This module harkens back to ye olden days by evoking The Expedition To Barrier Peaks. The sci-fi time-travel theme was pretty sweet, and the players really got excited by the “wingless dragon” and spent lots of time plotting how to avoid it whenever the force field eventually failed. Luckily, they brought enough rope and were able to traverse the lift tubes after the power went out, managing to avoid battling the wingless dragon entirely. Good job, lads! There was a minimal bodycount this time, but a couple of deaths early in the game while scaling the glacier face put everybody on alert that the danger was real and low rolls meant an early grave. I made a few changes to the printed adventure, using the naked man in the menagerie as our adventure hook, and adding a few different treasure items to the treasury room. But most of all, I had to change the blaster rifle so it never explodes–That’s just too mean! And I figured that anyone trained in crossbow could operate the blaster rifle with no problem. For the finale of the adventure, I used a timer in an idea stolen from Bride Of The Black Manse: One hour real time after leaving the power plant, it explodes, putting the premises on back up power. Fifteen minutes real time after that, back up power fails and all security shields go down, releasing the menagerie, the wingless dragon and the treasure plinths. Other items on the plinths included a box of thin, colorful books (comics) and several figurines attached to colorful placards that could be read with Comprehend Languages to say “Stormtrooper”, “Snaggletooth” and the like. Zepes Null-Eleven was just a collector nerd after all!
I also worked up my own random event chart for when the characters returned to the primitive village and found themselves stranded there. Roll 1d6 for each week the characters live among the savages:
1 Mating Season: It is time for another inexplicable religious ceremony of these savage people. All characters roll under Personality for the option to marry a barbarian bride and roll a new 0 level character from the Primitive Occupations chart (p.13). Should this result be rolled more than once, the tribe practices polygamy.
2 Cannibals Attack: A foreign tribe of starving savages attacks the village with cannibalism in mind. Combat is required of all heroes. The villagers respond as well, leaving 1d3 cannibals per character for the heroes to battle. Cannibals (1d3 per character) : Init ‐1; Atk club ‐1 melee (1d4‐1); AC 10; HD 1d4; MV 30′; Act 1d20; SV Fort ‐1, Ref +0, Will +1; AL N.
3 Barbarian Festival: It is time for another inexplicable religious ceremony of these savage people. All characters of a randomly selected alignment receive +1 Luck. Roll 1d3: (1) Lawful, (2) Neutral, (3) Chaotic.
4 Food Shortage: The frozen lands are unforgiving. All characters are required to hunt for food instead of healing. Roll 1d20: A fumble is an injury that prevents participation in all future village events. A critical hit means your hunting prowess wins you the admiration of a new wife and you may roll up a new 0 level character from the Primitive Occupations chart.
5 Severe Weather: Blizzard or freezing rain catch you unprepared. All characters roll under Stamina or suffer frostbite (-1hp damage and make DC 6 Fort save or lose -1 Stamina permanently.)
6 Talking Wolves: The village is visited by a family of 2d2 talking wolves. They say “Winter is coming,” and “The book was better.” The character with the highest Personality may roll under Personality for the option to parley with the verbose beasts, otherwise combat is required of all heroes. In parley, the wolves will happily answer questions, but they know nothing outside of the frozen north and the George R.R. Martin canon. They speak Wolf, Common and Barbarian. Talking Wolves (2d2): Init +3, Atk bite +2 melee (1d4); AC 12; HD 1d6; MV 40′; Act 1d20; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1; AL L.