Greg Stafford

Greg Stafford in Helsinki, Finland on July 21 2005

Francis Gregory Stafford (born February 9 1948), usually known as Greg Stafford, is an American game designer, publisher and shaman.

Glorantha and gaming[]

Stafford is most famous as the creator of the fantasy world of Glorantha, but is also a prolific games designer - he was designer of King Arthur Pendragon, he was co-designer of the RuneQuest, Ghostbusters, Prince Valiant and HeroQuest role-playing systems, founder of the role-playing game companies Chaosium and Issaries, designer of the White Bear and Red Moon, Nomad Gods, King Arthur’s Knights and Elric! board games, and co-designer of the King of Dragon Pass computer game.

Greg Stafford's interest in roleplaying and gaming originated in his adolescent fascination with mythology. During his adolescent years he read anything he could find on the subject, and when he exhausted the libraries, he started to write his own stories in his freshman year at Beloit College, in 1966. This was the start of the world of Glorantha.

Around 1974, Stafford created White Bear and Red Moon, a board game about the violent struggle between several cultures in the Dragon Pass region of Glorantha. In essence the game centered around the conflict between the barbarian Kingdom of Sartar and the invading Lunar Empire, which has remained a central theme for Gloranthan publications since then.

Not able to find a publisher, Stafford founded a company of his own, Chaosium, in November 1975. At the same time the game of Dungeons & Dragons (and the concept of tabletop role-playing games) was becoming extremely popular — role-players wanted to use the setting of White Bear and Red Moon in their own games, so Chaosium published RuneQuest, which was written by "Steve Perrin, Ray Turney, and Friends".

Despite Glorantha being the focus of his life's work, Greg considers his masterpiece to be the Arthurian chivalric role-playing game Pendragon[1], which was published in 1985 by Chaosium, and republished in 2005 by White Wolf. Stafford won the Diana Jones Award, 2007, for his work on Pendragon.

In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Greg Stafford as one of The Millennium's Most Influential Persons "at least in the realm of adventure gaming."[2]

Other works[]

Stafford is also a practicing shaman and member of the board of directors of Shaman's Drum[3], a journal of experiential shamanism. He has had some short articles of Arthurian interest published. Stafford recently lived in Mexico for 18 months, tutoring English as a foreign language, exploring places of archeological and shamanic interest.

For some years, Stafford has been slowly writing several novels set in Glorantha. Novels that he is known to have been working on are Harmast's Saga, Arkat's Saga, and his "Lunar novel". He is currently finishing his first part of the Harmast Saga with the support of Friends of Glorantha.


Fantasy author David A. Hargrave pays homage to Stafford in the Arduin series of supplements, the most widely know example of this being the Stafford's Star Bridge 9th-Level mage spell (Arduin I, page 41).


  1. Interview with Greg Stafford on Phantasie website. URL checked 2008-02-13.
  2. Haring, Scott D. (1999-12-24). "Second Sight: The Millennium's Best "Other" Game and The Millennium's Most Influential Person". Pyramid (online). Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  3. Biography page from URL checked 2006-04-27.