D&D 5E D&D and who it's aimed at

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm that DM... right here.

If after 2 or 3 dungeon crawls you aren't ready to settle down, my games wont work for you...
Game of Thrones, eh?

DM: "Your serving man comes in with your morning wine."
Player: "I slit his throat."
DM: "What?"
Player: "I...........slit............his............throat."
DM: "wh-why!?"
Player: "You said this was a Game of Thrones style game, right?"
DM: "Yes."
Player: "Then he was going to betray me. I slit his throat."
DM: "Within moments your serving man is thrashing at your feet, his lifeblood spurting out from beneath the fingers he has closed around his own throat." ::::crosses off betrayal plot #1:::: 🤦‍♂️
 

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Game of Thrones, eh?

DM: "Your serving man comes in with your morning wine."
Player: "I slit his throat."
DM: "What?"
Player: "I...........slit............his............throat."
DM: "wh-why!?"
Player: "You said this was a Game of Thrones style game, right?"
DM: "Yes."
Player: "Then he was going to betray me. I slit his throat."
DM: "Within moments your serving man is thrashing at your feet, his lifeblood spurting out from beneath the fingers he has closed around his own throat." ::::crosses off betrayal plot #1:::: 🤦‍♂️
killing people that you don't know for sure are going to betray you is a great way to make sure no one trusts you and as such you just launched 1000 betrayal plots....
 

I see two warriors and a caster... only 1 is a race that would seem odd (but lets be honest not THAT odd) in 2e.

I also think that this image comes from the Strixhaven book, right? So it's a book that's explicitly about a school environment.

Expecting dungeon delvers seems like a silly expectation, in that sense. They look like freshmen arriving at school for the first time... which seems entirely on point.
 




BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
On the note of "Old School Dungeon Delving", I'm at this really weird point where I've never actually been in or played in one. Everyone I play with has the attitude of "that's overdone and played out", but I've never got to do it. I've been trying to convince them to let me run something like Barrowmaze, but I doubt it will ever come to pass.
 

Jahydin

Explorer
I also think that this image comes from the Strixhaven book, right? So it's a book that's explicitly about a school environment.

Expecting dungeon delvers seems like a silly expectation, in that sense. They look like freshmen arriving at school for the first time... which seems entirely on point.
Yeah, all of them do I think. One of the reasons I find the picture at odds with the rest of the art.
 

Jahydin

Explorer
So what is it that makes this art speak to you differently?
Good question. More of a gut reaction of overall tone really.

It's like the Secret of NIMH movie art.

The old art:
NIMH1.png

I think this is a pretty good reflection of the movie, as seen in scenes:

NIMH3.png

NIMH4.png

NIMH5.png

Now compare to the new movie art they used for the bluray:

NIMH2.jpg

Both depictions have the same characters and are representing the same movie, but the first is much closer to what the movie actually entails tone wise.

That's more or less how I feel about most of the newer products coming out when matching the "movie" in my head. Totally subjective of course.

But more specifically? I'd have to say none of these characters look they have the capacity or desire to inflict harm. A trait critical to D&D's core gameplay loop IMO.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'd have to say none of these characters look they have the capacity or desire to inflict harm.
I recommend that you look through the character art from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything and Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. Strixhaven is a university, which is going to make most of the character shots in that book look more "friendly" or "non-hostile," simply due to the fact that most people on a college campus don't look like they want to rip your head off.

But stuff like this?
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Yeah, I can definitely believe that these guys are badass adventurers that have the capacity (and sometimes even desire) to commit harm to others. That Tiefling Artificer in the first image is smiling while thunder-punching a Gnoll. That Beast Barbarian perfectly encapsulates the theme of a Beast Barbarian and how ferocious they can be. That Orc Monk makes me want to play a Way of the Four Elements Monk, and I'm a dirty, minmaxing powergamer that would otherwise have no attraction to the subclass. They somehow put a Gnome in an action scene and made her look cool.

You're right that Strixhaven (and Witchlight) has bright art. It has more bright and "fluffy" art than dark art. But the dark art is present, and in some books, it is even more present than the bright/fluffy art (Van Richtens, Rime of the Frostmaiden, Netherdeep).
 

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