In this example, if I was DM, I would work on a tacit OOC agreement between the characters and the DM. First, the DM would agree to create one or two nations for the characters to play in, and would work on detailing those realms very well. In return, the players agree out of game to find very strong in character reasons for their characters not to leave those areas unless absolutely necessary.
The only reason I think such an agreement is necessary is because world creation is A LOT of work.
be a lot of work, but it really depends on how thorough a job you're doing
;I figure that the only setting that really matters is what's actually being used. I'm far from certain about how this world should operate, and I don't know how far events will take the heroes, but I kind've have a rough outline in mind.
Basically, the entire continent of Feradune(when I can't think of a name I like to combine words that seem to make sense, in this case feral and dune, indicating that the land is wicked, untamed, and somewhat desolate; we can always change names later) is under a desecrating curse of an origin unknown to most people in this period, though perhaps remembered by some of the older races such as elves and dwarves. The sky is dark and overcast in most places even during the day, food produced by the soil almost always has some unwholesome quality, vegetation grows very little in some places and chokingly in others, and seems even to have a malevolent will of its own. People routinely burn their dead to prevent them from rising again as zombies, and undead of all kinds thrive, as well as the savage races, such as orcs and goblins, who had in the past cursed the sun and dwelled in caves and deep forests. Organized packs of ghouls make frequent raids on the living, and they bring with them a terrible plague which can transform those killed by it into ghouls themselves, with a terrible hunger for living flesh(possibly in more ways than one).
To combat the ever-present dangers, many knighthoods and magical orders have sprung up throughout the continent, and with their protection life for humanity is able to continue with some semblance of normalcy: merchants, who always hire seemingly excessive protection, are generally able to travel from place to place as needed, commoners attend church frequently, nobility find the time to backstab and sabotage each other etc. Wars are infrequent, except with the savage races, but rumours abound... and adventuring is an excellent profession to be in as there is almost always need for a sword-for-hire or a lunatic to enter sewers or old ruins.
Anyway, not sure how far we'll travel, but we can come up with a few locations as needed before we start; if you've got ideas then let's hear em', and get those characters going. Also, I was thinking that the characters would meet for the first time in-game, and I was planning on making the opening scene something "classic"