28 March 2014

Dave Trampier RIP

I am very sad to report that it looks as though the legendary artist Dave Trampier has passed away.  Anyone familiar with first edition AD&D will recall many of Trampier’s amazing illustrations.

A few years ago I started posting my ‘top-5’ FRPG artists of all time.  I only got through numbers 5 (Russ Nicholson), 4 (Peter Fenlon), 3 (Erol Otus), and 2 (Angus McBride).  

For some reason, I never posted my #1.  That spot goes to Dave Trampier.  Here are some samples of his work.  

Emirikol the Chaotic.  
I remember gazing at this picture for hours as a teenager, wondering who exactly Emirikol was, why he was going through this town zapping people, etc.

The 1e AD&D Dungeon Master's Screen. 
(I believe that the fighter strongly resembles Trampier himself.)

These guys aren't goody-goody heroes!  They're temple raiders. 
(And here is another Trampier-resembling adventurer.)

 I loved this picture in the Players Handbook when I was a teenager (and still do).  It conveys the mystery and spirit of old school dungeon delving better than any other picture I can think of.

The Tomb of Horrors

Best Lizardman ever!

A magnificent cover!  No flashy heroes 'posing' here.  Just gritty, weathered, and greedy adventurers looting an evil temple.

This cover of Gamma World used to give me chills when I looked at it during the Cold War 1980s. 

Against the Giants!

A Trampier-resembling adventurer, departing a dungeon with some hard-earned loot.

Thanks for all the imagination-expanding artwork, Dave Trampier.  Rest in peace, mighty Emirikol!

Addition: there is a brief tribute at Tor.com.

05 March 2014

Aaron Allston RIP

I haven't been paying attention to the RPG-verse at all over the past couple of weeks, so I only now learned that Aaron Allston passed away on February 27th.

Allston's contributions to RPGs, and in particular Dungeons & Dragons, are too numerous to list here, but I will note my particular fondness for the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia and The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, copies of which occupy privileged positions on my gaming bookshelf today.

Rest in peace, Mr. Allston.  You're an Immortal of Mystara.

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).