David ‘Zeb’ Cook

This might not mean much to you if you’re not a nerd like me, however it looks like one of my Lady of Pain sculptures has made it all the way to David ‘Zeb’ Cook, the lead designer of the Dungeons & Dragons Planescape setting.  He tweeted the below and also posted on facebook.  I made a bunch of these for ‘DND Collecting‘ on twitter a while back and he said he intended to try to get one to him and it looks like he succeeded.

I was able to exchange a few words with him on facebook and I took the opportunity to ask him whether the original Lady of Pain logo was a physical model or some digital art as it’s difficult to tell just by looking at it.  It looks like a physical model and I’m not sure how likely it would be to be digital art given that the books were originally published in the early 90s.

He said; ‘The original was line art by Dana Knutson when he was creating faction symbol designs.  Seeing it, I created the Lady of Pain to match the image and from there we decided she should be the logo. I’m pretty sure that Robh Ruppel’s wife sculpted her to use for the box logo. Not 100% on that, but Robh would know‘.

So not confirmation one way or the other exactly, but interesting nonetheless.  It was nice to be able to speak to one of the people who created one of the most iconic D&D settings ever made.  Aside from the various Lady of Pain sculptures that I’ve made over the years, it’s no coincidence that the logo for my website uses the Exocet font – that’s the font used extensively in the Planescape setting.  So it had a major impact on me.  Even the website name ‘The Dark Power’ is from a D&D game, specifically referencing The Dark Powers that rule the Ravenloft campaign setting.  So D&D had a major influence on me growing up and it’s really nice to have some contact with one of the people responsible for developing it.  Kinda brings things full circle somehow.

Edit – Robh Ruppel subsequently confirmed that his wife Cindy sculpted the face, the blades were created by ‘the guys in mapping’ (maybe a separate department?) and he gave it a patina.  So it was an actual sculpture at one point which is really interesting.  I wonder where it ended up? 😉

2 thoughts on “David ‘Zeb’ Cook

  1. Your model is fantastic – really impressive work.

    To answer your question: “the guys in mapping” refers to the cartography department – Dave Sutherland, Dennis Kauth, Diesel LaForce, Rob Lazzaretti (Planescape’s primary cartographer), and Steve Beck.

    Dennis Kauth was a pretty hardcore modeler, so he was likely the sculptor in question.

    1. Hi Colin

      Thanks very much! Ah very interesting. I was very pleased to learn the Lady of Pain was originally a sculpture so thanks for filling in the blanks! Best wishes.

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