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What is the best piece of artwork in the 30th Anniversary Edition?
Cory G, the artist for the book, is amazing. I love his work. He was amazing to work with.

Just wondering, of all of the artwork in the new edition, which one was your favorite?
-- K. David Ladage
(12-16-2019, 10:45 AM)KDLadage Wrote: Cory G, the artist for the book, is amazing. I love his work. He was amazing to work with.

Just wondering, of all of the artwork in the new edition, which one was your favorite?
The Harelquin playing the violin is probably my favorite.
The Harlequin is definitely a good one! For those of you who want to check that one out, this would be on page 37. It is the base image for the Harlequin profession.

I would list a favorite, but it is quite tough for me. After all, I commissioned these, and often had a hand in guiding Cory to the final image. That said, I cannot list any pieces in the book I am unhappy with. A few of quick tidbits:
  • Character Creation (page 13) was a tough one to ask for. After all, DaVinci is in the public domain and so I could have used his original image. But I wanted Cory's take on that image... he did not disappoint.
  • One of the things I asked for when it came to the Profession images (pages 27 to 58) was to ensure that we got a good mix of races and genders. In the earlier versions of this game, all the professions leaned heavily on human male examples. I wanted to seriously diversify this. Cory was quick to agree, and gave me better than I could have expected in this area.
  • I recall the day I first saw the Assassin (page 28) -- and I still want to write an adventure that includes that exact character in it!
  • I love the expert use of the space available in the Rogue (page 47) -- to get a flier in, as well as show some true distance, all while telling a story with the image is just amazing to me.
  • Skills (page 71) is a great chapter header. This image has a lot going on, and I think captures the chapter quite well.
  • Hiding (page 75) is just a fun picture. I cannot look at that one without getting a smile and perhaps even a chuckle.
  • System Rules (page 97) is another example of a chapter header that Cory knocked out of the park. So much going on, while never appearing too busy.
  • Bribery and Coercion (page 104) is beautiful. Tells a tale. And you know that guy is just having a bad, bad day all around.
  • Spell Casting and Combat (page 117) is one of the few pieces of artwork in the book that Cory did not do. It was a favorite of mine from the earlier editions, and so I kept it.
  • Chariot of the Sun (page 131) is a piece that Cory and I went back and forth on a couple of times. I liked the original image, but it lacked any feeling of being a true chariot made of light. Cory was hesitant (doubting his ability to provide what I wanted). His doubts were unfounded! What he produced is gorgeous.
  • Black Magic (page 134). In many RPGs, the idea of black magic is given lip service, but nothing more. Arcanum has always made black magic scary: Level I spells include the permanent duration Curse spell! I think this image captures how scary this field of magic can be.
  • Banish (page 153) is an image you can see the terror in the demon's expression as it is removed from this plane of existence.
  • Control Weather (page 162) is another image Cory did not do. This is one my niece did. It is not nearly at the same level of artistic skill as Cory... but I like it.
  • Apparition (page 167) states that the spell creates an illusion of frightening aspect. I think this qualifies!
  • Invisibility (page 168) was tough. I toyed around with the idea of having a blank space in lieu of a image, as sort of a joke. What I got from Cory is this perfect capturing of the idea of being invisible shown in a way you can actually see. It is a paradox and I am not sure how he came up with this idea, or how he pulled it off.
  • Transformation (page 175) is just funny.
  • Dreams (page 189) is perfect.
  • Mind Read (page 199) is a relatively simple looking image. But it conveys a lot of information with a beautiful negative image of the prisoner (including a white version of his eye patch) in the image being read from his mind. Beautiful.
  • Mind Blast (page 202) this is one of several images where we get a glimpse into a tribal culture that exists somewhere in the Arcanum lore... will definitely have to do something with this.
  • Golems (page 228) is another image that perfectly captures the way the rules actually work.
  • Rune Staves and Wands (page 233) is another image that Cory was hesitant about. He did not just want to draw a staff with nothing else there. HIs way of approaching this was wonderful.
  • Bestiary (pages 246 and 247) are quite complimentary. I really like how these two pages look next to each other.
  • Trample Attacks (page 249) is a great example of fitting a lot into a very small space.
  • Deific-level Creatures (page 252) captures the idea of deities better than anything that was in the old Deities and Demigods.
  • Roc (page 265) was another tough one. We had a small space to work with, and Cory needed to give a sense of scale. And he did perfectly.
  • Unicorn (page 266) ... Cory hates drawing horses. And Unicorns are just horses with horns in their heads. And Nightmares (page 267) are just dark horses. There are so many other horse-like creatures in the book. Cory kept getting better at them, though. I think it was tough for him, but in the end we both won.
  • The Elementals (page 271 to 274) are all beautiful representations of their creatures. I could not have asked for better.
  • The Giants (page 275 to 279) each had their own challenges to get right. But the Lemure village (shown on page 279 as part of the Yeti description, as a way of further linking these two species) is truly inspired.
  • Outsiders: Lower Planes (pages 285 to 300) are all beautiful. From the oddities picture on page 285 to the majestic (and frightening) image of Asmodeus on this throne on page 300... all capture these vile creatures wonderfully.
  • Outsiders: Upper Planes (pages 301 to 308) have not as many individual types, and thus not as many images. But, even with a limited number of images to work with, we have the beautiful Kerubim on page 302, the terrible power of the Irin on page 304, the virtuous Valkyrie on page 306, and the enigmatic trinity of arch-angels known as Optis, Scaleus, and Primus on page 308. Not an image was wasted in this section.
  • Lich and Mummy (pages 316 and 317) capture the power and terror of such creatures nicely.
  • Equipment (page 321) is another great chapter head.
  • Herbology Research (page 367) is an image I gave very little guidance for. I cannot recall exactly what I asked for, but this was better than I had hoped. The script is wonderful, the imagery on the page is very cool... nothing not to like here.
  • The Atlantean Setting Map (page 343) is one of the original pieces of artwork again. I love that map.
  • Languages (page 356) is another image where my instructions were very similar to Herbology Research (above). So again, perfect...
Anyway... I love all the artwork in the book (obviously). Still would like to know which images were your favorites.
-- K. David Ladage

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