A Board / Bored Game with Role-playing Features

  • One boring summer stuck in Libertyville Illinois (and continuing off and on for a few years), my brother and I developed a board/bored game. [This was in 1962, before the Kennedy assassination, so there is a lot of Political Incorrectness in it.] It started out as an amalgamation of Monopoly, Clue, and Careers, but quickly developed into something where each square on the main board ended up taking you to a subsidiary board. Actions and events were determined by dice throws, card draws, etc. (so for example a roll of one die could send your character off in any of six directions, or an Ace of Spades result in the death of your game piece).

  • To keep things interesting, and allow you to suspend one course of action while your brother went off to complete the partially-made board you just landed in, multiple game pieces were used. That made it hard to keep track of what was going on. Each side then became a 'Syndicate', with a 'boss-man' and several 'henchmen'. You kept elaborate manual records on the side showing Syndicate assets, Levels completed, Henchman biographies, etc. etc. There were special forms for this. You had to start the game with just your 'boss-man', and he had to survive long enough to earn Experience Points and Money, also be able to recruit 'henchmen' (you could always subvert one from your opponent if you wanted). Once you had your gang going, then it was a matter for the boss to stay on the sidelines and run things using his surrogates.

  • Thus was born "Dungeons & Dragons" and similar role-playing games, long before the advent of PC's. (Too bad we never patented it!). But some of the results ended up with good stories that could be written up without much effort except just in the writing -- the plots had already been done for you!

There was one major drawback: Only Grobius and Celius knew how to play this game. ("Oh, we forgot to tell you, your henchman dies if he loses more than 6 pints of blood. You rolled a 5 back in the Leech Swamp and now you drew a deuce here in the Bucket of Blood tavern rumble. Scratch Bruno Bumbag from the roster....")

But now, many many years later, I am back into that and would like to share some of those old results, the ones that were preserved, with RPG players on the Internet, just to show that even if it is a waste of time, it does or can produce something to remember.

Home Page

Check out Blenkinsop on this page to see where this game ultimately ended up. I pretty much stopped after that because I realized that I had to actually do something to work for a living. -- Grobius

A cast of characters from Blenkinsop, some of whom originated as Gerousle player pieces before Blenkinsop took on a life of its own, can be reached by clicking Mallowfat & Fagg, which was the most successful of the Gerousle syndicates.