Eyes Unclouded: An Anthology of 11 Original Adventures Inspired by Classic Japanese Animation by Bridie Dutton, Toto Joe Sullivan and many others
Format : PDF
Acquired 14 August 2020 ; paid $14.95 [launch day price ; full price $19.95]
Product released 14 August 2020 / last updated 28 August 2020
Number of pages : 180 pages
Read 16-25 August 2020
Number of stars 3 (should be 5)
I want to lead with I think this is an excellent and almost entirely well done product. If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli movies AND if you or your players are not murder hobos then this is definitely for you. The artwork, starting with the cover by Auri Cavendish, is simply stunning. As the subtitle states, there are 11 adventures, ranging from Tier 1 to 3. While there certainly is room for combat, more or less depending on the specific adventure, this is far more roleplay-based, with good room for exploration in some cases also. A few are primarily one-shots but some could be woven into ongoing campaigns. One is set in Eberron.
If you meet my two above criteria then I think you do want this collection.
Now for some criticisms:
This product has been updated twice since release. Other than in the file name there is absolutely no indication on the product which verson you are looking at. Please add a version number somewhere on the product itself. The credits page would be a great place for this.
Editing is where my big gripe lays; more specifically, proofreading. Generally, I would say all of the other "higher order" editing functions (developmental, copy) are well done. But there are eight people listed as editors. Not one's responsibility was proofreading?
I had written almost 1000 words about the proofreading but have removed it. Two of the adventures are excellently done and I assume this is due to the author's care before submission. But as a whole the lack of proofreading is shameful. See the Editing section below for the types of issues present. Even with two updates so far not one of the almost 80 issues I found has been fixed.
Preview : The full-size preview has the table of contents, a full-page piece of artwork, and several pages of the first adventure. Maybe that's enough but it seems a bit small to me. My understanding, though, is that all pages in a preview have to be contiguous due to how they are generated so it is definitely tough for folks to provide a good overview of a varied product that doesn't give away too much. I guess this is a decent compromise.
Attribution : All artwork and content is attributed.
TOC : Present but not linked, which would be an extremely useful thing in a document this size. Chapters are in the table of contents view in my PDF reader though so I guess that works. Not all of us use that view though so I still feel links in the ToC are appropriate.
Formatting : The document layout is really good.
Art : Amazing! Quite probably the best part of this product. Beautiful and definitely fits the mood. Applicable, well used, and a good amount.
Style : Highly variable and inconsistently follows WotC D&D House style, sometimes within the same adventure! This is one of my big pain points with this product. I don't care whether a product follows WotC style, although I certainly prefer it. Just make sure you follow whatever style formatting you do choose.
wrong word choice: e.g., deductible vs deducible
contraction without apostrophe
page # reference for map incorrect
lack of spacing where needed and inclusion of spacing where not needed
high variability in formatting of names of spells, magic items, skills, etc., even within adventures (see e.g., seed of life) [biggest issue]
how monsters are identified doesn't fully follow their stated format
chopped off text
"missing" About the Author section (or perhaps the author did not want one is a possibility)
"it's" instead of "its" throughout one adventure
reference to "Dramatis Personae" when the text is labeled "Important Characters" (yes, I know they are the same but does everyone? Also, a reference to a named section of text should reference it by the name actually used)
stilted/confused writing (by someone who seems to be a native English speaker)
Number and type of files included : Originally 1 PDF but now 4 PDFs and a folder with 9 maps in PNG. The 4 PDFs consists of 2 different versions (release and update), each in regular and screen reader friendly versions.
Value : I do think this is a value based on the number of adventures received. I buy very few products from Dungeon Masters Guild above around $12.00 so it is tough for me to ascribe value to them, but considering you are getting 11 adventures across Tier 1 to Tier 3 I do not see how you can complain, at least if you are a Miyazaki fan.
[3 of 5 Stars!]