Jorune was one of those old school roleplaying games that many were aware of, but few played back in the day.
In the Eighties, if one wanted to promote their game to RPGers, it was through Dragon magazine. That’s how I became aware of Jorune, from a series of eye-catching ads in Dragon.
Nowdays, with RPGs being mainstream, photo-realistic gaming art is unremarkable. But in the Eighties, most RPG illustrations were basic line art. Not so with Jorune. The pictures that accompanied the promo text were memorable.
Jorune was the result of a trio of creatives: Andrew Leker, Miles Teves & Amy Leker. Teves was the illustrator (he later went on to a career in Hollywood).
Jorune the game world has a science fantasy background. Human colonists settle an alien world. Later they are cut off from the rest of humanity, and must contend with the native alien life and sophonts. Eventually, humans lose their technological edge, reduced to a medieval lifestyle.
If this sounds familiar, it should. This also describes the background of another old school RPG: Tekumel, the Empire of the Petal Throne. EPT was in fact an influence on young Andrew Leker.
I first caught a glimpse of the 3 book Dungeons and Dragons set back in 1976/1977. I was amazed. Until that time I had played only war-games with my friends and had no concept as to what a roleplaying game was. Soon after I was introduced to Empire of the Petal Throne, a game which found a place into my heart, but a game which I never played. Its world was dark and in it humanity was in a downward spiral from which there was no return. I believe that “Darkness, not only of the sky but also of the mind descended upon Tekumel forever.” (or something like that.)Sholari fanzine, issue 1
Today, I’m profiling the Jorune 2nd edition box set, the most iconic version of the game.
At the end of this post, I have some pics of the prototype “Investor’s Edition” and historical notes from somebody’s 2011 auction.
Visit my RPG reference site page for Jorune to see the 1st and 3rd edition books, plus many seldom-seen accessories released in support of the game.
Skyrealms of Jorune (2nd edition) [BOX SET]
1985 … Andrew Leker & Miles Teves & Amy Leker … Skyrealms Publishing SR101
Contains: Tauther Guide; Player Manual; Sholari Guide; Skyrealm Kolovisondra campaign; Character & resource sheets.
Sometimes Rules Supplements are also present, essentially 20-page packets of errata.
I believe there are two distinct printings of the Jorune 2e box set. I’ve seen slightly color-shifted boxes, and the Rules Supplement has 3 different versions: The 1st (1986), 11/86 and 8/87.
Mailing List Card
Note the date on one of the cards.
Skyrealms Publishing Flier
Jorune Investor Edition Prototype
These photos and description I cribbed from an Ebay auction in 2011. I didn’t correct grammatical errors.
“So what are these and where did this guy get them?
That’s exactly what I asked myself last week after Miles signed them. I thought I got these in the summer of 1981 at a Lyceum class in Salinas, Ca, where Andrew Leker was the Sholari running the game. He told us (myself, Jeff Nelson, my brother, and two others I didn’t know if memory serves) that his goal was to work out the bugs in the game. I think Brett Heppes was there also. But Miles pointed out to me that he did the illustrations 1985. So later that night I looked and indeed the copyright is 1985. Now I’m confused, which is not unusual for me, and I have a mystery to solve. I think maybe I got these at an investor meeting at the Leker house (their parents) but don’t really recall. So I called my mom, and she had no memory of the 1981 class but remembered the 1985 investor meeting because she was trying to talk me out of investing in SkyRealms and save my $ for college. I remember being at one investor meeting, the 2nd of two times I met Andrew Leker (don’t call him “the Geek”, he hates that), but not much beyond that. But Mother swears up and down I invested money and was positive it was during the school year when I was a Junior, which was ’84-’85. So I disrupt some stagnant brain cells and I think I did invest some money but forgot about it after the business went belly up. So I call Jeff Nelson, mentioned above, and we talked for about 45 minuted about Jorune (he has a HUGE collection of collectible Jorune stuf, I was amazed as he was telling me all the stuff he has), and we came to the conclusion that what I have for auction, the only other set we know of is Jeff’s, is a copy of a preview edition of the Second Edition three volume set that was given to investors as the Lekers were trying to raise capital to send the 2nd edition box set to the printers, get it distributed and take care of all their other overhead. It was an example of what we were investing in. So Spring of 1985 is when I would have gotten these . The actual box set was released for sale in the Summer of 1985. Miles recognized these items for auction from 20 feet away and got a nice big grin on his face. So these are rare pre-production spiral bound books, safe bet they were assembled by Andrew and or Amy, this sentiment being confirmed by Miles, and are essentially photocopies of what would become the 2nd edition SkyRealms of Jorune Box Set. Autographed by Miles Teves, who’s website you should visit if you haven’t already. He’s the guy smiling in the photo. Miles and Andrew co-created the world of Jorune, When it came time to turn their ideas into a product, Andrew wrote the book(s) and Miles was the Concept Artist and Illustrator. Amy was more involved with production.
That’s the deal with these books. Feel free to ask any questions. The inside of these books are unmarked. They haven’t been opened since 1985 or 1986 and are in good condition. Some yellowing along the edges. See pictures for condition of covers.”
Dyson goes through the steps of drawing an isometric map of a Jorune sky island (“Skyrealm”):