|Artist: Krystof Malik. DM at top
|Same artist, I think?
|Artist: u/Erace89 on Reddit
|Artist: Chris Yarbrough
|Artist: Victor Maury
|Artist: Lawrence Vdm
|"Artist": u/Kristal3615 on Reddit, used The Sims
|Artist: Kyla C.
Why are dungeon masters uniformly "people in hooded cloaks, eyes obscured?"
I don't like this. Don't get me wrong, a lot of that art is great, fantastic even. But the core idea? It's boring. And also feels kind of silly. Mostly the facial hair part. Like, I have nothing against nerdy DMs having nerdy facial hairstyles. That's their aesthetic, it's rad. But it sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise fantasy-looking image. It's like a historic period piece featuring women with middle-parted loose bangs that were curled by a stylist. It may fit modern taste but it's painfully obvious that you're looking at a person who shares this same world as you. Obviously, people in history had beards. But, like, these ones are beards that always look closer to your mental image of a nerd than a medieval European, if that makes sense. It sounds dumb but it's somehow... immersion breaking?
So what kind of concepts would be more fitting to depict a DM artistically? The first thing that comes to mind for me is THE GODS THEMSELVES. Literally the gods of Olympus, like in Clash of the Titans. Get it? Because they have miniatures of all their play-thing mortals and make them do stuff on the game board?
Maybe that's a bit vain. We'll scale it back. Sometimes you get to be the villain mastermind of the dungeon, which is cool. The D&D 4th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide implied as much by showing a dragon on the cover gazing into a crystal ball, nested within which could be seen the characters on the cover of the Player's Handbook (a neat metaphor for what the DM does, of course).
|Artist: Wayne Reynolds, of course
|Artist: Ralph Horsley
|From Adventure Time, duh
|From 1982's Conan the Barbarian
|Artist: John Collier
|As portrayed by Gloria Foster, naturally
|This could be you, Dungeon Masters.
Tell me that isn't the coolest thing ever. I would love to look like this:
|Artist: Toyuki Mizusaka
But let's stop kidding around. There's only one right way to depict a Dungeon Master artistically, and the Powers That Be already decided the canon interpretation for us back in the 1980's.
Listen to me. If you have ever been a Dungeon Master, Game Master, tabletop Judge, Referee, Host, or whatever the hell you wanna call it, then you are this man: