Dungeons & Dragons Art Book - Art & Arcana

Did Someone Say Dungeons & Dragons Art Book?

Yes, someone did, friends. In this case that was James Whitbrook of io9. Who in an exclusive shared the news a Dungeons & Dragons art book is indeed coming out. In fact Penguin Random House will release the Dungeons & Dragons art book in October. As you can imagine, with the post on art of David Trampier, we at the Retroist sat up and took notice.

Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana is going to be a must have for any fan of the legendary RPG. Within its pages you will find the the likes of early concept art used in various modules of the day.

Dungeons Dragons Art Book - The Keep on the Borderlands

Images courtesy of io9.

As well as a look at the original rules booklets released in 1974. From Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson of course!
Dungeons & Dragons Art Book - Original Rules - Penguin Random House - io9

In addition to the artwork that has graced all those glorious manuals over the years. I certainly hope that means that Jeff Easley is given a chapter for his exceptional art. In particular, my favorite has always been 1985’s Unearthed Arcana.
Dungeons & Dragons Art Book - Jeff Easley

Judging by some of those pages shared on io9 it appears there will be race artwork. Showing how they have evolved over the years. For example, the dreaded and infamous Mind Flayer. For myself I prefer the 1977 as well as the 2000 versions of the Illithid.
Dungeons & Dragons Art Book - Mind Flayers

This upcoming Dungeons & Dragons art book will also show the more kid friendly merchandise. Naturally some of it must show the merch based on the hit 1983 to 1985 animated series. Although in the sample pages we can see clearly see items based on the LJN toy line!
Dungeons & Dragons Art Book - LJN books

It also appears that there is some incredible collectibles in the Special Edition Boxed Book & Ephemera Set. While artwork that you can have framed and show off is nice. The fact they are including a reprint of the Tomb of Horrors manual is great. Oh! Did I forget to mention that this manual is the unpublished Gygax version from the Origins Game Fair in 1975?
Dungeons & Dragons Art Book - Tomb of Horrors

The Dungeons & Dragons art book is written by Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Sam Witwer.

By the way that is indeed Sam Witwer of Being Human, The Mist and numerous Star Wars projects fame!

[Via] Filmnutlive

Still in the mood for more information on Dungeons & Dragons? How about listening to the Retroist podcast then?

Retroist Dungeons & Dragons Podcast

Crossbow - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Crossbow (1983)

Exidy released Crossbow into the wilds of the arcades back in 1983. However that isn’t where I first encountered it. It was probably a couple of years later, after the video game crash of ’83. Where I had my first chance to play Crossbow was at a local grocery store. In my entire life I’ve only had the opportunity to play this arcade classic a handful of times. But it certainly left a mark in my memories, which is why I’m glad Christopher Tupa chose Crossbow to be the subject for his Retro Arcade Art project this week.
Crossbow - Exidy - Marquee

Obviously, like the title of the game suggests, the gameplay revolves around using a crossbow. Especially since the controller for the game is an actual replica of the medieval weapon.
Crossbow - Arcade cabinet

It was when I had my first chance to play the game, after a group of teenagers had walked away from it, that I realized it had a sword and sorcery element to it. Players have to do their best to protect a band of four adventurers from the dangers of each level. Whether that be objects such as boulders falling from the sky, lightning bolts, scorpions, ghosts, and gorillas to name a few.
Crossbow - Jungle

Being 1983 I was already a huge fan of Dungeons and Dragons so the fantasy elements were right in my wheel house. At the beginning of the game you will normally start with three adventurers. A swordsman, an Amazon with short sword and shield and a Dwarf with a mighty axe. I will give you three guesses as to whom I made sure to protect the most!

On various stages, after completion you will in fact gain another adventurer to add to your fellowship. Gnomes, wizards, gladiators and more will join your quest to stop the evil Master of Darkness. Thankfully your adventurers can protect themselves a little but not enough that you can ignore dangers headed their way.
Crossbow - A Gnome

Crossbow had another element of D and D to it as well. Players are able to choose which route they want to travel. Ranging from a desert landscape, a village, ice cave, jungle, volcano, a bridge spanning a river, a castle entrance and of course the interior of the castle.
Crossbow - Path Selection

Much like 1987’s Operation Wolfby Taito, Crossbow uses a light gun to allow Players to hit their intended targets. Albeit one that as I’ve already mentioned resembled an actual crossbow. The game cost 50 cents a go which is why I wasn’t able to play it as much as I liked. Nor was I very good at it, hitting my own adventurers as much as their foes.

With a bit of the basics of Crossbow out of the way. Ready to see the game in action?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!

Stranger Things - Michael Maher

Star Wars Gets Stranger With Cast Of Stranger Things!

It is no big secret that Stranger Things kind of took off like wildfire here at the Retroist Vault. There are quite a few reasons why it managed to entrance us all. Naturally the easiest aspect of the series that attracted us was how it was a massive love letter to the 80s. From film posters to toys and music – it reminded us of the time most of us grew up in.
Stranger Things - Logo

Of course there was also the fact that it boasted a terrific cast. Stranger Things wouldn’t have been even half as enjoyable if not for the actors. While Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star with her portrayal of Eleven. There was Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas, Noah Schnapp as Will, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin as well. Each and everyone of these young actors brought memorable performances. In addition to the work by the supporting cast like Winona Ryder, David Harbour and so many others.

Furthermore there was the Lovecraftian horror meets Ridley Scott’s Alien by way of The Thing. Which presented more than a few scares throughout the Netflix series!

Another thing that creators Matt and Ross Duffer peppered throughout Stranger Things were nods to Star Wars. Which makes a ton of sense for children growing up in the 80s. I mean with Mike and his group who play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not that hard to see them being fans of the Star Wars series as well, right?

Thanks to artist extraordinaire Michael Maher Jr. we can now see how the kids from Stranger Things would look in the Star Wars universe. Moreover perhaps that would now be the Stranger Wars films?

Image courtesy of Michael Maher Jr.

While I do love the idea of Finn playing Han and Noah as Luke. It really is Millie as Princess Leia and Gaten as Chewbacca that really makes it fantastic. The fact that in Maher’s Stranger Wars artwork Chewie is wearing Dustin’s hat – just a cherry on top. I wonder though…would Ryder and Harbour’s characters be R2 and Threepio?

Dungeons and Dragons Figures

2014-07-07 18.14.07

Last year I wrote a short article about some Dungeons and Dragons figures I found at a local toy store. Although when I wrote the article I hadn’t purchased them, I went back shortly and did just that.

Since then I’ve added four more figures to my collection: Strongheart the Paladin, Elkhorn the Dwarf, Warduke the Fighter, and Zarak the Evil-Half Orc Assassin.

Dungeons and Dragons figures (excluding the miniatures) were released in two series and two sizes: the traditional 3 3/4″ scale and a larger, 5″ size. Some of the figures were released in both series and in both sizes, making collecting all of them a bit confusing. This page over at the Toy Archive does a pretty good job of identifying them all by series and size.

Here’s a great video that shows off most of the figures. (It starts off a bit dramatic and gets to the figures about a minute in.) Man, if nothing else, I’ve got to get one of those rotating displays.