Grimtooth's Traps

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Grimtooth's Traps is a classic reference for dick Gamemasters. Paul Ryan O'Connor published this for Flying Buffalo in Scottsdale all the way back in June 1981. Itself inspired by the various dickery E. Gary Gygax was inflicting on parties all through the 1970s, many of these traps will inspire That DM through the 1980s and beyond. Especially for Reverse Dungeon and tomb-raider adventures.

The book starts with two warnings. The one on the cover reads "Unauthorized disclosure of this material may contribute to the unjustified survival of adventurers, delvers, and player characters . . . and may result in serious damage to the deadly reputation of the Game Master." (Because third-party, not "DM"... yet.) The inner page more prosaically and Canadianly calls "ATTENTION" that it's all "designed for game purposes only" - so don't build one IRL lest you get party-vanned.

In order, the chapters run: Room Traps, Corridor Traps, Door Traps, Items and Artifacts, and Things. Many of the former run on the pit-and-lever principle, like the See-Saw Corridor you've probably seen in half your dungeons. Even a troll has to start somewhere.

Grimtooth, the narrator, is a troll; in a theme "Malhavoc" will steal in the Eldritch Might series. O'Connor sets himself up as "Assistant Troll" and (more seriously) "Editor" - because quite a bit here comes from his friends and contributors, whom he credits for their evil.

There's a call for readers' opinions here, asking for opinions on what's the best trap. This was a not-so-veiled solicitation for readers to submit their own work - leading to several future volumes. Michael Stackpole and Elizabeth Danforth in 1986 edited "Grimtooth's Traps Fore". Actually the third, Stackpole claimed, as a joke, that a Three Letter Agency had confiscated that (nonexistent) third volume. Then in 1990 Rick Loomis reprinted that book in which he was forced to admit it was a joke, because Steve Jackson Games had got v&, by the Secret Service no less. And people wonder why the US can't win wars.