Interestingly my first introduction to a real RPG was not Dungeons and Dragons but Traveller. A fiend of mine's brother had several traveller books and he swore the game was awesome, certainly better than Dungeons and Dragons (whatever that was). I was excited by the idea of the game but after my bad experience with Starship Traveller I was reluctant to venture into space again.
Turns out I was right to be. We spent, what seemed like hours making a characters only for mine to die DURING CHARACTER CREATION just as it looked like we were actually going to play. Space was a cruel mistress and if this was the best Roleplaying had to offer I was sticking with Fighting Fantasy and a date with Zanbar Bone in a little town called Port Blacksand!