Liz Danforth

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Liz Danforth
Known forFantasy art
Science fiction art
Role-playing games
Video games

Elizabeth T. Danforth is an illustrator, editor, writer, and scenario designer for role-playing games and video games. She received her BA in Anthropology from Arizona State University,[citation needed] and her MLS from the University of Arizona.[citation needed] She has worked in the game industry continuously since the mid 1970s.

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.[1] While employed with Flying Buffalo, Danforth is noted for editing and developing the Fifth Edition of Flying Buffalo's flagship role playing game, Tunnels & Trolls.[2] She reprised this role in 2013 for the new edition, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls.[3]

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,[4] 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,[5] Wasteland 2,[6] and two licensed Star Trek computer games from Interplay.[citation needed] She worked on Interplay's Meantime which was never released.[citation needed] She was the lead developer for New World Computing's Tunnels & Trolls computer game,[citation needed] and worked on projects with Electronic Arts.

At the 1995 Origins Awards, held in July 1996,[7] Danforth was inducted into the Academy of Gaming Arts and Design's Hall of Fame.[8] 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.[9][10]

Danforth has been guest of honor at numerous science fiction conventions over the past 30 years, including Cascadia Con, the North American Science Fiction Convention held in Seattle in 2005.

Other work includes:

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.[12]

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.[13] 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. ^ "Sorcerer's Apprentice Magazine - Wayne's Books RPG Reference". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  2. ^ "Grognardia Interview with Liz Danforth in 2009". tunnels & trolls. 24 August 2016.
  3. ^ SSCrompton (July 22, 2015). "Deluxe T&T Rules Now Available to ALL!". Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls.
  4. ^ Trujillo, Darlene J. (October 24, 1997). "Best Bets: Strange But True", Rocky Mountain News, p. D3.
  5. ^ "Wasteland (1988) DOS credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  6. ^ "Wasteland 2 (2014) Windows credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  7. ^ "The 1995 Origins Awards". GAMA. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "awards we have won". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  9. ^ "Poker Deck". Flying Buffalo. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  10. ^ "Poker Deck". Flying Buffalo. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "Black Gate » Articles » Art Evolution 15: Liz Danforth".
  12. ^ "ALA Grants | Awards, Grants and Scholarships". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  13. ^ (May 1, 2009). "Next issue", Library Journal 134 (8): 57.

External links[edit]