Friday, February 18, 2011


Over Grognardia way, James Maliszewski reminded us of the existence of a line of AD&D-branded stationery and binders produced by a company called St. Regis in the early 1980s.

It turns out these were illustrated by a man named Alex Nuckols. It's beautiful, classically rendered, and downright classy work that gives my beloved Greg Irons-illustrated AD&D Coloring Album a run for its money. I know many gripe about the merchandising of D&D in the early 80s, but in my opinion, some of the best (if not the best) D&D-themed artwork of the era wasn't being produced by TSR at all. Nuckols' work for St. Regis is a perfect example.

There's a gallery of several Nuckols-illustrated St. Regis products at the Tome of Treasures forum. A lot of the scans and photos are frustratingly blurry, but even this limited glimpse is well worth your time if you're into D&D fantasy art in the least.

(By the way, I'd be more than willing to bet that some of these images - including the one posted above - were originally intended to depict scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien's work. That looks like Bard of Laketown slaying Smaug to me, and I'd be shocked if the "Death Rider" art wasn't supposed to be one of the Ring-Wraiths seeking out Frodo and company.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Serpent Was Subtle

It appears I spoke too soon when I wrote of the untimely demise of the Dragon Warriors role-playing game:

Dragon Warriors, the classic 1980s dark-fantasy RPG recently re-released by Magnum Opus Press, is moving to new British publishing company Serpent King Games.

From 1st April the game will no longer be available from Magnum Opus, which had published Dragon Warriors through Mongoose Publishing’s Flaming Cobra imprint.

Serpent King Games will keep the existing Dragon Warriors books available, and will publish new supplements for the game. The first new release will be the Dragon Warriors Players Book, in July 2011, with another two releases planned for the first year.

It would be bad form to repost the entire announcement, so if you're interested, there's more detail at the Serpent King Games website. Considering the individuals involved, the game appears to be in very good hands, and I'm more than happy to help spread the word.

I won't directly benefit from any of it, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Dragon Warriors' previous publisher, Magnum Opus Press, is selling all of the PDFs of the game line at less than half-price, and that Mongoose Publishing (the game's former distributor) has also reduced the price of the hardcopy books significantly - including an "ultimate bundle" that includes all seven books released thus far for $79.99. All indications are that the new Serpent King Games material will be fully compatible, so if you're thinking of checking out one of the UK's finest old-school fantasy RPGs, now is the time.