My Life As A Troll
I keep this blog pretty laser-focused on comics, but something very cool turned up in my mailbox on Monday, so please indulge me in this little diversion.
What is this?
This is a stack of autograph pages for the anniversary edition of Grimtooth’s Traps, awaiting my signature!
Why my signature?
Well … because the mysterious master of the Longbox Graveyard is also (kinda, sorta) Grimtooth the Troll! Back when I was eighteen years old or so, I edited and (largely) wrote Grimtooth’s Traps, a universal role playing game supplement, for Flying Buffalo Inc.
The book was an instant hit, spawning several sequels. It has remained in print more-or-less continuously since 1981, published around the world in six languages, with something over a quarter-million copies in print.
cartoon of teenage me, circa 1981, by Grimtooth’s Traps illustrator Steve Crompton
It was one of the delights of my early career to be a part of this project, and I was very pleased to make a small contribution to the spiffy new anniversary edition of Grimtooth’s Traps recently kickstarted by Goodman Games.
I’m out of practice with my autograph, but I think they came out OK.
Grimtooth’s Traps opened a lot of doors for me. It provided a substantial professional credit at a very young age, and was instrumental in getting me my first video game design job. It’s a real kick that something I did so long ago is still embraced by fans. I’ve been dining out on the old troll for three decades, and I am so very pleased and proud that the Grimtooth series is getting a deluxe treatment from Goodman Games!
(We now return to your regularly-scheduled comic book content).
Posted on January 27, 2015, in Other Media and tagged Goodman Games, Grimtooth, Grimtooth's Traps, Paul O'Connor, RPG, Steve Crompton. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
It blew my mind when I learned of your trollish history, Paul! My buddy Dave was the one in our gaming group that had a copy of “Grimtooth’s Traps”. Such a fun and devilish read! I am pretty sure that he bought it at our local gaming store in Kearny Mesa called the Command Post. We spent many summer afternoons loitering in that shop, buying lead figures and the latest AD&D goodies.
Well, there you go!
There was a period of about ten-fifteen years, in the video game business, where I’d run into old Grimtooth fans all the time. Everyone blamed me for killing their favorite character as a child. (Suck it!)
That doesn’t happen very often, now … I think most of my classic RPG peers have aged out of the business. Now World of Warcraft is considered old school. The wheel is always turning!
We have finally learned the previously unrevealed super secret origin of the Longbox Graveyard. Very cool. Congratulations, Paul, you old troll you.
Also I see from that Steve Crompton cartoon from 1981 that you didn’t always look like the Mole Man 🙂
We all have skeletons in our closet. It’s just that in my case, it’s a troll.
And you are right, I didn’t always look like the Mole Man. Years ago, I was the Mole Teen.
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