Wednesday, August 12, 2015

RPGaDay - Day 12 - Favorite RPG Illustration

There have been many illustrations over the years that have had an impact on my interest, and that's probably my primary interest when looking at an illustration for a game: does it tell me something about the game and more importantly, does it make me want to play?

There have been a ton of them over the years - spectacular covers, amazing interior pieces, small character/monster portraits ... how to choose?

Old School: A Paladin in Hell

I could have said "cover of the AD&D Player's handbook" but that's almost too easy. Once you get inside that cover this one always made me stop and look again. It's one signature element of D&D showcased in a full page drawing. There's bound to be a story here - how did he get here? Is he alone? Who is he, and does it matter or is it enough to know he's a Paladin?

Bonus Old School: Emirkol the Chaotic

This one, near the back of the original DMG, was always another stopper too. Trampier's work was a lot more elaborate than Dave Sutherland's but I like both for different reasons. There's even more of an implied story here too - what started this? What happens next?

Additional Bonus Illustration for the Special Edition: Cover of Dragon magazine #62

I loved this picture the first day I saw it and I still love it today.  Who is that guy? Why is he here? Where is he going? What happens next?

Different Flavor of Old School: Gamma World 3rd Edition - the cover of "Delta Fragment"

 Some kind of power armor putting the hurt on a dinosaur while another beast closes in - yeah! This is an image that some of my players and I bring up from time to time. It could equally be a part of Rifts or some supers game but it has stuck with us for close to 30 years so it's worth a mention.

Newer School: Pathfinder Mythic Adventures "the one with the monk and the barbarian and the dinosaurs"

I never get tired of this picture as it too effectively conveys just what "mythic" means in Pathfinder. The weaponless monk making a flying leap on a T-Rex while the barbarian throws a dinosaur at a dinosaur is exactly the kind of ridiculousness that generates table stories that last for decades. Pathfinder has a lot of great illustrations - they are right up there with old school FASA when it comes to art quantities -  I just like this one a bunch.

As far as "image that best conveys what the game is about" I think nothing compares to this:

The illustration so strong they used it for two editions of the game! I think it perfectly shows what a typical Shadowrun campaign is all about. Again, there's a story here - who are those people? Who are they shooting at? Where is this? When is this? It's a great piece for a game book.  It's only rival is this ...

...I mean, that is pretty much AD&D right there on the front. More implied story here - I mean, we all know in general what's going on here but where is this? Who are these guys? What happens next?

I could do a post on this every week and never run out of material...and that's not a bad idea ...


WQRobb said...

I almost picked the Shadowrun cover myself, although what an outfit!

Blacksteel said...

The 2050's will look a lot like the 1980's ...