Becoming the Ruler of a City
There are two ways for a player to become the ruler of a city already controlled by their race. The first is extensive diplomacy and spreading of dissension to create a coup opportunity. The second is to be part of the Aristocracy of the city through lots of factions and contributions, and get chosen by the current king to be his successor. NPC rulers will step down to make way for a player when players in the aristocracy have reached a certain city reputation threshold (which will be hidden).
Owning and Managing a City
A player who owns a city has a lot of responsibility. When the player rules a city they have three items: a scepter (held by the city's highest-ranking NPC), a throne (sitting in the center of the player’s city), and the crown (which the player must always equip). If someone controls 1/3 they are considered a usurper, 2/3 they are king in all but name, and 3/3 they take the kingship from the player.
Player governments can tax and fine players. They cannot imprison them, but they can label any player Kill On Sight, or, for vast betrayal, they can take and destroy the player's horn as punishment. They can set up their own rules, but they can also be overthrown. The ruler of the city decides priority (what will be built next) as well as deciding what bounties to pay for each resource the city needs. He can set up an adviser to manage the city's coffers. He can appoint people who can "zone" buildings (similar to many real time strategy games). Only the city ruler and his appointed people can build within the city limits, but outside the city others can build farmhouses and such. Players who rule poorly may see the players of their city deserting them for another city, which will in turn drive NPCs away from the city. Well managed cities will attract a larger population than poorly managed cities. Poorly managed cities may go "bankrupt" or be easily conquered by enemies because they do not have enough players to supply resources and services to sustain it.
In each city, killable NPCs will rush to fires when smoke is spotted. this service is supported by taxes-more money put in means more NPCs and faster put-outs. Starting fires is a faction penalty.
Smart Phone Support
An additional technology and help for those who rule cities is the game support for cell phones. From their cell phones, players can access a mini-version of the game that is linked to the real game, allowing them to give orders to their defenders, pass judgments on criminals in their cites, communicate with friends in game, coordinate buying and selling, and coordinate their goods stored in a bank. Similarly, players can sign up for text alerts when their city is under attack. This exciting new system allows players to be involved with the game even when they are away from their primary computer.