David A. Trampier (1954-2014)

David A. Trampier (1954-2014)
Originally posted on Tony's blog on March 28, 2014

I am saddened to learn the news of the passing of 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons artist, David A. Trampier–or DAT as he was known to us old-school gamers.


Though I never met him, I’ve posted several times about the impact Trampier’s art had on my burgeoning artistic abilities way back in middle school. And I cherish my artifacts of his inspiration to this day.

TD lizardman


TD fire giant

Many know his graphic inkwork from the AD&D Monster Manual (1977) and the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide (1979). His cover to the AD&D Player’s Handbook (1978) has become an icon from this era of role-playing. A quick image search of Trampier’s name will show you many fine examples of his work from these popular tomes. Being a collector of all things from childhood,  I also happen to own many of the early “pastel” adventure modules from the 1970’s, which also featured his woodcut-inspired illustration. Below are some of my favorite pieces that aren’t seen as often (click to enlarge):

DAT_FireGiant Fire Giant from 1978’s Dungeon Module G3 “Hall of the Fire Giant King”

DAT_ManticoreA manticore in his lair for 1977’s “Monster & Treasure Assortment”

DAT_HommletTramp’s cover to Dungeon Module T1 “The Village of Hommlet”, 1979

DAT_TombGargoyle from the AD&D classic, “Tomb of Horrors”. 1978


Thank you for your continued inspiration, Tramp. May your art continue to influence many imaginations for generations to come.


Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.