The Worst RPG Covers of All Time

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Necrozius

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I came in here to see if anyone had posted the cover for Age of Ruin yet, and, yeah... I did.

Can't believe no one's posted this one yet...
fff3d8.jpeg
We need to play this at the Pub.
 

raniE

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Further Swedish covers. The following aren't bad as art, they're just terribly ill-fitting for the game. As I mentioner earlier, Swedish fantasy games often used existing fantasy art on the covers. Drakar och Demoner, first released in the early 80s, used a lot of Michael Whelan art, mainly from his Elric covers but also beyond that. The game EON, which first came out in the mid 90s, used a lot of Keith Parkinson covers. In between those too was the game Khelataar, published in the late 80s and early 90s. Khelataar was very tightly tied to its fantasy world, an island nation of the same name complete with a conlang, a detailed social structure of clans and tribes forming a semi-unified state, and various human minorities. No elves, dwarves or other humanoids, dragons were merely large winged reptiles, and little reason for roving bands of adventurers to be welcomed most anywhere. Magic was uncommon and hardly appeared in any of the published adventures and little would have been different if it had just been excised entirely. It was also part of the "detailed rules" movement with a 4-page character sheet. So, what better artist to decorate the covers of this down to earth pig farming fantasy game than ... Royo.

1669224252255.png

This is the cover of the box set.

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This adventure has the players as part of an archaeological expedition which uncovers ... bones and pot shards. No magic, and the only threats are locals who think there might be buried treasure (there isn't), politics (the lord of the land would like certain conclusions about his land actually belonging to the eastern realm rather than the northern one to be to be drawn, something the archaeologists refuse to do), and some local rivalries riled up by the massive force of outsiders coming to the village. I can't imagine a more appropriate cover than this one.
 

Necrozius

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Further Swedish covers. The following aren't bad as art, they're just terribly ill-fitting for the game. As I mentioner earlier, Swedish fantasy games often used existing fantasy art on the covers. Drakar och Demoner, first released in the early 80s, used a lot of Michael Whelan art, mainly from his Elric covers but also beyond that. The game EON, which first came out in the mid 90s, used a lot of Keith Parkinson covers. In between those too was the game Khelataar, published in the late 80s and early 90s. Khelataar was very tightly tied to its fantasy world, an island nation of the same name complete with a conlang, a detailed social structure of clans and tribes forming a semi-unified state, and various human minorities. No elves, dwarves or other humanoids, dragons were merely large winged reptiles, and little reason for roving bands of adventurers to be welcomed most anywhere. Magic was uncommon and hardly appeared in any of the published adventures and little would have been different if it had just been excised entirely. It was also part of the "detailed rules" movement with a 4-page character sheet. So, what better artist to decorate the covers of this down to earth pig farming fantasy game than ... Royo.

View attachment 52079

This is the cover of the box set.

View attachment 52080

This adventure has the players as part of an archaeological expedition which uncovers ... bones and pot shards. No magic, and the only threats are locals who think there might be buried treasure (there isn't), politics (the lord of the land would like certain conclusions about his land actually belonging to the eastern realm rather than the northern one to be to be drawn, something the archaeologists refuse to do), and some local rivalries riled up by the massive force of outsiders coming to the village. I can't imagine a more appropriate cover than this one.
Luis Royo is a guilty pleasure of mine. I've been collecting his artbooks for years (shamefully so). If the interior also contains any of his works, I'd definitely try to find a copy, heh.
 

remial

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Luis Royo is a guilty pleasure of mine. I've been collecting his artbooks for years (shamefully so). If the interior also contains any of his works, I'd definitely try to find a copy, heh.
and I'm sure the fact that he tends to draw smoking hot naked women has nothing to do with collecting them, right? ;P
 

Gringnr

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Reminds me.of an episode of The George Carlin Show, in which he was bringing a woman to his apartment. He asked if she would wait outside, so he could hide some... mens' magazines. When she tried to reassure him that she was sure he only read them for the articles, he said, "These magazines don't have any articles."
 

Rich H

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I love the game and I like the cover as a piece of art but this is just rubbish (although not as egregious as some of the filth in this thread!)...

1669755559821.png

Apart from the *very* tenuous interpretation that those images could be trump cards they bear little resemblance to any Amberite or Chaosian. The redhead along with her eyes repeated etc doesn't relate to any character, the dragon likewise, and what's with the tentacles cthonic creature in the background? So, it isn't badly painted its just a crap match for the game in question.

The later version of the Cyberspace cover is lazy and not as good as the original:

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Original:

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And this Exalted cover is anatomically awful:

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1669756562789.png
 
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raniE

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Luis Royo is a guilty pleasure of mine. I've been collecting his artbooks for years (shamefully so). If the interior also contains any of his works, I'd definitely try to find a copy, heh.
Nope, just the covers. Standard practice for Swedish fantasy rpgs in the 80s and 90s, get existing art by major artists as cover art, then do black and white interior art by local artists. For Khelataar Håkan Johnsson and mainly Åke Rosenius. Some examples, from the world-book and from that adventure about an archaeological expedition.

Ghelinpaa small.jpg


Surprised small.jpg
 

Gabriel

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I love the game and I like the cover as a piece of art but this is just rubbish (although not as egregious as some of the filth in this thread!)...

View attachment 52297

Apart from the *very* tenuous interpretation that those images could be trump cards they bear little resemblance to any Amberite or Chaosian. The redhead along with her eyes repeated etc doesn't relate to any character, the dragon likewise, and what's with the tentacles cthonic creature in the background? So, it isn't badly painted its just a crap match for the game in question.

I used to wonder about that when I had the book. I never read the books the Amber DRPG is based on, so I tended to chalk it up as my not knowing the source material or maybe it just being RPG/Fanfic style stuff. Of course the third option that I didn't consider back in the day was that it was just random art that was purposed for the book cover, and that's the most likely explanation.
 

Voros

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I love the game and I like the cover as a piece of art but this is just rubbish (although not as egregious as some of the filth in this thread!)...

View attachment 52297

Apart from the *very* tenuous interpretation that those images could be trump cards they bear little resemblance to any Amberite or Chaosian. The redhead along with her eyes repeated etc doesn't relate to any character, the dragon likewise, and what's with the tentacles cthonic creature in the background? So, it isn't badly painted its just a crap match for the game in question.

The later version of the Cyberspace cover is lazy and not as good as the original:

View attachment 52298

Original:

View attachment 52299

And this Exalted cover is anatomically awful:

View attachment 52301

View attachment 52300

I find almost all Exalted art terrible. I like the Amber cover but you're right it doesn't reflect the game/world.
 

Arminius

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Okay, at first my sides are splitting at the idea of knocking down a dungeon door and catching a gorilla desperately trying to hide the fact he’s in the middle of pleasuring himself in bed.

Then I realize it’s a reversal of a scene from King Kong and I think it’s a cool joke.
 
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