While the author of BrowserQuests™ (Scott M. Huelsman) can do a lot of things well, developing custom fantasy artwork from scratch is not one of them. Fortunately, there are a variety of professional tools on the market for doing this, and the game's author would like to acknowledge these fantastic products!
Wondering how the various graphic portraits were developed within the BQ RPG? These were generated by a nifty software package called the Epic Character Generator! As provided on their home page...
"The program is an excellent tool to anyone who wants realistic character portraits in no time. You can simply choose what items to display on the base character, save your image with a static or transparent background and use it for anything you would like to. The program is mainly used by roleplayers who would like to illustrate their player and non-player characters, but don't have the resources to create or buy many unique characters that fit their needs. The generated images are a good source for writers to illustrate their characters, for artists who compose them in completely unique environments and for designers to represent the characteristics of their ideas.
The software allows for a variety of races as well as genders (and even monsters) to be created, and seemed perfect for the BrowserQuests™ RPG.
While used sparingly within the game, fantasy map development requires a steep and artistic learning curve as well. Instead of trying to create nice-looking maps within a tool like Photoshop, Campaign Cartographer 3 from Pro Fantasy Software Ltd. was chosen. This software tool also has a bit of a learning curve to it, but it's easier than producing maps in Photoshop (and resulting images are not directly copyrighted by the vendor, so they can be freely used within an online RPG like BQ).