In July of 1978, the Origins Game Fair was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over 3500 people attended what was the largest gaming convention in the US at that time. In the main hall gamers could pick up the latest games from all the major publishers: Cross of Iron by Avalon Hill, Atlantic Wall by SPI, and The Hall of the Fire Giant King module by TSR. In one small booth near a corner you could also purchase RuneQuest, the first Roleplaying game published by The Chaosium, a quirky 3 person company from the Bay Area. It sold out over the weekend, and every print run continued to do so for the next several years.
This is the second edition of the RuneQuest rules in its final form, with all errata incorporated into the text. Additional material has been added to the appendices at the end.
RuneQuest took the young world of roleplaying games by storm; it cast aside many of the approaches most other games took. It had no character classes, no experience points, no levels, and far fewer restrictions on how weapons, armor, and spells could be used. Instead of a D20 it uses a percentile 01-100 system. It also has the built-in fantasy world of Glorantha.
During what many consider to be the golden age of roleplaying, RuneQuest enjoyed its greatest popularity, second only to AD&D in sales. It won numerous awards, starting in 1978 with the Strategist’s Club Award for “Outstanding Miniatures Rules”, which may sound quirky, but that was because the industry had yet to create award categories specifically for roleplaying games.