It was around the end of last year that I realised that I probably have "one good campaign" left in me to run.
I'm not a real fan of one-shots (although my best recent roleplaying experience was just that) or mini-campaigns.
I still have dreams of running an epic, sprawling open-ended, campaign in the style of the original creators of this sweet hobby of ours (such as Gygax's Greyhawk, Arneson's Blackmoor, Barker's Tekumel, and Hargraves' Arduin).
For me, that is the definitive expression of what roleplaying games can achieve that other kinds of games can't, but it's also the buzzing distraction that's prevented me from actually settling on what I want to run as my ONE game's system.
When I started the Tuesday Knights back in 2008, I was running a Castles & Crusades campaign, but very quickly I self-sabotaged it by second guessing myself and changing system unnecessarily.
The damage was done, and the wheels quickly came off that particular vehicle.
Had I stuck with my original system, and simply weathered my cyclical periods of self-doubt, I could see us still playing that original campaign now.
But it was not to be.
But after that I backed away from running games, meaning we've seen Pete run a number of Top Secret campaigns, Clare a couple of one-shots, and Simon some Marvel Super Heroes and, of course, his epic 5e Dungeons & Dragons campaign (which is currently on hiatus, which is why Pete is running his 1950's GURPS Atomic Horror game).
I'm not getting any younger, fitter, or smarter, so I do feel it's soon going to be time for me to step behind the gamesmaster's screen one last time and run a game.
But the question is: should I run a game that I know I can (ie. some kind of Dungeons & Dragons-inspired old school fantasy system) or one that I really want to?
The 'easy' option would be to stick with old school hack'n'slash, but I've always wanted to run a superhero game ... it's why this blog is called HeroPress after all.
I've got a setting, I just need the right game.
Another thing that I've realised some time ago is that since my stroke (in 2005), I can't really grok that many new systems.
That's why, despite my best efforts to 'adopt' more current systems, I've ultimately tended to gravitate towards games I played - or read - in my pre-stroke years (such as old school D&D, Second Edition Edition Villains & Vigilantes, The Fantasy Trip, Cinematic Unisystem etc)
I'm pretty certain the only new game system I've read and really understood in the last 15 years was Hollow Earth Expedition, which uses the very straight-forward Ubiquity system.
It's just that that game has an issue with large stat blocks.
Hence the attraction of the recently Kickstarted Amazing Heroes, which builds off the child-friendly Amazing Tales game.
To be continued...