D&D General One Piece of Art II (Monsters)- What D&D Art Inspired You to Love a Monster?

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Well, the first post seemed to attract some interest ....

....so I thought I'd do in a second in the series! This week ....

What D&D Art inspired you to love a particular monster?

Now, for purposes of this thread, please note the following-

1. ONE piece of art. You shall count to one. If you do two, you've gone two ... um, too far.

2. It has to have inspired you to "love" a particular monster. Now, love in in this context is a many-splendored thing. Maybe the art inspired you to love monsters in general. Maybe it inspired you to use that particular monster. Maybe that piece of art always shaped how you view that monster. Maybe that art is like terrifying rot grub that has burrowed into your brain and now inhabits your nightmares. Whatever, man, I'm not going to define your love! Feel free to explain why this particular piece of art (depicting a MONSTER) is so meaningful to you.

3. Explain the art source (incl. artist if known), the monster, and why you chose it. Please!

Since I started the thread, I will go first.

trampier-rakshasa1.jpg


Artist: David A. Trampier
Source: Monster Manual 1977
Monster: Rakshasa

Story: I have to admit, it can be difficult following my own arbitrary and capricious rules ... just one ... ONE monster? I mean ... the Lich, the Death Knight .... the Sons of Kyuss ... there are so many iconic (and terrifying) illustrations of monsters in the past. Some of them aren't even undead.

...and yet, something about the Rakshasa in the first Monster Manual always forced me to linger over it. This, in part, was the magic of David A. Trampier (and if you aren't familiar with his amazing art, or his tragic & strange story, I suggest doing a little research). The rest of the monsters could look scary, or weird, or strangely huggable (hello, Owlbear!). But here was a tiger ... in a smoking jacket ... which somehow made it all the more terrifying.

Every time I thumbed through the Monster Manual, I would always pause on the Rakshasa. That image reminded me that the Rakshasa was not just a monster to put in a dungeon key in another 30x30 room; no, the Rakshasa was the star of a story, subtle of mind, and would meet the party on the Rakshasa's terms ... if the party even knew that the Rakshasa was there.
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
1659967140179.png

Artist: Russ Nicholson
Source: The best monster book of all time. . . . 1E Fiend Folio
Monster: Grell
Story: Not sure what to say except, how can anyone not love a giant tentacled brain with a bird beak that hovers in the darkness above you to float down and carry you off? I actually never used one of these until relatively recently (when I used two) and my players named it a "Brainedbeaktapus."
 
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Amros

Explorer
beholder.jpg

Artist: Raymond Swanland
Source: Monster Manual 2014
Monster: Beholder

I think this art is simply amazing. It's not only how dreadful the beholder is depicted, or the level of detail, or the scenario; it's just that you only need to look at this adventurer's face to know you are in the fight (or flight) of your life, even if there is only one.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
ADD_MM_Couatl.jpg


Artist: Dave A. Trampier
Source: 1e Monster Manual
Monster: Couatl

I had never heard of a Couatl before I opened the 1e MM, but from the first time I saw that artwork, I loved the Couatl and used it when I could make it fit.

Edited to add in artist.
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
View attachment 256927
I'm not sure who it's by, but this image of the landshark captures so much of the spirit of early wilderness adventures. It was a close call between this bulette image and the one which has "treed" a halfling like a dog to a racoon, but this one just edged it.

Definitely a big inspiration for me and finally ran a scene something like this back in 2008 - so only about 26 years after I first saw the image!
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
View attachment 256911
Artist: Russ Nicholson
Source: The best monster book of all time. . . . 1E Fiend Folio
Monster: Grell
Story: Not sure what to say except, how can anyone not love a giant tentacled brain with a bird beak that hovers in the darkness above you to float down and carry you off? I actually never used one of these until relatively recently (when I used two) and my players named it a "Brainedbeaktapus."

Edited so Snarf doesn't cry. . .
 


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