Monday, February 13, 2023

RIP Donald Greer (1938–2022)

An inevitable – but nevertheless sad – feature of this blog since its beginning has been the reporting of the deaths of individuals associated with the hobby in its early days. Today, I regret to inform you that Donald Greer, artist of the 1981 book, Down the Dungeon, left this plane of existence in October of last year, according to his obituary in the Dallas Morning News. Thanks to Thaddeus Moore for alerting me to this information, of which I would otherwise have been unaware.

As I explain in the post linked above, Down in the Dungeon occupies a special place in my memories, being inextricably linked to the first few years I started roleplaying. A neighborhood friend's older brother, who served as our mentor of sorts, owned a copy of Down in the Dungeon, which we regularly swiped from his basement bedroom whenever he was out of the house. A big part of the book's appeal to us was Mr Greer's artwork, which possessed the same kind of unpolished vibrancy that was a hallmark of RPG art from that era. 

Reading his obituary, it seems that Mr Greer had a long and successful career as an artist, particularly of military aircraft – a reminder perhaps of the connections that used to exist between the worlds of fantasy and military history. You can see some examples of his illustrations, both fantastical and historical, here.

Rest in peace, Mr Greer.


  1. You may want to check this out:

    1. That's excellent. Thanks for pointing this out.

    2. You're welcome. Thank you for all your discussions!

  2. Yes, I remember browsing this book in a store, agog at the collection of dungeon tropes brought to life. My favorite spread is the weird dungeon pub in Neutral Ground / Be of Good Order, an obvious homage to Ralph MacQuarrie's concept art for the Mos Eisely cantina.

  3. Some great art. RIP.

    This feels like homage to the PHB cover. Dead enemies in a temple with a jewel eye pried out.

  4. I think I first heard of about the 'Down in the Dungeon' book here on your blog years ago, and it lead me to purchase an 'criminally' priced copy from ebay, which I don't regret at all though. Great classic early Dungeon Delving art!