5E That Eberron Cover Is Just A Placeholder

According to WotC's Jeremy Crawford, Ben Oliver's cover for Eberron: Rising from the Last War on Amazon and WotC's website is an interior illustration serving as a placeholder.

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Crawford added that "That warforged has customized itself in unusual ways. Each warforged can alter how it looks. That said, the book has plenty of traditional-looking warforged." There's more to the art, as you can see in the banner across the top of WotC's webpage. I rather like it.

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Ben Oliver is credited as the cover artist in WotC's product page; his cover art will presumably be revealed soon, as the book is only three months away.

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Ben Oliver was the artist who illustrated the covers of Tomb of Annihilation and Curse of Strahd.

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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Abstruse

Adventurer
The Curse of Strahd features iconic villain Strahd on the cover. Tomb of Annihilation features iconic villain Acererak on the cover. Descent Into Averus features the iconic archdevil Zariel on the cover. Dragon Heist has the iconic FR villains Xanathar, Jarlaxle, and Manshoon on the cover.
Except you aren't the only target audience for the book. There are people out there who don't know anything about Ravenloft or the deep lore on Forgotten Realms. Frankly, I didn't know who anyone on the Dragon Heist cover was until it was announced as the only one I knew was Jaraxl and that wasn't how I pictured Jaraxl in my head. I still wouldn't know who they were if researching this sort of thing wasn't part of my job.

The same goes for Acererak on the ToA cover - I know who Acererak is, but that's just yet another in a long line of random liches as far as I know without reading it. Is it Acererak? Azalin? Asberdies? Venca? Hell, it could be Xykon for all I know in a surprise cross-license deal.

You may know who all these people are just at a glance, but the vast majority of players right now who are out there buying books weren't even born when Tomb of Horrors or Castle Ravenloft were first printed. Hell, I barely was for the former. So to say "But these characters are iconic" is only meaningful to you.

Oh, and to head this one off at the pass: The Eberron book is going to be a hybrid setting book and adventure the same way Curse of Strahd was for Ravenloft and Dragon Heist was for Waterdeep and so on. So most likely, as with all of those other books, the characters on the cover are important NPCs to the novel.
 

DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
My wager is that she is a character from the included adventure, which might also be why they are using the internal art for marketing.
My money is on this.

The beauty of Eberron is that it had so many interesting core NPCs to build campaigns around. There really wasn't one single standout (maybe Lady Vol or the Lord of Blades).
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
Oh, and to head this one off at the pass: The Eberron book is going to be a hybrid setting book and adventure the same way Curse of Strahd was for Ravenloft and Dragon Heist was for Waterdeep and so on. So most likely, as with all of those other books, the characters on the cover are important NPCs to the novel.
Seems plausible, although it’s still a poor choice. As pointed out, all the other adventure paths have an image of some main character on the cover. This face isn’t doing anything...she’s just a face. It’s doesn’t show of a cool scene or any of the defining features of Eberron (except maybe the warforged pasted on top).

Eberron isn’t supposed to have many big NPCs except the heroes, either. Lady Vol and the Lord of Blades are two of the exceptions, and they’re meant as villains. So if this person was meant to represent a story about Eberron, they complete obscure the Eberron part of it.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Seems plausible, although it’s still a poor choice. As pointed out, all the other adventure paths have an image of some main character on the cover. This face isn’t doing anything...she’s just a face. It’s doesn’t show of a cool scene or any of the defining features of Eberron (except maybe the warforged pasted on top).

Eberron isn’t supposed to have many big NPCs except the heroes, either. Lady Vol and the Lord of Blades are two of the exceptions, and they’re meant as villains. So if this person was meant to represent a story about Eberron, they complete obscure the Eberron part of it.
Yeah, I think it's best to reserve judgement on the piece until we see the internal page context, and wait for the actual cover to be revealed.
 
I'm probably the only one that feels the special edition cover is too Steampunk. To me Eberron is post WW1 fantasy noir and pulp adventure, with the technomagical accoutrements necessary to support those genres. The original campaign setting had relatively little Steampunk aesthetic and it has slowly grown since then.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
I'm probably the only one that feels the special edition cover is too Steampunk. To me Eberron is post WW1 fantasy noir and pulp adventure, with the technomagical accoutrements necessary to support those genres. The original campaign setting had relatively little Steampunk aesthetic and it has slowly grown since then.
I don't see anything specifically steampunk. No steam engines, smoking chimneys, or unnecessary pressure indicator needles.

It is rather reminiscent of Flash Gordon (C1934) though.

Art Deco basically.
 
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SMHWorlds

Explorer
I like the cover. I feel that just simply saying that will make me a ton of enemies, but it seemed to be interesting enough. TBH I am not a fan of the current art styles employed across the 5E brand. The individual pieces are fine and the artists are hella talented. But the aesthetic is bland and uninteresting. This one was okay, genuinely liked it.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
Does the woman on the cover look like Angelina Jolie to anyone else? I am super surprised that I haven't seen anyone else saying this!
It's been mentioned before. It's not unusual for artists to make use of reference photos when creating portraits of fictional characters. Neverwinter Nights (original not the MMO) got into trouble over it's portraits looking too much like real people and had to change them.
 

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