I have been jonesing for some RPG action lately, and not of the WOW kind, I need to roll some dice and use a big ass battle grid with miniatures! I initially started trying to recruit everybody I know who has ever played roleplaying games to play with me but I managed to get one person who can't commit to a schedule and one person who doesn't want to play with random others... this does not make a group. Thanks to the massive and extremely sexy power of the internet I found a group of people right near me who are looking for players and the search only took 15 minutes. Seriously, the internet. Amazing.
Of course there might be some tricky bits involved because the group wants a GM to run the show and I have never GM'd the system we are going to use. They also want to play a specific level range (11) and setting (Forgotten Realms), which is another issue because I have no interest in running a game set in a specific setting that the players are all familiar with but I am not! I can just imagine the players cresting a hill and I say
"As you reach the summit you see a stinking mire filled with decaying trees and still pools. This immense swamp stretches to the horizon with only small, occasional hummocks breaking up the monotony."
And they reply
"Ummm, no, over this hill is a gigantic city sitting in a desert. See, the book says this is the city of Eralune, the domain of the red wizards."
"Well, the damn desert got flooded and turned into a swamp yesterday. The city must have been vaporized by aliens. Shut up!"
This is not the sort of exchange that makes a campaign good. I can see how a campaign could be worked into a preset world but I think it would require a really good knowledge of the world on the part of the GM to make the transition work and my knowledge of the Forgotten Realms is bupkis.
It is funny how the prospective beginning of a campaign energizes my mind with ideas. I am filled with lost civilizations, powerful artifacts and terrifying villains. I have these constant bursts of inspiration that pop in and out of my brain hardly stopping to register. I can have them start in a gigantic jungle. No wait, a immense metropolis. On a pillar that reaches the sky! And the characters have to investigate the lower portions of the metropolis and find a powerful artifact that teleports them to an ancient ruin. No wait, to a cave, which they can follow to the dungeon *below* the ancient ruin. And the artifact is cursed. No, that is too easy. It has lots of other people who want it, yeah, that is better, though perhaps no less overused. Oh, and I can have genies, and a order of paladins!
The question is not whether I have enough ideas, but rather whether I can stop myself imagining long enough to actually build something decent from all of them. Discipline is the trick here, not inspiration.