RPGs that time forgot... Grimtooth's Traps Too

Grimtooth's Traps Too
Tag Line: 101 more traps for use with any role-playing system
Makers: Blade, a division of Flying Buffalo Inc. for the all-system Catalyst Series

What is it?
A statless compendium of traps for any GM's dungeon crawls, each rated 1 to 5 skulls based on deadliness (1 being an annoyance only, 5 being 99% deadly to the entire party), and told in the voice of Grimtooth, a nasty troll who enjoys his wares very much indeed. It's the second in a series of 5 books.

Neat Stuff
-101 death traps? What's not to love? The 5-skull ones are clearly never meant to be used in anything except the most abusive of campaigns, but they're great to read. The 1-3 skull ones might more easily see play, and though not as bloodthirsty, they're still pretty clever and witty.
-Though the traps are written by a wide range of game designers and Game Masters, Grimtooth's delivery unifies them well and makes the book fun to read even for a non-gamer. I like the art as well.
-Favorites include the Door-Lover's Room (below), one of many that preys on characters only thinking they've figured out the trap.
Bad Stuff
-Being statless, "for any system", well, you have to do all the work to include the traps in your dungeon. Just how much damage do they do? How hard are they to detect and disarm? In a system with a simple hit point pool, does it matter if a trap hits you in the forehead or the shins?
-Killer GMs might not get the joke and use Grimtooth's attitude and 5-skull traps as if that's how you play D&D. And when I say "might", I mean they have. One killer GM from my youth, the notorious Stéphane Raymond, used to do it all the time. I only gamed once with him, to fuck with his brain, but I was friends with his kid brother, and he would come to school talking about the latest game and how his brother was a genius at designing traps, like this one time... Yeah, and every one of those times, he would start describing something from this very book and I could finish his story for him. Raymond was the king of TPKs (Total Party Kills) and Grimtooth was his willing accomplice throughout. That kid brother of his never tired of rolling up a new character every game either.
-Not sure about the toilet seat that throws you into a bottomless pit, to tell you the truth.

"Attention: The traps in this booklet are designed for game purposes only. Actual construction of these traps might prove harmful, and such construction is strongly discouraged."

How I've used it
I've used some of the low-powered traps and cursed items over the years, but since I haven't played D&D in a long time (and don't plan to), it's been a while since I've looked at Grimtooth's Traps Too. Judging from the way it's falling apart, however, it's clear that I perused it A LOT. In fact, it was my very first role-playing item, and I remember not knowing what they heck this "game" was about. I imagined some kind of computer game where you designed rooms and people walked through them, but I couldn't get my head around how Grimtooth's Traps could be implemented that way. I had no idea whatsoever, and since there are no stats, there were no clues to be found. The next year, the original Monster Manual fell into my hands and everything came together.

Looking at Grimtooth's now, I can see plenty of new uses for it. I occasionally run Paranoia, and that's a game where TPKs are encouraged. A superhero game might more easily accomodate some of the crazier traps, seeing as supers tend to be a little more resilient than your average "delver". Time for a comeback, with Grimtooth as the ultimate supplier of traps for my diabolical masterminds? Maybe.

In conclusion
I've got all 5 Traps books, and this one's the best of the lot. The first one has some fairly obvious stuff (covering the basics, after all), and while I won't say the later ones return to the well too often, they do suffer from amateurish typesetting and too cartoony artwork. Traps Too has just the right mix, at once original and not too outlandish. And even for non-roleplayers, it's just plain fun to read (in a sadistic sort of way).



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like (21) Activities (22) Advice (67) Alien Nation (33) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (21) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (50) Aquaman (66) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (27) Avengers (56) Awards (31) Babylon 5 (139) Batman (664) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (115) Black Canary (18) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (59) Booster Gold (16) Buffy (6) Canada (67) Captain America (66) Captain Marvel (48) Cat (156) CCGs (20) Charlton (11) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3839) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (76) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (127) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (63) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1642) Doom Patrol (19) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (53) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (74) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (25) Gaming (109) Geekly roundup (723) Geeks Anonymous (45) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (51) Godzilla (52) Golden Age (388) Grant Morrison (74) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (45) Green Lantern (76) Hawkman (35) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (233) House of Mystery (15) Hulk (44) Human Target (6) Improv (28) Inspiration (43) Intersect (4) Invasion Podcast (43) Iron Man (47) Jack Kirby (80) Jimmy Olsen (71) JLA (88) JSA (19) K9 the Series (29) Kirby Motivationals (17) Krypto (201) Kung Fu (95) Learning to Fly (10) Legion (120) Letters pages (5) Liveblog (11) Lonely Hearts Podcast (20) Lord of the Rings (17) Machine Man Motivationals (9) Man-Thing (3) Marquee (88) Masters of the Universe (8) Memes (38) Memorable Moments (28) Metal Men (4) Metamorpho (64) Micronauts (1) Millennium (71) Mini-Comics (2) Monday Morning Macking (6) Movies (445) Mr. Terrific (3) Music (71) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (8) Nightmare Fuel (21) Number Ones (59) Obituaries (40) oHOTmu OR NOT? (66) Old52 (11) One Panel (254) Outsiders (163) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (6) Play (63) Podcast (420) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (18) Rants (19) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (517) Sandman (18) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (64) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (29) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (361) Siskoid as Editor (29) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (50) Spectre (18) Spider-Man (98) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (11) Star Trek (1656) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (35) Supergirl (87) Superman (1047) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (21) Tales from Earth-Prime (6) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (78) That Franchise I Never Talk About (51) The Orville (20) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (50) Thor (51) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (59) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (63) Turnarounds (7) TV (190) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (8) Websites (100) What If? (102) Who's This? (165) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (77) X-Files (245) X-Men (94) Zero Hour Strikes (16) Zine (5)