Short post today- I've been busy trying to put together a Spanish language learning group, but in the mean time I've been recently working on building material for the Microlite d20 system- specifically relatively generic NPC, dungeon, and town templates for my own random generation. I'm slowly putting together a system to generate one shots, as I've been doing procedurally generated campaigns for a while using various online tools and charts, but I've never found one I really like, hence me creating my own.
While working on this, I realized that I would never do something like this for a long term campaign, at least not a standard, non experimental one. (A procedurally generated long term campaign would be a fascinating experiment, though.) The reason I'm creating something that is very generic in nature has more to do with my audience. I'm giving them a taste of D&D, and to do so, I want to give them a very generalizable experience that is easy to access. However, beyond that, it gives them more flexibility to fill the world with their own inroads into role playing and world building.
When you are creating a long term campaign, having a really well fleshed out world, history, and environment is absolutely wonderful, as it gives the players a deep well of experiences to explore. But in the case of a one shot with new players, having some paper thin plot and worldbuilding is a good way to bring them into an unintimidating world, while also inviting them to color it in their own ways. At least that's my own reasoning, and thus far it's held up well.
That being said, the more I think about it, the more I really do want to do that completely randomly generated long term campaign, because I can imagine the story that will come out of that will be absolutely ridiculous and amazing.
If anyone has experience running a game like this, hit me up on twitter at @rollforkindness. Thanks for reading!