Review – Grimtooth’s Traps (PDF)22 September, 2012
Grimtooth’s Traps is a sourcebook of traps absurd and marvelous and a delightful look back at a different era of adventure gaming, when dungeon crawling was nearly a competitive sport between players and GMs. Enjoy the deviousness of old school trap design in this wonderful update of a classic.
Grimtooth’s Traps provides traps wondrous, deadly and bizarre mostly designed for a classic dungeon-type setting. The book was originally published in 1981, so for some (like me) reading it is tinged with nostalgia for old school gaming and the wacky, early days of dungeon adventuring.
The traps are organized by type: room, corridor, door, items and artefacts, and lastly, things. Each is given a deadliness rating (marked in skulls) showing how lethal it is as presented and most have a lovely illustration by Steven S Crompton, who revised and expanded on his original artwork, and there are a hundred traps in all (the hundred and first trap is special).
Many of the traps are classic screw the characters setups using trickery (and sometimes powerful magic and illusions) to disguise the nature of the actual trap. It was built for an age when dungeons were a contest between players and GM cleverness, played out through the character against dungeon stage, and realism (and roleplaying) was a secondary consideration at best. A different era of RPGs but one that lead to great inventiveness in such things as trap design and counters to them. Of course, many of the traps in this book involve extremely powerful magic (or advanced technology) and would be hard to explain in a low magic campaign world, but even then, they are inspirational and fun to read.
Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.