Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pre D&D, D&D art.

I have lurked for a long time on many, many forums and blogs devoted to Original and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and I have gained a treasure trove of great ideas, gaming tips, and techniques. I've watched discussions, edition wars, and realignments of gaming communities and it's all been fascinating.
I never paid any attention to the net before a few years ago, and I thought, like I've found that many others did, that I was just about the last Old Guard D&D player left. It was a revelation to me the first time I realized that guy posting as Colonel Playdough was Gary Gygax!

"Holy crap!" said I, "That's Gary Gygax!", My wife was unmoved.

One of the more interesting discussions to me has been the ongoing war over D&D art, old vs new, this style vs that one.
As you might expect from the blog title, I don't much care for contemporary game art. Glossy paper and anime styling cues leave me cold.

The illustration at the top of this entry is a piece by Virgil Finlay from a story called, The Lost Door. It was done in 1936 for the pulps. The fiction of the pulps and earlier works was the basis on which The Game was founded. I think of alot of this art as preD&D art.
I'm posting a few black and white illustrations here to start with, I'm sort of e-challenged, but when I work out how to do it, I'll but up big scans.
When I look at that picture, my old school eyes see, three fighters, a female magic user, and a female cleric, plus some hentchmen. I've never actually read the story the image illustrates, but as far as game inspiration goes, it doesn't matter.
Going back to before the beginning of the hobby to see what inspired it in the first place will refire your mind furnace with new possibilities, then let your players beware!

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