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Eyes Unclouded $19.95
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2020 07:38:11

This review is for the Tier 1 adventures. I'll be following it up with the Tier 2 and Tier 3 adventures. I was going to just do more of an overview, but I needed to spent more time on each one.

Honestly, I haven’t seen all the Studio Ghibli films and I certainly won’t get all the references, but I’ve seen more than enough to know that the otherworldly awe, wonder and happenstance essence of the Studio Ghibli films captured and woven into these wonderful adventures and truly inspired ideas. You absolutely do not have to have seen a single frame to enjoy these sumptuous and shockingly beautiful tales. You will love the references, inspirations, cameos and homages to the films of Hayao Miyazaki, but at their heart these are simply phenomenal adventures.

The fact that many of these glorious adventures comes with a recipe for an unbelievably tasty treats from Cinderling cake pops, tarts fit for a Cat King and éclairs that make me weep for being dairy free, is an unbelievably awesome bonus, and a truly inspired idea! Perfect to bake for your game group or as an ice-breaker/ to give you advantage on convincing friends, family and fans of the Studio Ghibli films to play these amazing adventures.

Tier 1

Cinderling Herding by Tineke Bollemon

I found it genuinely hard to start reading because the artwork for this adventure is just so beautiful and freaking adorable! I just found myself staring and getting lost in it!

“Cinderlings are small, roughly round balls made from the soot and ash left in chimneys, fi replaces and furnaces of old and abandoned houses. When moving about, they leave a little ash in their wake.

If the place the Cinderlings reside becomes inhabited, they observe the new residents. If the new inhabitants are nice, the Cinderlings leave. If not, they cause mischief, hoping to drive the inhabitants away.”

Opening with a magical and gorgeous description of Cinderlings, who cannot verbally communicate with other creatures for their voices are just too high, which leads to much cute, animated and amusing interpretative dance, this adventure is essentially a caravan guard mission in which the caravan are adorable little soot motes in need of a new home and protection as they travel through the forest to the ruins of a mansion. This will be the perfect new pad, once the fire spirits that guard the hearth have been vanquished.

Cinderlings are easily distracted and a list of possible reasons why a Cinderlings might wander off or get distracted included, which absolutely melted me, including, becoming “Fascinated by its reflection in a puddle, Hitched a ride on a snail, Conversing with a mouse” and “Found a shiny rock they want to keep but it’s too heavy to carry, slowing them down.”

Throughout the forest are all manner of encounters from creatures, terrain and weather features/ challenges to magical moments. The layout of random encounters with all manner of options, allows for a brief jaunt through the enchanted wood to an entire Odyssey of a trek, with the magical encounters adding weird wonders, including all manner of cameos and spiritual presences, my favourite being, “a scarecrow with a turnip for a head follows the party for a little bit. It quickly hops away on its stick when the adventurers try to confront it.”

These encounters not only give great variety for the adventure, but act as a fantastic resource and inspiration for further magical anime adventures

Wonderful advice is given for handling Cinderling Peril, depending on your group makeup and dynamic:

“Having a Cinderling die due to failure on the adventurer’s part might be hard to cope with for younger players. Having a Cinderling be ‘injured’ instead is a better solution. Healing cinder lings can be done with magic, or for younger players, a kiss could also work. Of course, kissing a Cinderling better gives a soot stained face.

For older players the death of a Cinderling might sting, but serves to drive the consequences of failure home.”

Don’t let anything bad happen to the little cutie patooties, especially as the fire spirits will try to nibble and consume them to heal in the final confrontation!

The adventure concludes adorably with magical candy rewards with d50 random effects and “the Cinderling [consecrating] their new home by dancing, singing and gladly [inviting] the adventurers to participate in their celebrations.”

I cannot express how beautifully written, conceptualised and presented this adventure is! It perfectly captures the childish Ghibli magic and wonder, as well as having a solid adventure frame with all manner of thoughtful, fun, mechanically and thematically sound encounters and moments.

This is already worth the cover price!

The Cinderling Cake Pops looks sensational and have my mouth watering!

An Unfamiliar Court by Bridie Dutton

Feywild felines and a Faerie Dragon full of fibs!

The theft of a precious amulet by a wily weasel (illustrated beautifully) sets off a chase through busy, horizontal streets, ultimately leading to the Feywild and a reflection of the town the party were in only moments before...in the vertical form of a cat tree. This new town is presided over by a cat King. Celebrations and festivities are in full swing for the coming of the coming Summer Court.

The attractions are plentiful as the party movies through the city from fire-breathing rats with dubious aim and a crotchety cephalopod in a barrel selling tarts (because why not?) to weasels and snakes tumbling and “contorting their bodies to form the shapes of monsters such as umber hulks and displacer beasts” (who quite literally take a tumble at the surprise of seeing the party) and an illusionist raven with an invitation to dinner further up the tree, as well as a system for gaining evidence to uncover the trickster Faerie Dragon among the crowd throughout the adventure.

At a feast for the Cat King is an interesting affair with all guests performing. “An owl reads poetry, a rat performs acrobatics, and there’s an a Capella band of frogs”, so it is all the more amusing when the characters find it is their turn, while they are under the random effects of fey food, which could really give them the edge impressing the royal kitty...or they could end up belching noxious gas with every word uttered... So, swings and roundabouts.

Unless the party wish to be bounced back to the prime material plane by a lizard and floating sea house, it’s time to leg it again, in a section I cannot but stand and applaud the creator for their exquisitely forced pun on the name of the town, “You Can’t Stay Eleut-here-ia”. Pure poetry.

Reunited with the illusionist raven, the party learn of the Faerie Dragon’s rouse, together set out to gather evidence and expose them. Advice and means to conduct the investigation are provided, with the conclusion depending on whether the party want to throw down with the fanciful fey and their pixie pals, convince the king of the deception or turn the tricker into the trickee with a prank worthy of an A-Team and MacGyver crossover! It just so happens that the town members and entertainers can form like Voltron in to the illusion of a dragon dragon!

This is an incredibly well thought out adventure full of fun antics coming together at the end in an American Tale ending extravaganza, which can actually turn the mercurial Faerie Dragon into an ally of the town and the party...or send them off with their tail between their legs! Whatever happens, the town should be friendly and the Amulet can be returned with a possibly even more meaning addition for the mage.

Seeds for fourth adventures are included with the party having the chance to act as envoy for the town and simply as a springboard in to more adventures through the veil.

This adventure comes with a recipe for Eleutherian Jelly Tarts, which look fit for a king!

Delivery Witches Apply Within by Brittney Hay (@FNDungeonMom)

This adventure sees the homely Kat and Cake Bakery (KaCB) [and delivery service] facing a smear campaign from their competitor, The Purple Stove Outfitters (TPSO), and can be worked into any city, such as Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter, etc.

The characters could find themselves witness to notice board vandalism! Actually, see with their own eyes, a representative of TPSO tearing up flyers, while promoting themselves; unseemly. Or the gentler way in is at the behest of a cute kitty. Rarely have I seen such different ambient hooks for the same adventure, but I love it!

All I needed to know was: “the Purple Stove has steadily lost business for various reasons, like missed deliveries and damaged packages due to careless workers boycotting low wages.” PAY YOUR WORKERS MORE! EAT THE RICH, BUT NOR THEIR BAKED GOODS! [I wonder if I’m allowed to be overtly anti-capitalist in reviews, when you can’t be on the cover of adventures? Anyways, if I’m breathing, reviewing and Hyping please understand I am exuding anti-capitalism from every pore, pun and palliteration!]

Climbs unsteadily off soapbox

The owners of KaCB, Kirsa and Minima are two lovely, badarse middle-aged married bakers, co-owners of their business and, honey, they are most definitely two or above, because they are not the one.

The party join KaCB and there is an incredible array of deliveries to make and delays/ challenges as they shoot about all over the city delivering wonders and over facing adversity as they go. The deliveries range from a delectable delicate cake that must be kept horizontal and safe using a Ring of Tenser’s Floating Disc, through Bath tokens with the possibility to aid a polluted water spirit (Water Weird), which is just straight up glorious scene from Spirited Away converted to D&D, to delivering tea leaves to a delightful Duke with magical tea and healing tea cakes. All deliveries come with one or suggested delay, which can be things like an out of control cart, strange enchanting mist or running into the BBEGs (Bad Baking Evil Guys) from the TPSO smearing KaCB’s good name! My favourite, which gave me another huge grin, after the Water Spirit, is Cabbages! I believe to be a reference to Avatar: the Last Airbender. There are more than enough here to really have fun with this, stretching it out and expanding or just running a couple and having many more for replayability.

If the party are successful, they are rewarded with Brooms of Flying to truly live out there Kiki’s Delivery Service fantasy (and whoop some TPSO arse if necessary).

This brilliantly fun adventure also comes with Baby Mimic stats and a whole host of trinkets and magic Items, including, "A pink scabbard that feels lighter than it actually is, A gem that adheres to the holder’s forehead like a third eye, and Magic Sugar Cubes with Enlarging/ Reducing effect.

Kirsa’s Fish Chowder Pot Pie just looks so homely and filling! This book is really testing my willpower and making me salivate!

Honestly, I haven’t seen all the Studio Ghibli films and I certainly won’t get all the references, but I’ve seen more than enough to know that the otherworldly awe, wonder and happenstance essence of the Studio Ghibli films captured and woven into these wonderful adventures and truly inspired ideas. You absolutely do not have to have seen a single frame to enjoy these sumptuous and shockingly beautiful tales. You will love the references, inspirations, cameos and homages to the films of Hayao Miyazaki, but at their heart these are simply phenomenal adventures.

The fact that many of these glorious adventures come with incredibly bright and tasty recipes for sumptuous treats from Cinderling cake pops, tarts fit for a Cat King and éclairs that make me weep for being dairy free, is an unbelievably awesome bonus, and a truly inspired idea! If you’re anything like me, you've always wanted to eat the food from a Studio Ghibli films, and this is about as close as you're going to get! Perfect to bake for your game group or as an ice-breaker/ to give you advantage on convincing friends, family and fans of the Studio Ghibli films to play these amazing adventures.

This anthology is filled with breathtaking art that grabs you by the lapels and sends you soaring into the air and into fantasy worlds of dream and imagination! This alone is worth the asking price for truly one of the most exquisitely gorgeous TTRPG supplements or all time.

We become something more when we work together, something more elevated and beautiful than we can imagine, and this is certainly true of the anthology projects on DMs Guild, such as the unbelievable Uncaged and Unbreakable anthologies, the Books of Seasons, the Princess Project, Eat the Rich, Odyssey Anthology, Through the Veil and Wisdom Under Fire to name but a handful. Eyes Unclouded easily counts itself among top of these other breathtaking projects, showcasing the boundless inspiration and talent in these creators who harness the inspiration of these phenomenal films and weave them. Into their own wonders!

Producer’s Notes

“You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.”

– Hayao Miyazaki

“We may be biased, but we feel comfortable stating that the works of Hayao Miyazaki have an above average density of lessons for how to be a better human being. Regardless of the age you’re fortunate enough to experience them, these lessons form a sort of curriculum. This curriculum shows us that it’s noble to have respect for your planet and sometimes you need to step up and defend it. It says that women can do anything, and that nothing is as important as believing in yourself. It says that magic is everywhere if you know where to look, even if tanuki are straight up terrifying. There is wisdom in taking those lessons with us wherever we go...”

My Affiliate Link https://www.dmsguild.com/product/3227-
33/Eyes-Unclouded?affiliate_id=1507682

Credits

Narrative Design: Anthony Alipio, Tineke Bolleman, C. Michael Chase, Bridie Dutton, Brittney Hay, Kat Kruger, Jacky Leung, Amber Litke, Sadie Lowry, Collette Quach, Toto Joe Sullivan

Cover Art: Auri Cavendish Original

Art: Auri Cavendish, Cammielle Gwisdalla, H. “Ink” Kugler, Xan Larson, Amber Litke, Sadie Lowry, Morgan Madeline, Megan McCurdy, Lessie Nieves-Paugh, Mars Skiff

Art Direction: Megan McCurdy

Cartography: Auri Cavendish The maps used in A City in the Mountains are a modified version of maps created by Dyson Logos.

Editing: C. Michael Chase, Remy Cortez, Bridie Dutton, Brittney Hay, Miguel Guerreiro Lourenço, Kai Linder, Echo Roanoke, Toto Joe Sullivan

Layout: Bridie Dutton and Lydia Van Hoy Production: Bridie Dutton and Toto Joe Sullivan Additional Art: Pixabay, Robert Bruce McDougall (Public Domain), Daniel F Walthall (CC BY 4.0 license), Lucas Marcomini (Unsplash), Ales Krivec (Unsplash), Damien Creatz (Unsplash), Deva Williamson (Unsplash), Dmytro Tolokono (Unsplash), Eberhard Grossgasteiger (Unsplash), Some artwork © 2015 Vagelio Kaliva, used with permission. All rights reserved, Some artwork courtesy of WotC for use in DMsGuild Publications

My Affiliate Link https://www.dmsguild.com/product/3227-
33/Eyes-Unclouded?affiliate_id=1507682



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