Review – Grimtooth’s Traps Fore7 December, 2012
Grimtooth’s Traps Fore is another sourcebook of traps absurd and marvelous and a delightful look back at a different era of adventure gaming, when dungeon crawling was partly a competition of cleverness between players and GMs. Confront the dangers of dungeon designs past.
Grimtooth’s Traps provides traps amazing, dangerous and unusual, mostly designed for a classic dungeon-type setting. The book was originally published in 1986, for those who are among the grognards of the hobby, it can be a very nostalgic read.
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 or Michael Von Glahn.
Many of the traps are classic bait and switch setups to penalize the characters using trickery (and sometimes powerful magic and illusions) to hide the nature of the actual trap. It was written in an era when dungeons were often contests between players and GM, leading to an ‘arms race’ of traps and counter-trap techniques and magic. A very different era of gaming but one that lead to great inventiveness in such things as crazy trap design and defenses against them. Of course, many of the traps in this book involve extremely powerful magic (or advanced technology or both) and would be hard to explain in a low magic campaign world, but even then, they are usually quite 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.