Back in the day, I bought a book called "Space 1889". At the time, I knew nothing of Steampunk or John Carter. The cover intrigued me so I picked it up and read it. It was so interesting and opened a new genre for me, one I hadn't considered before. I don't know what I really liked most about it, but it drew my eye. At a time where most RPGs were either D&D, D&D clones or Marvel Super Heroes, this was new, unique and strange.
For years, I kept referring to that book as a source of inspiration, a change-of-pace type reading.
Then at the end of last year, I joined an on-line group playing using the Savage Worlds version of the game. Two things I like together...
My character, the Vicomtesse de Vaucluse was a young French heiress whose family was closely tied to the Second Empire. She was something of a scientist, with a great love of history and science. Round that with a few skills required by the GM and I was on my way to Mars. Further inspiration for the character was a mix of Doctor Quinn Medecine Woman and Marie Currie.
Joining a group of crown agent (while herself fiercely professing her allegiance to France and not to England), she managed a number adventure over the one year I played. We dealt with a rebellion, a mind-controlling device, explored a lost monastery and faced a Cthulhoid horror, and stopped an ether flyer from crashing into Syrtis Major.
However, I found myself strapped for time and unable to give the game as much as it needed. Plus I was both very annoyed and frustrated by the final plot (it had gone on for many weeks). Plus other internal pressures meant I had to make a choice so I opted out.
I always find it bittersweet having to drop out of a game with a group that's together and working pretty well. The life of a responsible adult often sucks.