BETTER ART FOR THE RPG BOOKS!

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
sunwolf

BETTER ART FOR THE RPG BOOKS!

Postby sunwolf » Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:22 pm

I like the style of the books. But come on. Mongoose can get some better artists. Most of the stuff in the campaign setting is really not that good if not poor in quality. I'm not saying that the art is the number 1 thing in the books, but its important to the overall setting. I like to see pics of things that the text mentions. Most of the illustrations are completely random!

Where is Gary Chalk? Where is Brian Williams? These guys are the classic Lone Wolf illustrators. Has mongoose asked them to guest illustrate a book? Why not? I'd just like an honest answer.

And if mongoose can't get them, why not get some decent illustrators.

sunwolf
Sabbak
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:05 pm
Location: Switzerland

Postby Sabbak » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:48 am

Whoo... I am not as disappointed and virulent as sunwolf :shock: but I must confess that the interior artwork of the RpG is not... er... say "my overall personnal best of the RpG industry" (let's stay diplomatic :wink: ).

For example, the illustrations of the Kai Lord handling a monstruous (ridiculous? :? ) warhammer (on page 12) or the magician of Dessi acting like Jackie Chan :cry: (on page 51) are not the best I've seen...

But let's be honest, the artwork is not THAT ugly :wink: .
Personnaly, I like the illustrations of the gunners (p. 31), the "ill-man" (p. 160) and the giaks (p. 273) and some others are not so bad too...

That said, I would be very pleased if the interior artwork would improve! :wink:
C. Chapman
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: Devon, England
Contact:

Postby C. Chapman » Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:22 am

Hey,

Wasn't it mentioned somewhere that Gary Chalk had refused to give Mongoose permission to use any of his LW art or something?

Actually, I'm fairly neutral about most of the pics (don't really like or dislike most of them, though I like most of the monster illustrations, and some of the pics completely obscured by the text at the start of each class section looked promising), but some are just completely bonkers. Where, for example, are the green crystal masks the Cener Druids are supposed to wear in any of the depictions of them in MoM? Why is the Magician of Dessi in the core book doing kung fu? Why do the members of the party of adventurers on pg. 6 of the corebook all look like midgets (big heads, short legs)? etc.

cheers!
Colin
Radioactive Ape Designs - Award-Nominated Publisher of Atomic Highway, etc.!
Veteran Freelancer - a|state, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Castles & Crusades, Hellas, Hollow Earth Expedition, Iron Kingdoms, Talislanta, Waste World, Wild Talents, etc.
User avatar
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8849
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:43 pm

I quite like the illustrations. they have plenty of drama and the action is clearly represented and they do fit the text for the most part.

I will agree with Colin, that the adventuring party are a little disproportionate. The knight's armour never quite looks right in any of his depictions.

The pictures of the Vordak and Helghast are great and I love the illustration of the party in the inn on p170.

Oh and I love the cover of the core rules. A poster of that would be cool.
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
sunwolf

Postby sunwolf » Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:38 pm

All i'm sayin' is take a look at any illustration from most of the forgotten realms line of books over at Wizards of the Coast. They're amazing! They've really stepped up their game by including quality illustrations.

I know I sound like i'm screaming in these posts. I'm just passionate about art becuase I used to be a painter way back when. And it's just irritating to see very sub-part illustrations on a game that i've been waiting years too see.

Heck, i've seen better illustrations on the Conan books that Mongoose makes. Whats up with that?

I could put a review of every single pic but I think its pretty evident that most if it is not that wonderful. Most of the pics in the Gazatteer section of the core book were completely off topic and didn't make much sense.

1. And, on page 8 of the darklands. Whos the huged dude punching that guy? I can't even make out what that is?

2. p.35 of the darklands. The dark cultist looks cartoony.

3. pg. 91, darklands, the giant claw? Whats up with that?

4. pg, 39, MoM, what is that thing? I mean it looks kind alike a big black smear.


And i could go on. But my point is this: Toward the latter years when TSR was running DnD they put illustrations in their books that were very poor and unimaginative. That was years agon when roleplaying was on its knees and almost disappeared. But now, roleplaying has started a surge in popularity. And many companies have been producing beautiful books. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm trying to give constructive feedback so that the game I love can improve. I know alot of people are rolling their eyes and thinking i'm crude. But heck, personally i'd rather someone be strait with me and not hide behind words in their criticism. I work in the TV industry so i guess thats why i'm so forward about things. You gotta be blunt or everyone won't listen to you.

sunwolf
Confused Wolf
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:47 pm

Postby Confused Wolf » Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:44 pm

I have to agree that the interior art at large is not so good. But I agree also with Sabbak when he says that not all the illustrations are bad (the Giak picture is among my favorites, too). So obviously Tony Parker (the interior illustrator in all three books iirc) can deliver decent works. Mongoose should just dump his lesser pictures and fill the space with more text.

Another option would be too pay more for the artwork, but I guess that would be transfered into the price we costumers have to pay and that wouldn't make me happy, either. So for me it is: rather than more but bad pictures or a higher price I'd prefer less but decent pics (and no price increase).
mthomason
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3333
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 5:47 pm
Location: Suffolk, UK
Contact:

Postby mthomason » Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:47 pm

If I want a book of fantasy art, I'll buy one. If I want an RPG, I'll buy that and hope that I'm not spending an inordinate amount of the cost on incredible artwork.

Mostly I'm happy if it's got a nice cover, and some not-too-awful line art inside. :)
User avatar
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8849
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Postby Greg Smith » Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:23 am

sunwolf wrote: I could put a review of every single pic but I think its pretty evident that most if it is not that wonderful. Most of the pics in the Gazatteer section of the core book were completely off topic and didn't make much sense.
P183 Dragons fighting - in the history section where Nyxator's exploits are described.
p190 Vashna falling into the Maakengorge - history again.
p195 - I don't see what that is. A Borese Hall? or A Caron giant?
p200 the bridge to Helgedad.
p214 nagamir
p224 a Zaldir slave driver
p234 a druid of Kaum
242 ??
p246 The mountain of Vost
p248 Taklakot undead

So there are a couple and I imagine they were intended to be something specific. Almost every illustration in the books illustrates something specific.
4. pg, 39, MoM, what is that thing? I mean it looks kind alike a big black smear.
That's the shadowwraith described on the same page.
And i could go on. But my point is this: Toward the latter years when TSR was running DnD they put illustrations in their books that were very poor and unimaginative. That was years agon when roleplaying was on its knees and almost disappeared. But now, roleplaying has started a surge in popularity. And many companies have been producing beautiful books. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm trying to give constructive feedback so that the game I love can improve. I know alot of people are rolling their eyes and thinking i'm crude. But heck, personally i'd rather someone be strait with me and not hide behind words in their criticism. I work in the TV industry so i guess thats why i'm so forward about things. You gotta be blunt or everyone won't listen to you.

sunwolf
I recall some of FASA's leter Shadowrun books, and the art was abominable. Not every RPG can have art by David Dietrick or Tim Bradstreet, but I do think Tony Parker's art is pretty good for the most part.

I don't think you are trying to be mean. I understand your point, but I don't agree for the most part.
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
User avatar
redlaco
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 927
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:30 pm
Location: Québec, Canada

Postby redlaco » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:44 am

Well for me the art was a deception in the corebook at first, especially since they were quite different from the original art, but I got used to it with time.

So basicaly they're not the best part of the books, but as mthomason said, it's an RPG book first and foremost.
"Knowledge is what makes the difference between the world you want, and the world other people think you should have." -- JMS
Xex

Postby Xex » Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:25 am

"For example, the illustrations of the Kai Lord handling a monstruous (ridiculous? ) warhammer (on page 12) or the magician of Dessi acting like Jackie Chan (on page 51) are not the best I've seen... "

I personally really liked these two; I also think the dessi doing 'king-fu' is an excellent drawing, since it represents immediately that the dessi are not your traditional mages who can barely hit the side of a wall with a stick. The pic represents them as the capable battle-mages that they are, dangerous as spellcaster, lethal in ranged combat, and both dangerous and lethal in melee. :)

The imbedded pics, ((obscured by text)) were excellent, and I truly missed them in both darklands and magic of magnamund.
Sabbak
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:05 pm
Location: Switzerland

Postby Sabbak » Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:27 pm

Xex wrote:"For example, the illustrations of the Kai Lord handling a monstruous (ridiculous? ) warhammer (on page 12) or the magician of Dessi acting like Jackie Chan (on page 51) are not the best I've seen... "

I personally really liked these two; I also think the dessi doing 'king-fu' is an excellent drawing, since it represents immediately that the dessi are not your traditional mages who can barely hit the side of a wall with a stick
I must admit that we definitely don't have the same tastes Xex :P .
I prefer Scenarios and Background supplements and you prefer rules and epic level books. I find those illustrations close to be ridiculous (and 100% of my players share my views -obviously, they have no choice! :lol: -)...

But what makes me confortable is...

.. that I AM right! :wink: :lol:
Xex wrote:I also think the dessi doing 'king-fu' is an excellent drawing, since it represents immediately that the dessi are not your traditional mages who can barely hit the side of a wall with a stick
Just a few questions to "answer this":
1. Are the Dessi sooooo warmongering? Is it what is the best way to characterise them?
2. Do they have sooo many agressive and/or fight-oriented powers?
3. Are Elder Arts just Catch-like abilities or more intellectual and mystical magic?
4. Is the bit of tooth really needed in this drawing?

I guess my answers are obvious... :twisted:

That said, everyone has different tastes and like differents colors. No winners in such a countest! :)
User avatar
Nerethel
Weasel
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:03 am
Contact:

Postby Nerethel » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:09 pm

Xex wrote:I also think the dessi doing 'king-fu' is an excellent drawing, since it represents immediately that the dessi are not your traditional mages who can barely hit the side of a wall with a stick. The pic represents them as the capable battle-mages that they are, dangerous as spellcaster, lethal in ranged combat, and both dangerous and lethal in melee. :)
Agreed. I like a mage who is a little more than a spell-flinger, but otherwise a sheltered bookworm. That's one of my favorite illustrations in the books.

Personally, I'd rate the interior art at about a 7 out of 10, overall. Some better, some worse. I'm not of the opinion that art 'makes' an RPG, but the illustrations should give a good impression of the world they represent.

Art is subjective. Modern art is a fine example: splattered paint on a wall, scrap metal piled up to look like a dinosaur's ashtray, etc.

However, art in an RPG is different. The expectations of people have risen over the years. They are no longer satisfied with the 1st edition AD&D books' artwork. A new RPG that had similar quality illustrations would be considered laughable by today's standards. Sure, the artwork is irrelevant to the quality of the rules, but people picking up an RPG for the first time thumb through the pages and look at what? The art.

If you were a person who was unfamiliar to the world of Lone Wolf, and walked into your favorite local RPG shop, picked up a copy of the Lone Wolf RPG and said, "Hmm! New game. Neat! I'll have a look," what would your first impression be?

Next to the lavishly over-illustrated D&D gruel out there, the Lone Wolf RPG looks almost like a small independent company's first foray into the game industry. This is far from the truth, obviously, as the game is superb, both in rules and flavor, but the first impression comes from artwork.

I like the art in the LWRPG, though it would not have been my first choice for much of the art. Perhaps some art from a variety of different people would be a good thing, as long as they have a good vision of Magnamund. I realise that Brian Williams or Gary Chalk would likely be difficult to get for the job, but other artists would be great, too. Is Richard Corben reachable? He did several covers to the Berkley editions of the original game books. (And I personally think his art ROCKS.)

My point is this: there are many wonderful artists and fans of Lone Wolf who would likely love to illustrate parts of their favorite world if given the chance, likely for minimal compensation (I could be wrong). And art does make a difference, even if it's all in the first impression.

Nerethel
I wear pants.
sunwolf

Postby sunwolf » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:16 pm

Nerethel is right. This is what i meant. Sure, us die hard Lone Wolf fans will but it cuz its lone wolf. But if we want more books to be published that means more people have to become fans. And Nerethel has a point, when people pick up a book of the shelf they look at the artwork then, it if interests them they start reading it. I mean, i've done it myself. Cuz its hard to evaluate a book off the shelf on rules unless you play the game and see how it works.

and i agree, there are plenty of established artists or even newbies that would be happy to illustrate lone wolf and do a decent job that wouldn't cost a ton of money.

sunwolf
Xex

Postby Xex » Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:54 pm

Sabbak! :) You are mostly right, however I am not so much pushing for epic level books as for the classbooks. I only mention the epic books because many people, whose views and opinions I enjoy to read (like yours as well ofcourse) really would like epic level books. And I do look forward to the regional sourcebook...hopefully they may have a regional specific class or two as well :) But not too much since too many heroic classes defeats the purpose. 90% + of magnamund is supposed to be mundane npc classes you know. :)

Anyhow, I completely agree that we each have our own opinions, and respect yours on this matter. I'll try to answer your q's though;

"As for the rest,
Just a few questions to "answer this":
1. Are the Dessi sooooo warmongering? Is it what is the best way to characterise them?
2. Do they have sooo many agressive and/or fight-oriented powers?
3. Are Elder Arts just Catch-like abilities or more intellectual and mystical magic?
4. Is the bit of tooth really needed in this drawing? "

Well I have to say number four really made me smile! lol. I have no answer for that one. ;) You have to admit though, you will find no other sorceror class representation like that in any other rpg!

As for the rest, well, keep in mind when they first came into magnamund, they were a militant order. It depends on how you want to play; I enjoy playing a class that strictly advises, and uses wisdom and intellect to find ways out of sticky situations, be they in a quagmire in ruel surrounded by beastmen weilding pointy objects, or in a lavish court room with the hand of a beautiful princess at stake; but I also enjoy the option of having the power of the wizards staff and the elder arts, be it for pure butt-kicking or subtle enchanting. And lastly you have to admit the surprise on the face of the knight, when he finds his broadsword being easily parried by a piece of wood.
Sabbak
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:05 pm
Location: Switzerland

Postby Sabbak » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:21 pm

Xex wrote: Well I have to say number four really made me smile! lol. I have no answer for that one. ;) You have to admit though, you will find no other sorceror class representation like that in any other rpg!
I must admit that fact 100%!!! :lol:
Xex wrote: As for the rest, well, keep in mind when they first came into magnamund, they were a militant order. ... And lastly you have to admit the surprise on the face of the knight, when he finds his broadsword being easily parried by a piece of wood.
Hmmm... that's not so wrong :wink:
And it's true that I always imagined the Dessi magician as "old-grand-father" magician surrounded by books and old scrolls... With such a picture in mind, you can understand how disturbing this particular drawing is for me! :P
Xex

Postby Xex » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:32 pm

"And it's true that I always imagined the Dessi magician as "old-grand-father" magician surrounded by books and old scrolls... With such a picture in mind, you can understand how disturbing this particular drawing is for me! "

Well, by the time the magician attains the rank of elder magii, if ever, he will certainly be the grandfatherly, like rimoah, and thus might spend the rest of his life lounging by the fireplace. Although, count dooku and jumping bean yoda certainly might object to that... ;) As might gandalf'dual-weilding'grey...((though I personally though that was far better than that weird wizards duel he had with saruman. Looked like two mimes trying to outdo each other in a pickup dance at a homeoerotic disco in the 70's....

heh, with the above trend, if lonewolf is ever made into a movie, expect rimoah to be jumping about like a kangeroo as well, not to mention vonotar. :P
Nyxator
Stoat
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:59 am
Location: Italy

Postby Nyxator » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:37 am

Xex wrote: Well, by the time the magician attains the rank of elder magii, if ever, he will certainly be the grandfatherly, like rimoah [...]
Actually, every magician of Dessi is an elder magi.
Confused Wolf
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:47 pm

Postby Confused Wolf » Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:06 pm

Actually, every magician of Dessi is an elder magi.
I don't think so. The magicans of Dessi are descendants of the Elder Magi (I guess that means they are the descendants of Elder Magi who intermingled with humans), but they are not Elder Magi in a strict sense.
Nyxator
Stoat
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:59 am
Location: Italy

Postby Nyxator » Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:19 pm

Confused Wolf wrote:
I don't think so. The magicans of Dessi are descendants of the Elder Magi (I guess that means they are the descendants of Elder Magi who intermingled with humans), but they are not Elder Magi in a strict sense.
From the Magnamund Companion:
"The Magicians of Dessi are all that remains of the great Elder Magi, the race of beings from whom all magical power stems. Sent to destroy Agarash and to deliver Magnamund out of the age of Eternal Night, the Elder Magi brought about his final downfall during the War of One Thousand Years. In 2514 MS, their numbers were decimated in the Great Plague. The surviving magicians sought refuge in the mountains of Dessi and have lived there ever since".

Also, from book 7:
"You learn that the Elder Magi are all that remain of a race of great magicians who ruled central Magnamund many thousands of years ago"

Text Copyright © 1986 by Joe Dever
User avatar
August
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:46 pm

Postby August » Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:57 pm

Having spoken with Joe on just this point, I can safely say that both interpretations are quite correct. The few remaining original Elder Magi are the lords and ladies of the Magicains while its ranks are filled out with their generations of children.

Please remember that there are many ways to interpret even the simplest of sentences. The phrase "all that remains" in this case refers to both the Elder Magi themselves and their progeny.

-August
"This is a blanket apology to every god I can think of and all the ones I don't know. I have no idea what I did or in which life I did it, but I am really sorry. Ummm, my bad."

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests