Saturday 5 August 2017

#RPGaDAY2017: Day 5 - Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?


Ok, another I'm going to struggle with.

There's been some amazing art created for RPGs, but which cover piece best captures the spirit of the game? 

Numenera is the first game that comes to mind whenever anyone talks about RPG art for its sheer beauty, but I don't think it works here. I haven't played it, and looking at the cover doesn't really tell you much about it. Looking at it, I'd picture a different game to what my friends have described (and in great, loving detail: I'd love to give it a go sometime).
I'm most often a player, and these days we're often using pdfs (which I'm not a huge fan of, but does save space at the table, and everyone has some kind of pdf reading device these days), so I don't often see the cover, and even when I do I don't always notice it (too busy snatching and sharing as we create characters or spend xp). I feel a bit guilty now,  because I know a lot of effort has gone into those covers. And annoyingly, nearly all our roleplay books have been packed away because we're hoping to move house soon.

I asked Husbit, and he immediately started digging through his Deadlands collection (which has survived the packing because we're currently playing). His first thought was the Smith & Robards 1880 Catalog, a source book filled with infernal devices and other such stuff, for mad scientists, by mad scientists, with a mad scientist looming over a work table on the cover. He then thrust the above under my nose: the Marshal's Handbook. It gives a real sense of what Deadlands is about: the guns and outfit indicate the wild west aspect of the setting, while the background scene and the mist in the foreground - and the cadaver itself - shows the horror.

And looking at the Marshal's Handbook made him think of the AD&D DMG.

I think this is a really good call. A caped Dungeon Master drags open heavy doors, revealing another world. Around his neck hangs the key to those doors and that world. His face is stern - adversarial or trying to protect you? - and the world mysterious and dangerous looking - with sunlight breaking through. This makes it not just a good image for D&D, but for a lot of roleplay games.


RPGaDAY was started by Dave Chapman and is currently curated by RPG Brigade. To join in yourself, follow the questions in the graphic and blog, vlog, tweet, or otherwise share your responses with the hashtag RPGaDAY2017.

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