So, I talked to both the Friday and Sunday gaming groups, and polled them on what they would play from a list of games that I presented to them. I gave them a specific list as, while it was important that they pick a game or three that they want to play, it had to be something that a) I wanted to run; and b) that I would enjoy running for a long period of time. You would think that this would be the case with any rpg that I chose to run, wouldn't you? but the truth is as far from that in some ways as I can possibly imagine. The only two rpgs that I have enjoyed running for very long periods of time are the DragonQuest fantasy rpg and the Universe sf rpg, both published once upon a time by Simulations Publications, Inc. (aka SPI). The other game that I liked running, despite the mathematical nightmares of the game, was SkyRealms of Jorune, but I never ran that for more than three months at a time (and on the Sunday gaming group, the game never got past the second adventure or so), as there were too many other games that I ran in the mid- to late 1980's when I wasn't running DragonQuest or Universe.
What came out interesting was that both groups were unanimous that they wanted to play Universe as the science fiction system over any other sf rpg. In some ways, I can't say that I'm surprised by this, since both the Friday and Sunday gaming groups have terrific memories of some of the more interesting events in the campaigns of that game; heck, some of my best memories of gaming come from the Universe rpg games that I've run.1 However, the bigger surprise was that SkyRealms of Jorune was both groups' overall second choice for rpg that they wanted to play. Granted that the players enjoyed themselves with Jorune quite a bit, even if spross moaned about the learning curve when it came to the Jorune glossary and all. I guess my biggest fear in regards to both choices is that the players will get bored playing two science fiction rpgs (even if they are very different from one another), but I guess we'll find out over the course of 2009.
When it comes right down to it, I have no problem with running long-term campaigns of both Universe and SkyRealms of Jorune2, and I agreed to start the Universe campaigns immediately; the players on Sunday actually started to create their characters for the game, in fact! Both games are immensely enjoyable to me and challenging, both from a world/universe pov, and from the pov of the concepts and ideas found in the games, but I will definitely miss running a fantasy roleplaying game during the time and all. Perhaps I'll convince them to play in one at some point down the road (when they tire of the sf rpgs, perhaps? hehe; and who knows, perhaps it'll be DragonQuest if they decide they really like the feel of the SPI game mechanics and all?), but I am content to run both these systems during the next year or so. The other system that I want to run again down the road at some point is Hollow Earth Expedition, the Pulp adventure game of the 1930's with a focus on the Hollow Earth, as that is a roleplaying game that I have enjoyed tremendously over the last few years, and I have good memories from this game as well. (See, there I go with the memories thing, again!)
I am pretty glad that the gamers made this decision, and that I've got a pair of excellent rpgs to run on them for the coming year. You'll be hearing about the two campaigns here in my blog, as well as other thoughts on various rpgs and the like over the course of the next year or so, but I suspect that this will make for an interesting year of gaming. And it's got me thinking of running a Universe scenario at CanGames now... :)
1 And if anyone wants to hear some more about this, they have but to ask in the comments, and I will provide some memories of Universe rpg play. Heck, some of the players from those games may even contribute to this, perhaps!
2 Such as they may be, given that I'm 53 years old these days, and who knows when I will pop off this mortal coil.