Saturday, February 27, 2010

Erol Otus wasn't here...

In discussing D&D, most OSR fans often comment on the art and the artists. In fact the art really seems to have had a massive impact on how one viewed the game and to some extent even played it. There are iconic images: the cover the Moldvay Red Box, The cover of module B2, The Cover of the AD&D Players Handbook or DM's Guide, all have become iconic.

Not so GDW'S Traveller. In fact its almost illustrative of the exact opposite philosophy of design. No cover art, and nearly no interior art. A few rough sketches, silhouettes, and ship diagrams. Really not much of anything and one could argue outside the stark design ethic of the book covers, there isn't a single iconic "art" image for Traveller. The cover is iconic simply for what it lacks-art-thereby the simple design alone IS the art.

Yet no one seems to mind or feel cheated in the least. I have never read or heard anyone say 'Traveller sucks because there are no pictures!' Yet I have heard and read people lamenting what they consider to be terrible art or that an artists decline (in their opinion) takes away from their enjoyment.

Is one better off then designing their game material with limited artistic interpretations? Is less more?
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