Q&A with Greg Stafford
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:31 pm 
 

ddt58 wrote:I have a zip lock bag version of RB&WM with no real recollection of how I got it except that I think I got it for free for some reason at one of the early Origins as a door prize or something.

Lucky you!
 Do you recall giving any of those out back then?

Jeez, likely to have been done. What edition is it? If you share your real ID with me, and what you were doing back then, I might even remember it...


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:44 pm 
 

Forgive me for not reading the whole thread, but, how rare, relatively, is the box set Worlds of Wonder? I used to own it, and it was stolen, and I have been on a hunt for it for about twelve years or so, now. Was it a very popular game/setting(s)? BRP was always my favorite Chaosium product; though CoC is fun, I prefer to incorporate it into other games, especially Gamma World. :) Thanks.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:56 pm 
 

serleran wrote:Forgive me for not reading the whole thread, but, how rare, relatively, is the box set Worlds of Wonder?

I believe that we made 5000 copies of WoW. I don't think we did a second printing, but I didn't always pay attention to those details.
I used to own it, and it was stolen, and I have been on a hunt for it for about twelve years or so, now.

Bummer about the theft. I do see it come up every so often on eBay, depending on how much you want to pay. Most of our early games go for a fair price, though not outrageous.
Hmmm, I guess that's a matter of opinion.
Was it a very popular game/setting(s)?

When it first came out it was our best selling game. I am pretty sure that had to do with the great commercial cover. But we never followed up on it decently, which is a shame. It could have been, and was intended o be, like GURPS.
BRP was always my favorite Chaosium product; though CoC is fun, I prefer to incorporate it into other games, especially Gamma World. :) Thanks.

I liked playing it as a "big mix" game, when people could bring any character they wanted. Very chaotic.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:40 am 
 

Question for you, Greg:

Nephilim.

How did Chaosium come to publish that one?  If I recall correctly, you guys published the "second edition" -- the first being a French-only release by some other company whose name escapes me at the moment.  Though I could, of course, be wrong. :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:12 am 
 

g026r wrote:Question for you, Greg:
Nephilim.
How did Chaosium come to publish that one?  

At the time I was feeling that we'd gotten a bit stale and needed something new. CoC was doing well, as always, but the other games had fallen off somewhat.
The guys at Multisim, the French company, were old friends by that time. The game was pretty intriguing to me and though the French market was saturated with translated American games, no game had yet been translated into English. So we decided to publish it.
It was difficult to translate. We did it in house, with Anne Merritt using her French knowledge and a translation program to get a rough draft and then make it into good English.
If I recall correctly, you guys published the "second edition" -- the first being a French-only release by some other company whose name escapes me at the moment.  Though I could, of course, be wrong. :D

We thought that there was a serious problem with the French game, in that as the Nephilim became more powerful (and fun to play) they also became more discernible by humans, and thus had to hide. We thought that diminished the amount of available fun. So we changed it to allow people to remain in human society, but with some difficult. That made for good play options. (Even the authors said that that was a much more playable option).
I really enjoyed the character generation, and saw the possibility of doing an entire campaign where each scenario took part during the next generation--maybe one each century, or maybe with even more time between them. But as it was we badly neglected Nephilim and its possibilities.
The problem came from Mythos. It was released at about the same time, and was such a huge success that we channeled our energy into it at the expense of Nephilim. On one hand, it was a shame, really, as maybe things would have been more stable after the collapse of the ccg market if we'd had more games. On the other hand, the market was pretty difficult for any rpg's at that time.
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:36 am 
 

Hi Greg!
Good to see that you still visit from time to time.
I had a short discussion with Grodog some time back about Nephilim. I liked many of the concepts and have borrowed bits and pieces for my Call of Cthulhu campaign.
The one thing that discouraged me from running a Nephilim campaign was the layout of the main book. As a game keeper it seemed to me that the content lent itself to be divided into two books. One for the keeper and the other for the players. At the time it was released I realize that Chaosium had moved away from the boxed sets with multiple books.
Was the final layout a compromise to consolidate all of the information into the one main book?


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:38 am 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Hi Greg!
Good to see that you still visit from time to time.
I had a short discussion with Grodog some time back about Nephilim. I liked many of the concepts and have borrowed bits and pieces for my Call of Cthulhu campaign.
The one thing that discouraged me from running a Nephilim campaign was the layout of the main book. As a game keeper it seemed to me that the content lent itself to be divided into two books. One for the keeper and the other for the players. At the time it was released I realize that Chaosium had moved away from the boxed sets with multiple books.
Was the final layout a compromise to consolidate all of the information into the one main book?


Yes. By that time we were intent upon having both GM and player material in every book.
GM-only material sold somewhere between 1/5 and 1/10 the volme of player material, but of course, we want to have GM material out there because there is more of it, and we wanted to encourage people to become GMs.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:50 pm 
 

'nother question for you, Greg. :D

Was going through some of my CoC stuff, and came across a publication with the imprint of "Cthulhu House" and "A Chaosium Publication" printed underneath it.  A quick net search showed me that it was one of two Cthulhu House publications, and that they were produced entirely out-of-house, but not much more info could be gleaned.

So then, onto the question: what can you tell me about Cthulhu House?  (Why was it formed?  Why were there only two publications? Anything else interesting that comes to mind...)

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:30 pm 
 

Hey g026r!
I'm curious about the titles of those two Cthulhu House publications.
I was pretty sure I knew most of the Chaosium publications since I've been collecting/running Call of Cthulhu since the year it was first released but don't recall ever seeing anything by "Cthulhu House".  8O


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:36 pm 
 

The two are Minions, published 1997, and The Thing at the Threshold, published 1992.

There's a decent picture of Minions over at rpg.net: http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=2976

Other than that, the only info I can give at the moment is what's on Yog-Sothoth.com: http://yog-sothoth.com/cocdbdetail.php?ID=140 & http://yog-sothoth.com/cocdbdetail.php?ID=173

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:40 pm 
 

g026r wrote:'nother question for you, Greg. :D
Great!
Was going through some of my CoC stuff, and came across a publication with the imprint of "Cthulhu House" and "A Chaosium Publication" printed underneath it.  A quick net search showed me that it was one of two Cthulhu House publications, and that they were produced entirely out-of-house, but not much more info could be gleaned.

So then, onto the question: what can you tell me about Cthulhu House?  (Why was it formed?  Why were there only two publications? Anything else interesting that comes to mind...)

I think those were after my tenure there--what were the dates?
But if I recollect correctly these were done entirely outside of Chaosium, editorially and layout, and maybe even printed.
Then Chaosium distributed them and got a cut of the sales price.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:45 pm 
 

g026r wrote:The two are Minions, published 1997, and The Thing at the Threshold, published 1992.


So both of these were done while I was still president at Chaosium.
However, the CoC line was overseen by Lynn Willis.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:55 pm 
 

Fair enough. Thanks for the bits you were able to remember though. :D

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:39 pm 
 

g026r wrote:The two are Minions, published 1997, and The Thing at the Threshold, published 1992.

There's a decent picture of Minions over at rpg.net: http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=2976

Other than that, the only info I can give at the moment is what's on Yog-Sothoth.com: http://yog-sothoth.com/cocdbdetail.php?ID=140 & http://yog-sothoth.com/cocdbdetail.php?ID=173


Thanks! I have seen those but don't own them and never realized that they were done outside of Chaosium.  :oops:


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:35 am 
 

Hi Greg!

Sorry I haven't sent you a query in a while....I even have a different name than when I last asked a question.  :)

What Glorantha projects are you working on at the moment?  

Or, are you still writing for your world of Glorantha at all anymore?


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:51 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Hi Greg!

Sorry I haven't sent you a query in a while....I even have a different name than when I last asked a question.  :)

Who were you before?

What Glorantha projects are you working on at the moment?  
Or, are you still writing for your world of Glorantha at all anymore?


Oh, I am. I have decided to concentrate on the literary side, rather than the game side.
I've finished a novel, _Ten Women, Well Loved_ and am now working on the prequel, tentatively titled _Two Men, One God_. I want to publish them professionally. (Any literary agents reading this?)
I am working, on the side, on _The Great Argrath Campaign_, but that is lower priority at the moment.
If anyone is interested in having a preview of these novels in progress, take a look at FriendsOfGlorantha.com.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:38 pm 
 

Hello again, Greg.  I'm back with yet another attempt to dredge decades-old obscure business details from your memory. ;)



This (  
** expired eBay auction **
) got posted over in one of the other threads, and was curious what connection, if any, Chaosium had with them.



From another auction, it appears that the boxes themselves were made by a company called Board Craft Simulations back in the early 80s and were packaged with a copy of the BRP rules.



I guess I'm curious as to what relationship Chaosium had with them.  Did they approach you to licence the BRP rules for package in the product? Did you guys approach them to make a set of semi-geomorphic paths packaged with the BRP rules?  Was it some company that put out their product with the BRP rules included without your knowledge at the time?



I realise it's likely an insignificant detail from over a quarter decade ago, but whatever you happen to remember is more information than I have now. :)

  


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:06 pm 
 

g026r wrote:Hello again, Greg.  I'm back with yet another attempt to dredge decades-old obscure business details from your memory. ;)
Excellent! Wonderful to be back.

This (  
** expired eBay auction **
) got posted over in one of the other threads, and was curious what connection, if any, Chaosium had with them.
I remember the face but not the name of the manufacturer. The actual connection was that, at the time, he was the boyfriend of Lisa free, one of our all-time favorite artists who did great work for several Pendragon and RuneQuest items. In fact, I just remembered that if you want to see his face I recollect that he looked like the picture of Sir Mordred (Pendagon, 4th ed. p 196). (Maybe that was after they broke up? :wink: )

From another auction, it appears that the boxes themselves were made by a company called Board Craft Simulations back in the early 80s and were packaged with a copy of the BRP rules.

I guess I'm curious as to what relationship Chaosium had with them.  Did they approach you to licence the BRP rules for package in the product? Did you guys approach them to make a set of semi-geomorphic paths packaged with the BRP rules?  Was it some company that put out their product with the BRP rules included without your knowledge at the time?
Oh, we knew. He approached us. He was a nice guy (remember, this is back when most companies were one or two people) and I recall that we both thought our products could benefit from the association.

I realise it's likely an insignificant detail from over a quarter decade ago, but whatever you happen to remember is more information than I have now. :)


Hey, always a pleasure to have this ol' brain tested! Keep 'em rolling in!


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:10 pm 
 

BTW, g026r

That's an... um... interesting photo there for your icon...

I have seen it before. For instance, in a Jack Chick propaganda comic, I believe a silhouette of that was labeled to be something like the chief of the church of Satan in the U.S, or somesuch.

And someplace else, of some living person, even... ?


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:24 pm 
 

It would be the image of PEI Bonewits, famed in the Chaosium publication Authentic Thaumaturgy.


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