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Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

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Greg was the first and best Heroquester, able to return with gifts we still do not fully appreciate.

I met Greg at the Orgin's debut of Runequest, and delighted in the many and the vision of Glorantha ever since. To me in all our irregular meetings he was welcoming, generous and interested in even small contributions to his greater work.

However different Greg's path and mine, he will be remembered for ever with deep affection.

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I read first bits of Gloranthan lore some thirty years ago, and steadily it came a passion that has never waned.

I never had the chance to talk with Greg but once had the opportunity to listen him give a speech in a Con meeting. His charisma and warm intellect were captivating.

His works have given me insight and allowed me to be a more complete person. There are few people, contemporary or otherwise, that I have as much respect for. 

Thank you for all this.

 

My sincere condolences to Greg's family and all his friends.

 

 

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Many of my RPG gamer friends have been in a degree of shock over the past few days with the news that Greg Stafford had died unexpectedly. Of course, this is (despite the popular culture acknowledgement of Dungeons & Dragons a bit of a niche hobby), and Greg's passing wasn't exactly spread around the world by the mainstream media, with the single very notable exception of Le Monde. Let me elaborate on just two reasons why this, however, <i>should</i> be more widely recognised.

Firstly, the fantasy world of Glorantha. There are many modern imagined worlds out there and a few which have gained popular culture recognition. Tolkien's Middle-Earth, C.S. Lewis' Narnia, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Moorcock's Young Kingdoms each of these showed some genius as these authors all show considerable skill. But Glorantha is truly something special because Greg Stafford was a mythologist and a practicing shaman. As a result, at the very heart of Glorantha is mythical thinking which arguably makes it the greatest fantasy world ever created. Even more so, because Glorantha is so big, it is a world whose story has been created by many as a shared imaginary universe, which continues to evolve to this day. The fact that this was then built into an RPG (RuneQuest) that incorporated playable realism and a simulation of the mythological thinking by Steve Perrin and friends is worthy of note, but then also with the HeroQuest RPG which Greg co-authored as the first major "narrativist" RPG, where player buy-in to story creation had priority.

Secondly, the Pendragon RPG and in particular the supplement The Great Pendragon Campaign. Greg Stafford had a superb knowledge of the various sources of the Arthurian legend, and the Pendragon RPG represents the first game where character personality traits become an integral part of the physical mechanics of the game and a moral outlook of the world. That in itself is a very worthy contribution to game design. But more importantly, at least in my mind, is what Greg Stafford did to the story of Arthur. It has been well-recognised for hundreds of years that the volumes of stories that make up the Arthurian legends are both syncretic and anachronistic. Stafford took <i>all</i> of these works and constructed the most comprehensive single narrative that has ever been written of Arthurian legend <i>and</i> worked the technological and social anachronisms to fit into the moral rise of the Arthurian court, its decline, and fall. The result is that The Great Pendragon Campaign will be recognised by future scholars as the most important book ever written on Arthurian legend.

As many will know a couple of months ago I started RuneQuest Glorantha Down Under Con III, after some twenty years since the last one was held. I have been pondering in my head what do in Greg's memory (I was fortunate enough almost ten years ago to interview him in RPG Review, and ten years prior to that I believe he was also at the last RuneQuest Glorantha Con at the University of Melbourne). Over the weekend I did little else than work on RuneQuest Glorantha material. But I have come to a decision; through the RPG Review Cooperative, I am going to set up a Trust Fund for future RuneQuest Glorantha Conventions in Australia and New Zealand, because I believe that's what he would have wanted. To help provide the initial finances for such a fund I am donating my copy of White Bear and Red Moon for auction, Greg Stafford's first published game from 1975, set in Glorantha. Only eight hundred of these were ever produced, and they were hand stapled. In a sense, this is almost a priceless piece of art that I am surrendering - but if it can be used to promote future gatherings which will be in recognition of Glorantha, then this indeed is the worthy sacrifice to Greg Stafford's memory.

Originally from: my Dreamwidth post

Edited by Lev Lafayette
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CALL OF CTHULHU the video game is coming out at the end of this month. Our friends at Focus Home Interactive are including a dedication to Greg Stafford in the credits.
#WeAreAllUs

1147967981_ScreenShot2018-10-16at3_35_20pm.png.d614ba9c1eeb61bff9577a04270a05a1.png

Edited by MOB
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I never thought that I wouldn't see him again. Greg was a larger-than-life storyteller who takes up a large part of my memories of growing up in the Bay Area of the 70s and 80s. I looked at him as a second (well third, in realty) father-figure who helped my find my way in a world that wasn't quite ready for geeks and nerds of varying degrees. He had his faults and foibles, some more serious than others. but most i didn't learn about until I was fully grown. I am a man with a family of my own now, and I can only hope that I am anywhere near the type of mentor that Greg was... I remember the storytelling adventures he took us on, we children who waited with baited breath to see how our characters fared in his fantasy worlds. Through these gaming sessions, he brought laughter, love and lessons of morality... through hanging around his house and his kids, he showed me what family was. I will miss him as surely as I would miss my arm, even though I hadn't seen him in a decade. I had hoped that he would meet my kids for more than the all-too-brief introductions that were made when we ran into each other at the supermarket when I was in town for my 25th high school reunion, but alas, that will never be. He will have to live on in stories I tell and life lessons I impart - one of the most important being that one should not attempt to commit suicide after having relations with a witch who stopped you from succeeding in your quest - it can only lead to a bad outcome for all. Bye, Greg. I'll keep an eye out for witches.

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Next to Gary Gygax Greg Stafford was a a True Legend of Gaming, Had he not Written Runquest Games workshops Warhammer may never have been published, Nor many of GW's following offerings which would have massively Impacted the world of Fantasy Battle-games and RPGs alike, Both Warhammer, 40K WFRP and many other games have be Directly influenced by Greg Stafford's Games as they borrowed much of the Content of Gregs rules and Ideas almost Directly. His Last work was to Create a New and True to the Original Chaosium Edition of Runequest RPG A game I love more than any other,  Thanks Greg for this parting Masterpiece,  You will be missed, My Condolences to you family, May Chalana Arroy smile at you in the afterlife  :) 😢😢😢

Edited by ANDREW LAWTON
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I'm glad that I got a chance to meet Greg Stafford at my first ever Gen Con, last year. If it wasn't for Jeff Richard, who convinced me to overcome my shyness and approach Greg, I would never have met the man. I had just bought King of Sartar at the Chaosium booth. He saw the book in my hands as we talked about Pendragon and Glorantha, and he offered to sign it. Such a kind, generous man. I'm so glad I got to chat with him again at this year's Gen Con. It's not every day that you get to meet a childhood hero. It's even rarer that, in real life, he lives up to and exceeds who you thought he was. fullsizeoutput_1277.thumb.jpeg.10d6ac26d128d20f75dbc9c8170e26a2.jpeg

Edited by Marco
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In the Early 90s Greg was GoH on UppCon here in Uppsala, Sweden. One evening we sat at Torbjörn R:s home, where Greg stayed, and talked about lots of things. Games, Mythology, History, Beer, Biggles. And as the socially inept nerd that I was (am) I pontificated about what REALLY was going on in Glorantha. Greg listened. And was interested. I pointed to obscure references and snippets from books, and Greg asked questions. Questions out of interest, not to trip me up. And suddenly the great Smile of Greg made the room light up, and he exclaimed; "That's how it could be!".
I think this was typically Greg. Open for input and different views. And that is when I realised that Your Glorantha Will Vary.
After hanging out with Greg a couple of days I think I made an insta-friend, and that was confirmed during the years that followed. We had irregular contact by post for the next ten years, and he was always aware of who I was and continued the conversation where it had stopped - sometimes two years ago.
I never met him in the flesh again, but when I - after ten years hiatus - contacted him on facebook, he immediately took up where we left of.
Is it too much to call a person "friend" when you only met once? I don't think so. Not in this case.
I miss you, Greg.

- Magnus

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I wrote some memories of working and playing with Greg at https://kingofdragonpass.blogspot.com/2018/10/farewell-greg.html

Thank you Greg for all you’ve given me over the years. I literally wouldn’t have had any kind of game development career without you. Or have branched out my interests into mythology and anthropology without you having made games informed by them. And maybe wouldn’t have had a tlayuda or mezcal. Best wishes on your final trip to the Other Side.
 
 

 

noble8o.png

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I only met Greg Stafford, and learned who he even was, two years ago at Gen Con 2016. He liked me and appreciated the work I was doing for Chaosium that weekend, and that felt very good. When I researched him it became clearer to me that he wasn't just the Glorantha Guy. He was someone whose influence on RPGs spread throughout its entire history. The more I learned, the clearer it became to me that I'd known him my entire gaming life.
 
He treated me as an equal at Gen Con 2016 and 2017 and I'm sad I didn't get to say hi one last time in 2018. Knowing him even as briefly as I did, I still feel comfortable calling him friend. He was just that kind of person - magnetic and humble despite his astronomical metaphorical power. He was a good man, and opened my eyes to a lot of new things.
 
I feel as though there will never be another one like him, and that's fine. He never seemed the kind who would want there to be another one "like" him. He never seemed, to me, like the kind who took his fame and influence too seriously, like somebody who'd want anything resembling a Grandfather Clause. He didn't seem to want to be the best or the original or anything other than someone who does new things so that others can do new things. Other game designers think they're rock stars. He knew better, and I loved him for it.
 
We Are All Us.
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On 10/15/2018 at 12:48 PM, Ken Rolston said:

Personally, I recall his charm. I am honored to have been the butt of some of his most elaborate jokes. For example, I will always remember him for his moment of triumph here: http://www.staffordcodex.com/truetales/2015/12/16/why-i-love-bad-medicine-for-doctor-drugs

We all must remember that Greg had a bit of the trickster in him also.  Great story Ken, we need to smile when we remember him also.

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Though I never had the honor of meeting Mr. Stafford, I know from many mutual friends he was a warm and kind man. His founding of Chaosium, leading to the creation of the Call of Cthulhu role playing game, has provided me with untold hours of creativity and fun. So many people have entered my circle of friends due to the good work of this man.

My love to his family.

Thank you.

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It is with great sadness to hear of Greg Stafford's death. His worlds, his creations, his legacy will live long after his passing.

My condolences to his close family and friends.

As a Greek, I would like to mention that in Ancient Greece, at the moment of death the psyche or spirit of the dead, left the body as a little breath or puff of wind. The spirit of Greg Stafford will live long after his passing.

ioannis

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 I was one of the old booth minions at Gen Con and Origins. Show up Wednesday late afternoon and set the booth. Remind Charlie that 'Greg had to have his office'. Greg had to have a little table and two or three chair in the back of the booth where he hold court. I would usually run the till, hand backpacks to our talent, Sandy or Ken Hite. I brought water and snacks. In exchange, I got Cbaosium swag and other gaming swag on Sunday. When the show closed, we struck the booth, did inventory, and packed everything up that evening "We" Chaosium staff, booth minion’s artists, writers, guests and family would sit down for a big meal, usually at Maders. Greg would talk how all a family were and how much he loved us. I felt that I roomed with him several times and just enjoyed the quiet time where he shared his thoughts and time.

Chaosium party at show became the Elder Party Nominating Convention another things. In 1997, Greg invited me to help preach at the Chaosium's Devial. Yea there was preaching and other vile things. We were going to sacrifice Peter Adkison to Cthulhu but...he was not evil enough. Greg said one thing that I think sums up his life "no spectator’s only participants".

 

Randy Porter

Edited by Dr.Portajonni
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My Journey with Greg Stafford

In the golden age of gaming in the late 1970s I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons and dabbled in many other RPGs and wargames. My favorite game sessions though were over at the Webster house, where brothers Tim and Tom would alternate being GM for a series of Chaosium’s finest 2 inch big boxed games, first with RuneQuest, then eventually Call of Cthulhu, and finally Stormbringer. That’s when I fell in love with The Chaosium.

During our RuneQuest sessions I devoured every word of Cults of Prax, especially focusing on the Travels of Biturian Varosh. Those little snippets of life in Glorantha as told by a wandering merchant captivated me, and I discovered my affinity with the Trade Rune. I only played an Issaries merchant, eventually becoming a Rune Priest, and never looked back. At the back of the RuneQuest rulebook sits a wonderful list of other RQ projects in the works, along with a bibliography of inspirational books. They pointed me towards new books to read, games to play, and Chaosium publications to seek out. Cults of Prax, coupled with my enjoyment of the Griffin Mountain campaign we played was when I fell in love with Glorantha and RuneQuest.

When I went to College I took a break from RPGs. That abruptly changed when I found a small, almost hidden game shop on the edge of campus. I’m not sure how it stayed in business, but it held treasures I quickly devoted all of my spending money to purchasing and in turn reading every page. As a player, I never purchased a lot of scenario material, but as an RPG reader I no longer held back. I acquired TrollPak, Pavis, Questworld, Borderlands, and the Big Rubble boxed sets, along with Cults of Terror and a few other RuneQuest supplements. That’s when I fell in love with collecting Chaosium games.

In those pre-internet days I relied on RPG magazines like The Dragon and White Dwarf to find nearby game conventions (with auctions and trade halls) or learn about newly released books to buy. As I purchased the Avalon Hill RuneQuest material I noticed an immediate difference between its publications and Chaosium’s. If something had Greg Stafford’s name on it, it tended to be something I read a lot, and if it didn’t I usually only skimmed it. That was definitely true with a little Chaosium boxed set I picked up called Pendragon. It showed me Greg invested his energy and talents in a wide variety of areas, including Arthurian lore. Somewhere between Glorantha and Pendragon is when I fell in love with the works of Greg Stafford.

In the early 1990s I took a big leap and decided to attend RuneQuest Con I in Baltimore. I had started reading Tales of the Reaching Moon magazine (found thanks to those ads for it in the back of many Avalon Hill RQ supplements) and discovered a community of other like-minded people who were into Greg’s work and all things Gloranthan as much as me. Of course Greg Stafford being the main Guest of Honor enticed me the most. It was one of the best decisions I made in my young adult life. After unknowingly insulting Jack Dott in the trade area (Suzanne would love that) I managed to corner Greg and he patiently listened as I geeked out by showing him my big box of RQ items I was hoping he would do me the honor of autographing. As he pulled each one out and skimmed through it before signing it we chatted about each of them (his colorful stories always trumping my comments). At the end of our time he suggested I become a RuneQuest historian, and all I could say was yes as he shook my hand. The rest of the weekend was spent listening to him at seminars, making new acquaintances, and enjoying the whole atmosphere. That’s when I fell in love with what became known as the “Gloranthan Tribe”.

Shortly thereafter I moved to the UK and started regularly seeing Greg at conventions. Between Convulsion, Continuum, Tentacles, Eternal Con and a string of RuneQuest and Glorantha Cons our friendship slowly grew. Many of Greg’s Gloranthan friends, like Nick Brooke, David Hall, Michael O’Brien, Neil Robinson, Jeff Richard, Sandy Petersen, Lawrence Whitaker, David Scott, Fabian Kuechler, Dan Barker, Simon Bray, and many more too numerous to list became my friends as well. Friends that grieve with me now as the man who brought us all together has passed away.

As my role in RPG publishing grew Greg always provided extra support. When I gifted him with a copy of the only book I have ever written, my Index to all things RuneQuest and Glorantha, he grinned as he quipped “I finally get to have you autograph something for me for a change”.  And my life continued to change thanks to Greg. Moon Design reprinted the Gloranthan Classics which helped provide Greg with the financial means to figure out what his next journey would be, while also helping me understand the business of Gloranthan publishing. We began to trust each other more and more as I became a game merchant, and he continued to explore his life, his passions, and his way forward.

Fortunately, it was never all business with Greg and I. We shared many other interests, although his interests spanned twenty times the scope of mine. We often chatted about Carl Barks and Uncle Scrooge, the original inspiration for Ducks in Glorantha. Greg helped sort out our family fish tank (he had worked in an aquarium shop for a while) and he always enjoyed chatting with my kids about what they were up to. They were saddened when they found out uncle Greg wouldn’t be staying in our guest bedroom again, now called the Stafford Suite. Greg and I talked of our mutual love of the outdoors and his regret for falling just short of earning his Eagle Scout when he was a Boy Scout. Now it only seems like we talked far too little, and shared too little, regardless of the time he enjoyed spending with me and my family.

I think back to that day in June a few years ago when Greg drove me to the San Francisco airport, shook my hand, and offered me the job of President of Chaosium. He described it as the best and the worst job to have. Forty years after he founded Chaosium, he decided it was time for a new generation to continue down the trail he had started and I would get to be a part of it. Greg had returned to save Chaosium, yet he knew it was the task of other members of his hero band to continue his legacy and work. He had shown us the way, inspired us to build upon it, and had more confidence in us than we had in ourselves. He became our Chairman of the Board, wise counsel, and shaman.

These last three years have flown by in a blink. Chaosium stands poised to grow and prosper, all thanks to its founder. Greg built something that we love, cherish, and defend. He built our tribe, led the way, and made it all fun. That’s the best thing about Greg. He challenged us to find ourselves and our place in the world, explore life’s great mysteries, and have a lot of laughs while doing so. He was the biggest kid showing us all it's ok to be big kids too.

This last August we drove to Gen Con together, chatting the entire time. We had five glorious days together in the Chaosium booth, signing books, speaking with our tribe, and generally enjoying each other’s company as all of us on the team were The Chaosium. One of the highlights was hearing Greg’s acceptance speech for the Silver eNnie for Fan Favorite Publisher. He made it not about himself, nor about Chaosium, and instead he made it all about our gaming community and how wonderful it was to be a part of it. After the con I drove him to the airport for his long flight home back to Arcata. We said our usual goodbyes, hugged deeply, and went our separate ways with no thought to it being our last moment together. We spoke a few times on the phone after that, emailed each other about many things, and then last Thursday I woke to the news that he was gone. In the dark of the night in his sweat lodge he had departed on his next journey. He had died as he lived, on one last quest for spiritual enlightenment. As I grieved the loss over this last week, I somehow know that Greg and I will see each other again. Until that day my task is to honor him, his legacy, and his example, having fun all along the way. Ave atque vale Greg. I already miss you too much.

Edited by Rick Meints
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I first met Greg Stafford at a GW Games Day in London in the early 1980s. I’d been playing the Games Workshop edition of RuneQuest for a while, and had acquired a copy of Nomad Gods, which he was kind enough to autograph for me. I could hardly get a coherent word out at the time, however he was patient and put me at my ease. I was not to know it at the time, but this was not the last time our paths would cross.

My work would later take me to San Francisco where I was fortunate to be able to visit the Chaosium offices (I had written part of Call of Cthulhu supplement), and where I was welcomed by Greg and everyone there. Sandy Petersen introduced me to the concept of freeforms (theatrical roleplaying) and thus it was we brought Glorantha alive in ‘Home of the Bold’ at the first Convulsion convention. And our guest of honour was Greg…

Over the years whenever and wherever I have run into Greg he was never less than sociable, interesting and interested. His fund of stories bottomless and wisdom boundless…

The community of friends that Greg engendered through his vision and inspiration cannot be underestimated. I’m but one small example, but it was through playing the games that Greg brought into the world I have made enduring and fast friendships. Enough for a lifetime.

For that, and all the games, I will forever be in Greg’s debt.

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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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