Steve Perrin

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Steve Perrin
Perrin at the 2018 Gen Con
Perrin at the 2018 Gen Con
BornStephen Herbert Perrin
(1946-01-22)January 22, 1946
DiedAugust 13, 2021(2021-08-13) (aged 75)
OccupationGame designer, technical writer, editor
GenreRole-playing games
Notable worksRuneQuest, Stormbringer, Call of Cthulhu

Stephen Herbert Perrin (January 22, 1946[1] – August 13, 2021)[2] was an American game designer and technical writer/editor, best known for creating the tabletop role-playing game RuneQuest for Chaosium.

Early life and education[edit]

Perrin earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Francisco State University.[citation needed] In 1966, Perrin was a founding member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).[3]: 83 

Early career and Chaosium[edit]

One of his first contributions to the world of RPGs was "The Perrin Conventions" in 1976, a set of alternative rules for Dungeons & Dragons combat, which led to his work on RuneQuest.[3]: 83 [4] Perrin was interested in getting more involved with the RPG industry, and with Jeff Pimper he talked with Chaosium about publishing a D&D-based monster manual, which they called All the Worlds' Monsters (1977), which beat TSR's Monster Manual to market.[3]: 83  Perrin - along with Steve Henderson and Warren James - began working on an idea for an original gaming system for Glorantha, and were soon joined by Ray Turney from the original failed design team; this was finally published in 1978 as RuneQuest.[3]: 83 

Perrin officially joined Chaosium in 1981, although he just stayed a few years.[3]: 84  He was one of several authors who contributed to Thieves' World (1981).[3]: 85  Perrin's Worlds of Wonder (1982) was the third release under Chaosium's Basic Role-Playing system (BRP).[3]: 86  Superworld, one of Worlds of Wonder's worlds, became its own game, although it was only moderately successful and Perrin later acknowledged that it was too similar to Hero Games' Champions.[3]: 87  In 1984 he wrote the BRP based Elfquest, based on the Elfquest comic book.[3]: 87  While at Chaosium he also created Stormbringer, and contributed to Call of Cthulhu.

Later career[edit]

Hero Games published its sixth RPG, Robot Warriors (1986), by Perrin.[3]: 147  He also wrote the 1987 Champions role-playing game supplement The Voice of Doom.

He worked at Interplay Productions, Maxis, and Spectrum Holobyte, doing game design, playtesting, and writing manuals for such computer games as Mechanized Assault & Exploration, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, and Descent to Undermountain. He has also worked freelance for many of the major players in the games industry including TSR, FASA, Hero Games, West End Games, and Iron Crown Enterprises.

Steve Perrin's Quest Rules (SPQR) was sold independently through Chaos Limited. In 2004, he collaborated with Taldren on Black 9 Ops, which Perrin decided to make available for free.

In 2010, Perrin began creating PDF adventures for the games Icons and Mutants & Masterminds, and completed several scenarios for Vigilance Press and Fainting Goat Press. In 2019, he returned to Chaosium as a creative consultant.[5] In 2020, he contributed to the Wild Cards novel American Hero.[citation needed]

On August 13, 2021, Chaosium announced Perrin's death.[6]


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "Steve Perrin | RPG Designer | RPGGeek".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Appelcline, Shannon (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  4. ^ "The History of Runequest: A Bright Beginning". July 13, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  5. ^ O'Brien, Michael. "Steve Perrin returns to Chaosium as a creative consultant". Chaosium. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Meints, Rick. "Vale and farewell, Steve Perrin (1946 - 2021)". Chaosium. Retrieved August 14, 2021.

External links[edit]