Unbreakable Review/Interview

Unbreakable 5e

How did this book come to pass?

Unbreakable initially was inspired at an Uncaged dinner group in GenCon 2019. I was seated with Jazz and a few other Uncaged alumni (some who would be involved in the project), and we talked about different things we would like to work on in the future. At one point in the conversation, I brought up the notion of doing an Asian inspired adventure series. Jazz was extremely enthusiastic about it, within a month later, Jazz helped organize it, and we began recruiting for contributors for the project. Along the recruitment process, our group of contributors wanted to turn Unbreakable into an OwnVoices project to fully express the cultures represented within the adventures and the artwork.

What is the significance of the title?

When we (Jazz and I) initially thought about the theme of the adventure anthology, we had this visual inspiration for a bamboo forest and what sort of encounters one might in there. This idea evolved further to become the present-day incarnation, we still wanted the anthology’s name to pay homage to those early thoughts, and we came up with Unbreakable. I was inspired by a quote from Morihei Ueshiba, “Study the teachings of the pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom. The pine is evergreen, firmly rooted, and venerable. The bamboo is strong, resilient, unbreakable. The plum blossom is hardy, fragrant, and elegant.”  and another quote by Ping Fu, ” Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance.” These quotes had me think about my struggles as an Asian American and the things that myself and my family have gone through to achieve our present lifestyle. It had me recall the efforts of the many people before and how many have adapted to their new lives to achieve their dreams. In that spirit, we were unbreakable in our resolve and determination, and from it, we will continue to be into the future.

I love the cover, who is the artist?

We all love our precious salamander that greets readers into Unbreakable. The cover was done by Joshua Mendenhall, co-director and lead designer for The Islands of Sina Una, a setting built on pre-colonial Philippines and its mythology

It seems like an impossible task to direct the work of so many people, how did you manage this project?

It certainly felt like an insurmountable task, but Jazz and I had great examples from Ashley Warren’s leadership for the Uncaged Anthology. You learn from example, right? We were very fortunate to learn from a great example. We later had Caroline join as our Graphics Designer and Art Lead. The duo became a trio, and from there, we were able to individually coordinate and tackle the three main pillars of its production: the writing, the art, and the editing. An essential part of managing a project is having open lines of communication with our contributors while providing spaces for them to brainstorm their ideas. But I am humbled and honored to have worked alongside Jazz and Caroline on this project, and we supported each other during its development. So I guess the best way to answer this question was teamwork, having flexible deadlines, and working through any obstacles together.

What formats is Unbreakable available in, and where can it be purchased?

Unbreakable Volume 1 is available in digital PDF and hardcover print on DriveThruRPG.

Unbreakable-Vol1-Books-Preview

Unbreakable Details:

  • 253 pages
  • 10 D&D5e adventures for tier 1-4
  • Original Asian-inspired monsters, NPCs, magic items, and characters from folklore, myths, and legends.
  • $19.95 PDF, $39.95 Hardcover, $49.95 PDF + Hardcover

My Thoughts:

  • Beautiful layout – colorful and easy to read
  • Each 5th Edition adventure bears a content warning to avoid possible triggers
  • Information on adjusting each adventure’s difficulty
  • Several new monsters and accompanying lore
  • Advice on how to roleplay complex NPCs

This book is massive. It has ten highly-detailed adventures that were clearly written by knowledgeable authors. As you read this supplement you can tell a lot of love went into its construction. I cannot recommend this project highly enough. Check it out on Drive. Let’s hope vol. 1 is the first of many!

 

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