Before we start making some intitial decisions about our campaign world, I thought that I would mention some of the resources that I will be using for ideas and inspiration. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. It's just a rundown of some books that I actually own and enjoy.
The 2nd Edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide is infamously not very helpful when it comes to campaign building, but the Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide by Paul Jaquays and William W. Conners has lots of useful advice and tidbits. I also like A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe for its healthy dose of real medieval flavor. In a similar vein is Life in a Medieval City by Joseph and Frances Gies.
Of course, you can't ignore the numerous resource on the internet. Wikipedia is not 100% authoritative on every subject, but it's at least useful for a 'snapshot' of most topics. For instance, I used it to research the term 'margrave' in preparation for this campaign series. Another neat resource is S. John Ross's Medieval Demographics Made Easy. It's a really cool way to 'realistically' determine campaign world details like the number of guards in a city.
The next post in the series should go up on Friday, January 23rd. In that one we will start making some hard choices about weighty topics like religions and forms of government. Stay tuned for more campaign goodness!