There is a lot of awesome art in RPGs, but for me there is a clear favorite piece: Larry Elmore’s cover to the Dungeons & Dragon’s Basic (Red) Boxed Set released in the 80s.
The red box was the first RPG product I got for myself, and that image defined what roleplaying was all about: being an awesome warrior fighting dragons in a world of awesome fantasy. That image fueled endless nights of adventures; in a way, it fueled a lifetime as a lover of roleplaying games. Even now, looking at it, it ignites my desire to grab some dice, roll up a character, and head into a dungeon to fight an evil dragon. Simply superb.
I have a second favorite RPG illustration, much different in tone, but no less impactful: the cover to Vampire: The Masquerade 2nd Edition.
It’s hard to describe it without it seeming super simplistic: a field of green marble with a single red rose lying across. Somehow it works, though. It is the perfect image to welcome you into the realm of the Masquerade. It speaks of beauty, loneliness, ominousness; it speaks of death, and life. I always viewed the image as that of a rose placed on a marble tomb, but just as the rose is still alive, so is the occupant of the tomb. Or maybe a rose is just a rose. It’s art, and I love it.
During the month of August, I am participating in #RPGaDay, an opportunity to talk daily about different topics related to games and gaming, organized by Dave Chapman, designer of Doctor Who: Adventures In Time and Space. I’ve been out of gaming for a while, so this is gonna be an interesting exercise.