About 31 or 32 years ago, I took a new book along with me to read. Now, I really should have been sociable, I was accompanying a friend to a dog show that he'd been shanghaied into going to with his mother and sister. There wasn't much for him to do except sit around all day, and I was theoretically coming along to keep him company and make the day pass a bit faster.
I had just purchased a copy of the role playing game Runequest, however, and I brought my new book along. The book was very well written. It's as engaging to read as a novel, to be honest. Unfortunately that left my friend Barry sitting around while I was rudely enjoying it.
Never one to let a good bit of boredom go to waste, Barry started writing his own game. He called it RoonQuest (gee, I wonder where the inspiration for that came from?) He made it an RPG parody, and put in a fair bit of silliness. Pretty soon I noticed him chuckling to himself and drawing some very funny drawings. I offered to let him read Runequest if he'd give me a look at what he was up to.
He was rolling along with what he was doing at that point, and refused. Now I was the one who was miffed. Barry was working away on something fun without me! I kept reading Runequest, but I kept looking over at Barry to see if he was ready to divulge what he was up to.
Some time later we did end up trading. I thoroughly enjoyed RoonQuest, he seemed to enjoy reading Runequest. I started writing up things to add to RoonQuest, and did so while he kept reading, for a while, then we were both working side by side on RoonQuest.
A year or so later, I ended up actually running a campaign using our game for a rules-weary gaming group in another town. At first, the game was used to fill in time while we were waiting on the real DM to arrive (he was often somewhat late, and many of us started the party early.) Later, though, the group decided they'd like to have RoonQuest as their regular game for almost a year, with about a year and a half of play time in all.
At present neither one of us can find a copy of the original game. I'm pretty well convinced I've got the copy that I used for that campaign salted away somewhere, I just haven't opened the right box in the garage yet.
However, partial copies and source code from my attempts to build a computer game around it have turned up. Using that and our memories, I've put together a new version of the game, renamed "RoonVenture" to give us a little more elbow room for defining ourselves in the presence of that other game, now available in its new edition from Mongoose Publishing.
I've posted our new game, RoonVenture, on my website as a free PDF download.
If you do end up playing the game, please let me know how it goes. If you post anything about it, even if you totally rip us a new one, send me a link.