Q&A with Greg Stafford
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:43 am 
 

Does Pendragon second edition exist?
Seems pretty simple on the surface. It makes sense that after first edition would come second edition, before moving on to third. Except that the only reference to it is in the Noble's Book, and I can't find any information about it in Net searching...

I'd forgotten about this until I read one of Shannon Applecline's essays. When we were testing a new Gloranthan boardgame I asked him, and he reminded me of the facts.
I hate to contradict Beyondthebreach but, in fact, there is no real 2nd edition! We had intended to do one, being a boxed set with new organization. But that was right at the transition point where we shifted from boxing everything to having larger books. So even though Nobles Book says there would be such an edition, there was none, and so we went right from 1st to 3rd ed.
Except for Nobles Book, which would have been part of the 2nd ed. Fortunately, it fit equally well with 1st and 3rd edition, and we forgot to fix the reference subsequent printings.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:43 am 
 

I have some question about Different Worlds: why did Chaosium decide to publish its own magazine?

In those days just about every successful publisher ad its own magazine. Tadashi Ehara liked the idea and wanted to do a magazine, so we agreed.
Was it successful?
Yes, moderately so. It always paid for itself, and it was very popular since it was quite eclectic in its scope.
What was the average print run of an issue, especially the later ones?
This I am not sure about.  
Why did DW left Chaosium along Tadashi Ehara? Was the split amicable?
I am not sure why Tadashi departed from Chaosium. I believe that it had been his first post-graduation job, and that he had a better offer or opportunity elsewhere. No one at the company wanted to keep editing the magazine. It was easy to publish another supplement as a magazine, and a supplement would sell for a year or two, but a magazine is good only until its next issue. Tadashi wanted to keep the 'zine, and we were glad to let him. The departure was amicable.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:48 am 
 

Greg Stafford wrote:
I'd forgotten about this until I read one of Shannon Applecline's essays. When we were testing a new Gloranthan boardgame I asked him, and he reminded me of the facts.
I hate to contradict Beyondthebreach but, in fact, there is no real 2nd edition! We had intended to do one, being a boxed set with new organization. But that was right at the transition point where we shifted from boxing everything to having larger books. So even though Nobles Book says there would be such an edition, there was none, and so we went right from 1st to 3rd ed.
Except for Nobles Book, which would have been part of the 2nd ed. Fortunately, it fit equally well with 1st and 3rd edition, and we forgot to fix the reference subsequent printings.


No problem contradicting me!  I'm actually taking the info out of Heroic Worlds.  Thanks for clarifying it.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:25 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:
No problem contradicting me!  I'm actually taking the info out of Heroic Worlds.  Thanks for clarifying it.


We were both going on tidbits of information.  We're just lucky to have an authoritative source to set us straight.  Thanks, Greg!

  

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:09 am 
 

Greg Stafford wrote:I am not sure why Tadashi departed from Chaosium. I believe that it had been his first post-graduation job, and that he had a better offer or opportunity elsewhere. No one at the company wanted to keep editing the magazine. It was easy to publish another supplement as a magazine, and a supplement would sell for a year or two, but a magazine is good only until its next issue. Tadashi wanted to keep the 'zine, and we were glad to let him. The departure was amicable.

Thanks. I have quite a good collection of game magazines and I must say that Space Gamer and Different Worlds are, for me, the best ones in English. I still enjoy opening my Magazine Vaults and perusing them from time to time. I especially like re reading The Sword of Hollywood column in DW and Where We Are Going by Steve Jackson in Space Gamer (mr. Jackson will be in Italy this november so I plan to bring my Very Rare SJG books for signing - especially Murphy's Rules 1st edition and Game Design Theory and Practice  - because I plan a looooong interview with him).

  


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:19 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:No problem contradicting me!  I'm actually taking the info out of Heroic Worlds.  Thanks for clarifying it.


I think HW included a lot of stuff that was set to come out at the time the book went to press (but for whatever reason was never released). It listed RJK's City of Brass as being released through Creations Unlimited in 1987.



  


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:52 pm 
 

dcas wrote:
I think HW included a lot of stuff that was set to come out at the time the book went to press (but for whatever reason was never released). It listed RJK's City of Brass as being released through Creations Unlimited in 1987.


HW got a lot of its information from gaming magazines, catalogues, and other secondary sources. The book was clearly fact-checked well, and it's 99.9% accurate as a result, but when the error creep in, this is probably why.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:53 am 
 

Hi Greg,

I'm not sure if you automatically get sent a notification when something gets posted here but I thought I would give it a shot anyway.  I purchased an old catalog from one of your Ebay auctions and inside was this photo:

http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mdtpetri/chaosium.jpg

From the pics on Tadashi's Different Worlds website, I can figure out that is him on the right.  I imagine that is you in the middle although I can't seem to find any recent photos of you on the net.  Who is that on the left?  The picture is from Origins 78.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:50 pm 
 

Greg:

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.  Do you recall giving any of those out back then?

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:29 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I'm not sure if you automatically get sent a notification when something gets posted here but I thought I would give it a shot anyway.

Apparently not. Shame. I'd love to respond in a timely manner. I strumbled upon this. But am happy to answer!
 I purchased an old catalog from one of your Ebay auctions and inside was this photo:
http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mdtpetri/chaosium.jpg
From the pics on Tadashi's Different Worlds website, I can figure out that is him on the right.  I imagine that is you in the middle

Boy, that's me. Quite the hippy, eh?
although I can't seem to find any recent photos of you on the net.  
I'll have to post some. You can look at my new web site, still in progress, www.weareallus.com, for one.

Who is that on the left?  The picture is from Origins 78.

That is Cam, my first wife.


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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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