D&D Art across the editions

dave2008

Legend
Inspired by the Art in D&D thread by @Aebir-Toril , I decided to take a more serious look at the art across editions. But how to go about it? Well, I decided I didn't want to arbitrarily look at random pieces of art, so to bring some method to the madness i decided to look at the full page spreads, the spectacle pieces if you will, displayed in the players handbook of each edition. The core books are supposed to be the introduction to the game and should, in theory, set the town for the art of the edition.

The next 5 posts will contain each and every full page spread from the respective editions PHB, DMG. & (maybe) MM. Please be patient as it will take some time to get these uploaded. Then I will come back here for some thoughts.

Quick analysis after posting all of the PHB & DMG images:
  1. Quantity: 5e is first, with 2e second and 4e coming in third.
  2. Quality: That is subjective but I would probably go with 5e. I like the more detail style of the 4e artwork (compared to the more painterly style of the 5e work), but I find the 4e work to exaggerated in general, so I give the nod to the 5e work.
  3. Most colorful: 4e
  4. Most BW: 2e
  5. Best Cover: 1e (revised edition pictured) tie with 5e
  6. Best single piece: TBD
Quick analysis after posting all of the DMG images:
  1. Quantity: 5e is first, with 4e second and 2e coming in third.
  2. Quality: That is subjective but I would probably go with 5e first, 2e second and 4e third.
  3. Most colorful: 4e
  4. Most BW: 1e
  5. Best Cover: 1e (nostalgia reasons for me mostly) with 5e 2nd
  6. Best single piece: TBD
Quick analysis after posting all of the MM images:
  1. TBD
 
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dave2008

Legend
This concept didn't works so well for 3e/3.5e as there was no real full spread art. EDIT I felt like I was not doing 3e justice so I have go back and added the chapter art. I don't think it fulfills the brief, but it is what you get:

3.5e Player's Handbook full spread art:
PHB_3e_1.JPG

PHB_3e_2.JPG

PHB_3e_3.JPG

PHB_3e_4.JPG

PHB_3e_5.JPG

PHB_3e_6.JPG

PHB_3e_7.JPG

PHB_3e_8.JPG

PHB_3e_9.JPG

PHB_3e_2.JPG

PHB_3e_10.JPG

PHB_3e_11.JPG

PHB_3e_12.JPG
3.5e Dungeon Masters Guide full spread art:
DMG_3e_1.JPG

DMG_3e_2.JPG

DMG_3e_3.JPG

DMG_3e_4.JPG

DMG_3e_5.JPG

DMG_3e_6.JPG

DMG_3e_6x.JPG

DMG_3e_7.JPG

DMG_3e_8.JPG

DMG_3e_9.JPG
3e Monster Manual Art
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
The 1e Easley PHB is still my favorite. And not just nostalgia. (I had actually been playing years before it came out). I just think it’s best. I loathed the 3e covers. No action or scenes at all.
My all time favorite though is the Otis basic set. That’s what D&D was. A warrior and mage fighting a dragon.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Man the 5e PHB is under appreciated.

The guy fighting atop a rock formation is one of my favorite dnd images. The final couple I never even saw before (I never read rpg books cover to cover), but I love the rainbow of lights (color spray?) and the webbed bruiser (ogre, maybe?)!
 

dave2008

Legend
The 1e Easley PHB is still my favorite. And not just nostalgia. (I had actually been playing years before it came out). I just think it’s best. I loathed the 3e covers. No action or scenes at all.
My all time favorite though is the Otis basic set. That’s what D&D was. A warrior and mage fighting a dragon.
I was surprised it only had 3 full spread images, including the cover!
 

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