Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Take on the FGG Swords & Wizardry Cover Controversy, Cave Map & Blasphemous Bestiary Request

So some folks aren't taken with the cover artwork for the upcoming Swords & Wizardry complete edition being released by Frog God Games. See Here, and Here.

Now, I absolutely adore Peter Mullen's artwork and his cover for Swords & Wizardry Core (I've seen pictures of folks in a shirt with that artwork...anyone know where I could get one?), I've stated several times that my dream team for Planet Algol cover artwork would be Peter Mullen & Stephen Poag.

However, I'm also a big fan of the artist responsible for the cover of the upcoming Swords & Wizardry FFG release, Rick Sardine (or however you spell it...). I find them subtle, evocative, and with a rich depiction of lighting. Mesopotamia, Coils of Set, this cat has done some great covers.

I love the Peter Mullen cover, but I'm quite down with the new version as well (although if I wasn't financially strapped right now I'd be desperately ordering the Black Blade Publishing version of Swords & Wizardry core in order to own a copy with the Mullen artwork).

To me the the Rick Sardinia cover says "Some may poh-poh the idea of a simple, oldschool system such as S&W providing a rich, sophisticated, adult RPG experience..but you're wrong! Not only is S&W good for simple dungeoncrawls, Rient-sian gonzotude, and funn cheetoism; but it can also be used for serious, "adult," dramatic, "literary" play!" (not that I'm advocating railroading, Dragonlancing, or story-before-game), "Not only can you use S&W for the Treasure Dungeon of Darth Viraxis, but you can also use it for a serious game of Tolkein-ish questing!" (does anyone else get a watcher at the gates of Moria vibe from it?).

However, and a tangentially related topic that gets my blood boiling with NUCLEAR NERD RAGE!!!1, I HATE HATE HATE the newer Swords & Wizardry logo; and I absolutely fucking love the older, cryptic, Metal-er one.

Well, since the above constitutes an internet argument, I must kowtow to the wisdom of the esteemed JOESKY; here's a hand-drawn map (tee-hee) of  a cave complex for all you DMs & GMs to stock and use (yeah, my players can forget about checking it out!):

Also, does anyone out there have one of those preview copies of Blasphemous Bestiary that were in circulation before the editor nuked them? I'd love a chance to check it sounds like it was right up my alley! (planetalgolATgmailDOTcom)


  1. I agree with everything you say! The new S&W cover art is pretty damn awesome! Peter Mullen still rules though! The older S&W logo is way way better than the newer one - why the hell'd they change it?!?!

  2. Maybe they de-metallized the logo in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience...OF WIMPS AND POSERS IN CRACKERJACK CLOTHES THAT NEED TO LEAVE THE HALL!

    Fuck, now I need to listen to Manowar.

  3. 'does anyone else get a watcher at the gates of Moria vibe from it?'

    Yep, and I like the new cover. I love the 1st-2nd printing cover with the metal lettering but I know some gamers find it too cartoonish.

    Could turn that cave map upside down and have it as a cross-section of a hollow mountain that the PCs have to scale - test those 'to climb' rolls.

    I think Matt said he chose the new logo because it's easier to read from a distance if it was stocked face-on in a store

  4. Love the older logo. I missed out on BH's Whitebox, but my wonderful wife bought me a Hardcover of SW Core Rules, which has the cool, older logo, while they were still available on Lulu.

  5. What does it say about my mind that as I was skim-reading this blog post before hurriedly closing the window to avoid being caught not working, I thought that Blair's cave complex was a proposed goregrind version of the Swords & Wizardry logo as a reaction against pussyfied RPG logoisms. I need to get some sleep.

  6. Love all the covers, new and old, though I admit the old timer in me likes the old a bit better - more Otus-y. Also like the old logo better - I believe the reason given for the change is that the new logo would be easier to read on a store shelf. Finally - is "release the hydra" a euphemism for something else? Let's hope not.

  7. DUDE. The new cover is pretty cool, but you know what I LOVED about Mullens' art? The guys were DOING shit! Check out the guys on that cover. Their friend Bob just got grabbed by a huge tentacle and they're all "Huh. Sucks for Bob."

    That said I like everything else about the new cover. That place they're climbing up to looks like trouble...

    And thanks for reminding me that the Mullens' cover of S&W is soon to be a collector's item. I'm gonna order one.

  8. "Their friend Bob just got grabbed by a huge tentacle and they're all "Huh. Sucks for Bob.""

    Seems like a pretty old-school response, "assuming that that thing can't get out of the water...not our problem; more treasure and experience for us!"

  9. Old logo and Mullen art rule. That is why my S&W book was made at home with the S&W companion books slipped in between the covers to make a somewhat impressive tome.

    I don't like the new cover (as I said on Grognardia) more because it is not well executed (composition and lighting problems) and less because of the change, but if they were both in a store, side by side, I would buy the Mullen cover over the Sardinha.