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[Chaosium] Vale and farewell, Steve Perrin (1946 - 2021)

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Vale and farewell, Steve Perrin!

By Rick Meints, Chaosium President​

When the world of roleplaying games was still waiting to be born, you and your closest friends conjured up the Society for Creation Anachronism (SCA) from the realms of your collective imagination. Bump, bump, bump down the stairs, indeed. Shortly thereafter Steve and his wife Luise joined the fledging Chaosium as it spread its draconic wings in the mid-1970s with White Bear & Red Moon, and a little known RPG called RuneQuest, born on the 4th of July in 1976.

Steve’s canny understanding of gaming mechanics and Luise’s artistic vision helped forge an iconic game still played around the world today.

But a few hours ago we learned that Steve was taken from us, even as he worried that his beloved Luise’s health situation was more dire than his. He was a loving and devoted partner to the end.

To sum up all that Steve was to the Chaosium family cannot be typed up in a few sentences.

He is one of our Great Old Ones. An innovative genius who helped pave the way for us to exist today, delighting gamers while they sit around a table, in person or online, exploring stories and adventures together, weaving new tales of derring-do. RuneQuest and Superworld were his children, and his imprint on so many of our other games is indelibly present.

Many of us grew up playing his games. He was the uncle we admired, envied, and listened to for his wise counsel. In the last few years, as a new edition of RuneQuest was born he was there, his wisdom and experience reminding us of the simple, pure, and wondrous origins of the magic of roleplaying. How can you say thank you for that?

We grieve with all of those who knew him, especially his family. We thought we might have been able to entice him to be with us at one more gaming convention in the near future, but now we know that gathering will have to wait.

Saying farewell is never easy. Dear friends depart, and we remember them for all the richness they brought to our lives. We at the Chaosium cherish all the decades you sat with us at the gaming table and the stories you created with us.

Vale, and farewell, Steve.

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Steve Perrin and Greg Stafford at Gen Con 2018 - Two Great Old Ones at their last gathering together.
 

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Bluenose

Adventurer
Rest In Peace, Mister Perrin. Your work gave me, and many others, a great amount of pleasure over many years. You will be remembered for it for as long as roleplayers gather.
 

Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
I was a long time SCA member and picked up Runequest to try because of the SCA reference in fhe fumble tables (2e). I ran a long camping for my friends and later moved to the SF area when he had been one of the SCA founders. I will miss him and the work he still could do.
 

Nutation

Explorer
Ugly news to wake up to, but I knew he was having health problems.
I've played games with Steve almost from the beginning. That became bi-weekly when he left the Bay Area c. 20 years ago and moved to Southern California. He continued to try new game systems and new scenarios.

I am frustrated that my only contact with him in the last year and a half has been through voice and VTT. Modern technology was not his friend. Until the last month, his voice sounded good as he struggled and failed at Discord. He also had an amazing ability to turn an Excel spreadsheet into a jumbled mess.

Steve has continued to do game design. In recent years, he contributed to ICONS. He crafted a revival of Superhero 44. We put a lot of work into that, but the editor and publisher killed it. Creative differences, I think. There is a nearly complete Superworld draft that I would like to see published as a final tribute.
 


TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Sad loss. Major game designer - the photo of him sitting next to Greg Stafford is pretty iconic.

I was hoping to see how his new edition of Superworld would have come out, but best wishes to his family and friends.
 




Blue Orange

Adventurer
RIP. It's inevitable but still sad when it happens. Hope Sandy Petersen's around a while longer.

I remember when Gary Gygax died and RPG.net turned their border black. Wizards had something as well as I recall.
 


Michael O'Brien

Hero
Publisher
Steve Perrin's final design work for RuneQuest was something of a love letter to his wife Luise:
 

Scottius

Explorer
Ugly news to wake up to, but I knew he was having health problems.
I've played games with Steve almost from the beginning. That became bi-weekly when he left the Bay Area c. 20 years ago and moved to Southern California. He continued to try new game systems and new scenarios.

I am frustrated that my only contact with him in the last year and a half has been through voice and VTT. Modern technology was not his friend. Until the last month, his voice sounded good as he struggled and failed at Discord. He also had an amazing ability to turn an Excel spreadsheet into a jumbled mess.

Steve has continued to do game design. In recent years, he contributed to ICONS. He crafted a revival of Superhero 44. We put a lot of work into that, but the editor and publisher killed it. Creative differences, I think. There is a nearly complete Superworld draft that I would like to see published as a final tribute.
I would love to see a new edition/publication of Superworld. I used to have a copy of the box set and loved it. I hope Chaosium makes the pdf available on Drivethrurpg.com as a POD as well.

It's sad to see a luminary of the RPG field pass. His memory will live on long in our memories via the games he crafted and the joy they bring us.
 

Michael O'Brien

Hero
Publisher
For our RuneQuest Classic Kickstarter in 2016 Steve Perrin generously provided a personal account of his role in the genesis of the RuneQuest roleplaying game. Although at the time of the Kickstarter we publicly featured an excerpt of Steve's recollections, the full account was only ever published a high level backer item (in the RuneQuest Playtest Manuscript) and so only received limited circulation.

In memory of Steve, here we present his account in full as a six part series, offering his fascinating insights into the development of RuneQuest, the rules that cemented Steve Perrin as one of the most influential game designers of all time.

 


Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
RIP.

Never got to play Runequest despite wanting to. There was a failed attempt just before 5e came out. I recently bought the latest edition. Hoping to do a mini-campaign in 2021.
 

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