The original question was: Tag 1d8+1 friends with your favourite RPG cover art.
But, I’m not a fan of tagging people into things they haven’t chosen to be part of, so I’ve rolled, adjusted that roll to a FIVE and will post that many pieces of cover art instead with a note as to why.
First, Basic D&D. It’s the cover of the first RPG I played almost 40 years ago, and I think it instils an essential quality of hero versus monster in pursuit of glory and treasure. It’s a cornerstone of the hobby, even while we have thankfully sought to diversify in so many ways since. By diversity, in one perspective, I’m talking about the breadth and depth of types of games we can play now – I think that is a key to the growth and health of the hobby. But, back to the art, this reminds me of where it began and how I have gone on to find my place in the hobby.
Second, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay – because this then reminds me of the engagement with character. Golchak Grimface, the Gnome rogue, was my entry into The Enemy Within and one of the longest-running characters I have ever played. The cover image is a touchstone to that, although the Gnome was only introduced through the illustrious pages of White Dwarf rather than the core rules.
Third, Symbaroum. This is a book that thrills throughout with the illustration, driving home the core themes and atmosphere of the dark fantasy setting. This book means a lot to me on many levels – as a player, as a GM, as a creator, and as a writer. Other books offer a flavour of the setting through the illustration, but Symbaroum was the first one that affected me at a very real level as I read through it.
Fourth, PARANOIA (2nd edition boxed set). These three cover images show you what the game is about. The watcher watches and in turn is watched. The great Jim Holloway captured PARANOIA perfectly here and elsewhere across the books and years. But, this was such an astounding triptych in its execution. I realise that there is art direction back there somewhere, but Jim pulled it off.
Fifth, The Cthulhu Hack. Not necessarily a must-see, but this was the first piece of cover art I paid to use. Others have followed, but this was the moment when as a self-publishing creator I had to put money down and get my fingers crossed hoping that it was the right choice. It has served the game well, as I believe the new art will for the 2nd edition.
RPGaDay is a prompt-driven experience in tabletop roleplaying, initiated by Dave Chapman of Autocratik, and powered by me and you.
The prompts for this year are as follows — and you can find out more on Dave’s website.