I read a post recently about how someone was making fun of the old Dungeons and Dragons artwork. But I personally really enjoy the old art better than the newer art.
Sure, the newer art looks better. But for me the old art told a story all in one picture.
I was playing Basic D&D since I was 8 and graduated to Moldvay when it showed up. But one thing I can remember to this day is going to the hobby store in Brookfield Square (I had to do chores into order to get my dad to drive me there) and picking up the 1st edition Monster Manual. Upon opening it, this was the first thing I saw:
I can still feel that sense of wonder that washed over me. How is that guy going to defeat that huge manta ray looking thing with just that sword? Will it wrap it up and devour him like those things from the movie Beast Master? I *had* to buy this book. I only had enough money for one, so my players lost out on all the new classes and such from the Players Handbook for a few more months. They soon learned of the unholy terrors of things that crawled in the dark however.
It was glorious.
To this day, I think these feelings I remember have effected my writing and design. That sense of mystery and wonder is sometimes lost in newer editions, but it is up to us as storytellers to make sure it never escapes.
Kind of like the things I have living in the box under the stairs right now.
Tomorrow begins NANOWRIMO. I will try to update as much as I can since I did a lot of planning on this next project.