I know I'm supposed to post on the thread but nothing bothers me more than having to read 70+ opinions to finally get to post mine or else risk looking like a jackass because three different people posted the same thing already, man, can you please read the comment directly above yours? We already finished talking about it. GOD, YOU ARE SO DUMB.
I'm overreacting, of course, and meandering with my thoughts as a labyrinth. What I mean to talk about is art in gaming materials. Personally, I think a little bit of art can really help set the scene, especially when it comes to detailing things that you don't see every day or providing a bit of brain fuel. In games with particularly good art, it can be inspirational to leaf through the pages and just see what's going on (I currently have a copy of Aberrant by my computer right now, to be leafed through when I get the inclination and, most typically, when I'm waiting for something to happen in a video game.)
The line is drawn, for me, at 4th edition D&D. There's a two-page splash at the beginning of every chapter, then there's art on each of the races, each of the classes, each of the monsters, everywhere. It's not awful, but it makes the book feel, I dunno, childish. Like I'm not reading a book for grown-ups somehow, like there has to be a picture of a Dwarf or I'll go, "But wait, what the fuck is a dwarf? Do they mean midgets? I hear they like to be called little people but that always seemed demeaning to me, that can't be right. Seriously, what the fuck is a Dwarf? Do they have beards and get really drunk a lot and use axes and hammers and wear heavy armor and are they basically Gimli except with the serial numbers filed off?" I mean, cmon.
Not every thing you describe has to have a picture, and if they do, can we please get something serious? I'm not talking "pseudo-badass serious" like the infamous 4e Orcus (no longer pictured on the right, sorry, but you know what I'm talking about) that gets so much criticism around these parts. I'm talking about a picture that you could look at that doesn't scream immaturity. I'm talking about a picture that you could find in any book on the times, like maybe a picture of a guy in moderately realistic armor, with a regular-sized weapon, fighting something that looks odd but believable. Like a chupacabra, or a griffon, or a manticore, or a dragon. Things that are obviously supernatural but not "supernatural badass." Something that you can show people that aren't even into the hobby and not look silly.
|Normal art for normal people.|
I guess this is an extremely meandering post, and it kind of lost its way (I got distracted and then I drank too much coffee and then I came back and the caffeine is mostly out of my system), and I apologize for that.
The point is: Not having art is preferable to pastel-hued super high fantasy goofy art. We need art that can be taken seriously, and that means sometimes poking fun at ourself and not drawing everything as dramatic as possible. There needs to be normal in the games or nothing is awesome.