D&D 5E There Will Be No More Hydro74 Alternate D&D Covers

Hydro74 has confirmed that Vecna: Eve of Ruin was their final alternate cover for D&D.

For the past 10 years, there have been alternative covers for the Dungeons & Dragons hardcovers available at local game stores. These covers were usually designed by artist Joshua M. Smith, aka Hydro74.

Hydro74 has confirmed that Vecna: Eve of Ruin was their final alternate cover for D&D.

Just got my copy of Vecna, Eve of Ruin from D&D in. The Gold & Silver really are fantastic. Sadly [Wizards of the Coast] said this was my last book since they are changing direction, which is disappointing but freelance life! Was a fun ride!


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Photo by Hydro74
Here's a look at just some of Hydo74's alternate covers over the years.

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I wouldn't be surprised if the alternate covers carry on the storybook vibe of the 2024 core book alternate covers, which will no doubt enrage all the dudes with profile pics sitting in their pick-up trucks and wearing Oakleys who angrily post on all of WotC's FB ads. (Good news, my dudes: Kickstarter is full of edgelord 5E sourcebooks and campaigns. You will be fine.)
I'm not one of those guys, but I still hate "cutesy" in my D&D, and am starting to really dislike "cozy" as well.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I'm not one of those guys, but I still hate "cutesy" in my D&D, and am starting to really dislike "cozy" as well.
Completely fair.

I don't think it's just the Oakley guys who don't like the art style. WotC is just trying to appeal to a different (additional) market segment with these alternate covers.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
To be clear, I think Hydro47's work was amazing. It was just not the feel I was going for in a D&D book cover.

I think the only alt cover I got (when I still purchased physical books) was Eberron which was done by someone else.
Similarly, the Rules Expansion set and Shattered Obelisk were the alts I picked up, and Planescape was the only one beyond that I was interested in. I do appreciate the consistent art style, but theirs was not one that won me over well enough.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
To be clear, I think Hydro47's work was amazing. It was just not the feel I was going for in a D&D book cover.

I think the only alt cover I got (when I still purchased physical books) was Eberron which was done by someone else.
I 100% respect Hydo's artistry, and have 3 of his alts (Tyranny of Dragons, Spelljammer, and now Vecna), and 4 other Alts by other artists (Golden Vault, Planescape, Bigby, and Shattered Obelisk). Usually, I just like the standard covers (all the other 5E books aside from Acquisitions Incorporated), like with the upcoming core books they fit my taste better even though the cozy covers are well done.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
That is how I felt about the Hydro47 covers. I think I plan on getting the physical alt covers, but not 100% sure yet. I may get them both, but that is not usually my style.
For me, the hydro74 covers were reminiscent of the 3.Xe core covers where they looked like actual book covers, ya know? they weren't action scenes, but they did seem like the kind of thing you might see as the cover to some Arcane Tome.
 

dave2008

Legend
For me, the hydro74 covers were reminiscent of the 3.Xe core covers where they looked like actual book covers, ya know? they weren't action scenes, but they did seem like the kind of thing you might see as the cover to some Arcane Tome.
I can see that, and I did like it for Art and Arcana, just not my D&D sourcebooks.

One of the reasons I skipped 3e/3.5e was because I hated the core book covers with the faux fantasy book look.

I grew up with the stories embedded in the illustrated covers of the 1e core books (originals and Easley make overs). That is what I want in my RPG book covers.
 



EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Did 3.5E have all new art as well back them ? Or pushes all the new art this .5 half edition (if we put all the marketing speech that tries to hide it aside for a moment) more to wards a .6 or .7 .....;)
It certainly had new cover art. The style was similar but not the same.
 


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