Q&A with Greg Stafford
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:59 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:You still have a good enough relationship with Chaosium to visit and go through their old boxes?
I hope so! Charlie and I are on good terms. We see each other fairly often at cons.
I gather you guys are on friendly terms?
Heck, I still own about 1/3 of the company.
Imagine what must be in there!

I'll try to go and see.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:11 pm 
 

I didn't realize you were still an owner.

You have mentioned not being involved in Chaosium anymore.

Obviously, you mean that you do not run things.

Who are the other owners?


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:15 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:I didn't realize you were still an owner.
You have mentioned not being involved in Chaosium anymore.
I left over a decade ago and started Issaries, Inc.
Obviously, you mean that you do not run things.
Who are the other owners?

Charlie Krank and Lynn Willis each have about 1/3 each, plus Sandy Petersen owns a little tiny bit.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:22 am 
 

One last question, since my memory was jogged about it:  Ghostbusters.

(Okay, I suppose that's not a question.  I'll try that again. ;) )

What's the story behind Ghostbusters?  The designer credits (yourself, Lynn Willis, Sandy Petersen) are all major Chaosium authors, yet it was West End Games that published it.  I'm assuming they had the licence originally, so did one of you approach them with the idea?  Or were they the ones that approached you to design it?

Though for some reason I've got a bit of a feeling that this is another case of "the industry was much smaller back in those days". :lol:

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:11 am 
 

g026r wrote:What's the story behind Ghostbusters?  The designer credits (yourself, Lynn Willis, Sandy Petersen) are all major Chaosium authors, yet it was West End Games that published it.  I'm assuming they had the licence originally, so did one of you approach them with the idea?  Or were they the ones that approached you to design it?

Though for some reason I've got a bit of a feeling that this is another case of "the industry was much smaller back in those days". :lol:

Well,                                            :)
       the industry was much smaller back in those days, and we all knew each other.

For some reason or another we were a bit short of money at that time. I think it was early in the Avalon Hill/RuneQuest fiasco. (The yoyo who was president at the time was always much better at game design than at financial management. Same ol' problem as always: art versus business.)
Eric Goldberg, an old friend by that stage, was acquisitions manager at West End. West End was owned by a rich lawyer and shoe importer and so cash was less of a problem for them--but getting quality designers was. Eric himself is a first class designer, but he had admin. duties as editor to deal with. So he approached us.
And we designed it.
They developed it, some, but the core game system was by us (including the beach ball). The humor, though--that was pure Rolston.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:46 pm 
 

Just saw an ad in Dungeoneer #12 for Snakepipe Hollow. It is described as a 32-page book which includes Broken Tree Inn. As published, SPH is a 48-page Chaosium Glorantha scenario, while BTI is a 48-page Judges Guild Gateway product.

Nevertheless, the Gloranthan feel is still present in BTI; upon examination the two scenarios fit together pretty well in terms of geography & setting. Any recollection of how the two were originally conceived as a single area? For instance, how would the inhabitants of SPH interact with those of BTI?

Finally, does 'Snakepipe Hollow' represent a skate park? After asking around a bit [I'm not a skater myself] someone told me that in the 1970s, ramps such as snakepipes were more common because skateboarders hadn't yet developed all the various jumping-type moves popular today.

If so, I suppose the chaos-tainted monsters are the various gangs, bullies, dopers, & assorted lowlifes one might find in such a place?

  


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:38 pm 
 

Hello.
Sorry to take so long on this response, but I was out of town for a few weeks.
sauromatian wrote:Just saw an ad in Dungeoneer #12 for Snakepipe Hollow. It is described as a 32-page book which includes Broken Tree Inn. As published, SPH is a 48-page Chaosium Glorantha scenario, while BTI is a 48-page Judges Guild Gateway product.

Nevertheless, the Gloranthan feel is still present in BTI; upon examination the two scenarios fit together pretty well in terms of geography & setting. Any recollection of how the two were originally conceived as a single area? For instance, how would the inhabitants of SPH interact with those of BTI?
Interesting! I do not recall the two products ever being planned to be together in one item.
I do recall that I found he BTI material to be "not sufficiently Gloranthan." I used to suffer from that a lot in the old days.
Finally, does 'Snakepipe Hollow' represent a skate park? After asking around a bit [I'm not a skater myself] someone told me that in the 1970s, ramps such as snakepipes were more common because skateboarders hadn't yet developed all the various jumping-type moves popular today.

Ha ha. Actually, though, I don't think skate boards had been invented when SPH came out, though admittedly, I know much more about the history of RQ than I do about skateboarding.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:36 pm 
 

Hi Greg:

I was just over at the Mongoose Publishing website, checking out their Runequest materials.

Do you still own Glorantha?

Do you have a hand...or at least a stake...in the new Runquest publications?


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:43 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Hi Greg:
I was just over at the Mongoose Publishing website, checking out their Runequest materials.

Quite prolific, aren't they?
Do you still own Glorantha?

Yes, lock stock and barrel.
Do you have a hand...

I do not actively write for them, but confer as closely as possible with the authors. However, we agreed to have Mongoose do the Second Age in large part because I have done very little on that era, and thus they can have a lot more creativity with much of the material. (Learning to let go a little bit and allow the authors more leeway to express their own creativity--within the "laws" of Glorantha of course--has been one of my long lessons to learn in this biz.)
or at least a stake...in the new Runequest publications?

My stake is the license that I granted to Mongoose in exchange for a royalty.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:04 pm 
 

It must be difficult to let the creation of a world out of your hands.

I presume that you have some sort of authority to make corrections or at least review publications having to do with Glorantha.

I can imagine a situation where something un-Gloranthan might be created by a writer who is not carrying the history of the world in his head.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:32 pm 
 

Question for you, Greg.  Feel free to say you'd rather not answer if you think that's best.  It was jogged from memory by the question about Mongoose's Glorantha publications.  (I honestly wish they'd slow down.  I can only buy so fast. :lol: )

Anyway, you mentioned that you took a fairly hands-off approach to these publications.  So I'm curious if there's anything in particular where you saw the final product and thought "I never would have thought of interpreting it like that, but that's a really nifty idea."?


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:48 pm 
 

Hi, Greg...I too have a question.

For awhile, Ral Partha had a license to manufacture the RuneQuest miniatures. Did you not like them, or was there some other reason the line was so short-lived? It would be interesting if Iron Wind Metals (what used to be Ral Partha) could produce them again, or at least "re-release" the existing RuneQuest line of figures.

Just wondering what your thoughts were.

Thanks in advance!

Matt


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:57 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Do you have a hand...


You mean Pamaltela? Sure, it's still there, just south of the giant shower drain. Let's hope he still has Genertela, cuz otherwise he'd be a Eunuchtela.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:02 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:It must be difficult to let the creation of a world out of your hands.

Yes, but necessary. And as I said, I have gotten used to it to some extent. I feel like I have established the essentials sufficiently to allow others to work within them.
I presume that you have some sort of authority to make corrections or at least review publications having to do with Glorantha.

Yes. Frankly, I do not exercise them with scrutiny, although I do have other people looking it over more closely for me.
I can imagine a situation where something un-Gloranthan might be created by a writer who is not carrying the history of the world in his head.

Yes, and the longer it goes on the more likely that this can occur. But the grognards will chastise such a writer who has not done his homework more severely than I would do.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:07 pm 
 

g026r wrote:Anyway, you mentioned that you took a fairly hands-off approach to these publications.  So I'm curious if there's anything in particular where you saw the final product and thought "I never would have thought of interpreting it like that, but that's a really nifty idea."?

I am often impressed with authors' ideas, but being the tyrant that I am they are generally interpretations of things I've done rather than huge full-blown ideas.
The "cybermagicians" of the Machine City are probably the most radical idea I've seen that made me think, "OK, I wouldn't have done that, but I'm not offended."


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:14 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:Hi, Greg...I too have a question.

Great! Keep 'em rolling!
For awhile, Ral Partha had a license to manufacture the RuneQuest miniatures. Did you not like them, or was there some other reason the line was so short-lived?

We liked hem. I don't recall any specific problems ever, though. If there was anything it's most likely that the sales of the line wasn't enough for them. If I recall they also had the D&D line, which is always much more than ours.
It would be interesting if Iron Wind Metals (what used to be Ral Partha) could produce them again, or at least "re-release" the existing RuneQuest line of figures.

I'd love to see it. I'll drop them a line...
Just wondering what your thoughts were.

Thanks in advance!

My pleasure.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:02 pm 
 

And one more question, because it came up in a discussion I was having with someone else elsewhere. :lol:

What was the story behind Avalon Hill's Adventures in Glorantha?  I know there was some story as to why it never was published, but I can't recall if it was just that you had canceled the contract with them by then, or if there was some other reason.

Much obliged.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:44 pm 
 

g026r wrote:What was the story behind Avalon Hill's Adventures in Glorantha?  I know there was some story as to why it never was published, but I can't recall if it was just that you had canceled the contract with them by then, or if there was some other reason.
Much obliged.

The tale of Adventures in Glorantha is sad, for several reasons.
The first part is rather embarrassing for me.
When I first saw it I took a quick look and thought it looked pretty good, and said so to the authors, Oliver Jovanovich, Mike McGloin, et al.
However, when I had a chance to scrutinize it my opinion changed. I remember that is was "not Gloranthan enough." Nor was I in a position to work with them and nurse it through.
The second sad part happened when one of the authors suffered through a sensational "cybersex" arrest (the charges were later dismissed.) This apparently frightened AH off from this author team, as they were preparing to release a magazine for girls and likely did not want any association with the team.
Alas.
I mentioned about about me having learned to let go of Glorantha a little bit to allow some authorial creativity. In light of the changes in my attitude about this, it's likely that AiG would probably pass inspection these days.
Alas.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:08 am 
 

And yet another question from me about unpublished products, Greg. :D

Was browsing around on your Pendragon site and spotted a reference to "CHA2715, Castle of Bones (cancelled)" in your list of official Pendragon publications.

Having never heard of that one, I'm now curious what topics it was supposed to cover (eg. was it going to be another set of adventures, ala Spectre King, or was it going to be another regional sourcebook?) and why, in the end, it was never published.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:31 am 
 

g026r wrote:And yet another question from me about unpublished products, Greg. :D

Keep 'em coming.

Was browsing around on your Pendragon site

Oh, you mean my brand new just done (and still unfinished) web site at http://weareallus.com/pendragon/
and spotted a reference to "CHA2715, Castle of Bones (cancelled)" in your list of official Pendragon publications.

Having never heard of that one, I'm now curious what topics it was supposed to cover (eg. was it going to be another set of adventures, ala Spectre King, or was it going to be another regional sourcebook?) and why, in the end, it was never published.

This was to be the "Book of Faerie." The Castle of Bones is the stronghold of the Underworld/Other Side that King Arthur is said to have visited, from which he and only a a few others escaped.
It was supposed to be both a source book and adventures. I had put together the list of creatures quite early on, but as I recall, we never got the adventures.
The creatures passed from hand to hand, author to author, publisher to publisher and never got done. I finally found a home for them in the Great Arthurian Campaign.


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