It's now the Saturday after we should have had a gaming session. I'm still on a work pattern that means early starts on a Monday and that really limits gaming on a Sunday.
We may be able to have a session next month at our usual venue - it depends if I can get the following Monday off - but that's not yet certain, and what happens in February is as yet an open question. This new work pattern may see the death of the Rift City Campaign, which will be a shame as it's been something that I and about 25 other people have enjoyed being part of.
However, even if it does mean the end of Rift City, it will not I hope be the end of the Wandering Monster Table experiment in open table gaming in Leicester. I'm sure, with a bit of forethought, the regulars can put together a plan to continue the open table concept. It seems to me that the most important thing for open gaming is that the sessions are discrete, to allow for the changing nature of the group from session to session, whether that's because people can't make it or because new people join. Any game that can handle that, and is not impossibly difficult for a newbie to get into, is I think a suitable candidate for an open gaming table.
One of the things that has been discussed is a Traveler campaign. As long as it is episodic in nature I don't see why not. Something like a Star Trek set-up - a large ship, with the PCs acting as an 'away team' for each session - could work well (this could be for exploration, as in Star Trek, or a military strike team, an investigation into something, or some kind of heist, or any number of other reasons). This isn't the usual Traveler set-up, which tends to feature a team of PCs acting as mercenaries for a series of patrons, or sometimes basically as pirates, while they try to make money to make improvements to their space-ship, but of course this idea (rather more like the group aboard the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope) depends on a fairly stable team, or good explanations as why someone is or isn't there. A large ship or maybe space station, with a large population capable of providing a pool of people from which a suitable 'cast' can be drawn for each 'episode', seems like a viable alternative way of organising an open table sci-fi campaign.
Another possibility that is being aired is a Runequest campaign. This could be organised in a very similar manner to the Rift City Campaign, though megadungeons are not necessarily a major feature of Glorantha. Small exploring parties however, that may change in composition from one session to the next, are very easy to accommodate I think. There's plenty of adventure to be had in Pavis and the Big Rubble, and PCs could easily spend a long time exploring, treasure-hunting and generally being involved in shady shenanigans without necessarily going far from home at all (so, back in time for tea, as with Rift City).
However, all this may be moot. There is a rumour that one of the three gaming cafés in town can accommodate us on a Sunday afternoon, so we may start using them and getting our gaming in earlier in the day, which may solve the problem. I hope we do find a solution that at least allows me to play sometimes on a Sunday. I'm happy to play in someone else's game, especially if I'm only going to be able to play occasionally, but if I can get there more regularly, I'm also happy to DM - and my favourite system is and is likely to remain Basic D&D, so an earlier slot may well allow Rift City to continue. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months... as in the old Persian curse, 'may you live in interesting times'!