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Tabletop Game / Grimtooth's Traps

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Grimtooth's Traps is a series of system-neutral gaming supplements, providing the busy Game Master with an assortment of predesigned (if not pre-statted) traps ready to insert into a game. Most of the traps were designed for fantasy settings, but some of the later books added science fiction traps.

The series was originally printed by Flying Buffalo in the 1980s and early 1990s. Goodman Games obtained a licence to reprint the first five books in a single volume in 2015, and funded it via Kickstarter. (Stretch goals eventually meant the whole series went into that omnibus volume, and at least one e-book release is of the Kickstarter bonus edition.)

The books in the series are:

  • "Grimtooth's Traps"
  • "Grimtooth's Traps Too"
  • "Grimtooth's Traps Fore"
  • "Grimtooth's Traps Ate!"
  • "Grimtooth's Traps Lite"
  • "Grimtooth's Traps Bazaar"
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  • "Grimtooth's Dungeon of Doom"

As mentioned above, the traps were presented without game mechanics. However, a later printing of "Traps Too" included an appendix on how to use the traps in the Fudge system, and "Dungeon of Doom"'s appendix included game stats for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and Tunnels & Trolls. ("Dungeon of Doom" was a trap-themed module rather than a simple collection of traps, so it really needed more game mechanics.)

In 2018, Goodman Games ran a Kickstarter campaign for "Grimtooth's Trapsylvania". This sourcebook/campaign setting will be written in a system-neutral style, but have an appendix with Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG stats.

Grimtooth's Traps includes examples of:

  • Backwards-Firing Gun: One item trap is a crossbow rigged to fire backwards.
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  • Buffet Buffoonery: Used to set up a side gag in one book. Grimtooth commented that he'd gone to a diner for its all-you-can-eat elf special, and was told after his first plate, "You've had your elf; that's all you can eat!"
  • Camping a Crapper: The "Cranequin Goose" trap was a crossbow under a privy, rigged to fire as soon as someone tried to use it.
  • Deadly Book: A gag in the first few books was the "101st Trap", which was something Grimtooth had done to the book in your hands to make sure you couldn't reveal any of his secrets.
  • Death Trap: As far as Grimtooth was concerned, the only good trap was a fatal trap.
  • Direct Line to the Author: While the original trap submitter was always credited, the books were presented as Grimtooth the Troll graciously providing lessons in true trap-mastery to those poor human game masters.
  • Instant Soprano: Cited in the name of the "Soprano Chest", a trap made of a treasure chest with a heavy lid, and its bottom attached to a hinged floorboard such that when the lid was opened, the whole thing would topple over backwards and send the board up between a hapless adventurer's legs.
  • Lighter and Softer: "Traps Lite" was presented as a collection of non-lethal traps ... until Grimtooth finally blew his stack and insisted on the final chapter being "six-skull" party-killers.
  • Pressure Plate: In addition to countless traps set off by one of these, one book included the "Click Plate". This trap made a loud click when stepped on ... and did nothing else.
  • Secret Ingredient: One trap is set in a butcher's shop, where all the meats available have a "mysterious and forbidden flavor". The trap kicks in if the adventurers go out through the employee's door, in which case they'll find themselves on the menu — the unlabeled meats are the carcasses of other adventurers.

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