This is the email I sent out to a couple dozen friends a few months ago, pitching a new campaign:
I'm starting a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and I would love for you to join me!
It'll be biweekly with a rotating cast (you don't need to come every week) and all levels of experience are welcome. I would really like to have some good friends who have never considered playing try it out. I've been working on a campaign setting for a while now, and I've made a pretty huge map that should keep you occupied for some time.
The first two dates will be:
(redacted!). Remember, it's really fine if you can't do every week, just try it once! Feel free to tell a friend (there are people I wanted to send this to whose emails I don't have) and RSVP, it'll help me plan. I'd like to try to keep it to 6 players or less per session.
Play whenever you can/want to- I'll run a game as long as there are at least two players. I think I'll try not having it on a consistent day of the week so that no one is missing out every time due to a scheduling conflict, though it will probably always be Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
I'll be running the campaign "sandbox" style, which means that there will be a (gorgeous, homemade) map covering a large geographic area (a few hundred square miles) that you can mess around with. Your map will have a bunch of cities, towns, forests, ocean, rivers, and swamps. It'll also have something like 20 ruins, wizard's towers, abandoned mines, potentially haunted manor houses and other kinds of obvious dungeon adventure locations. There will also be various kinds of organizations that you can ally with, take advantage of, steal from, do favors for, take control of, and otherwise fuck with, in addition to killing monsters and taking their treasure. I may tell you about a couple, or you may just learn about them in-game. I'll give you a bunch of rumors to base your plans on, and you can go from there. I've been working on this for the past couple weeks, and I think there's really quite a lot to do. I've also stuck a bunch of adventures written by other people all over the map.
I've been wanting a regular DnD game in my life for a while, and I have the resources to do a consistent one at this point. I'd love to have some people who can play most weeks, and to be able to point friends who have never played before to the next date so they could jump in and try it out.
I want players who are able come to every game see their characters gain levels, make useful connections, take over territory and so on. The sandbox method enables this by having characters stick around after the adventure's over, and by not forcing any particular action on anybody.
I also want first-time DnD players to be able to jump in and have a good time with very little learning curve. I plan to do this by using simple rules (the LoTFP Weird Fantasy rules, with a couple of house
rules) and by being fine with players doing stuff because they think it'll be fun, not just because it represents "what the character would do".
To have a consistent campaign setting with a (likely) inconsistent cast of players, I'll be using a "where you character disappeared to" random table. I haven't written it yet, but I figure if you play one game, then miss two, then play one, you'll roll on the table when you return to the game and we'll discover that you were whisked away by fairies or something. And then we can just play some DnD, without
stressing about narrative cohesion too much.