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Saturday, October 19, 2013

WotC "Sneak Peeks" the Original D&D Boxed Set Reprint Art - Why Mess With a Classic?


I know you don't want someone inadvertently buying the reprint and thinking they bought an original, but the new cover DOES NOT reflect on the content of the book in my humble opinion.

They could have done new art reminiscent of the original art, but instead we get... hell, I don't know what it is, but I don't like it...

38 comments:

  1. a hideous disappointment - should capture the amateur zine like quality of old not newschool superheroes - i was tempted now im not

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    1. Oh, I'm still getting it. I'm just pissed that they couldn't even get this one right, after screwing up the adnd and second Ed covers of the reprints

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  2. This is artwork reminiscent of the artwork of the original. I think you're being overly critical. Here, I can prove it:
    I see a picture of an armored man carrying a sword and a shield. Which picture am I referring to?

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    1. that is the only thing they have in common.

      normal man as a hero compared to brutish thug as...

      armor, stance, action... about the only thing in common is they are both righties

      wtf is it with the flames or smoke coming off the new guy? is he straight from hell?

      again, the new art does not reflect upon the source material, unless one is looking at a funhouse mirror...

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    2. Flames/smoke might be in reference to the "Magic" part of the title. I think Patrick's right. You might be a tad overly critical about this one. Usually you're spot on. I think Kicksnarker has made you jaded. ;)

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    3. I have my OCE right in front of me, and this SIR, is NO OCE!

      grrrrrrrr...

      I need breakfast - more grumpy than usual it seems - still dont like the new artwork

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    4. I think it evokes the original artwork while still looking like a modern action stance. Where does the smoke come from? Maybe the artwork was too big for the cover so they framed it with smoke in order to better display the title. I've worked with layout before and had to make a decision like that, sacrifice the level of detail in the artwork to display the title or display the artwork with the possibility of the title being obscured. I don't know, that's just a guess. It could also have been the artist's decision to draw in the smoke, like a warrior stepping out of the mists of time (that's the first thing it made me think of).
      I don't think the changes makes it bad or poorly done, just different.
      While I would question the need to put new artwork on JUST the cover of a reprint of an old book - apart from the need to differentiate it from the original - I don't really see the big deal. And besides, a lot of OSR stuff has artwork that evokes movement and action because nobody really draws high school quality line drawings of people just standing motionless anymore.
      But you're entitled to dislike it for whatever reason. I don't really like it myself, but an artist is getting paid to make new art so I think that's cool by itself.

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    5. I'm not thrilled by the artwork either. I'd prefer not having what I call "fantastic" figures. The original does look more "normal."

      As a welder and worker in steel, I can assure you that Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't lift -- much less wield -- any of the swords found in today's artwork. I prefer a more realistic feel.

      As for the "smoke" -- or whatever -- the only thing it evokes in me is; "What the heck is that?"

      Nope! I'm with Erik on this one.

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    6. It looks like an updated version of the original by another author. I don't see why the angst about it.

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  3. They are going to keeo it in the brand.

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  4. It doesn't make sense at all.

    Who are they targeting with this release? If they want to sell this set to old schoolers, why the cover that will appeal to 3E/4E players? If they want to sell it to the new schoolers... well, why reprint OD&D?

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    1. they are trying to hit all markets, and it doing so, may miss all of their targets.

      damn shame

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    2. 2nd Edition has always been my preferred play set, though I also play the older editions.

      They did not market this cover for me.

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    3. The target market is collectors. Not many others are going to spend 100 bucks for this.

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  5. The interior artwork is unchanged, which is great but will be even more jarring compared to the covers.

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  6. I certainly agree the art needs to be "different" in that you won't want confusion over which printing you're buying (though they didn't care with Red Box). I think another poster is right about being overly critical but I agree with you that the art is overstated for the content. I even agree this could potentially jeopardize their sales by not being true to the original. But, dangit, I can see why it happens. I think this is the same type of miscalculation that gave us 4E. They're unable to view a product through any lens other than "we need to attract new blood". But they don't realize how much of their sales (especially with a product like this) is going to be coming from grouchy grognards like us.

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  7. yeah, not a fan either. Tons of artists can do awesome OS work, evocative, without the taste of new which this one has. Hire one of them, WoTC. Totally possible to come up with something, purely OS in style, that will appeal to the younger buyers too. Those young folks are going to be ones interested in the old, they're not going to be swayed by a generic new-ish looking illo.

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    1. Their single biggest problem with this sort of thing is their desire that everything be done "in house."

      They need new "old" blood for these projects, not the "kids" they have working for them at present.

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    2. Well said. They should be employing some of the newer OSR artists doing such fine work or hire some of the original artists. This will not appeal to grognards and offers nothing new to younger players.

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    3. To me it looks like the new guy got a shortsword because they didn't "get" the angle of perspective on the original. IDK.

      But I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so...

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  8. I'd be perfectly happy to see 'better' art in the re-prints - some of the original stuff is dire. But it should still capture the same feel, which this fails to do.

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  9. It was called white box, not white books...

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  10. Personally I like both. The new cover looks great and is like a new take on the original.
    I think they should include the original cover/art on the next page however.

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  11. As has already been said, anyone "thrilled" with D&D Next (not me) isn't going to "go" for this product, so why market it for them?

    This was obviously done for the "Grognards" and should have been marketed for such. Plain and simple.

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  12. I don't know. The original box featured some of the worst artwork in any RPG product ever published. Anything would be an improvement, although it would have been cool to get guys like Dee, Otus, Holloway, etc to do a sketch or two for old time's sake.

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  13. On the bright side, at least they didn't go the Pathfinder route and have the guy loaded down with 200lbs of weapons and gear.

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  14. Haven't they changed the appearance of the books for all of the limited reprints? Make them look close to, but not exactly the same as, the originals? So this isn't new. I can see not liking it, but it's what they've been doing for the whole line of LERs. Reference the original, with a new cover.

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  15. Isn't "mess with a classic" pretty much their mission statement?

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  16. I dunno, to me that looks a lot like a Superhero about to make his 8 attacks per round!

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    1. Let me retry (initial comment a bit harsh): I like the new art. It will probably get me to buy a copy because of it. I am unclear on whether the new art was a good move however if enough of the old guard that might consider buying it are turned off by the new stuff.

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  18. It does seem very odd they'd change the cover of a "reprint". I was never a fan of the art in the early editions of D&D. I thought it crappy and amateurish. The new cover art looks good to me, but it really doesn't belong there. If you're doing a reprint, do a proper reprint--especially if it's for a loyal fan base.

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  20. Maybe they changed it because all the original cover art was plagiarized from other works?

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  21. And I sort of like it.

    It is very Savage Sword of Conan in appearance.

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    1. Which is what the smoke fog is - it's steam from a super frosty morning - a la Frostgiants Daughter or something.

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    2. Ah! The Frost Giants Daughter, nice.

      But the helmet still needs the horns! :D

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