You have a village. Great. But what about something a little bigger…
Empire building is a nightmare if done badly. But done well, it is completely amazingly awesome, and that’s not a phrase I use lightly. To do it best you need a village with a stable supply of food, carts and tools, although in theory even the most basic settlement that isn’t starving can give it a try.
Step 1: Dispersal.
Building an empire basically involves, to begin with, spreading yourselves out. Whenever you have a population surplus, send at least one female out into the wilderness with a cart or basket full of supplies to start a settlement. Give a specific direction. For example, you might say to Josephine and her friend Bob, “go out and found a new village. Head directly east until you find a grassland, make a marker to show its colonised, and then find a good spot within it.” This means that, simply by travelling straight in one direction, a player can move between settlements. When building transport networks this is really helpful. By placing down a marker like a single stone road or an oven base, exploring players will know that the grassland is inhabited and need only look around to find the town. If the town runs out of resources or fertile females they can always retreat to another settlement and try again next time. You keep on doing this and eventually you will have a network of towns and villages.
Step 2: Transport.
It’s easy to forget that there’s a small metropolis growing up north. Plus running through a bear infested plain can be dangerous. Therefore transport routes are the next step in empire building. You don’t need to build a road, a path of markers will do. Dig up any inconvenient trees or rocks so a car or horse could make it through, perhaps planting a bush or two along the side in case somebody starves on the road. This will allow you to begin trading and regular travel between these young cities helping them to grow and share technology.
Step 3: Organisation.
Once all the tools are in place you can begin establishing a central government of some kind for your empire. Whichever system of government you use, it should have a general authority of some sort and the ability to defend itself from attacks without and within. An armed force with bows and knives might come in handy (useful for defending those bell towers from waves of griefers too). Organisation will help you to prevent villages from starving, build community projects and collect lore together, which can eventually get really interesting. Also, having such a level of organisation across multiple settlements means that your civilisation can persist indefinitely. Whenever a vital resource like iron ore runs out nearby, your citizens can simply move to the next settlement or colonise one. In this way your society would slowly migrate across the world of OHOL leaving behind a trail of abandoned cities that some lucky prospector might decide to loot. You could even sustain settlements for longer by using transport routes to gain large quantities of iron, clay and other non renewable resources from far off lands for your ancient cities.
As I said before, building an Empire is not easy. But it sure is fun and perhaps necessary if your civilisation is to have families living hundreds of generations. Such a society would also be absolutely awesome to be born into, at least in my opinion. And if you didn’t like city life, you could always take a cart and go to the ever progressing frontier. Take a straw hat if you do so. It looks cooler.