Oliver Dickinson 2008

Oliver Dickinson, who lies behind the character Olaf first named in the original 1983 Pavis box (who should always be referred to as Olaf The Storyteller), is a well-known specialist in Greek archaeology, especially the Greek Bronze and early Iron Ages, who taught in the Classics and Ancient History Department at Durham University, U.K., from 1976 to 2005, and lives in Haxby near York. Like most archaeologists, he has continued his activities after retirement, attending international conferences and writing papers for these, contributing to encyclopaedias (most recently The Cambridge World Prehistory, 2014), etc. His last book was published in 2006, but he has written various articles and contributions to books since.

Olaf leaning on a Post, Griselda

He has always been fond of science fiction, fantasy (encountering The Lord Of The Rings as a teenager), and complex board games. His involvement with the fantasy world of Glorantha began in 1979 when he was introduced to the boardgame White Bear and Red Moon by a colleague at Durham. He swiftly began writing to Greg Stafford, bought RuneQuest, and ran the RuneRites column in White Dwarf in the years 1981-4, but had to give it up when it was eating into time that should have been spent on academic matters. He 'came out' in 1990 when he attended the Conjunction of the Million Spheres fantasy con in Cambridge and did a Griselda spot, reading a story and producing other Griselda-related material, something which he did at all the Convulsions (1992-2002) and continued to do at Continuum from 2006; he also attended Tentacles Untapped in 2007, where he read the first version of The Lady of Alone. He made a final appearance at Continuum in 2014, where he read the last Griselda story written, A Brief Return to the Rubble. He has been actively involved in preparing those stories not published in The Complete Griselda as chapbooks by Tentacles Press; the first were sold in aid of the The Kraken convention in late 2016.

He has little experience of gaming in a group (he has done lots of solo work) or live-action roleplaying outside the cons (his academic career absorbed too much of his time), but has played and enjoyed the computer game King of Dragon Pass and takes a general interest in fantasy roleplaying. He continues to enjoy the portrayal of gamers in the comic Knights of the Dinner Table. He was a fan of Xena: Warrior Princess, but has no strong interest in superheroes. He is not a great fan of Harry Potter, though he has read the books, under some pressure from his wife and son, and with them has seen the films, which he much preferred. He has a moderate interest in Star Wars, and watched The Force Awakening, but he has not followed HBO's Game of Thrones, having given up waiting for George R.R. Martin to publish a new book years ago.


Now in his eighth decade, he may well be the oldest person interested in Glorantha. He is very gratified that the Griselda stories have proved so popular and have interested players in Glorantha and particularly in Pavis, and that Griselda plays a significant role in Pavis: Gateway to Adventure.







2017 Oliver Dickinson
"Glorantha, RuneQuest and HeroQuest are trademarks of Moon Design Publications and used with their permission."

updated 2nd October 2017