There are a lot of good covers out there — especially some of the Scandinavian stuff that has hit Kickstarter and seems to always have been based on fantastic concept art. There are a lot of bad covers out there — just hit DriveThruRPG for a quick selection. And there are many more pedestrian ones that do the job — most of these are connected to licensed properties that use screen caps and some photo manipulation. Games like Firefly or Atomic Robo (the latter which I really like!) fit this last category.

The one that really capture what the game is about and look damned good has to go to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Don’t like the new edition? I’m cool with that. I’m not getting drawn into edition wars BS — especially as I had sworn off d20 in 1984. Certainly the loveliness (if somewhat had to read and hence use qualities of modern RPG graphic design) helped lure me into the game. I can tell you it was one of the tiefling pictures and the intriguing concept of that race that sold me on trying. I’ve yet to use one.

Honorable mention: Hollow Earth Expedition‘s covers always captured the campy pulp novels and comics that the game as emulating, and was much better art than the equally good for telegraphing the flavor of the game that was Spirit of the Century‘s cover. The cover got me to peruse the book, the interior art sold me.