You hate to say that artwork, including video game assets, are “stolen” unless it’s a clear-cut case. Many artists can have similar styles, making their work unintentionally look nearly the same, while virtually every artist is “inspired by” another, leading to somewhat murkier cases when art theft is called out.
In the case of one RPG project on Kickstarter, though, the similarities between its art and art from a game were pretty obvious — and even the maker of the project seemed to agree.
As spotted by Redditor AMagicalCow, a piece of art for 5th Edition hardcover campaign book Dawn of the Necromancer appeared to use a piece of art that was practically identical to Guild Wars 2 light armor — semi-ironically worn by necromancers. The staff wielded by the character in the art is also similar to a staff in the game, though different enough on its own to perhaps not be an intentional copy.
Still, colors aside, it would be hard to make the claim that the artwork isn’t a direct copy of the GW2 outfit, and Dawn of the Necromancer’s creator, John Harmston, doesn’t dispute that. AMagicalCow said that he reached out to him and got an initial reply of “Wow, that is similar. We’ll need to talk to the artist,” and later: “We were not aware of the similarities. We will look into getting new artwork. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Not our intention.”
So all’s well that ends well, at least not if you were that artist. And Dawn of the Necromancer looks like a pretty cool item. Harmston describes it as “a sandbox-style adventure that has the players traveling between a sprawling city, memorable towns, an ancient necropolis, and other dark destinations as they race to undo the schemes of a necromancer of unimaginable power.” It’s already well beyond its goal of $6,000, but if you’d like to donate more, or check out the sample adventure Harmston has provided, you can visit its Kickstarter page.