Chris Horsfall


These are a few words about Chris as a gamer. Other people have spoken about him overall far better than I could do; this website is mainly gaming-based and so I'll touch on my experiences of gaming with Chris.

Gaming with Chris was never, ever dull. Endlessly inventive, his characters often varied radically from what's "expected" of a character class or race. A druid who regarded humans as no less valid a source of meat than cows, the only really successful illusionist I have ever seen played, a thief who eventually came to dominate half a world's trade from the shadows, a monk who categorized everything as a threat unless proved otherwise; Barrios the vampire, Stumpy Moments with his axe Deep Impact, Imno Tani Nja (read it again!), the list is endless. In his brief forays from Greyhawk to Alair, Chris solidified the Slitheren ratman race with Twenty Ocloth, just as Gord did for dwarves with Hildraft.

Coupled with that creativity was, quite simply, the most Machiavellian plotter I have ever encountered. Time after time, Chris' characters would have some quiet agenda running in the background, and we'd all wake up to find our characters with a domination poison in their veins, or a fortune in someone else's gold in their pockets, or their sister in law quietly turned into a vampire. All delivered with such panache and cheerful charm that you couldn't get angry about it (well, after the fight was over anyway!)

At the table he was warm, funny and witty. The Master of the Dark Aside, his 12-gauge puns were legendary. When he turned his agile brain to anagrams, even the DM had to run to keep up with the implications he could draw from the letters of an NPC's name. Sometimes he would lead the party, but more often he'd settle slightly back until he was ready and spring his surprises. He preferred straightforward game systems to complex rule systems, and his cry of "it's only fantasy geology/physics/biology!" cut across many arguments about realism and got things moving again.

He invented D&D Pie, a much enjoyed Tuesday dinner, and a cup of Honx Coffee was a great way to keep flagging players going towards the end of the evening.

Pretty much the last conversation we had, he was talking brightly about getting back to the table and rolling some dice. He never made it, but he will be much missed and never forgotten while dice bounce across flat surfaces.