A tale of three D&D Daves: Arneson, Wesely, and...Trampier?
Joseph
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If you've been reading some of the D&D related geeklists of late, you've probably noted an alarming propensity towards speaking about guys named Dave!

We had the Dave Arneson tribute thread, the David Wesely tribute thread, and now I present to you:

The Davie Trampier Tribute Thread.

Fortunately, Dave 3, like Dave 2, is still alive and kicking.

You may very well say: "Okay, I've learned about Dave 1 and Dave 2, but who's Dave 3? Who exactly is David Trampier? Also known as "TRAMP" and "DAT". In my opinion, Dave 3 was one of the 4 corner stones of early D&D. The others being Gygax, Arneson, and Wesely. While some may argue his significance, I think that there's enough reason to consider him one of the "Great Old Ones" of D&D.

How so?

Glad you asked!

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Joseph
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Let's start from the end of the story, shall we? Or should we say, the end of the beginning? DAT is alive and well.

Not dead Dave.

He has however, left the building. According to the most reliable sources, such as Gygax and TSR itself, DT just got fed up with the whole role playing scene and just walked away. He stepped off the curb into the fading glory of a July afternoon and never returned.

His royalty checks stopped getting cashed, and the money he was owned for previous work never got collected. It was strange.

They thought he was dead. Dead Dave. All Dead. But he was not. (Whew!) Here's the latest known picture of the man, which is years old:



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Joseph
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Still don't know who this guy is? Come on fellas! Your geek cred is on the line here? Buckle up, put on your thinking cap, and get cracking! No idea at all?

Oh OKAY - If you must.. Here's a big hint.



I can hear you thinking: "It's the Players Manual, big deal! I've seen it a million times before".

Oh yeah? Is that so geek-boy? Who do ya think drew the cover? Ahh - the fickle glow of enlightenment flashes across your pallid "vault of yer basement bedroom" brow! That's right son - DAT or TRAMP or David Trampier. He "Drew stuff". But not just any stuff, it was the good stuff. He drew a lot of the stuff that became synonymous with D&D!

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Joseph
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Here's my favorite piece by DAT. I studied this particular piece of work intently, and wanted nothing more than to be able to draw like this!





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Joseph
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Maybe some of these creatures look familiar? How many can you name? Hmmm - maybe you can earn back some of the geek cred you lost by not recognizing this contributor in the first place! Just maybe!



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The Monster manual. Cover by Sutherland.



DAT made some significant contributions to this volume, providing several of the iconic monsters.





How many times did you crack this open to look at the picture? Hundreds of times? Thousands?

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David also contributed to Dragon magazine, and while you may not have associated DAT with this particular feature, its artistic style was unmistakable and instantly recognizable.









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Joseph
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And of course he also created the cover for one of my favorite games of all time: Gamma World. A very evocative cover indeed!



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One last piece for you - from Gamma World. Extra geek points if you can remember the name of these particular critters.



So I hope you don't mind my teasing you a little as we took this trip down memory lane. David Trampier, at least in my opinion, was a significant artistic influence on the evolution of the D&D as we came to know it. While MANY talented artists contributed to the success and distinctive feel of this product, Tramp was always my personal favorite. Thanks for reading!

Respectfully

Falloutfan
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Not D&D, but speaking of instantly recognizable artwork-name that designer/artist. And like snowflakes, no two exactly alike
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Here's another with artwork by him, this game designed by his brother-in-law.
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