Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (Module S3) (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) - Gary Gygax As a teenager, my guilty pleasure - which I never advertised to anti-RPG friends - was my obsession with Dungeon & Dragons. (Unfortunately, fear of rejection by other peer groups because I might be a “D&D nerd” did exert an influence on me back then.) Even with that apprehension, I couldn’t stop playing D&D and just loving the whole atmosphere of the game: the rule books, the modules, the endless maps, the stories themselves, the friends gathered around a table laughing and arguing about what was happening, and my absolutely favorite thing was taking my turn as Dungeon Master so I could screw around with my buddies by playing god. Honestly, if not for those years playing D&D as a 10-13 year old, I doubt I would have ever picked up my first fantasy book, and this life long love of all things fantasy would not have existed.

All that hyperbole leads me to one of my favorite D&D modules: Expedition to Barrier Peaks. As one reviewer stated, it “is a classic Gary Gygax adventure that satisfies one of those RPG desires when the run-of-the-mill medieval oeuvre loses its excitement: genre cross-over. In this case, what happens when you cross high D&D fantasy with advanced science fiction? Swords vs. lasers, heroes vs. mutations, spells vs. psi? It's an irresistible challenge and Gygax outdid himself in creating an adventure that's detailed enough to play in any milieus--and with a haunting, incomplete back story that will leave you wanting more--yet generic enough to let the DM and the players create their own experiences.” Quoted from Matthew Iden w/o permission but with acknowledgment.

I do not believe I could describe Expedition any better than Mr. Iden did. However, I will add that as a teenager in the early 80s I never saw this one coming when my buddies and I sat down to play this module. We were veterans you know, adapt at beating pretty much any dungeon you threw at us, but we were not expecting a crashed spaceship! It totally surprised us, made us scramble around for solutions to new problems and original monsters. The lack of back story as to the how and why a spaceship was in the mountains just made the whole experience more exciting, leading my buddies and I to argue incessantly about whether either question mattered to our surviving this intrusion into an extraterrestrial environment. In the words of the day, it was just a totally cool and awesome module.

So while I have not played it in decades, every time Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is mentioned I have to give it a big plug, because when I think of D&D this module - among a handful of others - always stands out in my memory.