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Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

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I just made an account to post here. I never met Greg Stafford, so I can't miss him in that sense that someone does who might have chatted, shared some drinks, or laughed with him. But Glorantha was my first roleplaying love. I had flirted and fooled around with games before then - I knew I liked them - but Glorantha pulled me in, head over heels. I became obsessed with reading about it, enjoying it, running my friends through it. Even at a young age, it carried more meaning and weight than any typical game setting as well as - and this is the secret to its longevity, the carrier which brought all that meaning with it - being a very fun place to set a game in. When I heard of Greg's passing, I was sad the way you should be when you hear of someone passing who has made an impact on your life, a positive impact; even if he never knew it. And as everyone here knows, there are thousands of others out there that have enjoyed travelling through Greg's world and playing many of the games he helped bring to life. Greg enriched all our lives.

My sincere condolences to his family and to those who knew him personally.

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  I live in upstate New York and graduated from S.U.N.Y. at New Paltz with a Bachelors Degree in English and a Master's in Special Education. I have always been a wargamer (Avalon Hill Games, and miniatures) since I was 12, no, make it 13 when I came across "D-Day" in the back of a department clothing store. I started out in role-playing games with the Dungeons and Dragons with white box of rules that didn't make any sense and I had to have someone verbally show and tell me how to play role-playing games, even Runequest.  In fact, I still have to have people sit down and explain different role-playing games tome to understand them.  Maybe it goes deep into our storytelling roots.

 I met Greg in person twice.  Once at a Gen-Con in Milwaukee and the second time at RQ-Con in Maryland. It was at Runequest Con that we connected and talked for hours. We shared our "Acid" Adventures.("yes, we'll all dance together 'Barefoot in the Head'", Brian Aldiss).  You see,  I didn't start out as a Special Education Teacher. (I still have my tickets from Woodstock somewhere in the attic). It came to me surreptitiously. I thought I would be a writer, a psychedelic Fantasy writer to be exact.   My favorite writer at the time I started college was Hermann Hesse, "The Poet of the Interior Journey".  I don't know why I opened up to him about my drug experiences, and how role-playing games weaned me away from drugs. We shared our Acid Adventures like two old buddies from the Fillmore. I had told him things I haven't told anyone. There was a connection I couldn't put my finger on. I hope I  didn't bore him.  Being from upstate New York, he told me of his only travel through the area when he was stopped by the State Police on the Thruway in a car with an expired license and registration (was there a "Ki" in the trunk?) with a group of friends and how the officer didn't want to spend the next six months filling in the holes of their story so he let them go on their way. It was also at RQ-Con that I passed along my theory of the Holy Grail which I believe is the Elijah's Cup that is at the Passover Seder and was probably used by Jesus  at the last supper. If the cup was so sacred , what about the Seder Plate and the Matzo Dish that are also integral to the Seder?  What happened to them?  Much as the wafer eaten at communion is really Matzo and of course, the wine. Hey, it's as good a theory as anyone else's.  The convention really wasn't the place to teach him all the Biblical Drinking Songs I know that Jesus used to sing at the Seder. (Remember, you have to drink four cups of wine).  Maybe Dylan will come out with a Passover Album to compliment his Christmas Album he recently made. I corresponded with Greg off and on after that.  I don't know where everyone went that I could talk to about my past experiences with.  And who would believe me?    

 When my parents passed away a couple of years later I inherited my mother's collection of Passover Regalia (dozens Passover Plates, Matzo Plates, Elijah's Cups, Candle Sticks, Haggadahs). I had more stuff than I knew what to do with, I couldn't sell it. (it seemed sacrilegious to me) so I started giving it away. I mailed a" set" to Greg trying to explain how to run a Seder and a Haggadah(annotated) along with some matzo, macaroons, a recipe for matzo ball  soup.  It sure is difficult to explain two or three thousand years of folk traditions and rituals in a letter (sort of like explaining a role-playing game without playing one). Kind of like a "Heroquest".  I always wondered if I made any sense but he appreciated it.  "Seder" in Hebrew means order.  It was always a joy to send out Passover Cards to him every year there after RQ-Con.  I wonder if he ever tracked down Don Juan from Carlos Castenada when he went to Mexico.


 I had wanted to bequeath him my shamanism library from college which includes the works of Micrea Eliade and my copy of "The Golden Bough" by Sir James George Frazier.  I am gong to miss him. I hope I make my saving throw this weekend in his honor
 

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 You sound so much like me. Thank you for sharing all this. I very much appreciate hearing this. Like you I too was an acid head. This was the 60's, 70's and early 80's. I was a personal friend of Timothy Leary and he told me to document all my 107 acid trips. I did just that. These notebooks are in my storage unit at the present time.Tim like Greg had an avid interest in the Tarot. Tim had already made some cards for his deck and published them in High Times which I wrote some articles for. I miss Tim a great deal.We had some good times together. I don't remember if Greg and Tim knew  each other. I knew Tim for over 35 years. He was a good friend. Like you I started with Avalon Hill I think one of my first games was Gettysburg. Most of my Avalon Hill games are also in storage. Some of them did not surive the test of time. Like you I was also involved with early D&D. I met Greg in 1975 when he founded Chaosium. He and I were similar to. A joint interest in Mythology Celtic, Nordic and Finnish the Kalavala and Native American tradition. We had a love of Shamanism and Tarot. I met Katlin and John Mathews through Greg. They keep in contact with me on my Facebook page.I saw her a few years ago at PantheaCon. We hung out for awhile and one of the subjects we talked about was Greg. They contacted  me the day after Greg died. The only difference I see in us is that you are Jewish and I am Pagan. Although I have studied the Qabalah for many years. Our FRP experience is similar too. There were things I did not understand as well but I figured them out. Runequest was a trip to learn. I hope someday we can meet and share our mutual thoughts. It better be soon I am 68 years old with chronic Asthama you do the math. Well that is all I wanted to say and I am very impressed with what you wrote. You awoke in me many old memories like my times and frienship with Timothy Leary. Well as we Pagans say Take Care and Blessed Bee. The second b is inhonor of the bees of this planet who are in danger of extinction. AD(arch-druid) Stephen W. Abbott. Peace! Peace! Peace! and to Greg Rest Peacefully My Shaman Brother.  

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A memorial gathering in honour of Greg Stafford was held on Saturday evening last weekend, after Dragonmeet in London, UK.

Our tribe's own rune priest, Rev Dr Stuart Mousir-Harrison aka Dr Moose, gave a beautiful address in Greg's memory. 

It began:

What draws us here together is a love for the world Greg Stafford created, love, admiration, even awe, for him as a creator; a common bond of understanding forged through it. It transcends our disagreements and difference, unites us across perceptions and practice.

Greg gave us a gift. A gift of creation in which to play and flex creative muscles, difference from what had gone before. It doesn’t remove the genius of others, like Tolkien and Gygax, but adds his to the mix – and allows us to do the same.

You can read the rest of Dr Moose's moving eulogy at his web page: 

https://drmoose.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/thanksgiving-for-greg-stafford-1-dec-2018

Earlier that day at Dragonmeet, the Chaosium team also spoke of the life and legacy of Greg Stafford in an equally packed seminar session. 

Here's everyone raising a glass to Greg at the memorial event. The toast was "WeAreAllUs - Vale Greg Stafford".

20181201-203415.jpg?t=1543812109

 

Edited by MOB
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My sincere condolences to Suzanne and the family. You will all miss him most. To Noah in particular - your father told me you had worn out 3 sets of PANTHEONS dice. He personally invited me to run it at two different RUNEQUEST CONS - these invitations were my first professional introductions. I will never forget.

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Shannon Appelcline's Designers and Dragons 'Year in Review' for 2018 includes an In Memoriam for Chaosium founder Greg Stafford:

"...Greg may have been even more important for his reimagination of the roleplaying form. He brought RPGs out of the dungeons, imagining games centered around our religions, our families, and everything else that makes us human."

https://www.rpg.net/columns/advanced-designers-and-dragons/advanced-designers-and-dragons24.phtml

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Our dear friend Fabian, organiser of The Kraken convention, has shared this with the permission of Greg's wife Suzanne. They said, "We are both convinced that the many friends and fans of Greg will find some healing in it" #WeAreAllUs

 

 

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