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
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.
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