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The Proper Use of Nudity in FRPG Art


First Post
We MUST have nudity, and we MUST NOT have nudity.


Look at the illustrations in the 1st edition AD&D Monster Manual, Players Handbook, and Dungeon Masters Guide. They don't shy away from featuring nudity IN MONSTERS. Succubi don't wear clothes! Harpies don't wear bras! Etc. It would be a shame to illustrate them wearing clothes. You might as well draw a picture of a red dragon wearing a sweater.

On the other hand, in the AD&D core rulebooks there is not a single adventurer running around in a chainmail bikini or similar nonsense. That is NOT how an adventurer dresses. (The only possible exception is the cover of the DMG, with that scantily-clad girl in the efreeti's clutches. I do not interpret her to be an adventurer, though. I interpret her to be a slave girl.) So no "adventurer babes", PLEASE. And no "pumped-up" men, either. Look at the adventurers in the old MM encountering that giant spider. Look at the adventurers in D2: Shrine of the Kuo-toa. Look at the adventurers in the AD&D Fiend Folio. All of them are lean and mean and roughed-up. They look like they are fighting their way through dungeons. They do not look like they just finished working on their six-packs at the gym.

Please note that I have taken my examples from the old AD&D books simply because that is what I have. I do not own the 2nd or the 3rd edition rulebooks. This thread isn't for Edition Wars.

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First Post
S'mon said:
The description inside says she's a Thief. Presumably she has magic bracers.

I'd forgotten that! In that case, I can always think of her like Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi: She was wearing sensible adventurer's clothes, but after getting captured by Jabba/the efreeti, she was stripped and put in sexy slave-girl garb.


First Post
Hmmm... three personal opinions on this...

First, I think nudity in FRPG artwork is great, a historical part of the genre, and I quite enjoy it myself. Second, I can likewise also see the view that part of the market WotC is going for these days is young (heck, they need to go after that part of the market if they want to be a successful company), and as such is arguably inappropriate in core products. And lastly, I suspect this thread is doomed to drift into territories that will get it locked down. ;-)

Denis, aka "Maldin"
Maldin's Greyhawk http://melkot.com

S'mon said:
The description inside says she's a Thief. Presumably she has magic bracers.

Wouldn't she draw attention, though, and isn't that bad for a thief? A bard, on the other hand...

Geoffrey said:
Succubi don't wear clothes! Harpies don't wear bras!

I would expect succubi to wear clothes... really revealing clothes, unless the art depicts a succubus in the act ... of draining energy.

It makes sense that Harpies wouldn't wear top, too. I guess artists should shy away from nudity unless they have a good reason to make the subject naked. If it's part of the concept (eg nymphs) it only makes sense.

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