At time of writing the 5e edition of Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is imminently available. I’m jolly excited to see how the new edition of the adventure is received.
As part of the project, I ordered a ton of new maps and artwork. I think Tommi Salama is a superb cartographer and Matt Morrow is an amazing artist.
Behold the full page piece Matt did for the module. I flirted with doing a “proper” cover, and this was the image I was going to use.
Ultimately, I decided to stick with Raging Swan's tradiional cover design, but I am considering some kind of enhanced special edition in the future. If I go down that route, I've already got my cover!
And Now, the Rant
I love the atmospherics of Matt's piece. It captures perfectly the adventure's feel. And importantly it doesn’t give away a critical encounter in the adventure. So many adventures I see have beautiful covers that “spoil” their main encounter.
For example, a friend of mine is running me through Dragon of Icespire Peak. If the name didn’t spoil the identity of the main foe, the module’s cover certainly does. As a player, I don’t really want to know that—it spoils the surprise.
I understand the point of a cover is to lure you into buying the adventure, but surely it is possible to commission exciting, atmospheric cover art without destroying any of the adventures big reveals?