This article over at Gnome Stew got me to thinking about this, and I thought it was interesting enough to do myself. Anyone who has been reading the blog for any length of time can probably figure out most of them but I wanted to go through it myself and see if there were any surprises. I did the played yesterday so today is "DM'd"
The 7 Games I've Run the Most:
1 - D&D 3rd Edition - There's no doubt about this one. I started running it in late 2000 and barring a few short gaps over the years I ran it almost continuously until the end of 2009. It's easily my longest urn as a DM and the greatest number of hours spent on any one game. It was during this time that I shifted into being pretty much a full-time DM, playing a lot less than I had in the past. Most of his was one large group that stayed together for the entire time. Settings included Greyhawk (return to the Temple of Elemental Evil), Kalamar (various published adventures), and the Scarred Lands (lots of Necromancer Games and Goodman Games adventures) as interests came and went and various TPK's occurred. It was a good long run and it's been long enough now that I could probably enjoy running it again.
2 - D&D 4th Edition - The most recent edition didn't get rolling until late 2009 for me as I initially disliked it a lot. Once it got going though, I've been running it for most of the last 3 years with a few gaps here and there for two different groups. I really like it but I and skeptical that it will dethrone the one above as the all-time most-run. I've talked about these on the blog but I've been doing a lot of conversions of older material to the new game and it's been a lot of fun.
3 - Rifts - Yeah, this surprised me a bit too. I've run about 2 years worth of Rifts, most of it in one 18-month campaign back in the 90's. Somewhere between "Masochist" and "Most awesome DM ever" lies the guy who says "I'll run Rifts" and sticks with it for more than a year. That was me. Not sure I would do it again but you never know. This is all homebrew stuff, and the majority centered around a quest across a ruined America.
4 - AD&D 2nd Edition - I ran some of this but I played more. Most of my game was set in Greyhawk, partly because I like it and partly to distinguish it from my friend's Realms campaign. We spent a lot of time around the Nyr Dyv moving between the City of Greyhawk and Dyvers, from capturing a dragon to intervening in a gang war. This covered about 2 years of sessions, though somewhat spread out.
5 - Shadowrun - Including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Edition I have run multiple short campaigns since the game came out, the longest lasting about 6 months. These were always set in Seattle to take advantage of the numerous resources published for that city. I ran a few published adventure, I think DNA/DOA was the first thing I ran in the game after Food Fight, and it's always been fun. I'm not sure I'm in much of cyberpunk mood these days but lord knows I have enough material for it.
6 - Star Wars (d20) - one several month campaign, one short follow-up, then a couple of short Saga edition games and that's all I've run for Star Wars, but some of the moments were pretty memorable. I've detailed most of them on the blog.
7 - Savage Worlds - I've only run a few different games in this system but I think it still adds up to more time than some of my other candidates. Most of it was Necessary Evil, but I've done some Deadlands and some 50 Fathoms as well.
After this we get into a lot of games where I've run one medium-length campaign or a few short runs over the years: Fantasy Hero, Champions, Deadlands, Deadlands HOE, AD&D, B/X D&D, Traveller, Warhammer, FRP, Babylon 5, Twilight 2000, Dark Conspiracy, and probably others I am forgetting. As I noted yesterday, this batch is even more evidence that there is always a D&D game, and then there are the other games. Fortunately I now get to run more stuff than I used to. Having a captive audience helps.
ICONS and M&M are the two candidates likely to overtake the lower elements of this list. Icons I've only had ICONS for about a year and a half and though we've played it quite a bit the sessions tend to be shorter than other games. M&M has only recently become part of the rotation but I expect we will play more of it over the next year too. I'm happy that the top items in this list are the thing I run now and the thing I ran before what I run now, with some newer stuff moving into the lower ranks. I think that's a pretty good mix.