Post ONE AND ONLY favorite d&d artwork!

Neon

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Here is a game. Post your one and only favorite D&D cover artwork. No runner ups or notable mentions. For all the marblessings, gun to your head, which is your favorite?

For the sake of this thread, qualifying cover artwork is any from official d&d products (hardback, modules, box sets).

I'll go with the ad&d dungeoneer survival guide. To me this just captured the feel of the game for me at that time. The hero just looks like he's having a fucken shitty day! Lol This seemed to be a recurring theme back then. Definitely contrasts with today's cover art where heros are clearly dishing out anass kicking to whatever crossed their path.

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Sable Wyvern

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The idea of having a "favourite" cover wouldn't really occur to me and, in general, I don't do "favourites" of anything. However, on reflection, this is a category where there is one cover that stands out, as it was my first exposure to actual roleplaying after Fighting Fantasy. It's not so much that it's my favourite, but that there is a an amount of nostalgia there, whereas no other cover really means anything special to me at all.

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Jenx

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This.

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Not because its the best picture, best rules or best game, but for what it represented at that time in my life. I'd moved towns, had to make new friends and this particular version of the game helped me get a gaming group together that lasted through school and beyond as friends (even though we've not gamed in years). Reminds me I need to see if/when we can get something sorted out again. Covid put paid to any thoughts of regular get togethers but hopefully through that now.

I started with the version earlier than this but the way this particular game demonstrated and explained the rules made it easy to get into the game and the hobby. We also played AD&D at the time (1e) and that in comparison was a mess in terms of organisation and sheer eye bleeding text wall-ness. The covers for that game didn't do anything for me but the revised 1e book with the blue cover/wizard was better I thought. The other BECMI covers I liked but in retrospect don't make much sense. Blue, Green & Black have fights against Dragons that should be once sided 'Dragon Breathes on you three times, picks through your bones. Make a new character.' Come to think of it a Basic cover makes little sense vs a Dragon. No way you'd kill a small dragon unless you were lucky, maxed out with gear or cheating. Or caught it asleep and got lucky on rolls, maxed out with gear and cheated.

In terms of making sense as a battle, a Small Dragon wouldn't use its breath weapon in its cave because all it's lovely treasure would be a molten pile of slag and worthless. Still, as a piece of art it holds a special place for me. I love the Erol Otus cover on the Moldvay book as that's where I started but have to pick one, so here it is. I look back on most Elmore stuff now and can't help but think most pieces are posed as if standing for a photograph, whereas this cover has the Fighter about to pit his Sword +1, +3 vs Dragons against a -1 Armour Class. Good luck with that. The BECMI sets represent (for me) a step up in presentation and quality for the D&D game and set a bar that other publishers had to match if they wanted to get close.

I'm guessing its where most players over a certain age started too.
 

Rich H

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That's mine. Just completely tied into me getting my first Basic D&D box set but I do love the stylised artwork... the lurid colours give it a real other-worldly feel which I adore. Its also in sharp contrast to the Elmore cover of the next basic set, which is also iconic, but I love this Otus one more. And the Expert D&D cover of the wizard voyeuristically watching this battle through the crystal ball is genius. There's also something about older D&D art that appeals more to me... it's like the characters in the pictures aren't super-heroic like a lot of the new art of the last couple of decades; they are more in danger, etc. I much prefer that.
 

Mankcam

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I really couldn't make my mind up.
There's so much great artwork out there for D&D, and these covers are the most iconic for me in regards to brand recognition for D&D.
I know it's cheating, but I put all of these in one image and posted it as a single image...
(But I did make it a small image, not to take the shine off everyone else!)
Yeah I'm disqualified, but I really couldn't make my mind up, heh heh :grin:

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But they are so Classic TSR D&D it's not funny :shade:
 
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VisionStorm

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Pretty sure this one may have kickstarted a delayed puberty for me. After that it was Hot VWs bikini models and it was all downhill from there. :smile:

View attachment 46571

This was the picture that ensured dark elves in my games would always be "brownies" no matter what the official canon said about "dark elves are smurfs, not brownies" (something I was told several times when playing my chocolate brown skinned dark elf PC online) or obsidian colored.
 

Neon

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Thought this was gonna be a hard one for me, given the amount of amazing D&D art throughout TSR era, but since the OP specified cover art, this helps narrow it down for me...

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Full Image art...

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Sweet delts!
Awesome pic. Great size. Look thick. Solid. Tight.
 

Rich H

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Beg for forgiveness, don't ask for permission in mind here... so as two people have picked my two faves (the Otus Basic and Expert boxed set covers) then I'm going to allow myself to post my third one:

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Granted, a bit left field, so I'm guessing few will agree with me but I love this one too. The mystery of it and the composition makes it feel almost like a film poster. It's also my favourite D&D adventure; such fond memories of DMing my friends through it.
 
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Raleel

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Beg for forgiveness, don't ask for permission in mind here... so as two people have picked my two faves (the Otus Basic and Expert boxed set covers) then I'm going to allow myself to post my third one:

View attachment 46591

Granted, a bit left field, so I'm guessing few will agree with me but I love this one too. The mystery of it and the composition makes it feel almost like a film poster. It's also my favourite D&D adventure; such fond memories of DMing my friends through it.
i'm going to just sit back and wait until people post some of my favorites then i'll post a more obscure one!
 

JAMUMU

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Arduin Grimoire #2 - The Howling Tower
(yes, I cheated... or really, just ignored the rules entirely)
How many covers are left anyway (that I can remember or care about)? I could post Birthright or a Ravenloft up there, to be one of the cool "cover" kids, with their rules. What's inside the book is what matters. And this is my favourite (AKA The Best) d&d artwork, ever, bar none. It wasn't a cover, but it should have been.

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