For me, creativity comes in spurts.
I think I've ranted, at length, about Vornheim, the complete city kit, yes? If no, google it. Some brits gave it an award for being the best thing ever since 1993.
Easily my most favorite hunk of the thing is the NPC generator tables combined with the E-Z Bake Web O' Intrigue Generator, AKA NPC connections map.
It is a tool for quickly generating relationships between four NPCs with six rolls of the trusty d6.
Plug in your NPCs, roll your d6, interpret results. And you have a situation, usually a fairly interesting one.
Now, I've been thinking about my campaign world (not the one with deserts and demons and robots) and some retooling I've been doing and I thought, "Let us apply this NPC relationship generator to the four most powerful political entities in my world. Thus, we shall gain an over-view of the current political landscape and insight into the world."
The Myralonian City States have become a major trade hub for the whole of the continent. Money and goods flow through them, making them powerful, but the lack of a singular government keeps them from focusing that power towards any singular goal for very long.
Myralonian aid to refugee dwarfs returning to their homeland made it possible for a charismatic military leader to unite all the dwarven peoples under one banner and go a-conquering. Enter the Iron Empire. The Iron Empire's first major conquest was that of the gnomish lands to the east. To overcome the gnome's magic, the Empire borrowed heavily from the College of Mages, to which they are now deeply in debt.
The College has become a political beast in the past few centuries, where once any student who showed magical potential was accepted, now huge entrance fees are levied as well as tuition. The various headmasters, have begun importing many luxuries out of the Myralonian City States and it is rumored that the Principal Instructor has set his lustful eyes on the ancient kingdom of Thralia.
The Kingdom of Thralia, ruled by the ancient Thrailkill dynasty, is at peace and on friendly terms with the city states of Myralon and working to establish diplomatic relations with the Iron Empire.