Greg Stafford - Company Founder
Greg Stafford passed away in October, 2018. The shock and grief the Chaosium family felt at the news of the passing of our beloved and revered company founder was incalculable.
As one of the greatest game designers of all time; winner of too many awards to count; and a friend, mentor, guide, and inspiration to generations of gamers, “the Grand Shaman of Gaming” influenced the universe of tabletop gaming beyond measure. Greg’s work in roleplaying games, board games, and fiction have been acclaimed as some of the most engaging and innovative of all time.
Greg founded The Chaosium in 1975, and from the outset (to quote his own words) “was never content to imitate, but instead published games that were original in their style of play, content and design”.
Under Greg's leadership, the company quickly became renowned for its originality and creativity, and was responsible for introducing numerous things to the hobby that are standards today. As John Wick (7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings) memorably puts it:
Every game designer knows the Stafford Rule:
“If you believe you’ve come up with a clever mechanic, Greg Stafford already did it.”
In 1998 Greg left Chaosium with the rights to Glorantha intact, later selling those rights to Moon Design Publications. He continued to inspire and enthuse countless people across his many interests and passions - Glorantha, Oaxaca, King Arthur, shamanism, mythology and more.
In May 2015 he, supported by Sandy Petersen, returned to Chaosium, serving as Chair of the Board and creative consultant. Greg also continued to work on his beloved King Arthur Pendragon RPG up to his death. Suzanne Stafford, Greg’s widow, now serves on Chaosium’s board as the vice-chair, and Alisha Hammer, Greg’s daughter, is a member of the board.
Greg's last public engagement was the 2018 ENnies Awards ceremony at Gen Con 51. He said he was immensely proud of the work Chaosium had done in recent years, particularly since 2015 when he returned as chair of the board and brought the Moon Design Publications team into the company. Ultimately, on reflection, Greg recognized that everyone’s success in the gaming industry was down to the enthusiasm and support of the fans. We at the Chaosium recognize that countless tabletop roleplaying fans are fans (including us!) because of Greg Stafford and what he achieved.
"game designer, mythologist, shaman, father, grandfather, husband, brother, and friend"
This is the beautiful obituary for Greg Stafford from his family, published in The Lost Coast Outpost:
It concludes on a wonderful note: "To honor Greg’s memory the family requests, in lieu of flowers, that you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, go somewhere you haven’t been, face a personal challenge head on, read about something new, and enjoy life. We are all us."