The Proposed New Covers.


4th Edition


Rather than continue a threadjack elsewhere I decided to post this here:

Who likes the proposed new covers and who dislikes the proposed new covers for the 4e core rulebooks? Also why do you have the opinion that you do?

My opinion is that they look like the covers to a cartoon or paperback novel, not like the covers of a "professional" manual. I think that one of the strengths of the 3 and 3.5e core books was that they didn't look like anything else on the shelves; people could look at them and automatically see that they weren't just hardcover DC comics. This is not to bash the art at all, I like it immensely but to quote Fake Healer, "it should be IN the books, not on the cover"; first impressions really do count.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I agree with your sentiment. I like the plainer looking books, though it was annoying how every other publisher then had to ape that style.

I guess on the bright side, it will be easy to differentiate 3e books from 4e books as a result.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Sebastian wrote:
I guess on the bright side, it will be easy to differentiate 3e books from 4e books as a result.

Yes, but not so easy to differentiate 4e books from 2e books...

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah they definitely have the look of the 2e books.


I like the new look.

The faux tome style was cool when it was new, but it has weighed on me as more and more books were published with it. Tome of Battle, Unearthed Arcana and the Complete Series are some of the worst offenders. However, I especially despise it on both Forgotten Realms and Eberron books as it hides some incredible artwork. I'd like to see dynamic interesting artwork on the cover that inspires me and makes me wonder what is between the covers of the book. Just look at Draconomicon for 3E. So many people have commented on how beautiful the book looks. I also recall looking at the covers of the 1E and 2E books and thinking about ways to incorporate those scenes into my adventures.

Now that I think about it, this cover style shows up on Pathfinder and Gamemastery modules too. Paizo uses a banner over a sizable section of the cover and it hides much of the art. I understand that companies benefit from brand recognition (which is why I assume they adopt this), but I still miss the full spread art on a cover.

But then, I like comics too. :D

Dark Archive

I like the new artwork on the covers, but I do agree that for manuals they should have stuck to a more "traditional" (if that is the word) layout. That being said, give me that PHB cover as a poster.


Well, at least it's Wayne Reynolds as the artist instead of some of the other "artists" they have on retainer. <shudders>

Anyone see the Exemplars of Evil book art? God it's atrocious. Worst artwork selection ever. Ever...

Sovereign Court

Since I'm the one who started the initial threadjack:

I'm exceptionally fond of the Orcus artwork for the MM cover, but I agree that the 'Tome' look of the Core Rule books is really neat. I don't think they really captured that feel with most of the supplemental books, instead falling back to the old portait covers (there's a couple of exceptions, like the Spell Compendium).

That said, these actually remind me of the 1st and 2nd edition book covers, just with updated artists and artwork.


I personally prefer the 'Tome' style covers for the core books, but I'm willing to make a few exceptions. Orcus does look good on the MM, and the PH artwork is something I also want for a poster. The DMG just isn't doing it for me. I prefer the older style myself. The Draconomicon hasn't seen squat for use in our campaigns (well, except for a runecarved brown dragon that nearly ate our party in the last campaign), but it's eye-catching and gorgeous. 'Portrait' covers don't do it for me, really, though the 'wrap-around' mural style of the FR and Eberron books is a reasonable compromise at this point.

Liberty's Edge

I'd rather have some Evil Dead Necronomicon looking covers.
And a mouth that animates and bites people.
Mnyarr.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Fatespinner wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
I guess on the bright side, it will be easy to differentiate 3e books from 4e books as a result.
Yes, but not so easy to differentiate 4e books from 2e books...

2e can be differentiated by the late 80's puffy hairstyles. ;-)


I'm just sick of Wayne Reynolds. I'm not saying I could do better (at present, at least) but he's everywhere and I'm tired of it.

And I do prefer the 3rd/3.5 edition covers.


Where is the art for these new covers? I looked over on the WotC site and couldn't find them.


Heathansson wrote:

I'd rather have some Evil Dead Necronomicon looking covers.

And a mouth that animates and bites people.
Mnyarr.

"Klaatu, Barata.... Necktie. Nickel. It was an "N" word. Definitely an "N" word.


Sean, Minister of KtSP wrote:
Where is the art for these new covers? I looked over on the WotC site and couldn't find them.

I saw them here in the Gamespy interview with Chris Perkins provided by I've Got Reach.

Liberty's Edge

Heathansson wrote:

I'd rather have some Evil Dead Necronomicon looking covers.

And a mouth that animates and bites people.
Mnyarr.

"I'll swaller yer soul. I'll swaller yer soul."

Liberty's Edge

Sean, Minister of KtSP wrote:
Heathansson wrote:

I'd rather have some Evil Dead Necronomicon looking covers.

And a mouth that animates and bites people.
Mnyarr.
"Klaatu, Barata.... Necktie. Nickel. It was an "N" word. Definitely an "N" word.

More or less. Why?


<shudder>
Get away from Wayne! ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

There's no way these books look associated with the top RPG on the market. They look 4th or 5th party. Ugh.

Hope for their sakes that you really CANNOT judge a book by its cover.


Garjen Soulhammer wrote:
Hope for their sakes that you really CANNOT judge a book by its cover.

Like that'll ever happen. I find that I tend to steer clear of the more demonic/evil looking covers simply because I don't want to have to go up to a cashier with a "book of vile darkness" or "libris mortis" yeah there's always the internet but that's not my primary buying source.


Rhavin wrote:
Garjen Soulhammer wrote:
Hope for their sakes that you really CANNOT judge a book by its cover.
Like that'll ever happen. I find that I tend to steer clear of the more demonic/evil looking covers simply because I don't want to have to go up to a cashier with a "book of vile darkness" or "libris mortis" yeah there's always the internet but that's not my primary buying source.

I'm the exact same way. 'course, I've had to do the same things a few times with Dragon and Dungeon issues, unfortunately. When you get the "What are you reading?!? In front of MY children?!?" from the wife? Yeah...that's when gaming privileges get REVOKED, my friends.

But I digress....

Echoing a previous poster (and jumping back on my soapbox) these books are crying out for plain brown paper book covers! Anything to hide the ridiculous-looking covers!

(There. I've salvaged the rant!)


Of the 3 covers, I really like the Orcus picture on the MM. The DMG cover's fine enough. But I'm not thrilled w/ the PHB cover; maybe b/c I'm not thrilled w/ the Tiefling as the new PC du jour.


Looks like Orcus has been working out.


Heathansson wrote:
Heathansson wrote:

I'd rather have some Evil Dead Necronomicon looking covers.

And a mouth that animates and bites people.
Mnyarr.
"I'll swaller yer soul. I'll swaller yer soul."

Come get some.

Liberty's Edge

Tiefling dujour? Is that because playing a Drow has gotten passe?
Anyways, i like the covers. Mostly cause they do harken back to previous editions. They try and grab people's attention with dynamic artwork. We're going to need that since Dragon & Dungeon won't have any shelf space anymore. But enough about that. I think most people's adverse reactions stems from WOTC's screwball approach; cutting the magazines, recalling the Dragonlance liscence from it's creators(?!?), etc. etc.
My opinion: The art is good in of itself and good to put on the covers of books you want to sell. A new 4th edition, WOTC's business stategy, that's a topic for another thread.


Wow, sounds like somebody needs to grow some cajonas for shopping in public and around their significant others...
Seriously, you're afraid of what the store clerk might think of you when you buy a book with evocative cover art?
And your wife might "ground" you if reading such a book around your kids?
Sounds like you people have more serious issues to deal with than just the cover art.

I, for one, like the proposed covers (although I probably would have preferred another motive on the PHB - not that big a fan of the tiefling either, but it's more a thing of actually preferring a whole party on the cover).
I want my books to get the creative juices flowing from the get to and that includes a dynamic cover. The faux "real book" covers of 3rd edition just fell flat for me, especially because most of them looked bad and really fake, like out of the D&D movie bad and fake!

Dark Archive

David Witanowski wrote:
Looks like Orcus has been working out.

So has his wand.

Liberty's Edge

Incredibly lazy, but could someone in the know provide a link?


This all goes back to the Wayne Reynolds manga art quarreling, but, ummm, I really wish Lockwood had done the covers. Wayne is great, big swords and tiny penis aside, but it's getting too much for me. Man that guy is getting a lot of work these days, I wonder if he ever gets out?

Liberty's Edge

Andrew Turner wrote:
Incredibly lazy, but could someone in the know provide a link?

James Keegan (somewhere above your post) has a link in his post!

Liberty's Edge

Ahh...much obliged!

Scarab Sages

I like the artwork, but I think it belongs on an adventure cover, not the core rules books. Plus, they need some zombies.

Liberty's Edge

Hmmm...I love WR, but...I'm not so keen on these covers. I kinda hope they're mock-ups.

Edit:
Actually, on second look, it's not the art, per se, but the layout of the covers, which grinds on me. It seems to scream, "I'm the box art on a PC game."

The Exchange

Aberzombie wrote:
Plus, they need some zombies.

Agreed. More monkeys would have been nice ;)

Dark Archive

Luke wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Plus, they need some zombies.
Agreed. More monkeys would have been nice ;)

So of the "market research boys" of WotC are listening we would expect some zombie monkeys on the cover of 4ed MM2. Eating up what should be a "plain looking manual" cover...


I find the previewed covers of the three core books extremely unattractive - I'd actually hate to have these on my game table. The art is okay, if you're going to move back to cover illustrations, but the huge block-coloured banners are dreadful - particularly the white one that sits behind the D&D logo. They interfere with the art and are highly aesthetically displeasing, without adding anything (except, arguably, some "readability" - but that could be better achieved in other ways). I sincerely hope they change these before publication.


I personally have always like WAR's (Wayne Reynold's) work and I always like the over-the-top energy he puts into his characters. With that said, I would prefer for the cover of the PHB to have a full adventuring party on it as opposed to what looks like a tiefling and an aasimar on the same team.

Call me old fashioned, but one of the things I always liked about D&D and used to defend it against those who thought it satanic was that the players are the *good guys* fighting to keep things like demons from conquering the world.

To that end, the PHB cover strikes me as ambiguous and of a style that is going to cause a young player grief with a parent or teacher who isn't already familiar with what tabletop RPGs are all about. And of course, causing angst with and rebellion against the older establishment tends to sell with whatever generation is coming of age no matter the era, doesn't it?

Regardless, I don't like the PHB cover but the one for the DMG makes me smile and having Orcus on the cover of the "bad guy book" seems appropriate. The layout isn't especially catch or anything but even as much as I liked the stylistic 3.x covers, the hearkening back to a more 2nd Ed. style kind of charms me...


I do not have very strong opinions about the art, except I would have loved to see something of the caliber of the old 2nd ed monster manual cover with the dragon among the pegasi, rather than Orcus.

Go to AD&D Monster Manual.

For some reason or other, a hulking great red dragon is more evocative of the spirit of the game than a demon prince is. Oh. He is humanoid, so must be a devil.

The Exchange

Monster Manual should've had a monster on it, not a demon-lord.
Players handbook should've had a traditional picture of PCs gathered around a table prepping for a delve.
DMG should've had a dungeon scene, cityscape, or a large section of topography.


Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
For some reason or other, a hulking great red dragon is more evocative of the spirit of the game than a demon prince is. Oh. He is humanoid, so must be a devil.

Touché :)

But, for the record, I like the new artwork. And the DMG does have a dragon (hulking red, at that).


I liked the Tome Style of 3.x, but yeah it got old quick. I Don't mind the art but wish the phb had, like some have already mentioned, an actual party of oh i dunno, a human, elf, dwarf and maybe a gnome and a halfling?
yeha the banner is pretty garish with the white like thatand look near the spine its gold, does that mean the spine is a metallic gold color? that would look terrible with that cover. From a design perspective it's horrible.
one thing noone has mentioned TMK is under the PHB title, it says "Arcane Divine, and Martial Heroes" does that point to a PHB 2 with other types of heroes?

Dark Archive

swirler wrote:
one thing noone has mentioned TMK is under the PHB title, it says "Arcane Divine, and Martial Heroes" does that point to a PHB 2 with other types of heroes?

I think the idea is for later manuals for classes such as psions, but not sure it's a PHB2.


Do my beloved rogues use an arcane or martial powersource, and are the outlets only in taverns, or do dungeons have rechargers too?


I also think the player's handbook should just be a standard group of adventurers, if they're going to go through with these covers.

The Exchange

Rhavin wrote:
Garjen Soulhammer wrote:
Hope for their sakes that you really CANNOT judge a book by its cover.
Like that'll ever happen. I find that I tend to steer clear of the more demonic/evil looking covers simply because I don't want to have to go up to a cashier with a "book of vile darkness" or "libris mortis" yeah there's always the internet but that's not my primary buying source.

It should be. Amazon is the cheapest place around for buying new D&D books, has been for a long time. And as long as you spend $25 at a time, and can wait a week, it's free shipping too.

Not that paizo isn't a great place to buy RPG supplements too. They have a greater selection than Amazon, so I occasionally group a book or two in with a paizo order as well.


GentleGiant wrote:

Wow, sounds like somebody needs to grow some cajonas for shopping in public and around their significant others...

Seriously, you're afraid of what the store clerk might think of you when you buy a book with evocative cover art?
And your wife might "ground" you if reading such a book around your kids?
Sounds like you people have more serious issues to deal with than just the cover art.

See Webster's: "HYPERBOLE"

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / The Proposed New Covers. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in 4th Edition