'Wizards Presents: Classes and Races' Cover Art

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So the first preview book is now up on the official site:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/0786948019

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/products_dndacc_0786948019_lgpic.jpg)

That could be a glimpse of what other 4e sourcebooks will look like, or at least what the next preview book will look like. It still can't be certain that that's the final cover, but since it's close to release I think it's safe to assume that's pretty close.
If this is to be the new 4e sourcebook look, I'd personally like to see some leathery effect at least on the background colour, and I'm still not sure about the white title bar, but otherwise it's not bad.
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I like the old school diagonal band (4th Edition Preview!) in the bottom right corner
A tiefling similar in design to this one (placement of horns and tail) appears in the illustrations on pages 110 and 112 of the Rules Compendium.

Have to say, when I saw this cover, I also thought, "Red box!"
The tiefling makes me think of rogue and the Desert Wind concept from the Bo9S.

The human makes me think of paladin or fighter.
Man, I was hoping that the guy on the PHB was a half-dragon, but if they put one there AND on the Classes and Races book, I guess it's a tiefling. I do not like this new look for them.

Other than that, I like this new style. It gives one more place to show off the art, and it'll make the books a little easier to tell apart from a distance.
Rhymes with Bruce
Man, I was hoping that the guy on the PHB was a half-dragon, but if they put one there AND on the Classes and Races book, I guess it's a tiefling. I do not like this new look for them.

They are red, and they have horns, what's new about that?

Anyway, every time I look at new cover art preview, it just comes right at me and hits me in the head with an "EBERRON MATERIAL!" sign. I'm not saying I don't like the images, they're just too eberronesque to me.=P But, it's just a style, and I suppose it could be worse.
They are red, and they have horns, what's new about that?

Anyway, every time I look at new cover art preview, it just comes right at me and hits me in the head with an "EBERRON MATERIAL!" sign. I'm not saying I don't like the images, they're just to eberronesque to me.=P But, it's just a style, and I suppose it could be worse.

The new look is the HUGE horns they have. The ones I was familiar with had more subtle traits. Small horns, that they could put a hat over and conceal for the most part. Maybe sharper teeth, or slightly clawlike hands. "A whiff of brimstone" is how I heard them described. This is more like being sprayed in the face with sulfur. Ah well, flavor is one of the easiest things to houserule anyway, I suppose.
Rhymes with Bruce
But that does not look like same thing as the guy on the Player's Handbook. There is still hope that the person on the PHB is a half-dragon.
The new look is the HUGE horns they have. The ones I was familiar with had more subtle traits. Small horns, that they could put a hat over and conceal for the most part. Maybe sharper teeth, or slightly clawlike hands. "A whiff of brimstone" is how I heard them described. This is more like being sprayed in the face with sulfur. Ah well, flavor is one of the easiest things to houserule anyway, I suppose.

Well, to be fair, there was also the possibility of hooves in place of feet, which is more grotesque than any aspect of the new appearance.

Anyway, I do like the fact that they are a bit less human. The previous traits were too easy to go unnoticed. Now tieflings are tieflings, and not just humans with robes.
Well, to be fair, there was also the possibility of hooves in place of feet, which is more grotesque than any aspect of the new appearance.

Anyway, I do like the fact that they are a bit less human. The previous traits were too easy to go unnoticed. Now tieflings are tieflings, and not just humans with robes.

the menace is really that now all tieflings are going to look alike.
the menace is really that now all tieflings are going to look alike.

I'm on the fence about this one, on one hand it's nifty to make Tieflings there own standalone/consistent race (ancient empires and all of that), but I also liked the 'every Tiefling is different depending on their fiendish heritage' aspect.

One of the main antagonists in the Planescape campaign I'm running at the moment is a Tiefling with Yugoloth heritage and he has 3 yellow eyes. It's fun to come up with the cosmetic features for Tieflings (this one is hairless and blue etc).
But no one said they look the same! They don't look the same on this cover vs. the PHB cover, so why would they be the same all the time. Yes, they often have bigs horns and a tail, but just like you could have a beardless dwarf or a blonde-haired elf, your tiefling's heritage's pact could consistently have given his family shorter horns and goat legs for millennia. They don't have to look like they have been shown in a all of the four-odd pictures we've seen so far.
the menace is really that now all tieflings are going to look alike.

First, we don't know anything about that.
Second, we know what are the tiefling's origins going to be like. They might not be the distant descendant of a demon anymore, they might be the descendants of an ancient human empire that was cursed for whatever reason.

Anyway, that was just an example, what I meant is that if tiefling are now common enough to deserve a place in the sacred handbook, than they probably are a little more than humans with who's great-grandfather was half-fiendish (given the rarity of this situation). And, thus, this new origin might have created them all in the same way.

I agree that it's silly to have both a yuguloth and a succubus descendant with the same a appearance, but it might just be that our new tieflings are neither of those.
A better cover than the proposed PHB, but this book (and the monster preview books) are such rip-offs. I hope no one is seriously willing to sink money into a $20 book that will simply be replaced by the $30 PHB.
A better cover than the proposed PHB, but this book (and the monster preview books) are such rip-offs. I hope no one is seriously willing to sink money into a $20 book that will simply be replaced by the $30 PHB.

Actually, I think this book will be an item for the fans. It probably won't have any mechanics in it, but many explanations on the general directions each class has taken. Along with a bunch of comments and description of how they ended up there, and what path they took in the middle.

I think it would something worth reading, but nothing I'd pay 20$ for.:P
Actually, I think this book will be an item for the fans. It probably won't have any mechanics in it, but many explanations on the general directions each class has taken. Along with a bunch of comments and description of how they ended up there, and what path they took in the middle.

I think it would something worth reading, but nothing I'd pay 20$ for.:P

I will definitely stand in Borders reading this until someone who works there makes me leave. But, yeah, it's not the sort of thing I would buy.
Ok - it's a simple preview to 4E. Not an expansion, or rules supplement, or campaign guide...just a preview of an upcoming product. And they want $20 for it?

That smacks an awful lot of corporate money-grabbing.

Any chance of a pdf/web-based version of this for people who don't want to waste $20 and a half-inch of bookshelf space just to get a preview of an upcoming product?
I will definitely stand in Borders reading this until someone who works there makes me leave. But, yeah, it's not the sort of thing I would buy.

Any chance of a pdf/web-based version of this for people who don't want to waste $20 and a half-inch of bookshelf space just to get a preview of an upcoming product?

As said makeshiftwings, you can always go to your book store and read it there.;) (just make sure you go to a large one.)
That's sort of taking advantage of the establishment. I generally try to avoid reading through books in a store unless I'm considering purchasing them.

In any case, I think a selling a book about a book you're about to be selling is sort of silly at least, and horrible money-whoring at the worst.
When 2E was in the works, there was a magazine-like preview that was put out and it was free. I wish I'd kept mine, but it gave a quick preview of elements of the game and had a discussion of why and what was going on. I don't remember something similar coming out for 3E, but then again I got a preview of the actual PHB at Dragoncon that year, so that was about as good.

Now WotC wants to charge $20 for it? I'd rather they just make a PDF sample of what's coming available on the website and maybe do some folios like the ol' 2E preview.

That's sort of taking advantage of the establishment. I generally try to avoid reading through books in a store unless I'm considering purchasing them.

I've learned from WotC "Buyer Beware". I never buy anything from them anymore without sitting down for a substancial preview of it first. This is no different. I don't consider it taking advantage of the bookstore, but just plain prudence.

How much you want to bet they'll shrinkwrap these two preview books to keep folks from reading them in the bookstore?
First, we don't know anything about that.
Second, we know what are the tiefling's origins going to be like. They might not be the distant descendant of a demon anymore, they might be the descendants of an ancient human empire that was cursed for whatever reason.

We, up to this date every picture of a 4e tiefling have those big bariaur horns and tanned red skin.
I hope no one is seriously willing to sink money into a $20 book that will simply be replaced by the $30 PHB.

I'll buy it, for many reasons, and as I live in London (UK) it will only cost around £10 (a pack of cigarettes and a six-pack).
$20 here is just a pack of smokes, a six pack of the decent stuff and a dinner at Taco Bell, so its not really that much of a problem.

I'll probably buy it, because its been described as giving in depth details about the who, the why and the how of the PHb development. That is insight not found in a PHb that I would like to have.
1.) dinner at Taco Bell


2.) I'll probably buy it, because its been described as giving in depth details about the who, the why and the how of the PHb development. That is insight not found in a PHb that I would like to have.

1.) Ah, how I miss Taco Bell (I used to live in LA up until 6 years ago). But I really miss proper Mexican food; they just don't get it over here.


2.) Yep, that's one of my main reason too.
I've learned from WotC "Buyer Beware". I never buy anything from them anymore without sitting down for a substancial preview of it first. This is no different. I don't consider it taking advantage of the bookstore, but just plain prudence.

How much you want to bet they'll shrinkwrap these two preview books to keep folks from reading them in the bookstore?

Nah, I'm not speaking of flipping through a book you might actually want. Like I said, I don't read through a book - unless I'm considering buying it.

If I think it might be a decent purchase, I'll skim through it to confirm before I lay down my cash, but going at a book in a bookSTORE with the intention of just reading it and NOT buying it is almost certainly taking advantage of the store. It's a store, not a library.

Though, I might make an exception this time, as I certainly feel like this book is an example of WotC trying to take advantage of the customer (me).

I mean, this is basically a hype-building advertisment - and they expect people to pay for it? Absolute pretentious bull-crap.
I'll probably buy it, because its been described as giving in depth details about the who, the why and the how of the PHb development. That is insight not found in a PHb that I would like to have.

Eh, for my own desires, I'd have to disagree. That's what these design and development articles and blogs should cover, not a shot at my wallet. I'd rather blow my $20 on a two to three Dungeon Classic adventures or a Pathfinder softbound. Something I'd actually use in a game instead of in D&D trivial pursuit.
Something I'd actually use in a game instead of in D&D trivial pursuit.

Well, I'd really like to know all the reasonings that led to the current rules. It really is almost trivial in-game, but that's the kind of stuff I'd like to read about. If only it weren't gonna cost me the equivalent to 25 meals over here.
That's sort of taking advantage of the establishment.

Well, that really depends on the store. There are books stores in which the employees really don't mind if you read through books there (not just flipping the pages). They know that, if a book is extensive, most of the time you'll end up buying the book anyway, so they're actually making costumers by not kicking out people that read through books.
If I think it might be a decent purchase, I'll skim through it to confirm before I lay down my cash, but going at a book in a bookSTORE with the intention of just reading it and NOT buying it is almost certainly taking advantage of the store. It's a store, not a library.

As responsible gamers i think we owe it to the big book store chains (like Borders and Barns & Noble) to go there, read the new books thuroughly, and if we like them to buy the books down the street at the mom + pop friendly local game store.
I'm all for amazon where everything DnD is always marked down (this book is only $14 on the website), get the other book too and, since you're spending over $25 you'll get free shipping, and if you're preordering it you get an additional 5% off. So in the end you're paying $25 for both of these preview books which will at least be cool to look at for a little bit if nothing else.
Is wizards just trying to make money and kill some time until 4th ed comes out? Of course! They're a company, they need profits, it's to be expected. If you don't like it then nobody says you have to go buy the book... But I'm a little optimistic and if they're trying to swindle me outta my money anyway I'm at least hoping I'm gonna like it while they're doing it and a nice 4th edition preview is something I can't wait to get my hands on.
We spend a lot of time complaining about WotC, their marketing, their products, their prices, etc. Obviously they're doing something right if we bother to buy everything and sit on these boards and discus a game that isn't going to be coming out until June...
Eh, honestly, I usually don't make these "zomg! they're after my money!" proclaimations - but this is a little over the line.

The book is basically an advertisment. It's a hype-builder for an upcoming product...and they're asking for money for it. Just seems a little...wrong...
I will definitely stand in Borders reading this until someone who works there makes me leave. But, yeah, it's not the sort of thing I would buy.

Ditto. I'd pay, maybe $5 for a preview. This should be free on-line.
Eh, honestly, I usually don't make these "zomg! they're after my money!" proclaimations - but this is a little over the line.

The book is basically an advertisement. It's a hype-builder for an upcoming product...and they're asking for money for it. Just seems a little...wrong...

Yeah, that's the feeling I get - it's an advertisement you have to pay for. Personally, I think they'd get a lot more nibbles for 4E if they rely on web article previews and maybe a small flyer (like the free flyers Sword & Sorcery/White Wolf) used to put out monthly to advertise their stuff. I used to pick up the free flyer/catalogs whenever I saw them - still have 3-4 of them advertising the new World of Darkness.

My biggest concern about this is going to be the non-D&Ders who pick this up and buy it then go out and buy the PHB, DMG, MM. In a sense, they've been swindled out money they could have just put directly towards the game if WotC had just out a free or really, really cheap flyer about 4E.
From the product description, it looks like a making-of book, not just clipped preview material; more meat about rule systems scrapped or used, devo art, and the whys. Thus it may differ from 96 pages of Design & Development articles (which are the #1 thing I check when on the WotC site). A preview of the preview could answer this enigma. I'm patient for 4th, tho'; without more info on this, I currently see spending my money on manga instead, even without stealing hour-long looks at it on the way to checkout! :P

(Don't frighten them into shrink-wrapping it; think about the packaging waste!)
Bad cover art. Both of the characters look like stupid.

That's 0 for 2 on cover art so far.
the menace is really that now all tieflings are going to look alike.

The same could be said about humans/elves/halflings/eladrin/ looking alike.
I suspect that the tiefling always looking the same has more to do with it being an iconic character. It's a lot easier on the artist (and on the reader) if an iconic character's appearance is consistent or at least similar from picture to picture, so drawing the tiefling with a completely different appearance each time isn't very likely.
That's why iconics are stinky! Get Agent Smith outta my D&D! :P We need a chosen one to venture into the D&D rulebooks and sacrifice himself to stop the onspread-infection of duplicating iconics! Help!

But personally I'm fine with this picture even tho' the sword guy has the head of an ugly football stereotype (pic's fuzzy, so maybe I'm off); good compostion & light play, even if all they're doing is posing. The fade into line art's fun, too.

PS: A little more info on the interior's here.
My recommendation to people who think the preview books are not good value for the money: don't buy it.