On October 11, 2018, Francis Gregory Stafford died. To gamers around the world, he was better known as Greg Stafford, designer of such ubiquitous games as Rune Quest and Pendragon. Now, usually I don't much care for the names of authors and game designers in RPGs. Some names are connected to quality, some aren't, and that's about it. But Greg Stafford's death struck a chord with me.
That's why today, seven weeks after his death, I feel compelled to write a few lines. Rune Quest was among the first roleplaying games I played. At a local convention, I played a few games and soon picked up the German hardback edition, the monsters book, and the box about the gods (and boy, were there many of those). I led my friends from school through my first self-created world for quite some time, before other games snatched my attention – Gurps and Star Wars, if I recall correctly.
It took some years for me to discover Greg Stafford's true gem: King Arthur Pendragon. I picked up a copy of the massive 4th edition rule book in 2004; the German book had been sitting on my shelf for some time by then, but I never really read it. The system soon became one of my favourites. The passions, traits, virtues, everything breathed arthurian epic. Being an enthusiast for medieval romance, I fell for this game harder than Tristan for Iseult – albeit with a happier ending.
Because of Greg Stafford, I have had some of the best gaming moments in my life. I fell to my death, pushed by a treacherous Lunar (having rolled a 100 to keep my footing, no less). I spent countless afternoons among friends from school, arguing and laughing while we played your game. I won the heart of many a fair maiden – and when I was lucky, a hefty dowry on top. I played Lancelot, Gawain, Arthur, and Guinevere for my players, as well as many a villainous knight to oppose them. And just this spring, I rode a war bison names Daisy into battle on the plains below Dragon Pass.
I never had a chance to meet Greg Stafford, and, sadly, I never will. A great game designer has left the stage, one who not only had an impact on my gaming experience, but on countless gamers around the world. BRP is a household name among the big systems today because of Mr Stafford. Rest in peace, good sir.