Friday, September 17, 2010

Imagining D&D, courtesy of Grognardia.

James Maliszewski at Grognardia asks "When you think about Dungeons & Dragons, the cover of what product comes first to mind?"

For me, that's easy. It's the first D&D book I ever owned, read, and used. Although I'd argue this particular cover pretty much perfectly depicts the game under any circumstances.

Runner-up? It has to be the Player's Handbook. No contest. And if had to ask "Which one?", you're probably at the wrong blog.

Anyway, to make up for boring you all with the two most obvious choices ever, I'll close with some of my favorite Dragon Magazine covers from when I was first getting into the game. These are pretty much guaranteed to be unique choices, since most of the Dragon nostalgia is focused on its early years. I imagine a lot of old school players weren't even reading Dragon during the 90s.

For me, the best covers were more than just portraits. They had a great in media res quality that made you feel like you were looking through a window into a fantasy world where something marvelous was happening. And they practically forced you to ask questions. Who are these people (and/or creatures)? What are they doing? What do they want? What is this place I'm seeing and what would I find if I could visit it? Certainly, I've gone back and read many great Dragon issues that pre-date my early 90s start in the hobby, but these are some of the covers that I'll always remember best.



  1. Good covers! I enjoyed seeing those again. #188 is a particular favorite. Interestingly I don't think I ever saw #190 before getting the CD Archive.

    Thanks :)

  2. As far as D&D covers go, my favorite has always been the pissed-off Red Dragon on the cover of Holmes Basic.

    I always wanted that on a T-shirt.