I love the early D&D artists, but Trampier’s work was what defined my concept of the game more than anyone else’s. Erol Otis gave us the delightful weirdness and Russ Nicholson brought a byzantine feel to things. Meanwhile Larry Elmore portrayed fantasy heroism (usually coupled with amazing 80’s hairstyles).
Trampier brought us a grim realism mixed with the fantastic. His adventurers were hardened tomb robbers and dungeon delvers, out to brave fiendish monsters and deadly traps for the sake of treasure. This is the world I see in my mind’s eye when I think of D&D.
His most iconic work is the cover of the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players’ Handbook, which captures the spirit of the game I fell in love with more than any other single image.
My thoughts are with his friends and family.