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

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Artist: Brom
Source: Dragon Kings
Monster: Borys, the Dragon
Story: I have to admit, I don't think it's an accident that my two favorite 2e campaign settings, Planescape and Dark Sun, were also the only two lines I'm aware of where a single artist did nearly all the artwork for the entire product. DiTerlizzi and Brom did so much to make those feel like true, cohesive worlds to me - worlds distinct and separate from the places D&D is usually played.


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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.
Since you love this particular piece of art, you might be interested to know there is a puzzle of it available. The Beholder Puzzle: A Dungeon & Dragons Jigsaw Puzzle: Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults (Dungeons & Dragons): Official Dungeons & Dragons Licensed: 9780593234716: Amazon.com: Books

Pretty good quality made puzzle too. What a great opportunity to spend time with a beloved piece of art. However, don’t do it. So much black and shadow and frustration figuring where a few streaks of color could possibly go. I suppose there is a great sense of satisfaction upon completion because this one’s a slog.

@pukunui : Ha! Great minds, and all that. To echo your post - this was the piece of art that made me step back and realize, "...man, even the dragons are strange and alien here to what I know." Another piece from the same book, that underlined for me how metal-poor Athas was supposed to be:
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edit: To your point about the wings: it occurs to me that I always just assumed that was Borys. It could well be one of the Sorcerer Kings on their way to transformation.


edit: To your point about the wings: it occurs to me that I always just assumed that was Borys. It could well be one of the Sorcerer Kings on their way to transformation.
The image you posted is definitely Borys. The one in the box set (labeled as "Dragon of Tyr") shows him without wings as well. There are some later products, however, that show him with wings, and I think it has to do with the transformation process. When he was first introduced in Dark Sun, he had evolved to have wings yet, but later on in the metaplot, he got them.


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Some of the first visual representations of orcs I was exposed to were from the original Warcraft RTS games. So to me, orcs were hulking green-skinned dudes with tusks. Never cared for the pig-faced style of orcs seen in early D&D. Until I read Delicious in Dungeon.

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This is my absolute favorite depiction of orcs in any media I’ve seen (my current forum avatar is also an orc character from the series). Now I love pig-orcs (porcs?) and this is what they look like in my setting.
So, today it was announced that this manga is getting an anime adaptation, by the excellent Studio Trigger. I was just really excited about that and wanted to share it.


the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
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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.
I loved this pic, probably my most viewed pic in the book.
Both the bulette and Demogorgon are by David C Sutherland III.
This seems unfair given how inspirational a lot of D&D monster art is, but I'll start with one.

The Thessalhydra. Imagine my surprise when Stranger Things used the name, because honestly I thought it was one of the most obscure D&D monsters. But this image, from original 2E MC (or one of the looseleaf additions thereof), absolutely burned into my brain and made me love D&D monsters and this particular monster. The bizarre combination of attributes and fact that it's related to mythology but not really properly drawn from it is absolutely what D&D monster-monsters are all about to me.

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I think this was Thomas Baxa. I think he did better monsters than people.



This lovely gentleman right here; Pit Fiend, Planescape's monstrous appendix I, by Tony diTerlizzi (yes, him again).

I loved the grotesque aspect and the fact that much is left to imagination. Like porn, monsters lose their charm when too much is revealed...
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Jack Daniel


I have to go with the compass mermaid from X1. (By Jeff Dee, I'm pretty sure.) Sure, Darlene's mermaid in the 1e DMG might be reclining in a more classically alluring pose; but this one? She is ready to slither up onto the deck of your ship and mess your effing crap up with that trident. Half lady, half sea-serpent, all badass.

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