JOURNEYMAN: To go where a lot of people have gone before…

We took a break and tried something different today. I ran Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, an old AD&D module from 1980. I’ve run it several times over the years, and every time I run it, it is different, and tonight was no exception. One thing that makes it fun is that I never use the map that comes with it. Instead, I substitute the STOS Enterprise blueprints. They give me a huge set of maps with a lot of character.

The players rolled up characters for the Journeyman system, and both took characters with a lot of magic skills, which was a mistake since magic rarely works around tech, and the Enterprise was pure tech. Chester and Serena each awoke in a glass coffin in a small room with flashing red lights. As they woke up, a voice said, “System failure. Massive brain damage from excessive time in freezer units has been dictated emergency RNA injection. Please exit your shells.” 8 other glass coffins were filled with corpsicles who didn’t make it. Neither Chester nor Serena could remember their past but Chester awoke with the skills of a Necromancer, and hoped to revive the corpsicles and put them into service. Instead, failed efforts to figure out how the coffins worked ended with the flash incineration of one of them. 

Chester did a random summoning, and brought a Rat Boy who was most displeased with being added to the trap the players were in. He was told that one of the coffins had whiskey in it, but he managed to flash incinerate that one as well. He swore most of the time.

Outside the ship was a room with a lot of dead plants in it, and a bit of dirt. Another door led to a small room, and that led to another small room, but they could go no further. Serena found a small door under one of the seats in the last room, and opened it. The passage was filled with vines so Chester tried chewing through them. There was a flash of light and Chester’s tooth was broken in half as he flew backwards and twitched into unconsciousness. A brief fire enveloped the vines and there was a smell of burnt something (not vines!).

Retreating to the first small room, they found another door and beyond it, two skeletons in chairs facing a window into the garden room. On the skeletons they found two brown cards of a hard material. Chester broke one of them trying to open one of the glass coffins. When they went back outside, they found that Serena could now talk to a voice in the very last small room. It didn’t understand English though, and just kept saying “boop bup plop loop.” Chester imitated it for a long time, slowing the automatic translator significantly.  Ultimately he got tired of it and went back in, where he briefly talked to “Control” until it ran out of power and went silent. He then fumbled his next summoning, and was assaulted by a Wixie for the next eight minutes, who froze first his head and then his privates before leaving in indignation.

They tried Spirit Travel and Object Reading and Shaping, but nothing worked. Chester managed to open another small door, this time on one of the coffins, and Serena was able to Shape a pipe out of it, but that only released a lot of freezing gas.

During the time that Chester was distracted, Serena taught the computer to talk, and began interrogating it. She learned that the small room was a “turbolift,” whatever that was. She and Chester then traveled to deck 17, where they explored a bedroom of some type. They were attacked by Vegepygmies (aka. Little Green Men) and their vegedogs, who had weapons while the heroes did not. Chester ordered the Rat Boy (who never did give his name) to go fight the greenies and protect his master, but the Rat Boy objected to dying so much that he managed to fight off the binding and escape back to Faerie. Serena boxed the greenies back and then stole one of their hatchets and began maiming and killing them. Chester caused one of them to fall in love with him (Control Emotions) and while it was “hugging” him, he took its axe and tried to cut its neck. He failed, and the next round three of the creatures were beating on him. Eventually Serena managed to drive them off.

Chester did another summoning and this time brought forth a Dikdak, who both of the heroes fell in love with immediately. A Dikdak is a cross between a giant spider and a golden retriever. Chester tried once more, and this time got a Yellow Man, who began spewing his disease filled yellow mucus everywhere. Chester couldn’t banish him, but he did bind him, but the thing kept spewing and eventually Chester asked him if he would leave if Chester freed him. The demon agreed and as soon as he was free, rushed to the attack. Chester, Serena, and the Dikdak fled to the lift and ordered it to deck 17, forgetting that’s where they were already. The door opened, the Yellow Man spewed, and this time they ordered it to deck 16, which turned out to be where the medical bay was. A lovely android healed both of them, and they relaxed there for the night. Serena questioned the turbolift and learned that they might find weapons at Security. To get there, the computer suggested they go to the dorsal turbolift, go to the top, then go to the forward turbolift and go up to deck 4.


The next day they watched a worker robot going down the hallway and decided to follow it. Too late they realized that it was replacing their functioning turbolift with a nonfunctioning one. Unhappy, they decided to explore Engineering. There they were attacked by an Intellect Devourer and were forced to flee. They retreated to med bay where the Android kept knocking them unconscious and feeding them through intravenous drip for three days, until they finally fought free of the drugs and fought their attacker. Chester was knocked unconscious again, but Serena found it and pursued it to Engineering, where she chopped it to bits with her stolen hatchet.

The heroes then searched Engineering, and found a gray card and what proved to be a laser pistol. They then took another turbolift up to deck 14, which turned out to be a lounge.


About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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