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World Building
January 29, 2009 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Interview with Jon Schindehette, senior art director at Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons. See more fantasy art at his blog, ArtOrder.
posted by Artw (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
And, since we're on the subject, NEEEERDS!
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Use your lightning bolt...
posted by GuyZero at 10:32 AM on January 29, 2009


Q: How do you determine if a piece of D&D artwork is any good?
A: http://www.larryelmore.com/galleries_paintings01.html

posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:36 AM on January 29, 2009


If my armor shows off my cleavage, does that significantly effect my hit points?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:36 AM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If my armor shows off my cleavage, does that significantly effect my hit points?

No but it increases your armor sass.

It also makes you harder to hit. Very distracting.
posted by rokusan at 10:38 AM on January 29, 2009


Nice new art, not as occasionally amusing as first edition. Shame about the edition to which it is attached.
posted by adipocere at 10:44 AM on January 29, 2009


http://www.larryelmore.com/galleries_paintings01.html?

Huh? That stuff sucks.
posted by delmoi at 10:54 AM on January 29, 2009


No, it's great. In the category "D&D artwork".
posted by DU at 11:06 AM on January 29, 2009


Nice post. The art this edition has been quite good all round.

It is a pleasant complement to what is by far the most playable and fun version of D&D so far. They pulled in a lot of elements from the roots (esp. Gygax in adventure and world design and the "basic set" series in feel).

It's always impressive when a game system is made easier to play without "dumbing it down". With 4th ed they went a step further and made it easier to play while actually adding a lot more meaningful options (with the exception of course of spellcasters, they finally got toned down a bit).
posted by Riemann at 11:09 AM on January 29, 2009


Dude no succubus? WTF?? Worst D&D whack-off fodder ever...
posted by Mister_A at 11:14 AM on January 29, 2009


Has fantasy art just totally stagnated? Or is this just one little stagnant corner of what is actually a really exciting genre? Because these illustrations look exactly like the comic book and paperback covers I can remember as a kid, or from when I had a subscription one year to Heavy Metal.
posted by Forktine at 11:17 AM on January 29, 2009


Forktine - If you are talking about the Larry Elmore stuff linked above then the reason it looks "stagnant" is that nearly all of those were painted in the 80s or early 90s. He was kind of THE look of 80s fantasy. Honestly I am not at all sad to see that style pretty much gone.

While the current WOTC stuff can't quite match the stuff DiTerlizzi did for TSR's last grasp at relevance (Planescape) its quite an improvement over the art of 2nd edition and Dragonlance.
posted by Riemann at 11:23 AM on January 29, 2009


I have a pair of William O'Connor originals hanging on the wall of my nerd/dart/beer room at home. They're from his Legends of the Five Rings days - Shosuro Yudoka and Yogo Tjeki. I would have killed for a Kwanchai.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:26 AM on January 29, 2009


Any one of these could have been the cover of Dragon in 1984, bro...

I had this, err, this friend, you see, who had a subscription. I remember the time my friend got the issue that had new Druid spells in it, and we debated whether their appearance in Dragon meant that they should be considered part of the canon or not. That cover was blue, if my friend recalls correctly. Also, I now recall the way my friend was disappointed every time the new Dragon came out and failed to have more pictures of the lovely and powerful succubus.

Ooh! My friend totally remembers this one!

Oh hai here is the full text for you nerds! It's the one my friend was just thinking of!

posted by Mister_A at 11:42 AM on January 29, 2009


Basically when evaluating D&D art there is an extra aesthetic vector I will call Imaginability. IE Can I, a 13 year old kid, look at it and go WOW I WANT TO GO TO THERE. Hence, "fantasy," as in childhood escapism, not as in Grim Dourness of Modern Grindism.

We won't even get into how it looks under a blacklight.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:46 AM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, what is the deal with monks? Srsly no monks allowed in my campaign.
posted by Mister_A at 12:02 PM on January 29, 2009


Also, what is the deal with monks? Srsly no monks allowed in my campaign.

I was always a Basic/Expert/Campaign/Master-pamphlet rules guy, and I know I was totally weirded out when the monks showed up in Master level. It was so obvious that some dude at TSR had just watched a shitload of kung fu movies and decided hey, that's what this game is really missing...
posted by COBRA! at 12:08 PM on January 29, 2009


Hehehe, Monks did kind of stick out like a sore thumb in the core books.

Probably why they got the axe in 4th ed. Obviously they'll eventually release some addon book with them but they don't really fit in with basic stuff.
posted by Riemann at 12:11 PM on January 29, 2009


I'm glad tattoos were unfashionable when I was a certain age, else I'd probably have the Player's Handbook cover on my back right now...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:39 PM on January 29, 2009


Heh.
posted by Mister_A at 12:47 PM on January 29, 2009


You can take my barbarian when you pry it from my cold dead gauntlet which I am not allowed to wear.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:04 PM on January 29, 2009


It is a pleasant complement to what is by far the most playable and fun version of D&D so far. They pulled in a lot of elements from the roots (esp. Gygax in adventure and world design and the "basic set" series in feel).

This is the part where I give you a /rasp, which comes from D&D's new primary influence, World of Warcraft. 4th Ed seems like a fine game ... but not particularly D&Dish.

Hehehe, Monks did kind of stick out like a sore thumb in the core books.

Particularly 1st Ed, where they'd frequently draw a Friar-Tuck-type monk, who ... could punch manticores to death. Eh?

They came across much better in 3rd Ed, I think, because they went out of their way to disassociate them with Asian Shao Lin style monks. The multicultural, multipurpose monks of that edition were a good example of the things the game did right, in my opinion. Sure, you could just do a Jet Li clone. But you could also do a back-alley street fighter, or a savage barbarian who tears things apart with his bare hands, or a human weapon created by arcane experiments. I played a high fantasy Jason Bourne knock-off, and what class was he under the concept? Monk.

/monk defense force
posted by Amanojaku at 2:32 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Scrolling down his blog and seeing the little 'send me cool links, or send me some submissions!' boilerplate at the end of every art post made me decide to send him a handful of my stuff. Which is certainly fantasy and SF art, but is so not the Frazetta-influenced stuff that fills up AD&D these days.

Reading between the lines of what some of my acquaintances who've done art for WOTC in the past have said, they don't really pay so great - but it might be fun. If anything comes of it I figure I'll owe Artw a beer...
posted by egypturnash at 4:00 PM on January 29, 2009


Actually looking at his art I got a huge wave of nostalgia at those old Dragon covers... they were my mind's main sort of inspiration for the visualization of the 'world' when I was playing D&D
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:39 AM on January 30, 2009


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