Cover Art

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So I realize that this is way far far far off. But what would you like to see on the cover of the core three books? Personally I hated the 4e ones for depicting a group of dudes on the front.

So what are your thoughts? Please but them into this format to make it easy on people


DMG: Big fluffy bunny with dice
PHB: Big fluffy bunny with a sword
MM: Big fluffy bunny with fangs & some tentecales
I don't have too much of a preferance on what the pictures I want should be, but I do want them to be dark in color. The brightness of 4E's stuff bothered me. Pathfinders art style bothers me too. I don't know what it is about me but it drives me crazy every time I see a pathfinder book.

So, something more shaded / dark, perhaps similar to 2E books. 
Clearly, all of the books need to feature that awful photo of Mike Mearls, with half-assed LARP gear obviously photoshopped on top.

Can you photoshop that Mearls photo into the classic 1e PHB cover to replace the statue of Orcus? That would be awesome. Then photoshop Perkins into the 1e DMG cover to replace the efreeti. That is what I want to see.
I'd like to see all the book covers appear as old mystical tomes. 
My wife also really liked the 3e tome-style covers.  I'm partial to pictures myself.  For me, nothign beats the first PHB by trampier.
I'd like to see all the book covers appear as old mystical tomes. 




Please no that was cute for the first 3 or 4 books but after that no.
My wife also really liked the 3e tome-style covers.  I'm partial to pictures myself.  For me, nothign beats the first PHB by trampier.



Yes, the original covers of the 1e PHB & DMG are perfect.  Though the MM was awefull.
The recent re-prints of those three are very nice cover wise though.
I would like to see an action being demonstrated.  I find those are some of my favorite pictures out of 4e.  For example:

PH: A warrior holding off an assualt of goblins while the thief and wizard are trying to figure out some mystical door.
DMG: A beautiful setting (elvish, dwarvish, human, whatever) and a brave band of adventurers making their way toward it.
MM: A group encountering, of course, a dragon!  Not all may be fighting. 
As well as getting a great cover art, i hope they continue to use the technique used on 4E's book covers.

The layered graphics gave a fantastic effect.


(See contrast between the character and the background)




Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter



Another contrast between character and background.  Simply breathtaking art work here.
As long as they don't look like:

1. The 3.5 "style" that looked more like a 3rd grader's arts and crafts project gone wrong. All that was  missing was the macaroni necklace. If they were going for "old, mystical tome", they failed with epic magnitude.

2. The super-cartoonish format used for the 4E Player's Strategy Guide

Then I'll be okay with whatever the choose.  

Naturally, I would love to see some cover art from the likes of Brom, Royo, or even Diterlizzi, but I'm not holding my breath.

That is one of my all time favorites right there.
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As long as they don't look like:

1. The 3.5 "style" that looked more like a 3rd grader's arts and crafts project gone wrong. All that was  missing was the macaroni necklace. If they were going for "old, mystical tome", they failed with epic magnitude.

2. The super-cartoonish format used for the 4E Player's Strategy Guide

Then I'll be okay with whatever the choose.  

Naturally, I would love to see some cover art from the likes of Brom, Royo, or even Diterlizzi, but I'm not holding my breath.



The one used on player's strategy guide fit with the content of the book actually with the lenguage it use to the readers and the tone of the book....it contain certains contents of humor and it's very juvenile in nature.  It is also great for new players that never played RPG in general, so it needed not to feel opresive at all
Personally I like the Tome look, the way that popping open the DMG 3.5 made me feel like a wizard or a scholar of ancient knowledge... yeah. Never really like books with action put on the cover, but I could really go for some cool artwork on the cover

While I'm not an artist, I know what I would like thematically:

DMG:
A cloaked and hooded figure overlooking a crystal ball, inside said crystal ball is a silhouette of four characters killing monsters.

PHB:
Four giant statues of EPIC adventurers with four low level adventurers looking up at them.

MM:
Shot of four character silhouette fighting up a pyramid like structure, with Orcs and Goblins, atop the structure is an Elder Dragon.
(Inconsistencies, while Goblins and Orcs are common low level enemies they would never be seen guarding an Elder Dragon)  
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I'm also very open to them making the book covers fit with these games that I own.

 
WAR did a great jobon the 4e and PF books, and I hope he does a bit for dnd next.
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wel i would also like to see a leather bound edition again.


 
but that should be released about 2 or 3 years into the game so it can also add value by having errata included 
I'd like to see all the book covers appear as old mystical tomes. 



If they did a much better job than they did with the 3e books, sure.


Along those lines, I'd love a black leatherbound (at least looking) book with the name of the book on the side, and just the Ampersand on the front, in blue or purple, because they work really well with black to really draw the eye. Text on the spine in "silver", preferably.  (maybe this could be a couple years in collectors set?)


Since that's probably less an option than other things, I'd settle for some quality art appropriate to the feel of dnd.

DMG: Heroes kneeling before a king, with the various element making it clear that they've earned some sort of reward, and are being honoured. Let Jon Hodgeson do this one.

PHB: either the classic heroes walking toward the "camera" with an evil temple burning in the background, or a group of heroes screaming battle cries in the face of a red dragon as they charge.

MM: either a sleeping dragon on it's hoard, with a kobold or 5 standing about, possibly bickering or otherwise being goofy, or something like the Monster Vault cover with the owlbear.
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Meh.  Just get your own book cover.
Cool, but not the same as getting high quality collector's editions of the rule books.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I think the cartoony art from the 4e PSG could be fine in a less than serious D&D Book. I wouldn't want to see that art on the cover of any of the Core 3. Besides being ill-fitting for a serious D&D book, it would likely scare away people who might take that to mean D&D is now a kids' game. (No offense to the PSG's artist- I personally love your art!) Here's what I think would be cool for the Core 3:

PHB: A band of 4 heroes (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue & Wizard, of course) standing in an ancient temple/dungeon. Maybe some skulls on the ground, red eyes glowing in the darkness, stuff like that.

DMG: A wizard/Archmage/oracle looking into a crystal ball, scrying on a band of adventurers standing on a pile of gold (possibly a dragon's hoard).

MM: A red dragon standing in a burning forest/cavern, facing a group of heroes with flames still flickering around its mouth. Maybe the dragon's hoard is in the background.

I would love to see some kind of connection between the books, like how the 4e PHB had a human Wizard & a dragonborn Fighter, and the DMG had a dragon scrying on the same pair of adventurers. I think a red dragon would be iconic enough to take the place of cover subject for MM. I also like the back cover art from the 4e Core 3.

I'm pretty open on this subject, so I'm fine with almost any cover art, as long as it's fittingly epic.
I love the cover art of 3e-3.5e. Of course if those books actually felt like wizard's tomes as well as looking like them, it would have been more fun.
Okay it seems overwelmingly that people either want tomes, or the books depicting different scenes



So I'd like to say, how would you feel if the art was something like

PHB - A group of adventurers in a dungeon & a red dragon (Showing the adventures more than anything)
MM - A red dragon in the same dungeon as the characters of the PHG looking at them from it's perspective angle (Showing the dragon more than anything)
DMG - A wizard looking in a crystal ball at the scene of the adventurers & the red dragon
I'm not a fan of portraying the DM as a wizard.  The DM is not a PC.  Any emotional shot of adventurers works well for the PHB, whether they are climbing a cursed statue of Orcus or fighting a dragon.

I wouldn't mind a Rashomon kind of cover for the three core...
PHB: A picture of PCs charging into a lair of dragon
MM: A picture of a dragon reacting to PCs charging into its lair.
DMG: An overview of a lair with PCs charging a dragon, and lots of other details that neither the PCs or dragon presently notice (traps, more detail on the magic items in the hoard, hallways leading off to the distance, etc.).
I'm not a fan of portraying the DM as a wizard.  The DM is not a PC.  Any emotional shot of adventurers works well for the PHB, whether they are climbing a cursed statue of Orcus or fighting a dragon.

I wouldn't mind a Rashomon kind of cover for the three core...
PHB: A picture of PCs charging into a lair of dragon
MM: A picture of a dragon reacting to PCs charging into its lair.
DMG: An overview of a lair with PCs charging a dragon, and lots of other details that neither the PCs or dragon presently notice (traps, more detail on the magic items in the hoard, hallways leading off to the distance, etc.).



I agree totally cause I saw the cartoon and the DM is certainly somekind of weird halfling thing.
I agree totally cause I saw the cartoon and the DM is certainly somekind of weird halfling thing.


I'm not a fan of portraying the DM as a wizard.  The DM is not a PC.  Any emotional shot of adventurers works well for the PHB, whether they are climbing a cursed statue of Orcus or fighting a dragon.

I wouldn't mind a Rashomon kind of cover for the three core...
PHB: A picture of PCs charging into a lair of dragon
MM: A picture of a dragon reacting to PCs charging into its lair.
DMG: An overview of a lair with PCs charging a dragon, and lots of other details that neither the PCs or dragon presently notice (traps, more detail on the magic items in the hoard, hallways leading off to the distance, etc.).



No one is saying that the wizard is the DM, but it is a symbolical image of someone more powerful than the characters watching them & generally feeling malevolent toward them

I agree totally cause I saw the cartoon and the DM is certainly somekind of weird halfling thing.







KILL IT KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!
I was always a sucker for the classics. Frazetta. Brom. Love them.


 
Hocus,

Those are all seriously legit, and the reason I started playing D&D! Let's move away from the cartoony and back to the epic Swords and Sorcery artwork your covers describe!
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
I would buy all three of those books right now.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
I always found the grittiness and brutality of older fantasy art a major draw. The only downside is that classic fantasy art also enjoyes depicting scantily-clad (or outright nude, in the case of Frazetta and others) women who always seem to need rescuing. Likely, it would be a major turnoff to a large portion of the customer base.
I'm pretty sure my voice'll be the minority here, but I think that the core books should try to depict the game of D&D being played on the cover, not just generic medieval fantasy art. There's no reason it can't be both, but I think it'd be better if someone browsing the store saw the cover and could immediately tell from the cover that it's rules for a game where you sit with your friends, roll dice, and share an adventure. And I personally don't care what fantasy trope is used for the cover otherwise; I don't need to be sold on the game, I already know what it is.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Seeing people play is offputting. You want to depict the fantasy of the game not the mundanity. Placing the word "game" somewhere on the cover is more than enough.
I always found the grittiness and brutality of older fantasy art a major draw. The only downside is that classic fantasy art also enjoyes depicting scantily-clad (or outright nude, in the case of Frazetta and others) women who always seem to need rescuing. Likely, it would be a major turnoff to a large portion of the customer base.

Yeah but a turn on for the rest of us.

Wait, am I being politically uncorrect? Or mabye even incorrect? ;)

Seriously though, I love that style of fantasy art.  Very swords-n-sorcerery, Conan-esque.  Those books were all over the shelves (near the D&D stuff) when I was first getting into the game.  

I'd love to see it represented in Next.  There's gotta be room for more than one or two styles.
/\ Art
I'm not a fan of portraying the DM as a wizard.  The DM is not a PC.  Any emotional shot of adventurers works well for the PHB, whether they are climbing a cursed statue of Orcus or fighting a dragon.

I wouldn't mind a Rashomon kind of cover for the three core...
PHB: A picture of PCs charging into a lair of dragon
MM: A picture of a dragon reacting to PCs charging into its lair.
DMG: An overview of a lair with PCs charging a dragon, and lots of other details that neither the PCs or dragon presently notice (traps, more detail on the magic items in the hoard, hallways leading off to the distance, etc.).



Personally, priceless.  The fact that the DMG is more in line with what we do, overlooking the game, has great appeal to me.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

I agree, we shouldn't become so PC to need to make the artwork all cartoon and "safe" sensibilities have come a long way and no longer what was risqué back then is so now days.

Go back to gritty sculpted, detailed realistic high fantasy art. We don't need two systems of Pathfinder style dungeon-punk art.
Elmore style is good, it just evokes fantasy without shoving it down your throat.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
I always found the grittiness and brutality of older fantasy art a major draw. The only downside is that classic fantasy art also enjoyes depicting scantily-clad (or outright nude, in the case of Frazetta and others) women who always seem to need rescuing. Likely, it would be a major turnoff to a large portion of the customer base.

Yeah but a turn on for the rest of us.

Wait, am I being politically uncorrect? Or mabye even incorrect? ;)

Seriously though, I love that style of fantasy art.  Very swords-n-sorcerery, Conan-esque.  Those books were all over the shelves (near the D&D stuff) when I was first getting into the game.  

I'd love to see it represented in Next.  There's gotta be room for more than one or two styles.



As long as it's not the only art, and it's not reprints. I'd prefer it if not a single reprint from older editions was used in the new core books.

I also am completely underwhelmed by the art style hocus posted. Gritty and brutal is all well and good, but the actual art style presented is just...meh, to me.

I'd much rather have stuff like Jon Hodgeson: for the MM,

  for the phb,
 

 and for the DMG,
.



No one is saying that the wizard is the DM, but it is a symbolical image of someone more powerful than the characters watching them & generally feeling malevolent toward them





No.

I want no part of encouraging that crap. sorry.



Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome


No one is saying that the wizard is the DM, but it is a symbolical image of someone more powerful than the characters watching them & generally feeling malevolent toward them





No.

I want no part of encouraging that crap. sorry.



Looking back over the years at the old DMGs, we have:

1E (original): Giant djinn/demon/nasty monster looming over a person while holding another
1E (revised): Meanacing-looking (or at least powerful/dagerous looking) cloaked person
2E (original): Wizard summoning a dragon (or vice-versa)
2E (revised): Ogres/giants smashing through a door headed violently toward the viewer
3E: colorful tome
3.5: colorful tome
4E: Dragon scrying some adventurers in a crystal ball

So...you're only in favor of the 3E/3.5 DMG covers of the past, as they are the only ones NOT depicting someone/something powerful and/or malevolent? Just curious.
I don't have a problem, with a DMG portraying malevolence.  Our job as DMs is, after all, to put the PCs in mortal danger. 

My only issue is that I find the 1e (original), 2e (revised), and 4e covers to be too easily confused with a monster manual.  It doesn't tell me enough about what the book is about.

The 1e (revised) and 2e (original) are better -- as a DM I just don't think of myself as a wizard and I don't like the implication that wizards are kind of quasi-DMs (and I've met too many players of wizards who act like they are!) 

I personally feel more like a general, marshalling resources to challenge the players.  Heck, showing a medieval general in a colorful tent poring over a battle map with model siege engines and troops, and upon which are also living adventurers, would be a pretty cool cover concept!