Complete Set of Bob Pepper’s Dragonmaster Cards (1981)

DM Nomads 1981

DM Nomads 1981-2

DM Dragonlords 1981

DM Dragonlords 1981-2

DM Druids 1981

DM Druids 1981-2

DM Warriors 1981

DM Warriors 1981-2

DM Gameplay 1981

DM Gameplay 1981-2

A sequel to my first post on Milton Bradley’s Dragonmaster. Click to make big. We owe the scans to Tom Beiter, champion of pop culture posterity and author of Garage Sale Finds, a detailed profile of “garage sale treasures and sometimes trash.” (You will not believe the amazing stuff that Tom finds—and often restores.)

It’s clear that Pepper had a deep understanding of Medieval, Renaissance, and Pre-Raphaelite art, and his method—mixing charcoal and watercolors—produced some incredibly vivid colors and textures. His impeccable imagination did the rest. Each card is a work of art, and the originals, if they still exist, belong in a museum. (Is there a fantasy art museum? A commercial art museum?)

I’m betting that one or more of you can come up with a game that does Pepper’s work some justice. From what I’ve heard, the original version is not very compelling.

14 Responses to “Complete Set of Bob Pepper’s <em>Dragonmaster</em> Cards (1981)”

  1. 1 Fractalbat May 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    The closest Roger Zelazny fans ever got to a deck of Amber trumps.

  2. 3 hobgoblin238 May 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Wow. Talk about a memory. I do believe I had these at one point in my life.

  3. 4 mwschmeer May 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I just snagged a complete copy of the game on ebay for $20. Hopefully the cards are in good condition.

    • 5 2W2N May 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Awesome. I just found out the Dragonmaster crystals were also used in Milton Bradley’s Laser Attack (1978). I wish I had that game too.

  4. 6 Tom Beiter May 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for the shout out and the kind words. I think a commercial art museum is a great idea. I’d love to see the original art for board games, toys and Atari cartridges. I wonder how much of it was saved.

    • 7 2W2N May 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Tom, I love your site and envy your know-how. I can barely fix a toilet.

      I really do like the commercial art museum idea. It would also be cool to include concept art of all sorts, from film to government agencies like NASA. Does Kickstarter do that sort of thing?

  5. 8 D Morgan December 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    DragonMaster and Dark Tower are imo The peak of Bob Peppers fantasy output, where are the originals and what condition they are in ? – I agree they need to be preserved for posterity, these scans are pretty good, but in terms de-screening these images successfully with a professional plugin in photoshop maybe double or triple this pixel information would be required, though they still are the best scans on the internet.

  6. 9 Big Dave. September 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

    The game was terrible. I loved the art though. I remember one summer vacation that I would just stare at the cards for the entire road trip.

  7. 10 abrahamlamontagne July 8, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    This game rules, I personally find it a lot of fun. Still like to play with the family time to time. I’d most closely compare it to the card game Hearts, although the strategy is much more shifting and competitive throughout. Hardly has anything to do with fantasy though, and the tale in the booklet is very contrived even for a card game backstory.

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