Art in D&D

Status
Not open for further replies.

Hriston

Adventurer
The problem with drawing halflings is, if you don't start futzing about with the ratios, they basically look like a human. Unless there's something in the art that makes you realize the scale - human sized furniture or an actual human :D - how would you know that that's a halfling?

I mean, this is basically a human:



So, while I understand the distaste for wonky looking halflings, how exactly do we make them not look like humans?
Halflings don’t have facial hair. And humans don’t have pointy ears. This is obviously a picture of a half-elf.
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
So, in an attempt to get this thread back on topic...

Do you prefer stylized art in D&D, or generalist art?

Would you prefer less realistic art that is more stylized, or more realistic art that is less stylized? Maybe both?
 

Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
I prefer art that expresses Fantasy. Since both art and the interpretation of what is Fantasy are both subjective areas, I'll specifically know it when I see it and not generally beforehand.
 
Fantasy proportionally plausible to the cosmic context. Realism as pertains to anatomy or aproximation where exists anatomy that is not comparable to the real world. I like realistic looking art that none the less looks fantastic.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
To be honest, I have no idea what you're trying to say either. To me, it seems like you're trying to deny that there were problems with art, stories, etc. because there was potentially female fans of them.

I realize that my previous post might not have a lot to deal with that sort of thing, but I have absolutely no patience for people saying that kind of thing, nor do I plan on getting it.
I was arguing against that position.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No proofs. I state proofs. There was no "toxic male fandom" back then. Girls were doing what they did and either joined boys in what they were doing or vice versa. By the same token, if Girls were playing doll house are they then of "Toxic female fandom" if the boys did not wish to join and then judged them accordingly? No. Sometimes the two genders met, more often they did not, Mary Gygax, my sister, the Gygax girls, my girlfriends, my mother, my Aunts, they understand what we were dong and none of them had a mind to join in it even though the invites were there. Model train collectors and simulationists of the same time period--predominantly male as well--are now Toxic Males by such standards? Hogwash. They just admired trains and went about demonstrating their admiration for them, just as my sister went about admiring doll houses and built one, or gardens and planted one, or when she saw something in "alternative medicine" when the rest of the family did not. Difference. It makes the world go round if one can accept it as not being 'Toxic'.
Bud, I’m not gonna try to teach someone who still thinks all that is true, or who makes wildly nonsensical leaps like those you’ve made above.

If you can’t be bothered to hear from all the women who experienced toxic male fandom in the early days of dnd, or for decades before as science fiction or pulp fans, or still today as fans of just about anything, and you really think that girls just don’t like pulp or whatever, I can’t help ya.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Exactly, that's my point: saying "gosh, they weren't into that in the '60's" says more about the unwelcoming culture extant at the time than women not liking fantasy.
And like, there have always been large numbers of female Star Trek fans, and comic book readers, and LoTR readers, etc.

Women have always been into pulp speculative fiction.
 

Rob Kuntz

Adventurer
Bud, I’m not gonna try to teach someone who still thinks all that is true, or who makes wildly nonsensical leaps like those you’ve made above.

If you can’t be bothered to hear from all the women who experienced toxic male fandom in the early days of dnd, or for decades before as science fiction or pulp fans, or still today as fans of just about anything, and you really think that girls just don’t like pulp or whatever, I can’t help ya.
Don' be insulting. I never said there is not a toxic male culture today, just as there is a toxic female culture today. There wasn't any of either in my instances and in my time. BTW: The name is Rob, not Bud.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, in an attempt to get this thread back on topic...

Do you prefer stylized art in D&D, or generalist art?

Would you prefer less realistic art that is more stylized, or more realistic art that is less stylized? Maybe both?
In DnD specifically, I want both. I want maybe even more of a mix than there is already.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
And like, there have always been large numbers of female Star Trek fans, and comic book readers, and LoTR readers, etc.

Women have always been into pulp speculative fiction.
I was going to say - my wife is a bigger Star Trek nerd than I am, my sisters and I happened to chat about it for a bit over Thanksgiving. My mother loved sci-fi and fantasy which is one of the reasons I got into it.

Many women were into sci-fi or fantasy, many aren't. Just like men.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I was going to say - my wife is a bigger Star Trek nerd than I am, my sisters and I happened to chat about it for a bit over Thanksgiving. My mother loved sci-fi and fantasy which is one of the reasons I got into it.

Many women were into sci-fi or fantasy, many aren't. Just like men.
Absolutely. I personally know at least a dozen women who were into speculative fiction in the 60’s and/or 70’s. They all either just ignored the toxic men in those fandoms, or kept their own fandom to themselves unless around close friends who were also female fans or the occasional guy who wasn’t weird about the girl who was into Star Wars or whatever.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
No proofs. I state proofs. There was no "toxic male fandom" back then. Girls were doing what they did and either joined boys in what they were doing or vice versa. By the same token, if Girls were playing doll house are they then of "Toxic female fandom" if the boys did not wish to join and then judged them accordingly? No. Sometimes the two genders met, more often they did not, Mary Gygax, my sister, the Gygax girls, my girlfriends, my mother, my Aunts, they understand what we were dong and none of them had a mind to join in it even though the invites were there. Model train collectors and simulationists of the same time period--predominantly male as well--are now Toxic Males by such standards? Hogwash. They just admired trains and went about demonstrating their admiration for them, just as my sister went about admiring doll houses and built one, or gardens and planted one, or when she saw something in "alternative medicine" when the rest of the family did not. Difference. It makes the world go round if one can accept it as not being 'Toxic'.
This isn't wrong.

It's also true that the idea of "toxic male fandom" has emerged today as brands like Marvel/Star Wars and others have changed to be more accommodating to different sexes/sexuality/races.

It appears to be largely a reflexive reaction, like "This was my thing, and I don't want to share it with the girls!"

I'm certain that reaction is not a good reason to stop making fantasy material more inclusive.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This isn't wrong.

It's also true that the idea of "toxic male fandom" has emerged today as brands like Marvel/Star Wars and others have changed to be more accommodating to different sexes/sexuality/races.

It appears to be largely a reflexive reaction, like "This was my thing, and I don't want to share it with the girls!"

I'm certain that reaction is not a good reason to stop making fantasy material more inclusive.
That reaction may or may not be worse today, or perhaps simply more out in the open due to the Internet, but if you know many female Trek fans from way back, you know it isn’t a new thing.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I was going to say - my wife is a bigger Star Trek nerd than I am, my sisters and I happened to chat about it for a bit over Thanksgiving. My mother loved sci-fi and fantasy which is one of the reasons I got into it.

Many women were into sci-fi or fantasy, many aren't. Just like men.
Absolutely. I personally know at least a dozen women who were into speculative fiction in the 60’s and/or 70’s. They all either just ignored the toxic men in those fandoms, or kept their own fandom to themselves unless around close friends who were also female fans or the occasional guy who wasn’t weird about the girl who was into Star Wars or whatever.
This tracks with my experience with female family and friends. Hell, I'm a decidedly nerdy straight white dude who spends an inordinate amount of time thinking and talking about sci-fi and fantasy, and I to this day avoid the convention and in-store scenes for being slightly uncomfortable with the environment.
 

MGibster

Adventurer
This tracks with my experience with female family and friends. Hell, I'm a decidedly nerdy straight white dude who spends an inordinate amount of time thinking and talking about sci-fi and fantasy, and I to this day avoid the convention and in-store scenes for being slightly uncomfortable with the environment.
It's improved quite a bit over the last few years. I see more woman and girls in game stores than I did back in the 80s and early 90s, most stores no longer have a dungeon like feel to them (i.e. the owners keep things clean, organized, and well lit), I can't remember the last time I saw Cat Piss Man* gaming, and there are even fewer ass cracks on display than there were even five years in the past. Truly we are living in a golden age of gaming!

It's been more than ten years since I've been to a convention though. Can't comment on those.

*Cat Piss Man was the guy every game store seemed to have who had a hard time with basic hygiene.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's improved quite a bit over the last few years. I see more woman and girls in game stores than I did back in the 80s and early 90s, most stores no longer have a dungeon like feel to them (i.e. the owners keep things clean, organized, and well lit), I can't remember the last time I saw Cat Piss Man* gaming, and there are even fewer ass cracks on display than there were even five years in the past. Truly we are living in a golden age of gaming!

It's been more than ten years since I've been to a convention though. Can't comment on those.

*Cat Piss Man was the guy every game store seemed to have who had a hard time with basic hygiene.
The stores in my area are largely the same, but a lot of girls and feminine presenting non-binary folks still get stared at awkwardly the whole time they’re in the store, and thus tend to make their trips as short as possible unless the store is pretty quiet.

The staff is mostly really good, though, which helps. Most of the grognards who can’t accept that women are nerds have gone outta business.
 

Parmandur

Legend
It's improved quite a bit over the last few years. I see more woman and girls in game stores than I did back in the 80s and early 90s, most stores no longer have a dungeon like feel to them (i.e. the owners keep things clean, organized, and well lit), I can't remember the last time I saw Cat Piss Man* gaming, and there are even fewer ass cracks on display than there were even five years in the past. Truly we are living in a golden age of gaming!

It's been more than ten years since I've been to a convention though. Can't comment on those.

*Cat Piss Man was the guy every game store seemed to have who had a hard time with basic hygiene.
For sure, the stores in my area have been evolving more into inclusive and family friendly places from what I see when I go in to pick up products. Feels much less like going to a seedy dive bar than it did when I was a teen!
 

Mr Fixit

Explorer
So, in an attempt to get this thread back on topic...

Do you prefer stylized art in D&D, or generalist art?

Would you prefer less realistic art that is more stylized, or more realistic art that is less stylized? Maybe both?
First, let me say that I know very little about art and may not be able to accurately convey my thoughts on the subject. That said, I generally prefer more realistic and less "cartoony" proportions, stances, facial expressions, etc. in fantasy art. That's why I wasn't a fan of much of 4E exaggerated "action art" and I also couldn't get into some of the overly scripted and stilted poses that characterized certain elements of 3E-era art.

But, just because I like more realistic art techniques, doesn't mean I don't like fantasy in my art! On the contrary... something in the way realism and fantasy interact, especially when they boldly clash, really appeals to me. I suppose that's why I have a soft spot for D&D art of the late 80/early 90s -- which was before I was introduced to the hobby, so no nostalgia there for me; I discovered art of that era much later -- art that was rich in mood, detail, and hidden narrative. When I look at an image, I don't want it to tell me all its secrets at first glance. I want to stop and think and wonder about what is being conveyed and what lurks just beyond the frame. And not just combat and action, but slices of adventuring life wherever one may find it: around a campfire, sharing a good meal and a tall tale in a cozy tavern, descending down a shadowed stairwell and into a deeper darkness (or running up those stairs, fleeing from gods know what).

One thing I do miss in recent D&D art is depictions of fantasy environments. Art direction is sometimes too focused on characters and not enough on their surroundings. For example, I really love the atmospheric image of what looks like a frontier village on page 16 of 5E DMG. Simple yet evocative. No fantasy elements there, obviously, but general principle stands.

More stylized art... well, that depends on the style in question, as I imagine is the case with most of us here. People like different things and it's impossible to appeal to all tastes. Personally, I appreciate consistent artistic vision, when a product (book, supplement, boxed set... or a movie, a TV show) gives the impression of a singular driving force behind it, and not that it was produced by committee. In that sense, Brom's art for Dark Sun was just sublime. Not my usual cup of tea, and not something I knew I wanted until I saw it and then knew I wanted it! :) (I didn't know I wanted Mad Max: Fury Road either, but that was also a fine slice of post-apocalyptic esoterica, if I may say so myself.)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Advertisement

Top