The Worst RPG Covers of All Time

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TristramEvans

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Here's a thread devoted to those delightfully bad RPG covers, and our hobby has produced more than a few over the years.

I'll start with perhaps the most infamously unintentionally awful, by title alone..

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This is probably the only RPG you could judge by its cover...
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I still remember when the creators came to RPGNet to promote this... thing. There was a massive run on asbestos undies and flamethrowers that day... The flames lasted for at least a week... Here's the review...
 
Aside from just not being interesting and using cruddy computer-generated effects, they have the heroine looking off to the side at....what? Meanwhile firing a blast at a villain in a whole other direction even though she'd at best see him in her peripheral vision. It's enough to make you miss Seeker and the gang.
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I'll see your Champions Complete cover and raise you:

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All the nifty art style of the 1990s wrapping up Interlock and Hero's red-headed love child. :hehe:

They're deformed but at least they're looking the right direction.
 
How about the entire Avalanche Press historic supplement line for d20?
 
He ended up going with a different cover, so I may be cheating, but this thing is so ugly it deserves to be remembered.

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Ha ha, I remember when he solicited that cover and everyone was wondering if a bunch of citrus exploded all over the artwork.
 
Funny you should ask this...I was just looking through what I got in the latest Contessa bundle, and there are some real...winners.

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So far, I think F.A.T.A.L. wins. Something about the dude with the mullet in the little speedo saving the woman with fake breasts...that will teach those little blue men to interrupt a redneck orgy!
 
This is probably the only RPG you could judge by its cover...
s-l1000.jpg


I still remember when the creators came to RPGNet to promote this... thing. There was a massive run on asbestos undies and flamethrowers that day... The flames lasted for at least a week... Here's the review...
Hmm... That doesn't look like a fair review. It drips with the writer's bias. A bias that is common in RPGnet against traditional games.
It actually kind of makes me want to check the game out tbh.
 
I liked the other SenZar....Synnibar?
 
Hmm... That doesn't look like a fair review. It drips with the writer's bias. A bias that is common in RPGnet against traditional games.
It actually kind of makes me want to check the game out tbh.
RPGNet was a very different place back in 1996. VERY different.. It was actually... *sniff* respectable... *wipes away the tears*
 
The AD&D 2.5 covers were terribad.
This one in particular... I think the guy shattered the bones in his arm as well as the door.
 

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RPGNet was a very different place back in 1996. VERY different.. It was actually... *sniff* respectable... *wipes away the tears*
Looks like the review was updated in aug 2017?
 
The AD&D 2.5 covers were terribad.
This one in particular... I think the guy shattered the bones in his arm as well as the door.
The amount of adrenaline produced by a barbarian's body when raging is a wonderful thing, isn't it? :hehe:
 
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This would be bad enough for any game, but it's made worse by two things. Firstly, comparing it to earlier Paranoia art which was perfect. Secondly, it's utter lack of respect for canon. HORMONE SUPPRESSMENTS MOTHERFUCKERS.
 
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This would be bad enough for any game, but it's made worse by two things. Firstly, comparing it to earlier Paranoia art which was perfect. Secondly, it's utter lack of respect for canon. HORMONE SUPPRESSMENTS MOTHERFUCKERS.


lol, that's actually one of my favourite covers
 
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This would be bad enough for any game, but it's made worse by two things. Firstly, comparing it to earlier Paranoia art which was perfect. Secondly, it's utter lack of respect for canon. HORMONE SUPPRESSMENTS MOTHERFUCKERS.
Is that... Cher cosplaying as Elvira cosplaying as Xena in red leather?

And whats with the knee pads? <.<
 
I really miss the review culture of early RPGnet. That's something no forum has ever managed to replicate. I guess BGG comes closest, but it's not the same at all.
 
This isn't retina-searingly bad, but it's bad when you think about it.

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First of all, I hate the title font. Why is there a planet or a hydrogen atom in the middle of the word, and why is the "N" reversed? Oh, I have been transported to another world! How....strange. Oh, I get it!

So what's happening on this cover? It appears that someone has mounted the Space Needle on a giant circuit board, and has chartered it with an important mission to investigate the blue swirls of space. And whatever that weird space-bird-ship is in the corner. Beneath it, a cool looking mountain temple is slowly being absorbed by the blue swirls, so we can tell that this mission is probably urgent.

Best of all, this art tells me exactly what I'm going to be playing. It's like a passport to another world. It may be a blue and boring world, but at least we know what to expect.

By the way, I hear this is a good game, but I barely made it past the intro. Part of it is that the art just kills my interest. Part of it is that a game where you can visit many different disparate worlds sounds a little flavorless and arbitrary to me. Ah well, at least it didn't airbrush all the flavor from Book of the New Sun. Uncle Monte already did that with Numenera, so it would have been highly redundant.
 
I have a hard time unpacking this one. It's great and terrible at the same time...and both for multiple reasons.

I do try to be much, much less of a judgy prude these days, but as the COVER of a book it was a poor decision. Be a red-blooded guy, but be it discretely.
 
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