A former artist and writer who worked on some of the earliest editions of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and was the creator of the Wormy comic strip that ran in Dragon magazine. He would sign his work with his initials "DAT" or with "Tramp".
In 1988 Trampier stopped working in the gaming and comic industry and apparently vanished, payment checks to his address were returned unopened.
In 2002 an article in the online edition of the Daily Egyptian, the student newspaper of Southern Illinois University, featured a taxi driver named David Trampier working in Carbondale, and included a photograph (pictured on right).
In 2013 he suffered a mild stroke, lost his job when the Yellow Taxi Company went out of business, and discovered he had cancer. To raise money he sold a number of original artwork to the owner of a local gaming store (Scott Thorne of Castle Perilous Games & Books). The gaming store owner convinced Trampier to republish his Wormy comics, suggesting Troll Lord Games as an alternative to TSR/Wizards of the Coast.
Trampier accepted an invitation to display some of his artwork at Egypt Wars, a local games convention (his first public connection to fantasy gaming since his disappearance 25 years before) scheduled for April 2014. According to Scott Thorne (owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books), he hoped Trampier would also take that opportunity to contact representatives of Troll Lord Games who were in attendance about a publishing deal.
Unfortunately tragedy struck when David Trampier died suddenly, three weeks before the convention.
Date of Birth:
April 22, 1954
St. Louis, Missouri
Date of death:
March 24, 2014 Favorite Creators:
David A Trampier - 'DAT' is a favorite creator of 2 usersNotes:
Kim Mohan, then editor of Dragon, told Phil Foglio that payments sent to Trampier for Wormy were returned unopened. Foglio explained that "When an artist's checks are returned uncashed, he is presumed dead."
Rumors that he had died were denied by Tom Wham, Trampier's brother-in-law. Wham stated as recently as 2004 that he believed Trampier "still exists somewhere in Illinois".
After his sudden reappearance in the 2002 online article he was contacted by fans but responded that he wished to be left alone and had apparently wanted nothing more to do with the industry.
In 2008 Trampier visited Castle Perilous Games & Books to see a new edition of Titan (a game both he and Jason MacAllister co-designed). It was his only contact with the games community until several years later.
Trampier provided much of the black and white interior art in the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules and manuals, including the original Monster Manual and Deities & Demigods. Trampier also provided the artwork for several covers, including the American first edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook and the cover of the 1979 version of the module The Village of Hommlet. He was also a co-designer of a "monster slugathon" wargame called Titan.