So I have decided to move in a new direction on Fridays. For the past few months I’ve been posing the D&D Campfire Stories; however, for the foreseeable future, I’m changing the format. Over the next few weeks (and possibly months) I’m going to be taking an in-depth look at one area of D&D that is often overlooked and yet is one of the strengths of the brand: Art. From the early days right up to the men and women working on 5th Edition, D&D has been blessed with great artists, illustrators, painters, and digital masters and I’d like the opportunity to show off some of my favorites.
So to kick off this new section with a bang, I’d like to begin with two pieces of recently released cover art for the D&D 5th Edition Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide!
1. 5th Edition Player’s Handbook Cover (2014) by Tyler Jacobson.
Some of you old school players might be thinking that this art looks really familiar. Well you’d be right.
This amazing piece by Tyler Jacobson is an updated version of art done of King Snurre—the titular monarch of the 1978’s The Hall of the Fire Giant King adventure module. The foreground depicts two heroes, a male elf or half-elf standing on the rocks and a female human or possibly half-orc going after the king in what the artist described as “a last ditch effort”. In the background, you can also make out the king’s throne and his two giant fire hounds waiting for their turn to snack on the two intruders within their master’s lair. The king himself is quite intimidating with his fifteen foot long broadsword and White Dragon Hide armor. I also love the fact that this piece depicts a very intense battle scene without being too busy or crowded. Going with just two heroes in this instance seems to have been the better choice over a full party of four or five. If you’re interested in seeing the original pic of King Snurre, or learning more about the iconic villain, check out his entry on Greywiki. (Here)
2. 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide Cover (2014) by Tyler Jacobson.
Once again we have a wonderful piece by Tyler Jacobson and once again the old school players are getting that funny feeling. Well your feelings are well placed as this is a re-imagining of the lich Acererak, undead villain and primary adversary from 1975’s the infamous Tomb of Horrors adventure module. According to Jacobson, this is a depiction of the lich shortly after a major battle against several foes who fell to his power and are now being raised back up as undead. I think someone is trying to encourage the DM’s to go on a little power trip (as if we needed the push!). I enjoy the angle on this piece (near the ground looking up) as it makes me feel like I’m one of the poor souls who lay near death and I’m just getting a preview of what is in store for me very shortly. Again, if you’d like to know more about this villain, check out his entry on Greywiki. (Here)
If you’d like to learn more about the artist, Tyler Jacobson, you can have a look at his blog: http://tylerjacobson.blogspot.ca