Liz Danforth

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Liz Danforth
Nationality American
Known for Fantasy art, science fiction art, role-playing games, video games

Elizabeth T. Danforth is a creator in the role-playing game and video game industry. Although primarily recognized as an illustrator,[1] she is an editor, writer, game scenario designer, and game developer.

Creative work[edit]

Flying Buffalo hired Danforth as a staff artist and production person in 1978, and her magazine Sorcerer's Apprentice (1978–1983) ran for 17 issues.[2]:36 Ken St. Andre revised the rules of Tunnels & Trolls for the game's fifth edition (1979), which Danforth extensively rewrote and developed.[2]:37 Danforth left Flying Buffalo after its 1985 move to Scottsdale, Arizona.[2]:39 With Michael Stackpole and Ken St. Andre, Danforth published the computer game Wasteland (1988) from Interplay.[2]:39

Danforth is known primarily as a freelance artist in the fantasy and science fiction genres, with the majority of her body of work illustrating for the game industry between 1976 and 2004. She has created book covers, maps, and illustrations for many of the significant game publishers including Wizards of the Coast, TSR, Inc,[3] Alderac Entertainment Group, FASA Corporation, Iron Crown Enterprises, GDW, and more. She produced over 50 pieces of art for the collectible card game Magic: the Gathering (produced by Wizards of the Coast) as well as an equal quantity of illustrative artwork for the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game, Legend of the Five Rings, and many others. Her maps and illustrations appear in novels and anthologies from Bantam Spectra, Tor Books, DAW Books, and St Martin's Press.

She has freelanced for the computer game industry, developing scenarios for Wasteland and two licensed Star Trek computer games from Interplay, and worked on Interplay's Meantime which was never released. She was the lead developer for New World Computing's Tunnels & Trolls computer game, and worked on projects with Electronic Arts.

At the 1995 Origins Awards, held in July 1996,[4] Danforth was inducted into the Academy of Gaming Arts and Design's Hall of Fame.[5] The Academy is the creative arm of GAMA, the Game Manufacturer's Association. She is a lifetime member of ASFA, the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.[citation needed] In 2014, she was chosen by vote as a "famous game designer" to be featured as the king of hearts in Flying Buffalo's 2014 Famous Game Designers Playing Card Deck.[6][7]

Danforth has been guest of honor at numerous science fiction conventions over the past 30 years, including CascadiaCon, the North American science fiction convention held in Seattle in 2005.

Other work included:

Danforth continues to do art and illustration in a freelance capacity. She has been tapped to provide scenarios and design work for Wasteland 2.

Academic work[edit]

Danforth completed a master's degree in Information and Library Science (University of Arizona, 2008), and was one of a dozen hand-selected "gaming experts" who participated in the American Library Association's million-dollar grant-funded project to explore how gaming can be used to improve problem-solving and literacy skills, and to develop a model gaming "toolbox" for gaming in libraries. Ten libraries nationwide were selected to receive a onetime grant of $5,000 with funds used to expand on or add literacy-based gaming experiences at the library for youth ages 10–18.[9]

From May 2009 to December 2011, Danforth wrote the "Games, Gamers and Gaming" blog and column for Library Journal as an advocate and popularizer of games in libraries.[10] She speaks at professional and fan conferences, and at libraries on gaming-related topics. Based in Arizona, she continues to do freelance art and writing.


  1. ^ Lewis, Anthony (September 2005). "Upcoming events: Cascadiacon", Analog Science Fiction and Fact 125 (9): 144.
  2. ^ a b c d Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  3. ^ Trujillo, Darlene J. (October 24, 1997). "Best Bets: Strange But True", Rocky Mountain News, p. D3.
  4. ^ "The 1995 Origins Awards". GAMA. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  5. ^ "awards we have won". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  6. ^ "Poker Deck". Flying Buffalo. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Poker Deck". Flying Buffalo. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "ALA Grants | Awards, Grants and Scholarships". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  10. ^ (May 1, 2009). "Next issue", Library Journal 134 (8): 57.

External links[edit]