Wednesday, August 12, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 #12 Favorite RPG Illustration

This is gonna be a fun one. Considering the previous topics of this blogfest, I wonder if he really meant to say "illustrator," for which I don't have a strong answer. But my single favorite RPG illustration is something I do have an answer for.

L. Sprague de Camp wrote the Planet Krishna novels as an attempt to redeem the "sword and planet" genre (John Carter of Mars and its imitators) in the face of increasingly "harder" science fiction. And one of the features of such stories was casual nudity.

So when Steve Jackson Games got the license to do GURPS Planet Krishna, the illustrations featured a surprising number of exposed breasts. I know the World of Darkness books like to maintain their edgy appearance by sneaking in exactly one nipple per book, but this book had nipples all over the place. Maybe they got a pass because they're all alien boobs rather than human boobs.

Those of you who might be expecting this book to be some sort of gamer Playboy are likely to be disappointed. The nudity in the books illustrations is treated as a very mundane part of all sorts of activities, rather than titillating boudoir scenes (or mundane activities that are somehow also titillating boudoir scenes). One illustration features a Krishnan woman wearing a very loose fitting robe with one breast exposed, but the reason the robe is in disarray is because she has been shot by an arrow which can be seen poking out of her body directly beneath the exposed breast.

My favorite example of this nudity without defaulting to sexiness (and my favorite gaming illustration and therefore the topic of this post) is on page 76 of this book. It is a Krishnan warrior woman wearing sandals, loose pants tied just below the knee and held up by a broad belt, and a sort of open halter top that leaves her modest breasts exposed. She is also carrying a slightly curved sword. Her pose is one of confidence. Not "My boobs are made of confidence" confidence, but "I could kill you if I wanted to. And I'm considering it" confidence.

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