Day 11 – Weirdest RPG Owned
I guess this one depends on how one defines "weird" when it comes to rpgs, doesn't it? :)
For me, the weirdest RPG that I own is the SkyRealms of Jorune RPG.
SkyRealms of Jorune, 2nd Edition (Boxed Set)
Definitely a science fantasy roleplaying game, and I still own every product produced for the game, other than the very first edition of the game. Set on an alien world, Jorune is the name of the first extrasolar planet humanity discovered, and is home to a variety of strange creatures, including the intelligent shanthas. The shanthas were at a Stone Age technological level when humanity first arrived to explore the world. The two species nevertheless negotiated treaties to allow for limited colonization by mankind. When a cataclysmic war cut the human colonists off from Earth and its supplies, possibly forever, they abrogated their treaties with the shanthas and seized more of Jorune and its resources than they were allowed by the treaty. The shanthas retaliated by using a powerful force known as isho - a strange energy field that permeates Jorune, amplified by its crystal core and which some races can tap into to create "magical" effects. Together, the humans and shanthas nearly destroyed one another and devastated the planet, leading to a millenia-long dark age that saw technology and society collapse. The game takes place long after the war, once humanity has dragged itself back up to medieval/renaissance level of technology and social structure. The player characters are assumed to be humans (or one of two descendant races), seeking to become citizens of the main human state, called Burdoth. To become a citizen, one must impress enough current citizens in order to get them to sponsor you - and one impresses them by doing all manner of errands for them, thus creating a good excuse for adventures. SkyRealms of Jorune provides a good basis for many types of adventures, from seeking out lost Earth technology to exploring the wilderness to learning how to better manipulate isho and more. It's a terrific game, hampered only by its presentation and by the fact that there's just so much going on that one can easily lose the forest for the trees.
The real point here, however, is that SkyRealms of Jorune is a truly alien world, and as such is on a par with M.A.R. Barker's Tekumel. In many ways, the game reminded me of Empire of the Petal Throne. (I actually had all of the game material for several editions of the Tekumel gaming stuff, but sold that off during a time of financial crisis.) However, add the very mathematical set of rules, the glossaries of Joruni terms and the like, and... well, SkyRealms of Jorune is definitely the weirdest roleplaying game that I still own.