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Chaosium is one of the longer lived publishers of role-playing games still in existence. Founded by Greg Stafford, its first game was actually a wargame, White Bear and Red Moon, which later mutated into Dragon Pass and its sequel, Nomad Gods. White Bear and Red Moon is notable for containing the first published material about Glorantha, later used as the primary setting for the role-playing games RuneQuest, Hero Wars and HeroQuest.



The rules of RuneQuest, Chaosium's first role-playing game, were distilled down into a generic, genre-neutral format known as Basic Role-Playing (BRP). These generic rules formed the basis of many of Chaosium's later RPGs, such as Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Nephilim, and Ringworld.

Chaosium and Greg Stafford are also responsible for Pendragon, an Arthurian RPG now published by White Wolf, Inc.'s ArtHaus imprint after a spell with Green Knight Publishing. Other games of note include Mythos, Elfquest, Worlds of Wonder, Superworld, Hawkmoon, and the frequently forgotten Prince Valiant.

Several notable RPG authors have written material for Chaosium, including Steve Perrin, Sandy Petersen, Lynn Willis, Keith Herber, David Conyers, Ken St. Andre, and Arduin creator David A. Hargrave.


Three magazines, all of them defunct, had been published by Chaosium to promote its products:

  • Wyrm's Footnotes ran for fourteen issues from 1976 to 1995. Initially it was a supporting material publication for White Bear and Red Moon but for its 11th issue, in 1981, it had become the official RuneQuest magazine.[1]
  • Different Worlds. Forty-seven bimonthly issues from Different Worlds were published. Chaosium, from 1979 to 1985, published the thirty-eight first ones and Sleuth Publications, from 1985 to 1987, the nine last ones. In spite of being an old Chaosium's and Stafford's collaborator, Tadashi Ehara was the editor of the magazine during the periods concerned by both publishing houses.[2]
  • Starry Wisdom, a Lovecraft themed magazine, three issues of which Chaosium published in 1997.[3]

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