My first brush with RPGs was around 1984, at age 12; it was some barely-grasped version of D&D, more driven by my friends’ ideas from having seen D&D played, than by the rules themselves. I remember there was a module, because we played directly on the provided map, as if it were some kind of elaborate board game. My character still fell in a pit.
From there, I fell in with a group that last from junior high until graduation in 1990. We played AD&D, TMNT and Beyond the Supernatural, and lots and lots and lots of the Marvel FASERIP system. I first tried my hand at running games back then, but couldn’t get it together enough to run a real campaign. (I do remember one occasion, involving a group of fantasy heroes exploring a necromancer’s tower, where I caused a player [a player, not a character] to flee the room…)
In the early ’90’s, I moved to a larger town and bounced from gaming group to gaming group. I remember playing more (A)D&D, one game of heavily-modified Cyberpunk 2020, some Shadowrun, a long-running Vampire game, and HERO System. I ran Werewolf, Mage, and some basic D&D. I ran an Amber Diceless game that included, by the time it was all said and done, 29 players and 31 characters; the last game session doubled as a house party, and ended with the destruction of the Pattern (and thus, the multiverse) by trickery, guile, and long-term planning.
It was around this time that I first saw GURPS. I was appalled at the 1 second turns, and refused to even attempt to play.
In the mid-90’s, I relocated again. I eventually got into a revolving GURPS game out of desperation, and discovered that it actually could be fun. I even tried running a couple of games of it, myself. I remember fantasy and supers, at least, though there may have been others. I was deeply impressed with the 3rd edition sourcebooks, but I found it really difficult to actually run the game.
For the record, I loved Vehicles and spent many a happy hour wearing out that book and a pocket calculator.
More real-life shakeups happened, and I bounced from group to group for a few years around 2000-2003. I ran the then-current edition of D&D, and found it not to my liking. I ran more HERO System. After a while, I stopped gaming at all.
Then, I became aware of the 4th edition of GURPS. I was enchanted. I got a group together, and convinced them to give it a try. We’ve gone through some player changes and more than one campaign, but the core group has stuck together since then. We’ve played Weird West ,very heavily influenced by Deadlands, and supers, once with 500-point “street level” supers in a generic universe, and once with 1200-point members of Avengers Academy in the Marvel Universe. We’ve played two “seasons” of a science fiction campaign inspired by Firefly and Serenity and Cowboy Beebop, the so-called “Space Cowboys” game.
And, now, we’ve turned to Dungeon Fantasy.