Greg Stafford touched so many lives with such magic that it is literally impossible to describe the feeling of his departure. I'm not even sure I can describe what it means to me -- I found out about three hours ago and I'm still trying to form words.
But I can say that he was everything I ever dreamed and hoped he was when I met him over 25 years ago. He was an unfailingly kind and thoughtful friend, a boon companion, and a magnificent and path-breaking game designer whose 33-year-old masterpiece King Arthur Pendragon remains well in advance of the state of the art. He defined the Charisma stat in person, and the Intelligence and Power stats in conversation and creation.
I have so many fond memories of him, from first cracking open Call of Cthulhu, to getting an email from GREG STAFFORD HIS OWN SELF asking what book I wanted to write for his company, to having him run Pendragon for me one night, to getting my author's copy of the Prince Valiant RPG Episode Book two days ago -- and those are just the gaming-direct memories.
There's also the late-night riffing on the movie Anaconda when we shared a room at some con or other, the walking tour of the Haight peppered with hilariously cruel jokes about the Grateful Dead, the long-form talks about myth and gods and monsters, and the unique delight of introducing Greg to a new drug called Stilton cheese. Dozens of kindnesses, personal and professional; they seemed to grow from him naturally, like leaves off the Green Knight.
Greg was a personal hero of mine, as well as a culture-hero to my people. He showed me his rune, and I've been trying to master it for decades.
Yep, I was right, I can't describe what Greg's departure means to me. This will have to do. Ave atque vale, Greg, rex quondam et rex futurus ludorum.