I've been playing around with the thought of releasing my setting on DriveThruRPG, but what would be different from my setting compared to other settings. I then started thinking about the new campaign I might create, and decided that if I created something modular, then it would be very different from what others release.
Modular design is a design approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts that can be independently created and then used in different systems. I would divide a setting into three large systems: Geography, History, and Religion. Under each of these systems there would be subsystems, and each subsystem would then have a module, for example Geography could have Topography, Races, Cultures, and under Topography there would be modules for Forest, Plain, River, Desert, etc. By doing it this way, I simply create one forest module, which can then easily be adjusted by changing certain variables, such as tree type, temperature, and size. By creating modules for everything I can easily create a setting that is adjustable from DM to DM.
My Next Campaign
An example, and starting point, would be for my next campaign where a group of adventurers arrive to an ancient broken world, which they have to rebuild and repopulate. To begin with, the party arrives to this world and the rest is up to them, creating a sandbox campaign that can be easily modified to the party's desires.
To start with, I look at Geography -> Topography -> Arrival and insert a module that covers how the players reach this world. A portal from another world? A teleporation circle from another part of the world? Divine intervention? Natural planar travel? I then look at Geography -> Topography -> Elemental Land and insert a module that can be modified in size, add or remove ruins, and change the element between the four basic elements, which affects the creatures and challenges they first encounter.
And finally I look at Geography -> Topography -> River and insert a corresponding river that suits the element I chose under Elemental Land. Thus I've created the setting for the first adventure where the players arrive to this ancient broken world and need to fight their way from their arrival point to a safe area where they then can figure out what they want to do in this world. I may even use this opportunity to destroy any possiblity for them to return home from whence they came, in which case they may set out on a quest to find another way home.