There are several worlds available to play in Dungeons and Dragons that have already been outlined and tested by professional game writers. Many Dungeon Masters, however, choose to homebrew a world that is unique to their campaign. There are benefits and detriments to either one of these DMing methods; homebrewing is never as seamless, doesn’t have as much information to back it up, and can often be perceived as a DM attempt for self-glorification, whereas playing a published world is expensive, limits the DM somewhat to play by a world with rules that he/she did not create and may wish to bend, and can give off the air that the DM is somewhat lazy.
In my experiences, homebrews have been the most fun. Personal preference, I suppose. When I had a turn DMing with my crew, I created a world that subsequent DMs chose to follow and that I plan to return to if I ever DM again. The world I created was called Terrus (yeah, real creative, I know); thus the Terrus Campaign blog. I intend to post information about Terrus on this blog in an attempt to move my players from relying upon Facebook, a deplorable medium if I do say so myself, to transfer information. This will also allow others who are not a part of my DnD group to look if they so choose.
Anyone may take ideas from this guide and I will not mind. I don’t care if you take them all. I will not be posting any information from the 4e Player’s Handbooks (which most of this is based off of), though I will refer to them. 5th edition will be coming out soon, but my money is invested with 4e, so I will be sticking with it. I suggest that you buy a Player’s Handbook, especially the first one. That’s really the only book you need if you want to go the cheap way. We have a bunch of books (hence why I’m reluctant to stop using the investment) and the details outlined here were created so that every possible benefit from any source could be used. Story elements and NPC characters can be used for any edition of DnD or other fantasy RPGs.
So, happy trails, and roll a 20 every time!