Any time the whole chainmail bikini thing comes up in conversation between me and my artist:

Me: It’s probably a good thing that we’ve moved beyond useless sexy armor.

Her: But I like drawing sexy armor!

And that little exchange warms the cockles of my gamer heart. There is a huge array of fantasy art out there, but I think that there’s enough room in the multiverse for Brienne of Tarth and Frank Frazetta (NSFW) to exist side by side. Beyond issues of representation, female exclusion (you can’t play in the boy’s club unless you wear the +1 boob plate!), and creepy magical realms, there’s a question of aesthetics at play. What looks cool to you? 

I’ve always thought the guys at Paizo have done a bang-up job here. Their iconic paladin reads a feminine, but also as “armor plated badass.” Moreover, she’s stylized enough that it’s a little beside the point to bring up well actually, that’s not historically accurate type stuff. Some of their other characters? Well if you were packing that kind of Charisma-based magical power, you might want to strut you stuff a little too. But here’s the thing: that’s just my preference. If you’re more into practicality on the one hand or double-sided tape + ribbons on the other, you do you.

We’re all big kids here, and we all have our aesthetic preferences. I think that we can express those preferences without shouting at one another.

Question of the day then: What’s your favorite type of fantasy art? Highly stylized and cartoony? Ultra-realistic? Post links so we can compare notes!

SPEAKING OF SCANTILY CLAD ADVENTURERS: Check out the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. We’ve got a sketch feed full of Laurel’s original concept art. We’ve got early access to comics. There’s physical schwag, personalized art, and a monthly vote to see which class gets featured in the comic next. And perhaps my personal favorite, we’ve been hard at work bringing a monthly NSFW Handbook of Erotic Fantasy comic to the world! So come one come all. Hurry while supplies of hot elf chicks lasts!