You could make that argument that Easley, Parkinson, or Caldwell shaped the destiny of D&D and TSR in the early 1980s, but in reality that is like comparing the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, or the Eagles to The Beatles. At the end of the day, any sane person knows there is no comparison as they are all had a telling impact on the industry. Below are some pieces from Larry Elmore I think changed the landscape of the RPG industry, and I'd love to hear if you agree or disagree.
Mentzer 'Red Box'... Now if the Red Box isn't as iconic to gamers as the Trampier PHB, then I don't know what is.
'The Death of Sturm', this scene was so powerful I threw Dragons of a Winter Night across my 10th Grade English classroom and Elmore truly did it justice!
Shadowrun, single-handedly brought the dystopian RPG genre to the masses. You might credit that FASA in general, but as this image graced the 1st & 2nd Edition covers, you know how important it was.
Death of Aleena: Larry broke upwards of a hundred thousand young men's hearts with the death of Aleena the Cleric, and without his rendition of her, I'd so no one would have cared much.
Watch who you hit on... And many folks thought Clyde Caldwell defined vampires with Ravenloft... not so fast Clyde.
Star Frontiers... Before this role-players thought space opera was a black booklet where characters died in character creation. Elmore opened our eyes to a fantastic and beautiful science fiction universe.
Innocence in the big fantasy city will ever be defined for me by this piece.
Clarion: One of the finest examples of ink-wash you will ever see, Clarion the Cleric from D&D Basic.
D&D Expert, and the definition of character advancement in art
Dragons of Autumn Twilight launched TSR into a fiction publishing house and brought D&D to the pure reading masses. For me, this image hasn't aged a day.
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