Q&A with Greg Stafford
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:14 am 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Hi Greg,
In the credits of that scanned version of White Bear & Red Moon there is mention in the credits of Corporal Zen "for making this whole thing possible".
Would you care to elaborate on who that individual is? Financial backer? Source of inspiration? Tulpa?

Spiritual ally, perhaps, comes closest. In the earliest days of Chaosium I was far more haunted than I am now, and it was useful for me to give names to the powers, urges,  entities and/or demons that lurked nearby. Sometimes I was a little bit crazy from it. Corporal Zen was a good friend--the physical entity of my body (corporal) motivated by the compulsive mystical drive (zen) that made me be creative. He was the drive that made me be creative--gave me the energy to focus and DO stuff instead of just think about it or fantasize.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:16 am 
 

g026r wrote:Greg,

On the Chaosium "wyvern" (that is, the current) logo: the dragon has always looked familiar, as if it was based on some other source.
Is this the case, or am I just imagining things?


Well, afterwards I realized it's pretty similar to the Cymric dragon, isn't it? But I don't know what sources the original artist used. But considering my fixation on King Arthur, who bore something like the the Cymric dragon on his battle banner, it seems fitting.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:56 am 
 

And yet another question, once again related to the relationship between Chaosium and other companies. :)

In this case, the company is Midkemia Press.  If I recall correctly, you reprinted three of their publications (Carse, Tulan, and Cities -- with Avalon Hill later reprinting the last one as a RQ3 publication).  How'd Chaosium end up publishing them and why those particular three?


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:02 am 
 

If you're still checking this thread, I have a non-RPG related question for you, Greg.

Since I finally got my hands on a copy of Credo and it just arrived the other day, I was wondering if you could tell us how you came to publish the game.  It's not exactly what I (or probably anyone else) would call standard subject matter for a game -- I think the general reaction of people when I mention it could be described as puzzled disbelief.


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Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:07 am 
 

Hi Greg:

If you swing by this thread, can you tell us just a bit more about your attempt to publish Arduin as an RPG?

For instance, what was the most interesting thing about it that you recall?

What kind of marketing campaign were you planning to give Arduin?

For instance, what level of the RPG market would have have aimed at?  Where would you have advertised it?

Any other details you can recall?


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Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 7:28 am 
 

Hi Greg,
On the Tentacles convention web site I noted that you had been removed from the list of guests due to health reasons.
I certainly hope that everything is ok, and whatever it is, I hope you have a full and speedy recovery.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:14 am 
 

Hmmm, the forum has stopped telling me when there is new material here, o sorry for the long delay here.
g026r wrote:And yet another question, once again related to the relationship between Chaosium and other companies. :)

In this case, the company is Midkemia Press.  If I recall correctly, you reprinted three of their publications (Carse, Tulan, and Cities -- with Avalon Hill later reprinting the last one as a RQ3 publication).  How'd Chaosium end up publishing them and why those particular three?

I met them at a convention around LA. Ray Feist was still working with them then, and ran a great game of "I'll take any character you have."
I liked these books a lot and even used them in my RuneQuest games. I probably asked if they would allow us to publish them. Chaosium was bigger than Midkemia in those days and, if I recall correctly, everyone thought this would be a good deal for both of us.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:21 am 
 

g026r wrote:If you're still checking this thread, I have a non-RPG related question for you, Greg.

Since I finally got my hands on a copy of Credo and it just arrived the other day, I was wondering if you could tell us how you came to publish the game.  

The game was done by Chris Gidlow, who was at that time a friend and RuneQuest fan. It was submitted to us and I thought it not only played well, but was an interesting take on an interesting historical subject, and I thought that perhaps some people would even learn a thing or two by it.
It did pretty well for us, and the Boston store sold a LOT of copies to the local  religious school.
It's not exactly what I (or probably anyone else) would call standard subject matter for a game -- I think the general reaction of people when I mention it could be described as puzzled disbelief.

That people are puzzled pleases me, because it shows we were reaching to expand our publication boundaries. We didn't do very well at that--our miniatures rules, for instance, were among our worst sellers (worse than Credo!) But we tried.
I still think it is a fun game.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:35 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:If you swing by this thread, can you tell us just a bit more about your attempt to publish Arduin as an RPG?
For instance, what was the most interesting thing about it that you recall?

That would be Dave Hargrave himself.
The industry was still brand new in those days. I met Dave because he was a local guy, and I played in his game a little bit. He was a great GM, and Arduin was a huge hodge podge of many fantasy stories mixed together with his own piquant humor.
I had just started Chaosium and was looking around for other items to publish. All the worlds Monsters was published in the same general period.
What kind of marketing campaign were you planning to give Arduin?

Marketing? :lol: Goodness gracious, when did Chaosium ever do any marketing? That was never our strong suit, and in the days that we considered publishing Arduin we doubled our gross income every year without ANY marketing. So the short answer: none.
For instance, what level of the RPG market would have have aimed at?  Where would you have advertised it?
Any other details you can recall?
 
Just a note about what this did to Dave and my personal relationship. Short version: ended it.
We were all soooo new in those days. Dave told me it was a complete game and I began to work on Arduin based on that. Then I read it over and realized it was not that at all, but really an elaborate D&D supplement. I asked Dave to "finish it." He did some work, but in no way was it a complete game. So I rejected it after all, and it caused quite a lot of bitterness on Dave's part. I thought it was sad, but there was not much I could do.
When the Moira Johnson article about RPG came out (New Western magazine? Some short-loved periodical.) she presented me as a big shining hero and Dave as a cloistered sociopath, and that only aggravated our relationship.
Years later I invited him to contribute a scenario to a CoC supplement. This apparently alerted Dave to the fact that I held no grudge, and he came to me and we made up. He contributed the scenario (admittedly the weakest one in the book, basically a dungeon crawl). Some at Chaosium wanted to reject it, but I kept it in because I wanted the book to be one of those "famous authors collection" works.
He died shortly afterwards.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:39 am 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:On the Tentacles convention web site I noted that you had been removed from the list of guests due to health reasons.
I certainly hope that everything is ok, and whatever it is, I hope you have a full and speedy recovery.

Thank you.
It seems that some of the wildness of my youth is catching up with me.
It was a gall bladder problem which was not life-threatening, but it was quite painful and during this period I had one friend who died, one who had a stroke and one who became very very ill. I thought it best to concentrate on my health. It has been resolved with some radical diet changes, and I plan to attend Continuum in early August in UK.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:39 pm 
 

Greg:

Was your conception of a potential Arduin publication that of a boxed set or some sort of series of books?


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:35 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Was your conception of a potential Arduin publication that of a boxed set or some sort of series of books?

It was to be, at first, a book. I could see a series of books behind that, if the original sold decently.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:24 am 
 

Continuing my habit of badgering you about things you've probably forgotten... :D

Anyway, wanted to ask you some questions about this picture.  It was in Different Worlds and was taken at Origins '82.

Mainly, I'm curious about the t-shirts with the old Chaosium logo in the background. Were they something you actively sold?  Were they only meant as limited promotional items?

...have any left? :lol:


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:33 am 
 

g026r wrote:Continuing my habit of badgering you about things you've probably forgotten... :D

Hey, memory tests are OK with me!
Anyway, wanted to ask you some questions about this picture.  

Wow, look how skinny we all were.  :lol:
It was in Different Worlds and was taken at Origins '82.
Mainly, I'm curious about the t-shirts with the old Chaosium logo in the background. Were they something you actively sold?  Were they only meant as limited promotional items?
Yes, I am pretty sure we were selling them.
...have any left? :lol:

Mine original is all worn out, but I will try to find by box of old convention shirts and see if there is one there.
Chaosium might have something in an ol' box somewhere...


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:37 am 
 

Hi Greg. I have a different  :wink:  kind of questions for you. Questions about an Italian...

I have started again a magazine called DM Magazine, after suspending (pdf) publications in 2006 due to the co editor's hiring by a majior Italian bank. We are again on the road, courtesy of a new co editor  :D , and we plan to publish in issue 19 (out in September) a profile on Giovanni Ingellis, founder of PEI first and Stratelibri after. I'm sure you remember him very well and September, 21 is the tenth anniversary of his passing. So here are the questions:

1) When you met him for the first time?

2) When you had an agreement making his company the Italian distributor for Chaosium products?

3) When did he approach you for the rights for Call of Cthulhu and then Stormbringer?

4) Were there any plans to publish an Italian edition of other Chaosium games, for example Pendragon (a masterpiece!)?

5) When you came to an agreement for producing miniature games set in the Glorantha universe?

6) Why weren't the games published?

7) When did you hear from him for the last time?

VIII) What was your reaction to Giovanni Ingellis' passing?

9) What are your memories of him? Any anecdotes?

Sorry if the questions are so many, but Giovanni Ingellis was a truly seminal figure here and so I want to offer a complete view of him. Having Greg Stafford remembering him would make him surely proud and pleased. He always had such a great opinion of you and of Chaosium!  

Thanks!

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:45 pm 
 

Alexander1968 wrote:Hi Greg. I have a different  :wink:  kind of questions for you. Questions about an Italian...

Good ol' Giovanni.
I'll be more than happy to do this. Will you contact me via email? he respons will be far too long to post here.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:29 am 
 

Greg Stafford wrote:Good ol' Giovanni.
I'll be more than happy to do this. Will you contact me via email? he respons will be far too long to post here.


Sure (but perhaps some of the guys could be intrigued...). MP coming in!

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:20 am 
 

First a quick appology to all as this is a bit off topic and more literature than gaming.

Greg, I have enjoyed reading this post.  I dont know how I missed it *slaps his own forehead*.   Thanks again for all your answers.   :D

You mentioned Midkemia and Ray Feist.  I think I turned green with envy as you wrote of gaming with him, hehehe.  Any interesting tidbits to relay that you might remember?  Feist is, in my humble opinion, just about the best fantasy literature has to offer (there are alot of fantastic writers out there, no disrespect intended).

Have you read the Midkemia series to date, and if so, would you mind sharing your favorite character (Nakor here...common I know but I cant help myself), favorite book (Silverthorn for me...Jimmy was such a great character, and I thought this was his best all around action/love story/comedy/plot thickening/character developing novel), and/or favorite storyline (I enjoyed how he went back to the two friends who started as no-bodies theme and developed two fantastic characters in Roo and Erik, taking them from rags to riches/fame)?  Betrayal at Krondor...mistake, or misunderstood?   :D

Like I said its a bit more literature than gaming.   I rarely get the chance these days to talk to about this kind of thing and appreciate any stories you might be able to relay as someone whos had some first hand experience.

Thanks and take care,

Mal


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:50 pm 
 

Greg Stafford wrote:Good ol' Giovanni.
I'll be more than happy to do this. Will you contact me via email? he respons will be far too long to post here.


Don't let length stop you.

This is the very thing we all live for and a major joy of this forum.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:39 am 
 

MadMaligor wrote:You mentioned Midkemia and Ray Feist.  I think I turned green with envy as you wrote of gaming with him, hehehe.  Any interesting tidbits to relay that you might remember?  

Not much other than I wrote. It was a pickup game, and the player characters were something like: mine from RQ, one from T&T, a couple of D&D and a C&S. We didn't get to do too much—just poke around a city and have some kind of combat. When someone would use magic he'd say, "What does that do?" integrate it into play, and then keep going. I do remember thinking he was a genius at pick up play.
Have you read the Midkemia series to date, and if so, would you mind sharing your favorite character

I have not. The only book of his that I have read is Changeling (I believe it was). I could barely put it down, and so I  will agree with your assessment of his skill.


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