In 1986 I started at a new university, and met bunches of people who were running Champions , Call of Cthulhu , James Bond 007 RuneQuest , DragonQuest , and Bushido , and experimenting occasionally with other games, all in plot-driven, not location-driven, adventures. We published a little amateur magazine (to which I contributed an adventure and a couple of artciles on GM and player craft), and collaborated to design and run "flexi-form" modules at the local gaming con. One of those blokes designed an SF game called ForeSight with a fantasy supplement called HindSight , which were very powerful and flexible and became my general-purpose RPG engine. I designed my SF setting and my second (even more detailed and even less conventional) fantasy setting for use with ForeSight and HindSight respectively, and for about fifteen years I ran nearly everything from historical adventures in the Roman Empire to Space 1889 , Call of Cthulhu to James Bond , Noir PI investigations to planet-of-the-week SF exploration, high fantasy in my custom setting to Star Wars and even "I Can't Believe It's Not Highlander " either with or by converting to ForeSight . I did take some breaks, most notably into Vampire and CyberPunk 2020 , Castle Falkenstein , Pendragon , and (briefly) In Nomine , and played in a few die-hard RuneQuest games, but always came back, usually because of the rules not working.
Gradually the people who actually had copies of ForeSight all drifted away. I drifted to the HERO System and then to GURPS as being general-purpose rule-sets, broadly capable enough to handle the wide range of settings and genres that I run, and also in print and available to other players. In 2003 I moved from the medium city I had lived in since 1986 to a small country town, where the only games within two hours' drive are Warhammer tabletop wargamers and Living D&D stalwarts. I gave it a go, but couldn't find common ground with them at all. I took up with a group in the nearest medium city, who play a wide range of games from Bushido , WHFRP , and Flashing Blades to Blue Planet , Traveller , and All Flesh Must Be Eaten . Unfortunately, playing with them involves either a three-hour drive each way or playing by VOIP or (more recently) Google+ Hangouts.
While I was actually gathering with them in August 2011 one of them dragged out Spirit of the Century , which was a total blast, and which got me interested in the Story Games movement and in using tokens (e.g. poker chips), cards etc. as supplements and supports to player craft in extemporising stories.
I have been running RPGs over the InterNet since 1994. My first effort used InterNet text chat as the medium, ForeSight as the rules, and involved a Verne-tech spaceship expedition to Mars in 1896. It flunked because I don't type fast enough, or even read fast enought to keep up with five or six character-players all typing at once.
Next (1995) I tried play-by-e-mail, with HindSight as the rules and my fantasy setting Gehennum as the setting. That worked, but it was too slow and took too much effort to keep up, at least at the standard I set.
Then, in about 2004 or 2005 I started running games play-by-post on the Steve Jackson Games, using first ForeSight and then GURPS as the rules, in my SF setting Flat Black . That had the same problem as play-by-e-mail, besides enormous difficulties when certain players stopped responding for extended periods.
In the last five years or so I've had three or four goes at running games by VOIP, which almost works, but not quite. Those games have foundered over the problem of scheduling people in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Iceland, Kentucky, Texas, New Mexico, and California all to be on-line at the same time, but a contributing cause is that they didn't run very well without our being able to see people speak and use non-verbal cues as to who was to speak next, and without a way to exchange diagrams, maps, and sketches in real time.
The combination of Google+ Hangouts with Scribblink or Twiddla as a shared on-line whiteboard has been working okay (at least since we stopped trying to use a room mike in the middle of one player's living room), but now that we're playing Spirit of the Century the inability to exchange poker chips has become an impediment.