D&D General One Piece of Art- What D&D Art Inspired You to Love a Class?


How inconvenient
Artist: Keith Parkinson
Source: Unknown
Class: Fighter

Next is the Fighter – yes, I love all playing all (1E) character classes (except the Illusionist and the Monk).

Raised walking in forests and visiting medieval and late-medieval villages, castles, fortresses, churches, and monasteries ruined and still intact all over Western Europe whenever we were on holiday (and reading all histories, fables, and stories medieval I could get my hands on), I have always loved the archetypal noble knight – the hero of song and legend, such as Roland and his sword Durandal at Roncesvalles and king Arthur and the knights of the round table, except Lancelot coz you don’t do that and, obviously, Richard-lamping-Gere.

So I started out playing Paladins until I found it increasingly difficult to reconcile them being lawful good with killing creatures in dungeons left and right and veered towards heroic fighters not of lawful good alignment – and not evil because heroic.

I suppose the first piece of art that inspired me to love heroic fighters was the Suske en Wiske* album De Ringelingschat, Willy Vandersteen’s take on the hero Siegfried and the saga of the Nibelungen, in which Lambik effectively played the role of Siegfried (Bikfried), slayed the dragon, but was treacherously killed after that. I remember being genuinely impressed by the funeral scene, which a the time sort of epitomized all that a heroic fighter is about – fighting for a good cause against the odds, knowing full well that the cause is more important than one’s life, with his eventual death serving to further cement the notion and being the poets’ cue to start writing their ballads and songs.


From: Willy Vandersteen, Suske en Wiske – De Ringelingschat (Standaard Uitgeverij, 1951)

So, when, years later and after playing many other classes, I saw the picture below by Keith Parkinson, I think in an issue of Dragon magazine, the memories of Lambik’s funeral scene came flooding back and my love of heroic fighters was rekindled.


* Known as Bob et Bobette in France and as Spike and Suzy in the UK.

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Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I first saw this picture less than a week after the 1e Players Handbook was published. It's not like I look at on a regular basis, but it has been instantly recognizable to me for 44 years now.

And it wasn't until today that I realized that the shield is held wrong. The long axis should be near perpendicular to the arm, not parallel and the point should be pointed down, not up.

So here I am, looking at a barbed, ice, bone, and horned devil, and now all I can think is that shield looks weird.

Pushed aside by the fiend?

But I always noticed that too.
Me too. (Necro, sorry)

Years later when I LARPed I learned that shield grips and strapping can vary a good bit. While traditionally a heater (knightly-style) shield like that would usually have the strap and handle mounted so your forearm was parallel to the ground while the point was down, you CAN have a strap where the forearm/fist holding the handle point down toward the ground/bottom of the shield when at rest. I fought that way myself, with a longer, more coffin-shaped shield. So the paladin's strapping and grip on that shield aren't necessarily wrong. Just uncommon.

Theory of Games

Disaffected Game Warrior
I'm trying something a little different, today. One of the things about D&D that we all have loved is the amazing and evocative art over the years. Many of us have favorite drawings or module/AP covers or other images that are seared into our brains.

And that is what I'd like this series to be about. The pieces of art from D&D that had that indelible impact upon us.

I'm starting with this thread, and if people like it ... maybe do some more. Today's topic in the One Piece of Art series-

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

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 class. It can be any class- a class, a subclass, a premier class, etc. But the art had to make you think, "I wanna play this class."

3. Explain the art source, the class, and why you chose it. Please!

I will go first!


Artist: Jeff Dee
Source: The Rogues Gallery 1980
Class: Illusionist

Story: The AD&D Illusionist was underpowered. Magic users were the Spinal Tap speakers to the Illusionist's regular speakers .... the Magic User went up to 9, while the Illusionist only could must a maximum spell level of 7 ... just like the cleric. And worse, the Illusionist even had minimum ability scores, like a requirement to have a 15 or higher in both Intelligence and Dexterity! Being an illusionist seemed like a fool's game ... making a player waste great ability scores in order to be an underpowered Magic User.

But then I saw this illustration in The Rogues Gallery. It's not ... great. I'm not sure what is going on with the length of his left arm (illusions???), and Jeff didn't want to draw his feet (obvs!), but this weird, Chippendales-esque illustration spoke to me. This was a powerful wizard bending reality to his whim! Every. Single. Thing. About this illustration made me want to play an illusionist.

And so I did. It was one of my go-to classes in AD&D. Was it a weak choice in terms of mechanics? Sure. But in my mind's eye, I was powerful and confident, and ready to break the mind and the will of all who would oppose me.
Jeff Dee. He made me an rpg cultist with his D&D/V&V art. Plus he's a true non-believer and made me question what I was and where I am. Jeff Dee is the greatest PERSON $#^%& BEST ARTIST. Him and Tramp!

This piece made me absolutely crazy to play Knights/Paladins of the doomed and tragically flawed variety. Granted, it was the overall love of the character, but this art piece by Keith Parkinson is truly iconic.

Funny, that's my current desktop wallpaper. His art was so detailed. There's a reason all the other Four Horseman say he was the best of them.


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