RIP Greg Stafford, a true titan in the roleplaying game world, designer and founder of Chaosium.
It’s rare that someone should totally transform tabletop games not once, or twice, but three times. His RuneQuest totally transformed games in the 1980s, making fantasy games more visceral and sometimes brutal than the abstract hit points of other fantasy games, and you’ll find more RuneQuest clones in the 1980s than D&D clones. RuneQuest was a better seller in Europe, and many European gamers remember their first game as RuneQuest, not D&D.
The second time he transformed roleplaying games was with Prince Valiant, arguably the first of the narrative-centered games that ruled the game world in the 1990s. Without Prince Valiant, there would be no Vampire the Masquerade, Feng Shui, or Castle Falkenstein.
Finally, though he was not the designer of Call of Cthulhu (that was Sandy Petersen) it was Stafford who published and supported that game’s existence. Without him or Chaosium there would be no Call of Cthulhu.
Greg Stafford was a practitioner of shamanism, and it is believed he died in a sweat lodge during a ritual.