Monday, February 23, 2009

RPG Book Covers

I've been thinking that perhaps a good-looking RPG cover isn't as important as it once was. While I enjoy companies who seem to put a lot into a snazzy-looking front cover (such as Palladium and Paizo), with the decline of brick-and-mortar stores, is the eye-grab factor weigh in as much as it used to?

That's a question that I'm certain publishers could back up better than I could, but it did get me thinking about RPG covers I really admired. I remember as an ENnies judge last year, there was a bit of a stink because the Thousand Suns cover was nominated for an award, but it was revealed the image used was stock art. My reply was, "well, it must have been the right stock art".

Point being, there doesn't seem to be a need for a celebrity artist or certain type of cover art
for me--I like tasteful, muted covers while same consistency I like loud, frenzied battle landscapes. Here's my list; see how it matches up to yours:

Some Covers I've Liked Over The Years:

Traveller
Rifts: Madhaven
Pathfinder
Thousand Suns
AD&D 2e Player's Handbook
Rules Cyclopedia D&D
D&D 3.5 (yep, I liked the faux-tome look)
Burning Wheel
Mouse Guard

What are some of your favorite RPG covers? If you're a publisher, please feel free to weigh in: how much does a cover factor into one's sales?

6 comments:

DNAphil said...

Going down the Burning Path, I love the Burning Empires cover. Most of that is artwork from the Graphic Novels, but it is a great looking cover.

Bill said...

These covers I have high hopes for. SA! has worked wonders for me.

http://www.hinterwelt.com/images/hist/HistCoverCivilWar1.gif

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/940/nebuleoncoverexamplesf9.jpg

http://www.hinterwelt.com/images/squirrels/squirrelcover400.gif

Gleichman said...

You know, I just don't pay much attention to covers.

In fact the only one that springs to mind is this one: http://www.shadowrun4.com/gfx/covers/25015.jpg

Mostly because the two on the cover look to be the characters the wife and I run...

Johnn Four said...

The player in my group who's an artist will throw his d30 at me, but I still love the cover of AD&D MM1.

The Rolemaster RMSS covers were great too.

trollsmyth said...

It's probably my age, but I love the covers Elmore did, especially for the B and E books of BECMI and the original Shadowrun cover.

Jeff Tillotson said...

I'll buy a Role-playing book from a dot-matrix printer stapled together if it came from a recommendation I trust. So cover isn't really important.

However when walking the aisles of my FLGS or the floor at a con a cover pulls me toward something I haven't heard of.

I don't think I have any favorite covers on my book shelf now.