Way, way back, through the mists of time. Lunch times were dangerous.
Going to the canteen was a positive hazard to your health. And not just because of the packet custard served at the melting temperature of steel.
There were far more dangerous foes lurking there, sharp elbowed 4th years and the 3rd year smokers viciously queue jumping to get the most out of their fag time.
Not to mention the possibility of having to spend time in close proximity to the most mind bendingly fearsome of all the food halls inhabitants - Girls!
Still. At least there were staff on duty in the canteen. You took your life in your hands in the corridors. If you were caught at the wrong end of the French corridor then you could risk being ripped to shreds by some surly teacher who has spent their life having their subject ignored by hordes of uncaring little arseholes and decides to take his fathomless dissapointment out on you.
If you go outside there is no telling when the horde of rampaging Brosettes will appear to boot you to death with their Doc martens, or the amount of money you'll lose when being force to play pitch and toss or the terror of breaking bones when caught in the middle of a game of British Bulldog.
Let's not even mention the forbidden zone that is the A-wing toilets!
The safest thing to do is to ask a sympathetic teacher if you can use their room at lunchtimes. It may be a history teacher or a technology teacher but some kind hearted soul allows you and your friends to hide, quivering, within their room for the hour.
And it's in that room, with those friends that you start playing roleplaying games.
And the one you play for ages is..... Runequest.
I have no idea how we came across Runequest. I know that one of our mates big brothers had introduced us the D&D but once we were old enough that they weren't forced by their mums to look after us we left to our own fates. I have a sneaking suspicion that most of our game choices were made because Neil's aunt had donated stuff to him and we used what ever we had. We certainly didn't have any money buy stuff.
So Runequest came into our lives. We created characters by the dozen and launched into campaigns that mostly involved random excuses for lots of combat.
This version of Runequest was 3rd ed and had been published in the Uk by Games Workshop. We had no idea what the previous versions were or what was wrong with them that they needed a 3rd Edition.
We were especially confused when we found this book.
What I've learned since is that the original versions of the game were sent in a fictional world called Glorantha which had a rich and complex history and background which had been developed over nearly a decade and had a huge amount of fans and material. 3rd edition jetisoned all that. Obviously.
The book itself is mostly text and covers everything you'd need for fantasy adventuring. Character generation, stats, armour, weapons, combat, movement, skills, character development, monsters, magic etc. All the basic rules for running a role playing game.
Runequest works on percentile roles so the glorious old d10 comes into play. It may have been possible that one us may have owned the mystical d100!
Most of the fantasy archetypes are present. Broo are the RQ equivalent of Beastmen and were the most common foe that we encountered. In fact these would easily have predated the GW version and a lot of the early citadel beastmen were in fact Broo designed for RQ. Elves, Orcs and Dwarves all have their place and obviously humans abound.
One of the weirdest creatures that were unique to the RQ universe was the Walktapus. Essentially a humanoid body with an Octopus for a head.
Avalon hill also released there version of 3rd Edition Runequest and it would appear that this came in nice little box.
GW took this box and split it into 3 books. The basic rules as seen at the top of the page.
Advanced Runequest which contained more detailed character background and rules as well as more information about creating and running adventures with an example adventure included.
And Runequest Monsters which expanded the choice of creatures within the game massively and gave rules and advice about using them as Pc's and Npc's.
GW also published another couple of books for RQ.
Griffin Island, which was a complete adventure pack containing new rules and loads of adventures and ideas as well as new rules and creatures.
And Land of the Ninja another complete adventure pack, this time set in the far east, full of new ideas, adventures and monsters.
Runequest gave us many hours of Roleplaying fun in our younger days. We even managed too get loads of the less geeky types to play. Folk that were normally more interested in what football team you supported (and at least one that had previously given me a good shoeing) actually showed some interesting roleplaying thanks to the solid little game.
Rune quest was one of many games that Games Workshop published under licence in it's golden era and one that featured commonly in white dwarf in the 80's. In fact it was as common to see material for RQ as it was WFRP at one point. The last adventure appeared in White dwarf 101. By this stage GW's own home brewed games were doing well enough to support the whole company. RQ and the rest of the licenses were abandoned and GW concentrated on WFRP ( as well as it's wargames, obviously).