Friday, July 20, 2018

Review & OSR Commentary On The Free AD&D Adventure - ZA5: Flayers of the Mind.

"The adventurers find themselves outside of a set of caves in the Dragon Teeth Mountains. They do not remember how they got here or why they came. But they feel drawn by the psychic energies from within the cave and feel compelled to explore them. This is an AD&D psionics adventure for 4-6 characters of from 7th to 10th level of experience. At least one or two characters from the party should have psionic abilities."
Psionic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition adventures are not usually the thing I've heard about someone writing. Its always been psionics in my campaigns or games?! No way! So when I quietly stumbled upon a free high level psionics adventure on Dragon colour me intrigued.

So what's the actual set up & why is it such a higher level adventure? Well this has to do with the actual set up for the adventure which has the PC's caught between to large country empires;
"The adventurers (those with psionicabilities) find themselves suddenly and
mysteriously drawn towards a previously unknown and unmarked cave in the Drag Teeth Mountains. This cave is found deep in these dangerous and wild mountains far  beyond the reaches of civilization. The  mountains border several lands on this
continent and all of these sovereign entities claim ownership over them. Zanzia is the civilized nation to which they truly belong.
But the barbarian lands to the north of  Zanzia often have raiding parties within the
mountain range. The Empire of Jural to the  west of Zanzia also claims ownership and  often has army patrols in them to assert their claim. And of course the Zanzian army itself often patrols near the range.   It is an area filled with the most
dangerous sorts of creatures. Giants, dragons, rocs, griffins and other such beasts are often to be found there. It is not a place for the weak or the helpless to visit."

There is the potential for a lot of combat in such a higher level adventure but its really more of a cross between a bit of combat & lots of investigative role playing. Author Joseph A. Mohr does a good job of balancing his encounters & the pregenerated PC's go a long way towards helping to establish the mood. The psionics is front & center in this adventure & the party of adventurers is going to need all of the help they can get. There are some horrors that are waiting to feast on the PC's minds. The layout & cartography is decent with the focus of the adventure really laying within the lap of one of the psionic adventurer's party.

The party of adventurers that dial & focuses in on the adventure's goals are going to have a better time then a slap dash group of hack & slasher types. The combat and encounters in ZA5: Flayers of the Mind is deadly & could result in a TPK sort of situation. On the whole most of the material in ZA5: Flayers of the Mind is there to challenge & taunt the players as well as their PC's. The design & writing are compact & weird enough to hold my interests.
Players are going to have to out think & use their PC's creatively to get past some of the tricks & traps of ZA5: Flayers of the Mind! But can the PC's make it past some of the weirdness going on in this adventure.

The psionic aspect of
ZA5: Flayers of the Mind  puts a new wrinkle on the usual adventures & modules. The PC mind powers are middle of this adventure & put several spins on some of the encounters & over all goals of this OSR affair.
This piece of artwork isn't in the module ZA5: Flayers of the Mind  but it suits the over all feel  power structure of the adventure. Its well written & has several key encounters that make ZA5: Flayers of the Mind stand out from its pack of other adventures. The PC level is high but there are fates worse then death
Is it worth down loading and taking the time to read it before trying to run this mid to high level affair.

I'm trying to do a commentary & review without giving away key point details on ZA5: Flayers of the Mind. All in all it seems to me that while ZA5: Flayers of the Mind is a good part time distraction from the usual pack of D&D style adventures. Do I think that you should down load it? Absolutely!
The combination of high level play, pregenerated PC's, a bucket load of new NPC's,treasure  & yet another set of mind blowing monsters! The combinations of playing high stakes adventure with a mix of mind control & mind powered weirdness is overwhelmingly the sort of thing I could run on a Saturday or other work night!

ZA5: Flayers of the Mind HERE

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