For a long time I have known that when I sat down to run a campaign again, I wanted to build an epic world for it to take place in. I wanted legendary characters that the PC’s looked up, and had spells named after them. I wanted to build my Greyhawk, or Forgotten Realms. I never have been able to though, I guess I have always put the cart before the horse. I must admit this campaign planning process was starting to go that way, as I struggled for my idea.
This time however I think I am on the right track. I am starting small, after all Rome and Greyhawk weren’t built in a day. The concept of the campaign came out of a rough sketch of a town that was among twenty or so randomly built and compiled ideas, of dungeons, maps, notes of gods and pantheons, etc. I was so excited to run something again, and nervous with trying to develop an idea I overlooked the diamond in the rough. The map of the village was the perfect place to start and run campaign. I was already thinking that the group would be hired by an NPC for some kind of task. What is better than having some small town to work out of for adventuring purposes, no town is better.
That is my small twist, the town has been abandoned for 120 years, the NPC has hired them to help her scout it out. It is her ancestral domain that her late father was lord of until it was overrun by an ambiguously described force/bad guy. The scouting and reclaiming of the town by the PCs and NPC will provide levels upon levels of advancement. As they clear the town of monsters and other ne’er-do-wells it will allow the town to be reoccupied, business to grow, commerce to be restored. Eventually, when the PCs have vanquished all the foes, grown fat, and rich they can retire to positions of importance within the town. New characters can be made to explore the surrounds lands, and force me to draw more map and scheme even grander. Hopefully by that point the rust will be broken free from brain and ideas will be flying out.