Saturday, January 28, 2012

AD&D Reprint Covers?

Over at his blog, scottsz has posted an image of what may be the covers of the upcoming AD&D reprints.

Now, there's no confirmation that these are indeed what the "new" covers to the Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual will look like. Indeed, it seems quite likely that they're just mockups, since the actual covers aren't ready to be shown yet. On the other hand, I can certainly imagine covers like this being used, since they very explicitly recall the originals while also being noticeably distinct. If they were the actual covers being used, I'd be quite content.

61 comments:

  1. Not bad. I like the nod to the original covers. I would also be pleased with these.

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  2. I concur: a nice looking bit of homage without being slavish to the originals.

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  3. Not bad at all, but my expectations were fantastically low.

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  4. Hard to make out much in that photo, but I'm not loving them. Nice that they incorporated reimaginings of the original art (a little), but why not keep the full-on wraparound cover art?

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  5. Definitely get a thumbs-up from me.

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  6. I'm with Chainsaw - I wasn't expecting a big investment in fancy art for the covers... I was expecting uninspired Reynolds artwork to (visually) play it safe, so if these come to pass, I think they do the job OK.

    It's interesting that (if these are the real deal) they have visual elements immediately recognizable to customers of 1E/2E, and 3E customers, but they don't look like 4E covers at all.

    I'm not well backgrounded in publishing or design, so I'm curious if anyone can speculate on the lower 'band'... is it a visual convention to signify 'limited edition' in some way? (The limited, US-only release already means these have more value as collectors items going forward, I would suspect.)

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    1. That lower band looks like the same paper band that were on the Limited Ed versions of the D&D 4 Deluxe books. It was just a bit of paper. In fact it looks exactly like them.

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    2. What kind of exterior did those have? Was it some sort of crappy imitation leather mess?

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  7. If they were the actual covers being used, I'd be quite content.

    Here, here.

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  8. These are really nice -- if they're not the real covers, they should be.

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  9. I'm pretty sure that they're mockups, but I agree they look good.

    One thing I haven't seen anyone comment on: note that they say "Dungeons and Dragons" on the cover and NOT "ADVANCED Dungeons and Dragons"...

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  10. These are far better than I had dared to hope for. I was really expecting some over-the-top, superhero in fantasy gear images, so seeing these comes a a real relief. I'm disturbed that, as Kevin Brennan pointed out above, they left out "Advanced". I will be very disappointed if they don't correct that.

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  11. Why are you guys surprised/disturbed that they dropped the “Advanced”? They dropped it in 2000! Compared to 4e (the other D&D products on the market), these reprints are “Classics,” not “Advanced.”

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    1. Only one person remarked upon that, and only to point it out. Why would you jump to the conclusion that "you guys are surprised/disturbed" about it?

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    2. This is a reprint of 1e. 1e was "advanced". They never dropped that from 1e. It was only dropped from later editions.

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    3. I'm not offended, just interested (as I said above). It's obviously an intentional change if that is in fact the actual cover.

      I'd actually expect WotC to brand it as "Classic D&D" or do something to make sure people didn't mistake it for the current edition.

      (As for 3e and 4e, there's no reason for WotC to have an "AD&D" when there isn't a Basic D&D to compare it to).

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  12. Plus, the interior will still say Advanced throughout.

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  13. I really dislike books that make themselves out to be faux leather versions of other books. Makes them look cheap and poorly designed.

    I'll buy them regardless, but I wish D&D would get beyond it.

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    1. I do agree with this - the faux leather is a major turn-off to me too. At least the pic isn't an child-like figure with spikey hair, giant eyes and an impossibly large sword (overcompensate much?).

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    2. Yeah agreed... it's the thing that made the 3rd edition books (which I never bought) look super tacky to me. A complete waste of cover space IMO :(

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  14. My copy of The Hobbit has a Green Leatherette cover. My copy of The Lord of the Rings has a Red Leatherette cover. Neither one strikes me as cheap-looking.

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    1. Cool, well, we will hope for the best, then.

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    2. There's leatherette, and then there's glossy cardboard printed with a photograph of a leather book.

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    3. Really really hope these won’t be photo of leather à la 3ʳᵈ ed.

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    4. Sorry, I wasn't being clear. I don't mind something made out of a leather like material. I dislike photographs of leather, metal, jewels, etc. printed on a board, it is bad design. Think of an old microwave with the wood texture printed on it. There are amazing graphic designs that could be a part of the branding of these books ... but these are not them.

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    5. There are amazing graphic designs that could be a part of the branding of these books ... but these are not them.
      Indeed, it's just lazy.

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  15. If those are the covers, that would make me sad.

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  16. These remind me of the 3rd edition covers.

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  17. I dig the mock up. I'd be very happy to have those on my table.

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  18. If the yellow strip across the bottom is indeed just a strip of paper that can be easily removed, I'll be a happy man indeed. Unlike a lot of people I loved the 'mystic tome' look of the 3rd ed rulebooks, even if I didn't like the rules all that much. Giving me that look while still staying respectful of the originals just makes me even more eager to own these!

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  19. When I heard they where making new covers I was apprehensive. But seeing these my reaction is YES! Wow, they really get it.

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  20. The one thing I would really love added to these reprints is a comprehensive index that includes all three volumes. But I'm sure that is just a pipe dream.

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  21. Eh. Kinda ugly, imo. But I didn't care for the Original or Orange Spine covers of the DMG, PHB, and MM anyhow.(I do like the 70's style art inside, though!) Hardly matters, as they'll be a gift set for a friend who never had them bitd. As they're getting back into RPGs, this'll be an excellent present, along with Labyrinth Lord!(This way, I get to keep my two copies of the previously books! Win. Win.)

    Honestly, though, I did expect to see srs weeaboo fytin'. Or at least Wayne Reynolds. But maybe he's resting in between working for Paizo, Green Ronin AND WOTC, where he's the 'official' artist for 4E.(And others no doubt!) :-)

    The dropping of 'Advanced' is hardly surprising, as they did that back in 2000. Apparently the term went from being a positive in the 80's to a negative in the late 90's(At least in America, similar to the misunderstanding of 'Basic' bitd) Plus, this is for the collector's market, and this makes it distinct.

    'Index'? Pfft. The whole point is to search the books and find hitherto unknown Nuggets of Awesomeness and Wonder. An Index would *totally* negate the Gygaxian vibe. ;-)

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  22. Yea, I could certainly live with those. Still hoping they will include color reproductions of the covers inside as well.

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  23. The index at the back of the DMG indexes both the PHB and the DMG.

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    1. Upon re-reading my post, I can see where it looks like I could be implying that there *isn't* an Index(a notoriously *not* 'comprehensive' Index, in many fan circles), in addition to joking about the *idea* of consulting one while perusing Gygax's masterworks.(Which really ARE entertaining, if not enlightening, on occasion, if you randomly pick a section and start reading. No joke intended or implied on that one.) Thanks for pointing that out!

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    2. Point taken. Sometimes I get frustrated by AD&D's haphazard organization but it is certainly true that a better organized AD&D would somehow be less interesting.

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  24. Not a big fan. I'd prefer a re-imagining of the original covers...if it were something like Mullen did with the S&W Core then I'd be ecstatic.

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  25. They are made from scans. This isn’t a show-stopper in and of itself. Just news, I guess.

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    1. Yeah, but if you were expecting a pile of dog crap created by people who don't even like/play AD&D, then you're probably pretty happy with this simple nod to the original. See?

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    2. Was this reply to the wrong message? Or?
      I mean they have re-scanned a printed book in order to make the pages inside this edition.

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  26. those look ok to me. Much better than I was afraid they might look...

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  27. There is a video that shows the seminar with the slide of the mock-up covers over on vimeo. I am putting together a blog post concerning it and the covers.

    http://randomwizard.blogspot.com/2012/01/about-1e-advanced-dungeons-and-dragons.html

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    1. Interesting question and answer at 26:10 concerning the back catalog of D&D products (1E modules, Basic modules, etc.) and whether WoTC will make it available to fans in the future. "I believe we're sitting on a goldmine," the host says...and for the rest of the answer you'll have to watch the video..;P

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  28. Damned if you do or damned if you don't, but either way I really like them. I just hope the binding is good.

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  29. I hope those are just mock-ups. I want to see a full original piece of artwork on each cover, "nod" or otherwise. I already have the originals, I want to see something new....maybe by Otus!

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    1. Judging from the presentation at DXP, the covers will pretty much look like what is presented above.

      "This is not the final look, there will still be a little bit of tinkering, and the ... you see along the bottom there, that's just going to be a band, a cardboard belly band, I guess that's what they call them. That can be removed after purchase." --Mike Mearls

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  30. OMG people! Really? Your bitching about the covers? A good chunk of the OSR have been hoping for YEARS something would like this happen and there are some people that STILL bitch.

    IT's a f*cking cover! Get over it!

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  31. I hope the brown isn't so dark, maybe it'll be more of a chestnut. I'll keep my fingers crossed....

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  32. These look fine to me too. A lot of the old art has a charm about it that helps to create the 'feel' of the game.

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  33. Personally I'm just stoked that they're re-releasing the books in the first place. How long has it been since you've cracked open a brand new book to read G. Gygax's brand of prose? Remember the smell of the book? The feel of the pages?

    It's been awhile for me and I for one am glad to get the opportunity to relive that small part of my past.

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  34. I wish they'd redraw the red dragon on the Monster Manual cover... it was always really goofy-looking-- I'll definitely say that about modern-style art, it makes more serious, threatening-looking monsters.

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    1. The original cover art red dragon? Man, you know those trolls hung out undergound because they feared that he would either roast their green butts, or just fall on them. He sort of hovered...

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  35. What's shocking to me is that this PHB mockup is almost identical to the mockup for the new Hackmaster PHB (posted on their website & available for pre-order since October, I think...). Biggest difference is that the HM book will be a real leather cover.

    http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?cPath=25_94&products_id=779


    And note the Hackmaster Hacklopedia of Beasts (their MM), available since last summer:

    http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?cPath=25_94&products_id=751

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