in, while others are driven by keeping their kin safe at all costs. These beliefs have lead to them being a prominent developer of arms and armory, making them a desirable trade ally. However, their self-imposed sanctions make it harder for contraband dealers and illegal traders to gain powerful supplies.
“I want to go somewhere nicer, like The Tomb of Horrors…”
There is much more to the Barrier Peaks than a romp against alien monsters. The mechanics and workings of the downed ship are far more complex. Access cards, radioactive hallways, infested hives, among other things await our heroes as they make an… Expedition to Barrier Peaks!
Author’s Note: This is probably the longest post in this series. It’s a bunch of notes on running the module itself, as well as the technological artifacts you’ll find. The cards are in the first part, as they don’t really have much mechanical depth aside from a McGuffin.
“Why did the wizard explode into mold people?”
“The Grand Duchy of Geoff has sent a messenger out to you with an urgent alert! Sightings of strange creatures and stranger devices have been found somewhere beyond the hilly range known simply as “The Barrier Peaks.” All parties sent to investigate have failed to return for a while now. Rewards will be negotiated, alongside relics you may find in the threatening area you are sent to explore. All demands and discussion will be handled with the Duke of Geoff.”
We continue our conversion, this time with plant-based life forms and related creatures. Included is one of my favorite monsters, the vegepygmy. Sure, their name is weird, a bit too cutesy and possibly a tad racist; but I’ve always liked the ever strange mold men. Not to mention, their thorny companions were always fun too. With that, I give you more monsters from the Barrier Peaks.
Author’s Note: I’m still chugging away at the monsters from this module. Don’t worry, after this post, I’m over half way completed! After that, I’ll tackle some room specific bits as well as treasure. Stay tuned!
To kick off the August 2016 RPG Blog Carnival theme of “Super-Science and Sorcery”, I thought I’d show a part of a conversion I’m working on. This module has always been a special one for me. Not only was it a crazy fun house dungeon crawl, but it’s a bizarre crossover of D&D elements with the likes of Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha. Plus, I’ve always loved conspiracies revolving around Ancient Aliens. With that, I’ll be hoping to transfer Barrier Peaks to 5th Edition to the best of my abilities. After it’s complete, it might go up on the DM’s Guild.
To kick things off, we’ll start the conversion with an assortment of robots and androids. Now, you may be wondering, what do robots have to do with D&D? I’m not entirely sure, as I’m running on coffee and sheer determination. Granted, that hasn’t stopped me from finding a way! Needless to say, the rest of the module is being converted in chunks, to be collected in a megapost in the end.
Author’s Note: You read that correctly! More or less, I’m going to be dumping some time into converting this module. It’s very likely that this will take up a chunk of the month, itself. Luckily, the Playtest made work a lot easier on me. I’ve found help from other bloggers as well, thus making the journey a non-arduous one. Plus, I’ve made a helping of techno goodies in the past too.