The release of a new Dungeons & Dragons book means new gorgeous fantasy art to pour over. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything just hit shelves and doorsteps this week, offering pages upon pages of new options to spark imagination. A lot of that imagination is in the art, which showcases far realms, a colony of mimics, and a wizard goblin in a pink dress. It also features some of the most clothing-optional depictions of D&D characters I’ve ever seen.
Just to make sure my perspective hasn’t been altered by the internet’s need to kiss every fictional character ever, I went back and looked at my 5E Player’s Handbook. It was the first book I, and many D&D players, started with. Sure enough the PHB’s characters are depicted in typical medieval fantasy fashion – everyone wears full body armor with lots of belts and pouches or long flowy robes. The one real exception is a female elven druid with a small chest plate. Even then, the emphasis with her design is how she wears furs and antlers, and how she has a tiger companion. The character art in Tasha’s make her look bundled up for an Icewind Dale campaign.
Just take at look at this tiefling Oath of Glory paladin. The Oath of Glory comes from the Greek-inspired Theros and focuses on the paladin’s perceived destiny. So a guy proudly showing off his chiseled chest as he slings his latest kill over his shoulder totally fits. Or as one Twitter user put it, Oath of Glory paladins “look like a life guard from Baywatch.”
He’s not alone, either, as there are several instances of barely-clothed D&D dudes in Tasha’s. With the return of magical tattoos, and a general emphasis on character customization, maybe the D&D team wanted the art to show how archetypal armor isn’t required. Like how this warlock is going no-shirt, no-shoes, and doesn’t seem to care if he gets service.
Or how a new spell lets you summon a celestial spirit that is seconds away from revealing his true glory.
It’s all in good fun and, in the instance I found, the artist seemed totally on board and proud of their work. There’s nothing wrong with some thirst in your D&D, after all, as long as all the players are cool with it. So next time your bard tries to seduce an NPC, feel free to use Tasha’s art as reference material.
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Sergio is the Lead News Editor for TheGamer. But usually he asks people to call him “Serg” because he wants to sound cool like the guy from System of a Down. He began as a convention reporter for FLiP Magazine and Albany Radio’s The Shaw Report to get free badges to Comic-Con. Eventually he realized he liked talking to game developers and discovering weird new indie games. Now he brings that love of weird games to TheGamer, where he tries to talk about them in clickable ways so you grow to love them too. When he’s not stressing over how to do that, he’s a DM, Cleric of Bahamut, cosplay boyfriend, and occasional actor.
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