As a Dungeon Master I read about those who run out of ideas for their games, but that is rarely the problem for me, and is certainly not the problem now. If anything I have so many ideas for the boys game that I have to come at it like a lion tamer. I need to keep things on a fairly normal, consistent basis for them, while also keeping them fresh and fun.
For example I have fallen into the rabbit hole of Forgotten Realms books. Which is amazing, I mean there just weren’t books out there like this when I was younger and just starting out in D&D. These are good stories, with interesting characters, interesting themes and changing plots so that it doesn’t feel like I am reading the same book over and over. Since the campaign is taking place in the Forgotten Realms this is especially relevant with giving me ideas and concepts about where the group is.
Which is great, but the characters in the books are also very high level, and I cannot throw them or the monsters they fight against the boys without expecting a Total Party Kill. Plus I have a built in bias against characters in game rubbing shoulders with characters from the books, stemming from the game I played many years ago. It was a Star Wars game and my party ended up on the Death Star at the same time as the movie characters and somehow ended up blowing it for them, completely altering the course of the movie plot line. Which made no sense so I try to avoid those sorts of interactions (sorry Jimmy you won’t get to spar with Drizzt.)
At the same time I am getting mental flashes from the Star Wars universe, which inspire me to come up with something like that for the boys. Not so much a space adventure, but more like the idea of an order of Knights like the Jedi, I don’t know it is just in my brain right now.
And I am also caught up in the current overall setting issues that are on the WoTC web site for D&D. The invasion of the Dragons and Dragon Cultists, which I have been using so far as a sort of background for the game. And inspiration for a couple of the quests. But I have not actually been using the pre-made scenarios beyond what is in the starter set, so it isn’t easy to come up with those.
As you can see I am not at a loss for ideas and inspiration for the boys campaign. Which is good because the boys are not going to give me much, not like other games when the players would give the DM the ideas, like ‘my character is in love with the Princess’ or has a big flaw that is easy to make a thread from. My problem is instead just taming all those ideas and keeping them focused enough for the boys.