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Gothic Earth art pack

Gothic Earth art pack


The Gothic Earth Art Pack for DMs Guild Creators includes 134 total images:

126 image files in TIFF format in the highest available resolution, with subject matter well-suited for Ravenloft: Gothic Earth and other Gothic horror campaigns. These have been sourced from various public domain image libraries (The Internet Archive, Old Book Illustrations, and The British Library), which are specified in the included PDF and the folder structure of the zipped files.

8 non-public domain images are also included. These images were sourced from illustrations in The Strand (via the Internet Archive) but have been retouched for various reasons, such as the inclusion of more racial diversity and horror elements.

“The images in this pack are the perfect enhancement for your Gothic Earth work, whether it's a handout for your campaign or a product for the Guild. Highly recommended!”R.P. Davis


The publisher preview also includes links to the public domain archives the images are sourced from, to help you find more images like these. A high-res version of the preview is included with your purchase, for easier referencing.

The images in this art pack have all been modified in one or more ways, including but not limited to: color correction to remove the page backgrounds from the original scan, conversion to black and white line art, sharpening, retouching to reduce distortion from page bends in scans, color correction for improved contrast, removal of captions and other text elements, and more. (See this post on the Polyhedral blog for a Photoshop tutorial on this process—and how you can find and prepare similar images yourself!)

These image files are made available with a very broad, permissive license:

  • Permission is granted for all non-commercial purposes without limitation or credit.
  • Permission is granted for unlimited commercial purposes (not limited to Ravenloft: Gothic Earth or DMs Guild titles) on two conditions: (1) all commercial uses of this artwork must include a credit for the source(s) listed in the folder structure of the art pack. For example, include “Public domain illustrations from The Johnstown Horror via The Internet Archive,” or “Public domain illustrations from Old Book Illustrations”—with a hyperlink, wherever possible. Links and URLs are included in the preview document; and (2) resale of these files as stock artwork is not permitted.
  • Both commercial and non-commercial works are permitted to remix, modify, or otherwise adapt the images as needed in any way. 

If these stipulations are not agreeable to you, you’re welcome to track down the original illustrations and redo the work involved in preparing the files. Violation of these conditions voids the agreement. No refunds will be provided.

Unfortunately, not all illustrators could be identified conclusively, but I have included them in the file name where possible. Please credit them where possible, especially if you use multiple images from the same illustrator.

A special thanks credit to Gordon McAlpin would also be appreciated, but is not required.

These files are black and white (grayscale) line art without transparency. In order to seamlessly blend them into your own book, change the transparency setting to Multiply in your layout program of choice (or the Multiply blend mode in the CSS of web-based layout).

These are files are provided “as is”; I cannot provide free technical support to creators who need further help with using these files.


Gordon McAlpin is a freelance designer, illustrator, and animator based in Somerville, MA. On the DMs Guild, he designed and illustrated Death by Goblins!The Blood Hunter, and the cover to Masque of the Red Death Player’s Guideamong others. See more examples of his work at!

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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Taylor E December 19, 2019 11:35 pm UTC
This seems like a quick way for this fellow to make 5 dollars.
Customer avatar
Gordon M December 19, 2019 11:58 pm UTC
If you call spending 40+ hours sifting through 100-some volumes of The Strand and other publications for semi-thematically appropriate images of good quality, sharpening, removing the backgrounds, and otherwise cleaning them up/correcting for distortion "quick," sure.
Customer avatar
Lore E December 19, 2019 10:50 pm UTC
I'm a little confused. If you couldn't identify all illustrators/artists, how were you able to confirm that they were public domain? One tends to go alongside the other.
Customer avatar
Gordon M December 20, 2019 12:13 am UTC
Copyright is determined by the publication date, so you don't need to know who the illustrator was; you need to know when and where it was published:

Everything the British Library posts on its Flickr archive and everything on the Old Book Illustrations website are, to the best of their knowledge, public domain throughout the world.

And the volumes of The Strand magazine, the issues of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, and The Johnstown Horror book (all from The Internet Archive) are likewise public domain works because of their publication dates. (In the US, at least, everything published before 1923 is public domain, and the texts, at least, have a long history of being repackaged without any issues.)

That said, I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I trust those organizations' due diligence in determining that the works they posted are indeed public domain, and I provide links to those archives in case you want to see for yourself.
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Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
December 20, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on December 19, 2019.