Someone said:The RQ fumbles tables were filled with all sort of horrible things happening to friends (it was "friends" in our translation) close to the fumbling combatant. Hence the famous cry at our table of "I'm not his friend and I'm not close to him!"
Remember, it was based on things that happened to the author in the SCA (he must have lost a lot of friends in SCA combats)
Runequest, IMO, was a good system. However, it rode a lot on the strength of the campaign world (Glorantha, one of the classic RPG worlds) and players looking for an alternative to D&D. Runequest was possibly the most popular of the early RPGs that wasn't tied to a class system.