Which RPG has the most inspiring interior art? I feel this year, I'm just joining a crowd. I'm writing this post a week ahead of when it is scheduled to go live, but I fear when it does it will be just one of thousands of tweets, blogs, FB posts and vlogs saying essentially the same thing. Still, sometimes, there is only one answer.
Swedish artist, musician and general Renaissance Man Simon Stålenhag's art has been intriguing the geek world for a few years now. To those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s, it has a special resonance. His fantastic sci-fi intrusions onto rural and suburban scenes seem to visualise the Star Wars inspired daydreams and let's pretend fantasies we kids might have as we walked though our local fields and streets on our own adventures.
Links to the art have long been circulated as "inspiration for your games", and this year a game has hit the shelves that is directly inspired by it. I'd love to know the story behind Fria Ligan's timing of the project. The Kickstarter seemed to launch with undue haste after the successful Coriolis Kickstarter, which I had backed. We knew it was coming – the development of an RPG had been a stretch goal on a previous campaign for a coffee-table book of Stålenhag's art. But I like to think they rushed it out, hot on the heels of Coriolis, so that they could catch the wave of 80's nostalgia that the Netflix TV show, Stranger Things had started. Whatever the decisions we behind the timing, they were the right ones. The Kickstarter was a success, and copies arrived in Friendly Local Gaming Stores last month.
I didn't back this one. I'd watched StrangerThings when it came out, and it inspired me to buy Bubblegumshoe. So my mystery-investigating kids slot was already filled. But by god, Tales from the Loop is beautiful. I have to say, an RPG book feels special when all the illustrations are from one artist. And when that artist is as good as Stålenhag, it feels really special.
So let's check the answer to this question.
"Most inspiring interior art?" Let's see, an RPG chock full of the art that inspired it, developed as a stretch goal on a Kickstarter for a book of the art that roleplayers were already passing links around for, saying "inspiration for your games"?
This is the only answer isn't it?