Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stone Mountain

I cut my teeth on the Holmes Basic Set, a gift for my 11th birthday back in 1979. I struggled to understand this new game and couldn't quite understand how turns worked or how to use this weird blue cavern map. 

But I was hooked as soon as I saw this cross-section of Stone Mountain. I'm sure many others wanted to visit the Domed City and the undersea lake or just rappel down The Pit straight to the 6th level. Maybe that's why we all carried so much rope back in those days.

The sad thing is that I don't know who drew this cross-section. The Holmes book has illustrations from Tom Wham and David Trampier, but the majority of the artwork appears to be by David C. Sutherland III. The Stone Mountain does appear to match his style. (The somewhat less inspiring cross-section from the later Basic book is by Erol Otis, but it's clearly a different style. The stalactites and stalagmites are black and the the stairs are different.)

I find many of his smaller illustrations flat and amateurish, but David C. Sutherland III drew much of the iconic art of the early D&D game, including the cover of the Holmes basic book and boxed set as well as the covers of the 1st Edition Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide. His look helped define the game from the beginning.

I'm hoping to continue to look at the art of the early Dungeons and Dragons game. It's obviously all copyright TSR/Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro but I believe I am using it within the bounds of Fair Use.

No comments:

Post a Comment