Post 2 of 9 The Early Merchant and the Cross Roads

Post #2 of 9 The Early Merchant and the Cross Roads

I have a series of suggestions that are towards a goal to improve the story and longevity of the end game, and enhance replayability. They include additional Ages, Architecture and some Politic light.

  1. As an option – As soon as the player plants the town center, 1-4 dirt roads are generated from points off the playable map to the town center, and a merchant with a two wheeled cart will be there. The merchant will have a tiny amount of items to trade – maybe specifically for survival or a leg up, in exchange for some items the villagers fled their homes with (furniture, stolen swords, tools for example). The merchant will come in this form each year to the town center, until the Trading Post is built.
  2. The purpose of the cross roads is to create a special dirt road that provides curves for the player to deal with. The player gets some free starter road for their people to make use of on the plus side. But, the road is curved or diagonal like a medieval town might have. And it is in small segments that require work time to remove – so a player can adjust it at the cost of early Tier 1 work time.
  3. I have a thought that this road, or a “primary link” road from the points off the map to the town center would play a part in some late game placement or upgrade of specific buildings, which I will talk about in another post.
  4. The direction of each road going off map is the direction where the jealous neighboring Lords live. (Not necessarily the direction raiders would arrive from, but yes where the marching professional army, mercenaries and siege weapons would come from).

Don’t know that the game needs an early additional merchant ‘pre-Trading Post’. On the other hand, I like the idea of some kind of nominal connection with the Wider World outside the playable map.

Perhaps, simply the merchants that now appear magically just outside your town coming to the Trading Post should appear at the edge of the map, and after 2 - 3 of them have used the same route to the town, a dirt road will form from the map edge (or edge of visibility, at least) to the town. Since you start getting 2 merchants and fairly quickly start getting 3 per season, that could give you 3 roads leading off the map in different directions in a fairly short time.

Later, you could have the option of ‘paving’ the road - upgrading it with stone - which would increase the number and quality of merchants visiting the town. Of course, that might also increase the number and quality of raiding/invading forces visiting the town also!

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