RIP David A. Trampier (1954 – 2014)

It’s with heavy heart we announce that David A. Trampier, a pioneering illustrator for the likes of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Gamma World, and Star Frontiers passed away yesterday. I spent much of my youth looking over his artwork…and that generally when I should have been paying attention in school or studying.

Trampier quit TSR in the later part of the 1980s, feeling he had been cheated on an agreement to publish his D and D comic series entitled “Wormy”. He stayed away from the spotlight and worked as a yellow cab driver in 1998 but that company closed down and he began to put into motion plans to try once again to get a “Wormy” collection into the hands of his fans. You can find out more about this by hopping over to The Castle’s Ramparts which is the blog for the Castle Perilous Games and Books in Carbondale, they knew Trampier and were trying to help him get his collection published.

Make sure to read the Retroist’s 2008 post about Trampier. So if you too are an RPG fan and have fond memories of setting around a table at home or at school with your best friends with Trampier’s artwork on the Dungeon Master Screen facing you…meet up with your party at the local Inn and raise a tankard to a wonderful artist’s passing.

Image courtesy of A Paladin In Citadel Blog.

Image courtesy of A Paladin In Citadel Blog.

D and D - Player's Handbook

Treasure - David A Trampier

A big thanks to A Paladin In Citadel Blog for the above DM screen image. My group of friends who I continued to play D and D with until just a few years ago were able to get our own game master one of Trampier’s screens.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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3 thoughts on “RIP David A. Trampier (1954 – 2014)

  1. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Trampier’s excellent AD&D artwork put some visual flair in our group’s upgrade from Basic/Expert rules to Advanced gameplay.

    Besides a complexity of stats, character breakdown and arrow physics in the wind, one look at my DM screens and our rulebooks (all from Trampier’s era) updated the simple but fun designs of Keep On The Borderlands and such (our initiation into Kobold imagery) into true fantasy realms worthy of Frazetta’s muscles & maidens.

    His artwork told stories, snapshots of fellow dungeon crawlers in action on guidebooks and epic campaigns (such as in those terrific DM screens, full of promised adventure on the front and helpful stats to make life hard on the group on the inside cover).

    It’s a shame about his unpublished work. Dragon magazines were a treasure trove for the AD&D folks and his Wormy comics were a like a shiny gem at the back of the mag.

    I hope his work will be made available at some point.

  2. I hope they will be made available as well, Atari! The warrior on that GM screen was a self-portrait of Trampier by the way. :)

  3. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Whoa! Just noticed the artist’s portraiture on the DM screens.
    He was truly an adventurer at heart and his pen was his sword.

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