- Obtain basic gaming supplies.
- Familiarize yourself with the rules.
- Decide on and document any 'House Rules' that you plan to adopt.
- Create a world map and a map of the region that your players will start in.
- Create detail maps of dungeons that your players will explore initially.
- Populate these dungeons with monsters, treasure, traps and atmosphere.
- Create encounter tables for dungeons, overland areas, and even for in town.
- Decide what supplies and services will be available and where.
- Create NPCs to give your world life.
- Create an economy for your world.
- Decide on the availability of magic items and the role of magic in your world.
- Develop quests and select methods of assigning them.
Treat this as a checklist. I will expand and edit this entry as needed and add links to articles on each step as they become available.