Back in December I wrote about heroes, and then I started a followup post which never saw the light of day. Now, months later, it crawls forth like a monster from a primordial sludge...
I’m always astonished at which posts get comments and views, and which ones don’t. For example, I had absolutely no expectation that my post on Heroes would receive the attention and discussion that it did. Even now, I’m not quite sure why! On the other hand, I’m always thrilled to have sparked a lively discussion!
In my original post I wrote about how it’s hard to play a hero or to find people playing heroes in Dungeons and Dragons. I think the post may have come off sounding stronger than I actually feel about the subject. I actually don’t mind (now) that D+D doesn’t really support heroes. What I minded was the impression that 2e and later editions (via its artwork) were all about heroic deeds.
Now I don’t want to get into a big debate about what makes good artwork, or whether it shows too much skin, or anything like that. That’s for another time and another place. What I want to talk about is the tone that the artwork conveys.
Outside of the old school/OSR stuff, most fantasy RPG artwork tends to be fairly to extremely heroic. Below is a small sample of RPG artwork (that I like) that illustrates this point.
I think that one of the big draws of the OSR for me is the more... I almost typed realistic... genre accurate artwork style. Character’s are shown doing all sorts of questionable things like tomb robbing, setting traps, and messing with nasty nasty things. Some examples below...
Part 2 will explore and reply to the many wonderful comments I received on the original post. I just wanted to get the context of the original post out there first.