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A Menagerie of Miniatures: Joe Nittoly's Fantasy Illustrations

Joe Nittoly is a fantasy illustrator creating beautiful modern 2d miniatures and character art.

Since childhood Joe has been an active artist, yet after graduating from university he chose to pursue a career in IT and web development. Finding that during this time he lost his artistic identity Joe turned to graphic design and eventually was able to transition into an art focused career.

Since this transition Joe has been illustrating characters, creating maps and miniatures, game concept art, and has even recently illustrated a 27-page children’s book.


Joe's Gaming Geek Miniature Ensemble:

Joe creates 2d miniates in a range of genres from classic medieval fantasy to modern day and even reaching into the science fiction and cyberpunk styles of the future.

Joe Nittoly’s interest in tabletop roleplaying games also started at a young age:

“At the age of 10 I got to play D&D for a mere 10 minutes, but that brief taste was enough to get me hooked!”

Joe’s next exposure to tabletop gaming wouldn’t come until high school, when he would dive headfirst into the ttrpg world, playing across multiple systems including GURPS, Cyberpunk, World of Darkness, and Dungeons and Dragons from 3rd edition up until 5th. His favourite system is currently Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition which remains his system of choice when running his own campaigns.


Forest Elf Miniatures and a Peek Behind his Process:

The second Sword, Stealth & Spellfire set he created, the Forest Elves, are Joe’s take on this quintessential fantasy race, in "mini" format. He wanted to emphasize their connection to nature because he has always thought of elves as the personification of timeless ancient forests.

The second piece is a simple info-graphic Joe created to show his basic stages of creation when designing 2D miniatures.

Outside of his wonderful Forest Elves Joe’s other miniature sets have included Futuristic Humans, Northlandic Humans, Infernal Humanoids, Beasts, Lycanthropes, and most recently he has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his newest miniature set of Mountain Dwarves.


Liliana Trueheart:

A private commission done for a D&D player of her wizard/sorcerer character. Liliana is an artist as well as a spellcaster. Her artistic nature is reflected in the style of her wand and the form her magic takes.

A stand out moment in Joe’s tabletop gaming career came years ago when he took on the challenge of simultaneously playing both a chaotic-neutral rogue and lawful-good paladin, named Azad and Xatia respectively, in a Pathfinder campaign.

“I deliberately paired the rogue with a paladin and decided that these characters were forced by unusual circumstances to work together, despite their diametrically opposed world views.”

The backstory he created for these characters to end up allies inspired him to create a new setting of his own where he could further develop them after their original campaign had ended. Both these characters and the setting they inspired gave Joe plenty of fodder for his imagination from which many character illustrations were born.



A private commission done for a Shadowrun player of his Dwarf character. Joe especially enjoyed illustrating his cybernetic arm and giving his outfit some cyberpunk flair.

Joe also finds inspiration in the works of other fantasy artists, film makers, and writers:

“The definitive fantasy artwork of Clyde Caldwell and Keith Parkinson, who helped establish D&D's first fantasy art style, has inspired me since I was a kid and represents a standard I still strive to achieve.”

Along with D&D Joe is inspired by the novels of the Forgotten Realms series, Niel Gaiman’s urban fantasy stories, and William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (his favourite book). In the world of film he turns to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Bollywood films like Baahubali for setting inspiration.

Most recently he has returned to a more painterly artwork style after indulging in Netflix’s Arcane television series.


NearFuture 5e Archetypes:

The 10 new character classes in NearFuture5e are spiritual near-future equivalents of the original medieval fantasy D&D classes. To that end, in this promotional artwork, he presents three such "modernized" class concepts: the Prowler (Rogue), the Soldier (Fighter) and the Technologist (Spellcaster).

Joe is currently designing, writing, and illustrating a modern/sci-fi rules supplement and campaign setting for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. It is entitled NearFurure 5e Shard City, in which the players take on the roles of mercenaries working to undermine a high-tech tyranny.

You can learn more about the project as it develops on the NearFuture 5e page.



The setting of NearFuture5e Shard City is a high-tech city-state ruled by a tyrannical technocracy which maintains control through social conditioning and force - the latter of which is meted out by a variety of militarized private security operators. ASEC Enforcers are among the most dangerous adversaries that players will come up against. This piece combines the illustration with a proposed stat block layout design for the game book.


Fantasy Class Symbols:

Joe’s take on symbols characterizing the D&D classes. He created linework to convey the essence of each class with a symbol. He’s used them in a variety of formats, including on t-shirts, dice bags and coffee mugs available on his etsy shop.

These designs along with Joe’s other work are created using a mixture of both Illustrator and Photoshop.


To explore more of Joe Nittoly’s miniatures and creations you can find him on:

Drop by and let him know that the Silver Dice Society sent you!


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Hi Joe: This is so very fascinating! The depth of detail and the incredible imagination and the drive to accomplish all this goes far beyond anything most people could ever realize! Keep up the good work, it is fantastic!

I love the links to your websites, kickstarter and other opportunities to contact you.

Kudos to you Joe!

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