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Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

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It's funny to write something, about my relationship with Greg.

As a teenager his worlds inspired my imagination. Glorantha loomed larger in my imagination than Middle Earth for how I saw the heights of secondary world creation.

As a young man I was inspired by his explorations into his mythologies in the '90s and '00s in his unfinished works. It was rich and complex, and his habit of creating via in-world documents remains for me the way to to create, whilst still leaving room for others.

I was thrilled when he asked me to write for Hero Wars. A simple scenario, Blood Feud, but he spent time to help me understand how to write for this industry. He could be hard, but you learned if you listened. It began a journey in TTRPG writing that continues to this day. Even when we were writing The Eleven Lights, Greg was there scratching out the diagram of the Three New Stars heroquest. Another in-world document, to inspire. Greg dreamed of a group of writers who could take Glorantha forward. Teenage me would have been flabbergasted to know that I would be counted among that group by Greg. I have no words that can express my gratitude to someone who let me partake of their own creativity, to drink deep  from the well, to inspire my own. He once told me that he was able to share because he found the creativity that others found so hard, so easy.

I got to know Greg at Tentacles, Eternal Con, and Kraken. We talked. I played in games he ran (he was notoriously an 'evil GM'). Funnily, outside of panels, or projects, we rarely talked about Glorantha or gaming. We talked about our lives, about our shared politics, stories of our past (of which he had so many). He was there for me through the break up of my first marriage, always a source of wisdom and advice. My family and I called him and Suzanne friends.

I knew this day would come, but not so soon. I hoped to see Greg again, at least one more time. Sit with him over a cup of coffee at a GenCon, and tell him about my daughter. I'll miss him.

Those that don't know him might not understand his impish sense of fun, or irreverence in person. He was always the trickster. Even the tales of his own past were often at his own expense.  I remember him saying that his Glorantha was a place of "belly laughs" and wondering if people 'had fun at their table'. That lesson stuck with me recently. When you play an RPG, you should be having fun. Greg knew that, always. As someone who is often far too serious, I value that he tried to make me laugh so many times. In some ways, the ducks say everything about who Greg was.

For some reason, when I think about his passing, I think about this quote from Lord of the Rings:

“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

 

Edited by Ian Cooper
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I have not the wit to add much to the outpouring of communal loss I have just read in this long thread. My deepest condolences to Greg's family, to those that worked with him and to those who had the honour to meet him. I never had that privilege. I don't have tales of remembrance to tell. So tonight I will do the next best thing, I will sit down with one of the new Glorantha books and read my way into his imagination once again, just as I did for the first time nearly 40 years ago.

Thank you Greg.

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3 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

I've posted quite a long personal note on Facebook: I hope this link works for you!

 

Nick - thanks for this loving and honest complete discussion. 

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Thank you so much. I remember maybe the first time I played Runequest. I am french but during my summer holidays in Spain while the LA Olympic Games  Great memories... 

it made my hobby, my today friends and so many good times.

 

thank you so much mister Stafford.

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My condolences to the family and friends . A sad loss for all. Like everyone else I owe a great debt for the hours of enjoyment, and the joy that he brought to my life through his work. Many thanks.

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I don’t really know what to say, I feel such a loss despite never meeting Greg. His creation Glorantha has been one of the enduring elements of my life since I was first introduced to it in 1980, and I have spent so much time enjoying myself there. I feel incredibly grateful to Greg for opening the window to that world. Not just that world though - Greg’s contribution has been so much more, for many of my interests and ways of thinking have been moulded and influenced by the ways of seeing which Runequest, his other games and his shamanic insight encouraged. What a wonderful legacy of enquiry, creativity and playfulness Greg leaves behind.

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Now that our grand shaman has permanently transcended this mortal coil and ascended into the artifice of eternity... to endlessly play the infinite game alonside other honored ancestors, legendary heroes, venerated saints, & illuminated masters at the great gaming table beyond!

Thus begins the Un-Gregging step in the cosmic cycle! How shall we resolve the tales of the Ages into the fabric of time? During my rites of passage into adulthood, one of the many crucial threads of this cosmic tapestry was taught to me through a ceremonial sacrifice known to Hsunchen tribes as the butchery skill Peaceful Cut, echoed in one of their creation myths:

The Covenant of Survival

although Trickster had stolen the Secret of Fire as a boon for humankind,
along with it came the Mysteries of Death

then, during the Long Darkness of Winter-time, 
the Great Hunter taught us The Covenant of Survival
"SOME MUST DIE SO OTHERS MAY LIVE!"

by slaughtering animals for food
we learned to use the weapons of war as tools for bringing life to the community.

in return for these bounties, the ancestors taught that anyone who slays a creature
must chant The Covenant of Survival in reverence for the animal,
so that its' spirit may return to the primal source and be re-born into the world...

this practice also prevents the animal spirit from haunting those who consume it.

so, as we do not wish to anger any ghosts, let us now sing our praises to the spirits of those creatures who have provided their lives for us, until we rejoin their spirits in the great beyond.

please, if you will, join with me in chanting The Covenant of Survival:
"SOME MUST DIE SO OTHERS MAY LIVE!"

--

chanted before the Great Turducken Feast of 2003, during Samhain at High Hill... and adapted into the song of the Devouring Earth Mother Kali during the spring rites of Dark Goddess '04 at the Vortex Theater... with a tip o' the trick top hat to The Lion of England... and a secret handshake to Greg Stafford!

In regard to Greg's crafty wit of enlightened chivalry, I cannot help but make the curiously amusing numerological note of synchronicity that Jacques DeMolay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar was arrested on this very day: Friday, October the 13th, 1307 AD ...711 years ago (which can be factored to 9 * 79)... and 1979 is the year that Cults of Prax & Griffin Mountain were published (a setting that I have used as a background for exploring the bio-ethics of the modern food & medicine industries with players in my campaigns <https://aethyrflux.livejournal.com/13473.html>)... 1979 is also the same year that, as a precocious 7 year old, I experienced a strong resonance with the archetypes in the World of Glorantha, through games at the Greenbriar commune in Bastrop, TX... where I realized my fascination with the bardic tradition of storytelling, in the first place!

"A story attains the status of myth when it is retold, and persistently retold, solely for its own sake. ... To tell a story for its own sake is to tell it for no other reason than it is a story. ... Great stories have this feature: to listen to them and learn them is to become their narrators. ... Our first response to hearing a story is the desire to tell it ourselves – the greater the story the greater the desire. ... It is as though the story is itself seeking the occasion for its recurrence, making use of us as its agents. ... Myths, told for their own sake, are not stories that have meanings, but stories that give meanings."
 - "Finite and Infinite Games" by James Carse
https://books.google.com/books?id=ObLBJ_w2ZlcC&pg=PT8&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

Our lives have been given deeper meaning by the limitless wisdom shared through Greg Stafford''s devotion to The Great Work and The Cosmic Play of mythology, throughout our history together... and unto the ages yet to come! #weareallus

PS here is the most recent context in which I have mentioned Greg's particular talent for giving empowerment for people to liberate and embody meaning, through deep mythological storytelling that allows us to metaprogram our ideal archetypes (in the context of referring to contemporary masters of this particular craft, of course) <https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10217010858202955&amp;id=1212176594>

 

Edited by aethyrflux
Correction
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Glorantha has seen it's second Sun-Stop moment... The darkness that assails us now in our hearts and minds at the edges of the light that was Greg is felt by an overwhelming global community ...

Whilst briefly being introduced to role playing at 12 at school, within weeks, the worlds shifted when I was asked to "fill the shoes" of a more experienced player in a somewhat different remit based in a place apparently called Balazar, whilst the original "player" (quoted because I never saw him play!) striving to have his first relationship... I could say I was blown away - nearly literally, by the scenario in which I was parachuted into that involved Mostali -  *flintlocks* - and an overriding battle with these Wooden Aldryami trying to save our bacon against their enemies.

Well... Hell... That blew "leveling up", and dice roll charts.... etc. I'd been plonked into a relationship with Glorantha for what, some 35 years ago: and I've never looked back frankly!

But that said, this thread is about Greg: and I am privileged to have had interactions that are so strong in my heart I cant begin to put them into words (or at least never had until now):

So, once in love with Griffin Mountain and RQ2 which I purchased, once thoroughly read (and re-read over and over!) the penultimate page inside the back cover reached out to me and gave me a glimpse beyond this being a merchandise operation, with a title something akin of "Coming soon from Chaosium", in which it listed alongside Pavis, Sartar campaigns and so forth a short paragraph on Dorastor. Having learnt my first experience of chaos via a Broo raid (omg, Cults of Terror just been released within months, and  if I was allowed to read it (Gm Only stuff!) would have been left how complex a world had been woven), so I wrote to Chaosium from the UK to the USA which was my first ever international post  (to me at that time a faceless entity) a simple, "Hey guys! This Dorastor sounds amazing, whens it coming out?" - maybe not that short, but you get the drift.

Two months later (bless the postal system) I could not believe to *actually* receive a three page letter from Greg  personally who told me of a thing called "playtesting" and that they were working hard on it, and indeed retold situations (scenarios?) of villages of undead, a gorp so big you had to *swim* to its center, and so much more. That is when the cog hit me, and in a way thats when I first met Greg. I've held this correspondence in my heart ever since as I know my adolescent letter was the first time I got an adult -lengthy- reply, and Greg made my first Sun-stop moment as it were.

Glorantha was part of my soul, I GMed and played through all plethora of RQ2 supplements, and RQ3 I guess via the renaissance, But whilst people perhaps frown on Hero Wars, it did bring to my group of players an intoxicating and addictive plethora of sub cults, affinities and OK, we might now play whats called HQ, but I'd say we still Hero War that I was proud to crowdfund before it was called that, and it was at that juncture in 2011,in Leicester I got to meet Greg for real: it was a last minute thing, I hadn't planned to go to my first convention alone, but circumstances and bad times elsewhere lured me to go and  to be frank if it wasn't for picking up two *a-hem "Kracken" organizers* on the way from the airport, I did walk daunted into a hall of people who were intimately and animatedly talking, but in a sea of strangers I found myself sat quietly alone, with what looked a LONG weekend ahead of me, I wondered if I'd be going home in the morning and had made a dreadful mistake...

Second Sun-Stop moment: But then, from nowhere, Greg sat by me - I've no clue if he could see my mounting paranoia or isolation, but I now look back, and hearing what everyone has written in this thread and much more before that, I think Greg knew "we are all us" and someone needed that moment from him: or hell - he did it to everyone. Don't care - that's Shamanistic in my eyes.

We didn't talk Glorantha or such, he quickly learned I studied Archaeology and immediately we spoke for a long time on British Prehistory and sites, their significance and so forth.. From that moment I knew I was going to see the weekend to the its end - one day I'll assimilate or understand what he spoke to me about the pairing stones in Prax... a shaman indeed.

In a brilliant session about channeling your inner dinosaur that Greg led that convention,  I felt like THE sole lonely stegosaurus in a field on other predator dinosaurs, Greg looked up and winked, smiled as he smiled, and made the motions that his inner dinosaur was also a stegosaurus. I immediately knew I was among friends, and had a great time thereon, 

I've not even talked about the impact of other systems like CoC (Shadows, Masks and Orient are another Chapter for another time)...

Hail! ... and farewell ... Greg - even Nysalor couldn't burn so brightly

Glorantha has seen it's second Sun-Stop moment... The darkness that assails us now in our hearts and minds at the edges of the light that was Greg is felt by an overwhelming global community ...

Whilst briefly being introduced to role playing at 12 at school, within weeks, the worlds shifted when I was asked to "fill the shoes" of a more experienced player in a somewhat different remit based in a place apparently called Balazar, whilst the original "player" (quoted because I never saw him play!) striving to have his first relationship... I could say I was blown away - nearly literally, by the scenario in which I was parachuted into that involved Mostali -  *flintlocks* - and an overriding battle with these Wooden Aldryami trying to save our bacon against their enemies.

Well... Hell... That blew "leveling up", and dice roll charts.... etc. I'd been plonked into a relationship with Glorantha for what, some 35 years ago: and I've never looked back frankly!

But that said, this thread is about Greg: and I am privileged to have had interactions that are so strong in my heart I cant begin to put them into words (or at least never had until now):

So, once in love with Griffin Mountain and RQ2 which I purchased, once thoroughly read (and re-read over and over!) the penultimate page inside the back cover reached out to me and gave me a glimpse beyond this being a merchandise operation, with a title something akin of "Coming soon from Chaosium", in which it listed alongside Pavis, Sartar campaigns and so forth a short paragraph on Dorastor. Having learnt my first experience of chaos via a Broo raid (omg, Cults of Terror just been released within months, and  if I was allowed to read it (Gm Only stuff!) would have been left how complex a world had been woven), so I wrote to Chaosium from the UK to the USA which was my first ever international post  (to me at that time a faceless entity) a simple, "Hey guys! This Dorastor sounds amazing, whens it coming out?" - maybe not that short, but you get the drift.

Two months later (bless the postal system) I could not believe to *actually* receive a three page letter from Greg  personally who told me of a thing called "playtesting" and that they were working hard on it, and indeed retold situations (scenarios?) of villages of undead, a gorp so big you had to *swim* to its center, and so much more. That is when the cog hit me, and in a way thats when I first met Greg. I've held this correspondence in my heart ever since as I know my adolescent letter was the first time I got an adult -lengthy- reply, and Greg made my first Sun-stop moment as it were.

Glorantha was part of my soul, I GMed and played through all plethora of RQ2 supplements, and RQ3 I guess via the renaissance, But whilst people perhaps frown on Hero Wars, it did bring to my group of players an intoxicating and addictive plethora of sub cults, affinities and OK, we might now play whats called HQ, but I'd say we still Hero War that I was proud to crowdfund before it was called that, and it was at that juncture in 2011,in Leicester I got to meet Greg for real: it was a last minute thing, I hadn't planned to go to my first convention alone, but circumstances and bad times elsewhere lured me to go and  to be frank if it wasn't for picking up two *a-hem "Kracken" organizers* on the way from the airport, I did walk daunted into a hall of people who were intimately and animatedly talking, but in a sea of strangers I found myself sat quietly alone, with what looked a LONG weekend ahead of me, I wondered if I'd be going home in the morning and had made a dreadful mistake...

Second Sun-Stop moment: But then, from nowhere, Greg sat by me - I've no clue if he could see my mounting paranoia or isolation, but I now look back, and hearing what everyone has written in this thread and much more before that, I think Greg knew "we are all us" and someone needed that moment from him: or hell - he did it to everyone. Don't care - that's Shamanistic in my eyes.

We didn't talk Glorantha or such, he quickly learned I studied Archaeology and immediately we spoke for a long time on British Prehistory and sites, their significance and so forth.. From that moment I knew I was going to see the weekend to the its end - one day I'll assimilate or understand what he spoke to me about the pairing stones in Prax... a shaman indeed.

In a brilliant session about channeling your inner dinosaur that Greg led that convention,  I felt like THE sole lonely stegosaurus in a field on other predator dinosaurs, Greg looked up and winked, smiled as he smiled, and made the motions that his inner dinosaur was also a stegosaurus. I immediately knew I was among friends, and had a great time thereon, 

I've not even talked about the impact of other systems like CoC (Shadows, Masks and Orient are another Chapter for another time)...

Hail! ... and farewell ... Greg - even Nysalor couldn't burn so brightly

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RQ defined my gaming experiences in the 80's and early 90's. I met Greg at Convulsion and had the honour of sharing a pint with him when we were in the same team for a Gloranthan trivia quiz.  We didn't score so well and he marvelled impishly at the scarily encyclopaedic knowledge of fellow Convulsion attendees.

I was always more of a fan of RQ than Glorantha but the latter provided many rich adventures and epic tales for my RQ campaign. My gaming friends then are my best friends now - 30 years on and without a diet of gaming weekends and pizza to sustain us. I owe much to Greg and Glorantha and will remember him. Farewell.

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Greg's wife Suzanne and family have set the dates for memorial gatherings for Greg Stafford. They will take place on November 2-3 in Arcata, CA, and then on November 10 in Berkeley, CA. They are both open events, and Suzanne encourages anyone who wants to attend to do so. More details will follow.
#WeAreAllUs

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Hi Greg --

I never wanted to bother you and figure you're even busier than usual right now getting set up with Corporal Zen's brother but maybe you'll see this some day. Thank you for the grand adventure. I regret to inform you that there's a delightful old lady out there (easily old enough to be your mother) who has run off with my set of Avalon To Camelot and will absolutely fall in love with the annotated Malory when she gets it so watch out for yourself. She's the one who blinked when I mused as a boy "how wonderful it would be if" the desert was really full of impossibilities like in an early Castaneda and tartly replied, "it isn't?" Scorpio. Now you two will have to wait a little longer to pool your lore and stir up serious trouble. For now the sword goes back into the lake for safekeeping as the sun sets for the night. The realm sleeps. The realm lives.

I am sorry we never figured out Vortigern's tower but I was a lot younger then and am always too slow. What an amazing family you leave behind as dad, granddad, husband, brother, uncle. Storyteller, sage, magician, publisher and pirate chief. They've done great things and will do great things. 

Remember Harald Hardrada, wyter of Wyrd? Disintegrating Smallbrass, Dehore and the prayermaker and the old woman, the angels and the ark, that strange planet where the three-headed worm man willed himself to stop being unholy? Remember that outrageous belt-buckle-busting buffet back in the belt buckle days? Arguing the merits of Shang-Chi comics and Dr. Strange, all those reviews and letters fired off to Gerard and Chuck and the Breidlings, the pure chemical joy of the gestetner? Moonbroth? Weirdbook? I was just exchanging email with Darrell the other day. Just little things you left behind, "chattel property" you might've called it once but it's a comfort for us. Snodal and Siglat, Hrestol and Faralz, Arkat and Gbaji and Harmast. Figures of Earth. More of the pieces get discovered every year, like mercury drops rolling back together. The speeches, the essays. Open now to all but muted. 

All the narrative captions of Camelot are fixed now. The lozenge is mapped to the hex. Nothing left for us but to draw new pages you can enjoy now from your vantage. "Illustrated fantasy." You take the true identity of your David Starling with you. You were mine. So thanks and fly well. Remember here now that you are there. "Here" remembers you in the meantime. But I wish time was longer.

valiant.jpg.2e47866e06ba87b7652affa864260b83.jpg
 

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Had some great Glorantha hijinks with friends at our semi-annual gaming get together this weekend. A baboon PC spiked the wedding reception punch with psychedelics at a solstice wedding on the border between Lunar and Air territory. Then a giant showed up. There was supposed to be a peace or war meet but that didn't really happen...basically devolved into grown men giggling for hours. Only heard the news this morning...

Like I told him earlier this year at GenCon, I've shared three decades of good times with friends that he had a big hand in. No matter all the shoegaze stuff, it really comes down to the love we've all shared around the creation he started and guided all these years. 

Thanks, Greg.

 

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I've never get the honor to met Greg. But I've met his mind through his many worlds for a long time now. And, after so many years, it still make me happy anytime i read something he created. I call it magic.

Thank you Greg. Last night I saw a star I never used to see before. Must be related.

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Thank you for making me dream and discover an discover the fantastic world of Glorantha with true personality and a comprehensive background starting from god's creation to heroic quest AND providing me the possibility to play in it while making me aware of the necessity to practice to improve.

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As a french fan of Mr Stafford's works I must say we are all very sad. He was a giant and a genius and he will be missed. I remember having played Runequest very early in my roleplayer's life and I have never forgotten Glorantha which I very fondly love. We will remember this wonderful man through the years. 

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Waha! Greg Stafford loved demoing Khan of Khans. At Gen Con last year he'd plonk down at the front of the booth and cheerfully play it with anyone. Some may not have realised it—Greg could be surprisingly humble—but dozens of people got to play a fun game with one of the greatest game designers of all time, set in the mythic world he created.

#WeAreAllUs

491592754_ScreenShot2018-10-14at10_39_42pm.png.adf2f4374e716e07b073966b6a3560ed.png

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   So sad to hear the news. I discovered Greg and Chaosium in the early days of RuneQuest. I met him at a convention a long time ago... and I still have his autograph. 

    Greg and his vision of RuneQuest will always be with me.

Shandu Bob

 

 

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@MOB my 6 year old loves Khan of Khans, which she calls “the Enemy Magic game”. I was making an RQ:G character in front of her yesterday and she understood it as “a longer Enemy Magic book”, which is about right. 

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