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 immortalized as the primary setting for the role-playing game RuneQuest, Hero Wars and now, 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, if not most, 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.
Some Chaosium products have been translated into French, Portuguese, Japanese,German, Spanish and Italian, and were available in France from Jeux Descartes, in Germany from Pegasus Press, in Spain from La factoría de ideas and in Italy from Stratelibri and Grifo Edizioni.
In the mid-1980s, Chaosium entered into a complex arrangement with Avalon Hill to publish RuneQuest material while Chaosium maintained editorial control over Glorantha-based material for the game (which Avalon Hill would publish). While this agreement reportedly kept the company in existence, it also left RuneQuest moribund, leading to products of questionable quality, long gaps with no products published at all, and, eventually, the death of the game altogether.
Failed ventures/new directions Edit
In 1979, Chaosium began publication of Different Worlds, a magazine designed to support its products, much like Dragon Magazine for TSR. The magazine ran for 38 issues under Chaosium, then for another nine under other publishers.
In the late 1990s, Chaosium effectively split up into various successor companies, each maintaining its focus on a few of the company's products. Green Knight Publishing formed to focus on Pendragon, Chaosium "proper" retained Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, and Mythos, while Greg Stafford founded Issaries, Inc. to publish HeroQuest and focus on bringing new Glorantha related material into print. Also, Wizard's Attic (no longer in business) was formed in order to act as a fulfillment house. Charlie Krank became president when Stafford left.
Call of Cthulhu fiction Edit
- The Hastur Cycle.
- Mysteries of the Worm: New Second Edition, Revised & Expanded by Robert Bloch.
- Cthulhu's Heirs.
- Shub Niggurath Cycle: She who is to come.
- Encyclopedia Cthulhiana.
- The Azathoth Cycle: the Blind Idiot God.
- The Book of Iod: The Eaters of Souls & other tales By Henry Kuttner.
- Made in Goatswood: New Tales of Horror in the Severn Valley.
- The Dunwich Cycle: Where the Old Gods Wait.
- The Cthulhu Cycle.
- the Disciples of Cthulhu Second Revived Edition.
- The Necronomicon: Selected Stories and Essays.
- The Xothic Legend Cycle: The Complete Mythos Fiction of Lin Carter
- Singers of Strange Songs.
- Scroll of Thoth: Simon Magnus and the Great Old Ones.
- The Complete Pegana by Lord Dunsany
- The Innsmouth Cycle.
- The NyarlathotepCycle.
- Tales Out of Innsmouth.
- The Ithaqua Cycle.
- The Yellow Signs and Other Stories: the Complete Weird Tales of Robert W. Chambers.
- The Book of Eibon
- Book of Dyzan
- Nameless Cults: the Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E. Howard
- The Tsathoggua Cycle
- The Antarktos Cycle: At the Mountains of Madness and other Chilling Tales
- Song of Cthulhu: Tales of the Sphere Beyond Sound
- The Disciples of Cthulhu II: Blasphemous Tales of the Followers
- The Three Impostors & other stories vol.1 of the best weird tales of Arthur Machen
- The White People & Others Stories vol.2 of the best weird tales of Arthur Machen
- The Terror & Others Stories vol.3 of the best weird tales of Arthur Machen
- Arkham Tales
- The Spiraling Worm
- Frontier Cthulhu
- The Strange Cases of Rudolph Pearson: Horripilating Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos