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Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

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There's a 12 year old boy walking out of Arthur's Toys in Fresno with a brand new RPG unlike anything his schoolmates had. He turned each page lovingly and imagined himself as Rurik Runespear in brave battle with a Duck. Those pages changed his life more than once, for good and bad, but always with some kind of magic. His heroquesting days over, the boy, now so much older, thinks back on that day and thinks of Greg, and there is a tear in his eye.

 

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I find it hard to believe. The man (whom I never met in person) answered via e-mail a Glorantha-related question exactly one month before his death. I think this is the first celebrity death which has truly upset me.

Glorantha is a unique masterpiece, one of the biggest achievements in the history of fantasy, and I will continue admiring and loving it as this big, beautiful yet too-little known gem that constantly lets us feel the awe and wonder that Bronze-Age societies must have felt before their vast world and their unfathomable gods.

The world will be a little less magical place without him.

Edited by Thoror
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Greg has had a great influence in my life. He was a friend of are family. Had given me my first copy of RuneQuest back in 1981when I was 10 years old. That started me on many RPG adventures and forever ruined D&D for me. My kids got to know him a bit from the GenCons and my storys, they where always excited to see him.  He was always happy and energetic, Greg helped Ignite  my kids Imagination. He will be greatly mist.A91CD06B-C63F-4137-999A-06C9F798691F.png.160d86a03c2b2494b286ff95fcddac05.png E4F10E21-E4B1-4473-B411-50BB913CE6F4.jpeg.7b33da2b7813cd68cb99f0740dcabc5a.jpeg

Edited by Belgath
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We had our weekly RQ session on Monday and spent half the time talking about Greg.

One of my memories was at a games convention. I'd already met Greg at another convention and was with some friends, so took them to meet him. "Hello Greg", I said, "Hi Simon", he replied, to the amazement of my friends, for not only did I know Greg Stafford, but Greg Stafford knew me. For a short while, I was one of the Cool Kids. He probably just read my badge, but I don't think that was the case.

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RuneQuest was the second RPG I ever played. I was around 12 and was a cadet in the local Civil Air Patrol. Our resident GM was a navigator on a B-52 based out of Elmendorf AFB. His aircraft had a hard landing and he lost all his D&D material, so he replaced it with RuneQuest.

Many, years have passed since then. I joined the Army, did stuff, got out. But Chaosium has always been there for me during the years, providing great games like Elric!/Stormbringer, Pendragon, Ringworld, ElfQuest, and of course, Call of Cthulhu.

Here's to you, Greg. I know right now you are having a rules argument with Loren (Wiseman) over a Traveller game. You'd better win, Loren can be a pain at times.

o7

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I've been sitting on this for a while. Stafford created the outline to bring my own imaginary worlds to the table. Without his guidance my table would be far less interesting. In short he is, and will continue to be, an inspiration to those who bring their friends together and make up stories. Greg Stafford's legacy is that he brings people together.

My love goes out to his family and friends. 

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People will state that Greg died in a sweat. But for me, that’s where he will always live. 

I was introduced to Greg’s vision Glorantha through Runequest in 1980-81. While I learned of RPGs playing D&D, I blossomed into a zealot ‘gamer’ playing Runequest and adventuring in Glorantha. A few years later, at Origins 84 in Dallas, is when I first met my ‘heroes’, Greg Stafford and some of the then-crew of Chaosium.

I began working at Chaosium when I was about 16 and shortly after starting there Greg was kind enough to share with me his spiritual practice and gave me opportunity to experience it with him first hand by going to sweat lodge ceremonies and other activities of that nature.  His openness and encouragement, in many aspects of life, certainly impacted the person I have become and am still becoming.

Greg was a game designer. He did design games. But for me he was an even greater Myth Maker. In the way that Joseph Campbell speaks of the profoundness of Myths.

Campbell said “your sacred space is where you can find yourself again”. He referred to it as one’s “bliss place”.

I believe Greg had a greater grasp of this and other of Campbell’s assertions than most.

Greg was a gamer, creator, and spiritual being on a quest for bliss and the heart to want to share it with others.

For me it is very apropos that Professor Campbell counseled that you can find a gateway back to your ‘sacred space’ by asking yourself “What was the game you enjoyed when you were a child? What did you do as a child that made you forget time?”

Greg created that game and its world where I forgot about time. Where I found bliss.

Greg Stafford will forever be entwined in the gateway to my personal sacred space.

I know some say “Don’t meet your heroes”. Well I did, and I’m a better man for it.

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My condolences to Greg's family. You can tell that Greg Stafford put his heart and soul into the game of Runequest and the world of Glorantha. So too did many others but he was its father. I played and refereed Runequest and I loved it for the simplicity of its rules (OK 2nd edition), married with the peerless depth, richness, and verisimilitude of its world and of its campaigns and adventures. Respect to you Mr Stafford.

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Bye Greg, I’m grateful to you for opening the other side of the sky to me and shoving me through. Your help and support in life over the years is something that I will miss. We shared some great times and your words are still helpful.

“Now I can sit in the centre of the world. Now, sometimes, the sweat-lodge is neither terrifying nor unbearable. Now I have a dozen stories of power and of love to relate, holding out the hope to others that their dreams are not madness, that their hopes are not foolish, that their desires are not in vain, and that their darkness need not be death. But remember, there is a world of difference between reading and doing. Do not fool yourself with words and thoughts, Follow your heart, and find the path which is yours.”

The Medicine Circle of Turtle Island, Greg Stafford 1988.

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Great respect and recognition from France to this big shaman, creator, and chivalrous spirit he was, and condolences to Greg's family. 

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While studying the citation practices in the tabletop role-playing games industry, I was very touched to find that Runequest 1st ed. and 2nd ed. were among the earlier published products to clearly cite and credit previous role-playing game authors for their innovative designs. Dave Arneson then Gary Gygax (in this order) then Ken St-Andre, are cited in a dedication on the first line, on the first page of the rule book:

Quote

DEDICATED to Dave Arneson, and Gary Gygax, who first open Pandora's box, and to Ken St. Andre, who found it could be opened more.

In the first edition, the dedication is followed by a list of playtesters and inspirations. At page 116, there is half page of bibliographic references.
In the second edition, the  critics, special thanks and contributors of Alarum & Excursions, The Wild hunt and The Lords of Chaos are added to the playtesters. At page 111, there is a full page of bibliographic references, citing not only literature material (Tolkien, Leiber, Howard,...) but also 27 tabletop role-playing games !

I need to find more evidence to compare, but I consider it quite something for 1978 !

http://zotrpg.blogspot.com/2018/10/greg-stafford-scholarly-obituary.html

Edited by pascaliensis
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This is the beautiful obituary for Greg Stafford, "game designer, mythologist, shaman, father, grandfather, husband, brother, and friend", from his family.

It concludes on a wonderful note: "To honor Greg’s memory the family requests, in lieu of flowers, that you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, go somewhere you haven’t been, face a personal challenge head on, read about something new, and enjoy life. We are all us."
https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2018/oct/29/obituary-francis-gregory-stafford-1948-2018

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I was reading some of Gregs work and thinking there are Seven Lightbringers and 7 hit locations.  The heart is obviously the passionate Orlanth, leading by following his heart.  the abdomen obviously Flesh Man.  The two travelling gods being Issaries and Lhankor Mhy are the runes Movement and Truth upon the right and left legs respectively.  Discord in the right hand and Harmony in the left are Eurmal and Chalana Arroy.  That leaves Ginna Jar, aka Gaia the head of the Celestial Court as the head.

Then I wondered, if you had those runes in those locations what avatar would you be?

Moments later I stumbled across this and had my answer:

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2018/oct/29/obituary-francis-gregory-stafford-1948-2018/

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Absolutely beautiful and reassuring and comforting obituary. I never met Greg Stafford. I wasn't even aware that he was a big influence on me. I always thought the passing of David Bowie and other "big names"would be a big deal to me. But that wasn't the case. When the news hit me that Greg Stafford was gone I felt an empty space inside me and then I had the surprising realization of the extent of his quiet (amazingly positive) influence on me! I have read every heartfelt comment in this thread and the obituary that his family has made is  a beautiful gemstone. Thankyou everyone!

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For the many, many gamers around the world who would love to attend Greg Stafford's memorial in Berkeley on November 10 but can't, or would like to commemorate and honor Greg's life and achievements, here's a way you can:

  • Next week, play one of Greg's games, or a game he influenced (that scope is wide). 
  • Or play any game - as Greg said in his last public speech at the 2018 ENnies, the gaming industry only exists because of your enthusiasm and support. We at Chaosium recognize that countless RPG fans are fans (including us!) because of Greg Stafford and what he achieved.
  • Feel free to share an image of your game on social media or at BRP Central, with the hashtag #WeAreAllUs.
  • Show the "Greg Rune" (aka the Sartar Rune) in your post - copy and print the image here, or from Redbubble (all "Greg Rune" merchandise is currently available at cost, with no artist margin).

As one of the greatest game designers of all time; winner of too many awards to count; and a friend, mentor, guide, and inspiration to generations of gamers, Greg Stafford influenced the universe of tabletop gaming beyond measure. What better way to honor his legacy than getting your friends together and playing a game in remembrance of him!

https://www.chaosium.com/blogplay-a-game-and-honor-greg-stafford-next-weekend

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I started playing RPG'S in the early 80's, like many I started on  D'n'D but my local games shop had a copy of Snakepipe Hollow ( bigclub fighting the snake cover ) which I bought because of it's quirky cover....got RQ2 boxed set for my next birthday and never looked back. 38 years later I have shelves groaning under the weight of Chaosium related games. It's probably fair to say that playing Runequest got me reading a lot of history, mythology and all sorts of other topics

A sad day indeed.

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Thank you for your work, imagination and vision, Greg. For years now, we have played your games, lived in your worlds, entertained friends with your stories. You changed rpg for the best. Your legacy is grand and beautiful.

We miss you.

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An obituary in Helsingin Sanomat, Finland's largest newspaper, by the president of the Kalikos Society. Appeared on line and in print:

https://www.hs.fi/muistot/art-2000005886533.html

(Google Translate)

"Rolebreaker Greg Stafford died on October 10, 2018 at his home in Arcata, California, aged 70. He was born in Connecticut at Waterbury on February 9, 1948.

In her teens, Stafford was immersed in reading mythologies from different peoples. When no new readership was found in the libraries. he decided to start writing his own mythology. Thus, in 1966, Glorantha originated. While studying freezing, Stafford ended up in an apprenticeship and took part in the hippie movement.

At the beginning of the 1970s, Stafford wrote stories about the fan club with varying success. After the tying rejection letter, he got the idea of the story of his story: Instead of texting, Stafford would make a board game that would allow players to tell their stories. The roulette games had not yet been invented.

However, there was no publisher found on the game. Encouraged by Tarot lectures, Stafford collected the money for a handheld printing press to sell the game itself. In addition to the game White Bear and Red Moon (1975), the game company Chaosium was born.

Later, when he encountered Role Playing, Stafford knew he had found the form of collective storytelling he sought and published RuneQuest (1978) in Glorantha, together with Steven Perrin.

An innovative game showed that role play does not have to be a copy of D & D. In RuneQuest and Glorantha, characters define their relationship with the surrounding world and its myths. Glorantha is different from other worlds, even as it is not a replica of the Middle East created by Tolkien.

There is a simple explanation for this: Stafford began writing Glorantha before he was aware of Tolkien's works. In addition, Stafford absorbed the inspiration of numerous non-Western sources.

1988 RuneQuest inspired generational Finnish role players. It can be said that there is no role player in Finland to which Stafford would have no direct or indirect influence.

The creation was one of Stafford's, and Glorantha inspired other game designers. RuneQuest was followed by HeroQuest (2003), Robin Laws (2003), Jonathan Tweetin and Rob Heinso, 13th Age Glorantha (2018), and David Dunham's computer game King of Dragon Pass (1999).

In addition, Stafford wrote about mythology, shamanism and King Arthur, and the latter also a role playing game Pendragon (1985).

Stafford's works show strong shamanism, which he studied and practiced until his death. According to Stafford, roleplaying is proportional to the sham-mouthedness: the visitor enters another world beyond reality, and returns with a positive change in his daily life.

In 2018, a new version of RuneQuest was released. Stafford was at work but no longer as a writer. Stafford said that the youthful dream of his dedicated writer working with his creation has come true.

Juho Korolainen
The author is Kalikos, President of the Finnish Glorantha Society."

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I was so sad to hear this. Like most people in my generation, I started roleplaying with AD&D back in 1981. I loved it, but already after 18 months or so, I got fed up with mass slaughter of various more or less green humanoids and not much else - and then I discovered RQ and Glorantha... I was so fascinated by it all, but I could not make much sense of it. I even wrote a letter with at least a dozen questions, big and small, to Chaosium, enclosed the SASE as instructed, and, lo and behold, got a reply from Greg himself. I was deliriously fanboy happy, and have been a fanboy ever since. I am still playing with basically the same group of friends 35 years on, and I am pretty certain we will never leave Glorantha entirely.

Thanks for everything, Greg - you will not be forgotten!

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It should  be  noted  that  the  Finnish author called  Greg  a  her  and  I was under the  impression that  Greg  died in his sweat lodge  on  October 11th  not  the  10th  as the  author  said? Did  I  get  something  wrong? I  want you  to know  I  am here  for you  Chaosium. Let me know if you need me. I  want to go to the  memorial how  do I get  there? Where  is it being  held  in Berkley? I  will be coming  with others from the  Sacramento  Area. One  of them  knew  Greg  too. If  any  of you  remember  me  I  was  there  in 1975 when  Greg founded Chaosium. My  name  is on Arthur's Knights  and Pendragon. My  name  is  misspelled on  Pendragon as Stephen Abbot as opposed to Stephen  W. Abbott. I  lost  contact  with  Greg after  Isaac Bonewits died  in  2010. This  is one  of my  great  regrets  in my  life losing  contact  with  him. I would  love  to get  some back  issues  of  Shaman's Drum are  any  available? Greg  and  I  shared  a love  of  Shamanism together. It seems  so fitting that  he  died in his  sweat lodge. If  you  would  like  to see  what  I have written  about  Greg befriend  me on Facebook as  Stephen  W.  Abbott. If  you  would  like to see  what  I am doing  now here  is  my  website: www.pagansforberniesanders.com  or  www.readingsinsacramentoca.com if  you  like  the site please  leave  feedback. Greg  and I shared and interest  in the  Tarot. He wanted me to  write   a  book  about  it. Well  he got  his wish.  I am  presently  writing a  book on the  Tarot entitled: Abbott's  Inn  Presents  The  Tarot  the  Royal Road  of Life. I  could  only  hope  that  Greg  would have liked it. I love  what  you are doing  with  this  thread this  is a fitting tribute  to his  memory and his  life's  work. I have read  everyone's  post  here. I have not missed  one  since  you started  it. It  makes me  feel  better to see  all this  love  written  about  him  and for him.   Well  I  can't  think  of  anything  else  to say. Take  Care  and  Blessed  Be. AD(arch-druid) Stephen  W. Abbott Peace! Peace! Peace! Peace to you  my Shaman  Brother  Rest  Well.

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I just saw that Greg’s memorial service will be this Sunday.  I would have liked to attend but I have previous gaming commitments that it would be too rude to break.  It would also very much disappoint a ten year old girl who is about to play her first role playing game.  Under these circumstances, I suspect Greg would forgive me for missing the memorial.

I had long planned to attempt to reconnect with Greg next year for what seemed like good reasons when I made those plans.  I will probably change the way I make my plans from now on.

For four or five years starting in the summer of 1978 Greg was the most important person in my life outside of family.  He gave me the opportunity to become a game designer and taught me many things I needed to know.  As it turned out I chose to become a lawyer, not a game designer, and my life went in a different direction but I am grateful for knowing him.

I feel like I should say more and maybe someday I will but I have put off posting in this thread long enough already.

Rudy Kraft

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Chaosium's Neil Robinson and Jeff Richard pay their respects at Greg Stafford's memorial in Berkeley this weekend. #WeAreAllUs

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Edited by MOB
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I started playing RPGs in 1989. Greg's games have been a continuous presence in my gaming table for three decades. Now he's not among us, but I'm sure a lot of people all over the world will remember him. A we'll make sure he's not forgotten.
Thank you for so many hours of joy shared among friends, Greg.

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