When Technical becomes Beautiful

Battletech Dietrick FASA

Back in 1986 FASA produced the an incredibly cool supplement for its new Battletech line featuring nothing but advanced statistics and images for their mechs, aerospace fighters, vehicles, and dropships.  Thus, the line of Battletech Technical Readouts was born. I well remember purchasing this book and pouring over the pages as finally, in lovely tech drawing detail, I could see exactly what comprised the big machines I’d had so much fun playing on the tabletop.  Artist/Art Director Dana Knutson actually did a very impressive painting of my personal favorite mech, the Marauder, on the front cover.  I can honestly say...

Read more →

Going mohawk hunting in Warhammer Fantasy

Games Workshop Warhammer

Sometime in 1987 I purchased the hardcover copy of Games Workshop’s new RPG, Warhammer Fantasy.  Sure, it was anything but D&D, but for a change it worked well to spell a few months of the summer as my friend Mark and I played a single campaign set in the new world. However, it wasn’t the change in D&D system that drew me to Warhammer Fantasy, instead it was the intriguing piece of artwork on the cover.  This piece somehow resonated with all things NOT American at the time.  In essence, it had that same otherworldly feel of the AD&D Fiend...

Read more →

Exploring the Art of Star Frontiers

Easley Elmore Star Frontiers TSR

There is no question that I hold a special place in my heart for Star Frontiers, so it is with great pleasure that I can talk about a randomly chosen module from that old TSR classic; SF4 Mission to Alcazzar. The first thing that strikes you about SF4 is the inspired Larry Elmore cover.   Now certainly in 1984, what wasn’t inspired about Larry’s work?  He was truly in the beginning of his prime and this piece is no exception.  I well remember seeing it for the first time and dreaming, literally dreaming, about having my characters own/posses/drive one of the...

Read more →

Remembering the art of FASA's Shadowrun

FASA Shadowrun

In 1990 author Stephan Wieck was charged by FASA to create a Shadowrun adventure featuring something completely new and horrible to the setting.  His answer to the call; Queen Euphoria. I once asked artist Jeff Laubenstein, who worked in many roles at FASA, how they got Dave Dorman to do the cover, but I think a better question would be why did the company screw up the artistic credits on the inside so badly? FASA, and senior editor Donna Ippolito, credits the cover to artist John Zeleznik.  This, however, was not the case, as Dave Dorman was artist for this...

Read more →

A love of the Art of MERP

McIntosh MERP

I'll be the first to admit I have a very strong nostalgia for Iron Crown Enterprises Middle-Earth Role Playing.  My collection of this now venerable game is extensive, and although I've not actually played it since the mid-80s, I still take random supplements down monthly just to peruse the pages and marvel at the artwork.  In this continuing series for the AotG blog, I'm going to post up a supplement and talk a bit about the art from it.  Today's choice, Dagorlad and the Dead Marches.    With a stunning cover by artist Gail B McIntosh, this 36 page adventure module...

Read more →