I am new around here, and I don't know if I am on the right forum. My apologies in advance if I have posted this in the wrong place.
I don't know which rules to use for an upcoming campaign that I have been invited to run. I'm trying to choose between OpenQuest, RQ6, and Magic World and I am having a terrible time making a decision. The last thing I want to do is ask my players...so I've joined this forum.
For a little background, I've been GMing D100 games for 30+ years. Besides Stormbringer and BRP, I've run campaigns in HarnMaster and WFRP (which I consider Chaosium derived), among others. These rules, along with reams of house rules that I've created over the years, have begun to blend together in my head. This actually works pretty well for my regular gaming group as I tend to be a story-first, improvisational GM who doesn't let rules get in the way. They don't ask where one set of rules stops and another starts - as long as its fun.
This won't work for this new group who will expect to play a game as written, something I haven't done in a long time. So my question is for a RAW game.
Stormbringer has been my go to fantasy game for a long time so MW is a natural choice, but I have already had 1 player express distaste for anything resembling SB due to what he calls "game balance" (perhaps 1st edition but more likely bad a GM). I for one, see Stormbringer's baroque mix of mechanics as a feature. I do not yet own MW, but I have 4 editions of Stormbringer and most of the supplements. Of the 3 games under consideration SB is, I think, the deadliest and most gonzo . It works for me, but I don't know if it will work for my players, and there is always the lure of something new.
I like OQ a lot. I do not yet have OQ2 but I have run a couple of games with OQ1 and its great fun. My regular players rather have a preference for it. The biggest problem I have is that I can't help but tinker with it and add bits from other games. OQ is so easy to mod from other d100 games that I do it accidentally. However, OQ RAW might be too simple for this new group that consists of veteran and fairly serious players (in fact I think every player is a GM with his own group).
I really want RQ6 to be the end of my quest for a perfect rules set. I've never run it. In fact, I've never run RuneQuest in any form . RQ6 is a thing of elegance, a wonder to behold, not just in the presentation but in the mechanics. However, I'll come out and say it...its intimidating. How the heck do GMs keep combat straight with hit locations, action points, and special effects in a melee with 5 PCs and half a dozen or more bad guys? I like RPG combat, and I've become very good at narrating it. Its pretty scary to replace my well-worn and effective habits with crunch, no matter how good it is. Everything else in the game is near perfect.
I've never had such a wealth of choice. Its not like the old days when we played whatever was at hand, or like recent years where I threw it all in the blender and improvised. I've been dwelling on this decision for about a month now and have less than 2 months left to prepare. I can't seem to make a choice. Any advice would be most welcome.
I am sorry to go on for so long. I tried to be thorough - thinking that might be helpful.
Oh, I haven't chosen a setting yet either, but its a fair bet it will be a low magic, possibly semi-historical something with a touch of mythology and some sword and sorcery Weird Tales vibe. All of my fantasy games end up that way. Any suggestions wold be appreciated.