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(TFT) Artwork Critique

Here is a repost of my reply to Michael Taylor about the artwork of TFT.
Dec 2001


And what's wrong with the pictures?

I find the pictures don't add anything to the game. And some of them are just
plain misleading. As in they mix up the facts. Lets take them one at a time.
Also I would like to say that what follows is written in the spirit of fun. I
don't do satyrical criticism much, so why not indulge this once.
First the cover. What is that glowing stuff anyway. And why are there three
distinct spheres of it. Is that supposed to be 3-hex fire? In the air like
that. If its supposed to be an abstract of not being any spell in particular
is works on that level. But not any others. Unless, what, the guy is casting
three points of fatigue?
Advanced melee Page 2. Ok, this is almost, but not quite, three specific rules
in TFT. First these two guys (an orc and a human?) are fighting at different
heights. The Orc sould get DX +2 to strike down at the human. NO! Wait. The
human has one knee on the level the orc is on. OK. So is the orc above the
human or not. And about that kneeling human. Is he kneeling or not. One leg is
kneeling, but the other isn't. In the TFT system a person is kneeling or they
arn't. I don't know what to do with this hybrid stance. A few words about the
flail the orc has. It looks like it used to have two heads. A flail with two
chains and two balls at the end. But one head is gone. Did he break it. If the
weapon is broken is he using at club damage ala-the-rules? But one head is
still there Is he still doing full damage with it. TFT doesn't have any rules
on multi-headed flails.
Advanced Melee Page 8. A lone guy. Probably with broadsword, small sheild and
platemail. An innocent enough looking picture on the surface. But if the guy
is left handed (as he holds the sword) why is the sheath on the left side
also. How did he ready the weapon and how does he sheath it. Does he drop the
shield on the ground, put the sword in his right hand, and then sheath it?
Advanced Melee Page 11. A half naked barbarian, bastard sword resting on his
shoulder, small sheild, and what may be another broad sword sheathed (this
time on the correct side). He is facing off with a 2-hex dragon. The dragon is
higher than him. I hope that realy nice helmit he is wearing is magical.
Advanced Melee Page 23. I think her wrist is broken. The one holding the
sword. At least the reigns and harness on the horse look correct.
Advanced Melee Page 32. Great action shot. dead gargoyle. Barbarian who just
saved a lady from falling into a pit. Wait a minute. If the gargoyle knocked
her into the pit, how did the barbarian kill the gargoyle and catch the girl.
Does TFT have rules for catching people who fall into pits? If NOTHING happens
at the same time wouldn't she fail her DX roll, fall into the pit, and THEN
the barbarian would get an action.
Advanced Wizard Page 1. Some kind of viking in Hand To Hand (HTH) combat with
a lioness or a jaguar. He hasn't readied his dagger yet. He looks like he
kicking the jaguars' butt with his bare hand. So, If he's in HTH and fighting
shouldn't he be on the ground and NOT standing. Oh, wait! I get it. The jaguar
just attempted HTH and the viking rolled a 6 to resist getting a free attack.
BUT the rules on resisting HTH specifically says that on a roll to resist of 6
if the figure is unarmed (i.e. bare handed) a roll of 6 is ignored and they
must roll again. Why is this picture even in Advanced wizard. Shouldn't it be
in Advanced Melee? Maybe near the HTH rules.
Advanced Wizard Page 8. Some kind of a native with zulu style leggings, zulu
style spear, and fur liked head dress is being attacked by two reptile men. If
the section on reptile men says that a lone man fighting just one reptile man
is a "messy form of suicide" then why is a lone man confronted by two not even
using his spear? Note he is striking one of them with his left bare hand. On
top of that he is striking with his bare hand and he is not in HTH. Note the
platfrom he is stading on that they aren't. That proves they are not sharing
the same hex.
Advanced Wizard Page 10. An archer takes his last shot option against a
crocodile. The crocodile has decided to engage the archer with his side hex.
Don't ask me why. Or did the archer run up to the croc's side hex. If so he's
probably moved too far to shoot.
Advanced Wizard page 18. An ogre? The face is a little gruesome for a giant.
The ogre has a nice wrist band, an arm band, and a layered necklace. He also
has some kind of furry loin cloth held on with a belt. The question I have, is
why does he have fur strapped to his fore arms. Is this some kind of fore arm
armor we don't know about. Aside from that, this picture is one of the few
that works. That even looks like a battle axe hanging from his belt.
Advanced Wizard page 26. Myself, I always have time to stop and sheath my
weapon before climbing down a crevice to escape a troll. And climbing down
with no hands is my prefered method. NOT.
Advanced Wizard Page 29. This picture works. This guy can drop the sack at a
moments notice and fight unencumbered. Though it doesn't look like he closed
the door behind him when he came into the hall.
Advanced Wizard Page 35. Scale mail is one of the few peices of armor not
listed in the game. This guy is wearing it. Other than that, nice stone work
by the artist.
Advanced Wizard page 36. Two hobgoblins. One with a crossbow. He has a quarrel
out and looks ready to noch it. Unfortunately the crossbow is not cocked.
Advanced Wizard page 39. A centaur weilding a battle axe with one hand (very
strong for even a centaur) is taking on two big cats (sabertooth?). A centaur
is a double experience race. If he put all starting points into strength, and
every point after that, it would still take him 6750 EP to weild a battle axe
with one hand. And his DX would be only 10. The big cats' DX would be much
higer. I predict the death of a very experienced character.

In The Labrinth Page 3. The worst picture of all. This reptile man has wings.
Or is it a gargoyle with a huge tail?
In The Labrinth Page 8. This gargoyle has a tail. And is that a pair of hooves
instead of feet? It directly contradicts the previous picture. Has anyone
found the rules for picking up and throwing living beings? What happens if you
throw something with wings. Not much I imagine.
In The Labrinth Page 11. Almost a usefull picture. A lady with monster
followers is taking her great ape back into the cave. Artistically the shading
in this picture is abomniable. The apes leg looks double jointed and twisted.
The lady is casting a shadow that has the profile of a great ape. What the
hell?    In The Labrinth Page 15.  A blatant rip off of a Frazetta painting.

In The Labrinth Page 17. If you compare the size of the stones in the wall to
the spacing of the windows in this fort, the stones must be giant compared to
a lone person. I mean simply enourmous. Huge. And is that mortar holding them
toghether? And such straight lines for such a random jumble of boulders.
In The Labrinth Page 25. I like this picture. It even seems to have relevance
to the paragraph above it. GETTING BACK LATE (OR HURT) to one's job. Though
the paragraph doesn't mention anything about paying a fine. That's what seems
to be happening here.
In The Labrinth Page 30. There are absolutely no rules for incense in any of
the books or suppliments ever published for TFT. The word incense is never
even mentioned. It is not on any equipment list. Yet, in this picture it is a
central feature.
In The Labrinth Page 32. Why has that huge snake tied itself into such a
painfull looking knot.
In The Labrinth Page 37. Nice picture. So what are the rules for using a skull
as a thrown weapon. Does it do the same damage as a thrown rock?
In The Labrinth Page 43. "I create a fire to burn the neanderthal that is
attacking me with a feeble looking stick. Instead of creating the fire in his
hex, I will use the option to shape it. I shall create it from my elbow!"
In The Labrinth Page 49. This picture is cool. All kind of unexpected stuff.
The new fangled "open toe" boots to show off your clawed feet. Scale armor
(and you thought it wasn't availiable in only a skirt.) Chainmail shoulder
cowl. And cloth armor for the body. So he's wearing three types of armor.
In The Labrinth Page 52. Here is a gargoyle who has to land on a window cill
with his hands and then pull his feet in. Instead of landing on the cill with
his feet like every other gargoyle. Also, there is that tail again. So can I
add in a taill attack for gargoyles now? That's three times they've been drawn
with them.
In The Labrinth Page 53. This dragon's body proportions hurt to look at. Those
look like front arms and not front feet. The neck doesn't look like it allow
the head to turn and attack in any direction. What is with the bottom of the
left wing. Did he dip it in ink?
In The Labrinth Page 57. This picture is safe. It is nice an vague. There
doesn't seem to be a building around that arch way though. Maybe a gate.
    David Michael Grouchy II

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