So I started perusing White Wolf's Fall of the Camarilla, an epic campaign meant to be played with their Requiem for Rome campaign setting. The short version: The Camarilla of Vampire: the Requiem is similar to the similarly-named group from Vampire: the Masquerade; it is sort of a "vampire United Nations." The difference between the two games is that in VtM the Camarilla is the "default" mode of play, and in Requiem the organization crumbled and broke apart around the same time that the Roman Empire was in decay. Fall of the Camarilla is a campaign in which your groups' characters experience, shape, and possibly die in said fall.
There was a time in my life where I'd have already had a group with characters ready to go, and I would be chomping at the bit to run a game like this. Unfortunately, I don't know that my gaming tastes are compatible with this sort of thing anymore.
For one thing, how can any player derive much enjoyment from a campaign where the ending is already a foregone conclusion? The players know that the Camarilla is history well before the modern era, and there isn't really much they can do to stop it. (I haven't read the book in its entirely, so forgive me if you know this not to be true, but from what I could find in the epilogue section, the fall is inevitable.)
One thing that I have become big on is player choice and player navigation; I make the world, they play in it, and they mess with the stuff they like. I do not try to force them in any given direction. In my current game, the party has chosen to leave Tarraxian and return home. If they had decided to spend the rest of their days on Tarraxian, I'd have filed away all the information on their home world and mapped out the rest of the post-apocalyptic world. In my last (failed) World of Darkness game, I let the characters loose in a mental asylum that had a lot of bad, evil, eldritch shit going down, and my intention was that they would run and play in the sandbox. (It didn't quite turn out that way, but that is another story, and I'm still not convinced that I couldn't pull it off if I tried it again.)
I still like White Wolf and I'd like to try another chronicle someday, but my tastes have changed so much that I'm not sure how I'd fare in another "story" based game. I think the simulation bug has bitten me and I now find the idea of baiting the players along a pre-determined story to be kind of.... I don't know, cheap. I know that I, as a player, am most frustrated when I feel like my decisions have little to no effect on the game (beyond, perhaps, do I charge the guy or use my Improved Face Punch feat?) If I were invited to play in Fall of the Camarilla, would I accept the invitation? Yeah, maybe...and then I'd try like hell to stop it, not because I want to be a fucktard or screw with my GM's carefully laid plans, but because hey- this type of game lets me play a character and do what I want! If your Super Secret Vampire Club of Rome was going down in flames, wouldn't you want to stop it? I suddenly envision a session of Deadlands or Boot Hill where the GM says, "Hey, don't fight too hard, guys... this is the Alamo, after all!" The treasure in Raggi's Grinding Gear may be damn difficult to get, but the most important thing is that it is possible.
I noted earlier that I am involved in a WFRP1 campaign. The campaign is a pre-published affair called "The Doomstones." I know how it ends because the ending is somewhat infamous, but I'm going to see what I can do to shake things up....because, really, if you're just going to follow a pre-set plot where all you do is mash the buttons-er, I mean, roll to hit, well... you might as well pop in Final Fantasy XIII or Assassin's Creed II....not that there is anything wrong with that, but roleplaying games can go beyond the confines of memory space and programming limitations, and that is why I love gaming so much more when it is the pencil and paper variety instead of the 360 or PS3 variety.
um....and that's what diversity means to me...