So, Aetolia is a decent sized world with an NPC population much-much larger than the playerbase. Similarly, the efforts of the guilds and cities are theoretically out there to influence more than just the PCs, but we're supposed to care about the NPCs, too. I was sort of trying to think of a way to make this feel more relevant in a mechanical way, and what I sort of came up with was an ongoing "flexible population conflict" system.
So, lets say there is an "influencable" population in Sapience of 100,000. Basically, these are people who would migrate cities given the right motivation (much as plenty of PCs would/do). The very basic concept would be to have each city as a whole vie for a portion of this population because having a higher population would give them various boons(suggestions for these later)
Of these 100,000 lets say there are 4 different segments of the population, each segment counting for 25K citizens and each influenced toward their residency in a different way. One is influenced by "battle prowess"*. One by "Hunting prowess"**, another by Proselytizing*** and the last by ylem-mastery.****
Every IG new year, these populations would shift according to which city "won" each portion of the influence category. - First place gets 60% of that population, second gets 25%, third gets 15%, forth gets nothing. (if only two cities compete, the remaining 15% gets divided by the two inactive cities (7.5% each), if only one city competes, the losers split 40% between them (13.3% each), if NO cities compete, they each get 25% of that population
Keep in mind those are the figures for EACH of the 25% population segments. So, an example outcome and the netted populations could be:
PVP: 1:B 2:D 3:S 4:E = B:15000; D:6250; S:3750; E:0
PVE: 1:B 2:E 3:S 4:D = B:15000; E:6250; S:3750; D:0
Quest: 1:E 2:S 3:- 4:- = E:15000; S:6250; B:1875; D:1875
(No Bloodlochians or Duiranites did the quests)
Ylem: 1:S 2:D 3:B 4:- = S:15000; D:6250; B:3750; E:0
(No Enorianites gathered Ylem)
So at the end of the year, the populations are sorted:
*(perhaps use killstats to determine this-the idea is it is a PK based influence)
**(Some bashing based influence - maybe scored like great hunts?)
***(Maybe have a variety of quests out there where each city can go and share their own brand of "This is why you should join us"
****(Overall ylem production)
Examples of boons for a higher population I've come up with (The idea being things that are practically benefited by having higher populations):
Population 30,001 and higher
- Something to do with "surplus" commodities deposited in the city comm shop every IG month
(you have more laborers to produce/refine/collect more supplies)
- Maybe have travelling salesmen of some sort that will settle in these cities selling useful/cool wares.
- Bragging rights.
Population 25,001 and higher: (higher-ranked also receive these bonuses)
- a 10% xp boon for the year
(more people working together to train and be at the top of your game or whatever)
Population 20,001 and higher: (higher-ranked also receive these bonuses) If NO ONE participates, everyone gets these, as everyone would wind up with 25,000
- your citizens erect an appropriately-themed shrine to your deities from which each PC can BESEECH for a 1-rl-day blessing once every IG month.
---Okay, I haven't come up with a lot of boons, but you know, its just a crazy idea anyway.