Women in Fantasy Artwork

Someone got me wondering about how Women are portrayed in Fantasy Art… 

After the Wizard of Wumbo noted how the Dragonborn in the DND 4th Edition Players Handbook had breasts, it got me wondering how Women are generally portrayed in Fantasy Artwork, I did a quick search on Google and the results were interesting…. I have linked some examples below….

woman 1 

Woman 2




Even my beloved 2ed Monstrous Compendium was at it…..

These images are linked to the owners sites and the copyright of course stays with them!!

Women in this art all seem to be damsels in distress, or scantily clad (far too scantily clad to have any real protection) they are all pretty, with all the right things in the right places, sometimes far too right, not everyone can live up to this ideal.

It makes me wonder if artwork like this is the reason there has historically been far less women in Role Playing?? I know many females who reguarly play WoW, that has become an accepted norm, and they all create these pretty young things, again with armor that couldn’t protect a fly.

This isn’t a new thing, Palace of the Silver Princess (B3)  an old adventure from ’81 was recalled due to the artwork, but I never really noticed this trend until the 2ed Planescape books, the Sucubi and other creatures were well…. sexy! 

Now I’m not a prude, and I appreciate the female form as much as anyone, I don’t have an issue with my warrior women having their breasts on show but isn’t this distracting all of the other women who might consider the game? Is this making them think the game is made for sexist nerds who can’t get any?

I know this isn’t true, its a false idea that has somehow perpetuated through with the game, granted most people that play DND are male, which doesn’t help matters at all.

Of course there is always the issue of Guys playing Girls… do they want their characters to look like this? Trying to get something they can’t have? Thats an interesting question: Have any of the guys and girls on PADND played the opposite sex and why? lol…

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