I'm planning to start a campaign with all my friends, who are frequent Dnd players. I've been in a couple of their campaigns before, and had fun of course, but never REALLY understood much of the mechanics (I'm working on it!). Furthermore, I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to RPG gameplay in general.
I really want to make my own campaign and have my friends play it, but I'm unsure how to go about doing this. I have general idea of an overarching plot or two, and several encounters that could happen; I'm not asking for story ideas.
Since there seems to be a lot of experienced players here, I want some general idea of HOW a successful game is set up.
There are a lot of things I don't know yet, such as: how to set up a plot for players to follow, how to choose which monsters to use, how to introduce fights vs making the PCs flee. Or how to kill the PCs out-of-combat, how to narrate information based on the location, or how to help players set their goals. Or even how frequently combat should run.
The main thing I want to do is to run a game that is fun for all my friends.
I'd really like to know what I should do as a DM, when the players know more about the game than I do. I'm trying to learn more, but as a noob I'm still pretty unsure what to do.