Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thomas Cole, DM

Inspired by the If Romantic-Era Artists Ran D&D Campaigns post on the Against the Wicked City blog, here's one for Thomas Cole. An early 19th-century American landscape artist, most associated with the Hudson River School, Cole also painted European ruins (while traveling), historical & biblical scenes, allegories and fantastic landscapes.

As DM, Cole would start the first level PCs with a ruined tower over a seaside cliff, the former abode of a strange wizard...
Italian Seacost with Ruined Tower

And then onto a sturdy keep on the border of the wild lands...
Fountain of Vaucluse, thanks to A Wizard in a Bottle

Then deep into a wilderness hexcrawl...
St John in the Wilderness

And into the dungeons beneath the ruins of a castle built by a mad demigod...
Ruins of Kenilworth Castle

In search of stolen artifacts hidden in a mountain with a white plume of smoke...
Mount Aetna

Against the giants...
Titan's Goblet

And finally on to the other planes of existence...


  1. Nice adventure and beautiful paintings. It's gonna be hard to melt down that goblet into a bunch of easy to carry ingots.

  2. Cool. Funnily enough, I once did some archaeological work at Cole's house (it is a museum now), exposing an old brick walkway.

  3. See here for a scan of a TLG ad for Castle Zagyg that uses a Thomas Cole painting, Explusion. Moon and Firelight (1828).

  4. Fun to read the Against the Wicked City post and yours! I (and several others in the comments there) were inspired to make our own Painter as DM posts.