Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Excitement is Just Another Way of Explaining a Tee-Pee


What you're looking at is the first page in the Fifth Edition Player's Handbook that was released this afternoon by Wizards of the Coast. This beautiful illustration continues the trend of realistic art that has been released so far for the new edition; and as has been the case with so many of Wizards' efforts for Fifth edition, this illustration appears to directly address one of the most persistent complaints against Dungeons and Dragons art: the lack of cultural diversity.

Now let me be clear, I really enjoy the art but I hate the way that his head is turned. He's not looking at the goblins still attacking him which seems like a great way to get a dagger in the ass or a dick cut clean off - it would be hanging right at eye level you know. Perhaps I'm being overly critical of this piece as I've been so enthusiastic about all the art released so far and I'm just looking for something to bitch about. What do you think?

23 comments:

  1. I get the feeling that the whole piece probably has some threat on the right side but it can't be seen due to the cropping. It seems as good as the art has been so far, it suffers from shitty layout.

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    Replies
    1. I think that should be our death metal band Marty: Shitty Layout. We'll go on after Dither's Death Frost Fuck speed rap / fusion band!

      Delete
    2. We'll have a Battle of the Bands... TO THE DEATH.

      --Dither

      ...Now give me a moment to assemble a band...

      Delete
    3. And one for me to learn how to play an instrument!

      Delete
  2. It is very difficult for me to make out the nature and position of his eyes.

    Are they open? Closed? Looking down? Away?

    Nice painting but not the clearest.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I agree.

      I had to enlarge it quite a bit to be able to tell that his eyes were open and looking towards the viewer.

      Delete
  3. I really cant get the obsession with race. Everybody's first reaction seems to be "Oh good, a black dude!" Seriously, can't people see past skin color and see that this guy is a seriously awesome guy regardless of his color? As a member of a racial minority I find this obsession with race unsettling.

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    Replies
    1. My first thought was, "Where the fuck is he looking?" Then after reading fifty comments praising Wizards for putting a black guy in the book I felt like I had to add that in.

      Forgive me, I bowed to peer pressure!

      Delete
    2. @Wynand - Had you never thought before, "How come we never see black people in D&D art?"

      A lot of people have had that thought... Hence the surprise and commentary.

      Delete
  4. While the exact direction towards which the eyes look is not so evident in the design and therefore it does not give me the same feeling as you, what I do not like is the color of the face, hair and hat that are identical.

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    Replies
    1. I hadn't realized they were until you pointed it out and now it bothers the hell out of me!

      Delete
  5. He's looking right at you, saying .. "you're next game manual owner, Get ready to be the goblin!"
    He does not even care if one of the other goblins stabs his johnson, cause that's how tough he is.

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    Replies
    1. I hear his johnson is even packing a knife! Dude's hardcore . . .

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  6. he has initiative and multiple attacks knows will kill all b4 they act

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  7. I like the outfitting of the warrior but I do have trouble telling what is going on based on posture, direction he is looking, and the position of the sword. The sword id actually sword sized so thumbs up for that.

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  8. It's old school art, which is nice after the eras of Caldwell, Elmore (dragonlance in particular), and whoever the hell it was that drecked up 3e, and then 4e, with progressively grander nods to anime and MMO (WoW) styles.

    I wonder if the game's mechanics will feel old-school at all though. Based on what little I have seen, I would say it has far more in common with 3e than 1e.

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    Replies
    1. With the ability to extensively modify the system with the DMG I have to imagine that it will feel however you want it to.

      Delete
    2. I'm not even certain you can call it "old school" art since Elmore, Caldwell, Otis and those folks defined so much of the old school AD&D art.

      Let's call it "progressive realism" or something similar. It's definitely a nice change of pace from Wayne Reynolds. I like WR art, but I like that the new art is less "cartoonish" for lack of a better word.

      Delete
  9. He's staring directly into your filthy soul!

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  10. I took like the art, but my take on it is a little different. It looks to me like he is stepping forward and turning his body as he swings. We've caught his gaze as he is looking forward at the goblins ascending the steps. The goblins on the side of the steps are in his peripheral vision, but they're falling so he is probably keeping his face forward to where more goblins (out of frame but it would make sense that most of them would be coming up the stairs) will soon threaten him. What confuses me is the light in the picture. Why is his face in grey shadow?

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  11. Also, Peter Griffin will be SO happy with this edition of the PH.

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