Campaign Logs are very useful, and I have begun the new campaign with the campaign's first campaign log. The first group is running in an area along the northern frontier of the Vallorean Empire. I have a vast home-brewed campaign world that I have been developing for some 20 years now, and yet, because I planned on running the group through the famous Keep On The Borderlands module, I wanted to be sure to set them up and running in a somewhat primitive, frontier area far from real civilization and any sense of security, as well! I should also note, that I foresee them possibly really enjoying the fleshed-out Keep On The Borderlands area--I have expanded the one-page drawing of the Keep in the module, and revamped it to cover four pages--and thus, I made the Keep a bit more suitable for serving as a long-term campaign base.
My Keep basically has about 65 different businesses and over 100 individual residences and such. I also expect that the group will, as they settle into the area and really get going, will eventually rise in level and prestige, and be awarded lands to rule and develop on their own. I plan for this, and have set the campaign area in a place that thus has a lot of unexplored, unclaimed lands, so that when the player characters do begin to build and colonise the untamed wilderness, they have lots of room to grow, lots of potential problems to wrestle with, and meanwhile they are not unduly contrained by being placed right between two or more areas that have already been highly developed and detailed.
The group went shopping, and met everyone, and got their things together, before setting out for the marshes to the south-east of the Keep. The group has been exploring the marshes, and fought several battles with some fierce Lizard Men, as well as dealing with leeches, flies, mosquitoes, and poisonous snakes. Just before the group entered the marshes, the party encountered a group of suave bandits that claimed they were taxing travelers in the local area for a special "war fund" to increase the Lord's coffers for building up the fortifications of the area. The group cautiously bought the scheme, and they were taxed 20% of any gold that they handed over. The group's leading Ranger, was at first distracted by a young pretty woman that approached them from a side trail to their front, claiming she needed help from bandits following her from the marsh. The young, attractive woman smelled like strawberries, and was provacatively though simply dressed. The party's Ranger bought that deception, and was taken off-guard by the rest of the bandits that laid in wait, and approached them from behind, and surprised them entirely. It wasn't until after the "Bandits" posing as forest wardens and tax-collectors had withdrawn, that the party turned about, looking for the young girl. It was then that one of the girl's in the group, playing her human cleric, exclaimed that the young girl had been a decoy! The player of the Ranger smiled, and realised he too, had been thoroughly deceived. The party had learned a valuable lesson!
The group is currently encamped on a small island in the marsh, with some strange ruins in the distance, through the marsh fog.