About Grimtooth’s Traps   3 comments

Normally, my blogs start here and go to Twitter and Facebook, but this is something I wrote on Facebook this morning that I think might be worth preserving as a blog here.  Putting it here also gives me a good excuse to expand and elaborate a little more.


This is a another project in which I have a minimal involvement, but can actually claim that it wouldn’t have happened if not for me. Ok, secret history time. Things actually start with Rick Loomis. In 1975, Rick was running a play-by-mail game called Starweb, and he published an irregular newsletter for it called SuperNova. I became his editor for SuperNova. At about that time Dragon Magazine was taking off and doing great things and I began telling Rick we should do something similar to promote Tunnels and Trolls. I was already running the occasional sf cartoon in Supernova, so when I convinced him to make the jump to a better format we started a new magazine called Sorcerer’s Apprentice, of which, I was the first editor. I wanted some cartoons for SA, and my two dependable artists at the time were Liz Danforth and Steve Crompton.  So, I asked Liz for a cartoon, and she did the first Grimtooth cartoon featuring a troll. From all that sprang the Grimtooth’s trap books. Most of the traps were created by Flying Buffalo (i.e. Rick Loomis’s employees). I wasn’t on salary, but was part of the crew, and I had a few simple traps of my own in the first book, and maybe some of the others–it was a million years ago, and I don’t remember. Decades later, this project appears, and I have a couple new traps in it too, and I signed a special autograph page to be inserted.
Now, I didn’t invent Grimtooth, and I didn’t create the Traps books, and most of the creation/work was done by other people, but . . . none of it happens if I don’t do Tunnels and Trolls and get involved with Rick Loomis publishing my game, and making me editor of SA. Liz Danforth came to work for Flying Buffalo because she and I met at the Phoenix Friday night science-fiction fans gatherings, which I helped Terry Ballard start back around 1970. When T & T needed to go into a second edition for its first publication by Flying Buffalo, I got Liz to do the art for it, and from those first fantasy pictures, she soon became the main artist for Flying Buffalo. And on and on. Everything is connected. So watch this, and support the project if you like the idea.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1409961192/.


I’m thinking you can really blame this all on Rick Loomis, as he is even more seminal than I am, but still, tooting my own horn for the sake of history, none of this happens without me–a claim that several other people including Rick Loomis, Liz Danforth, Joseph Goodman, and most especially STEVE CROMPTON.
If you ever used one of Grimtooth’s Traps, or if you ever contributed one to the 505 traps collected in this new release, why not leave a comment?


3 responses to “About Grimtooth’s Traps

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  1. I know I had at least one trap, a moving corridor that dumps the delvers in a croc pond, published in a traps collection. Maybe two! I seem to recall something involving a stuffed raccoon.

    I am looking over my end-of-year fun-money budget, and I think I can throw in enough to get the hardcover.

    Meanwhile I’m pitching the collection in various places.

  2. I have 2 or three of the books. Used a few traps, others were inspiration for traps of my own. I plan on getting a hardcover copy so I have something to pass on to my son.

  3. I submitted a couple traps when I was a little kid, and was suitably thrilled when one was used. 🙂

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