drachefly wrote:A) You don't need to be mean about it. They don't need to be locked up, just under your guard at all times.
B) Heaven forfend an empire did something mean. That would be unprecedented.
An empire tends to survive longer if they exercise a modicum of diplomacy. I, personally, would honor subject principalities by stationing an elite honor guard at their capitals(purely for their protection, of course) and happily taking their heirs to level in combat as field commanders(of forces with few soldiers from their own sides). And probably give my subject rulers a vote in matters. Though of course the signed perpetual Alliance contracts would be written so that their votes meant crap and left with me with all executive and judicial power.
Of course, it'd be interesting to see how one would set up an empire within the rules of Erfworld for maximum efficiency.
Perpetual Alliance contracts, probably written by a linked Thinkamancy/Carnymancy pair. That'd probably make sure that every loophole was /my/ loophole.
The 'Empire' side at the center, surrounded by bread basket sides(pop harvestable heavies, have troops focusing on farm/fishing/foraging/mining/ect).
A ring of martial sides surrounding the Empire for protection.
Size limits to keep them just below the diminishing schmuckers point.
A whole swarm of casters: Florists for extra farming mojo, Dirtamancers for their dirty magic, moneymancers to cookthe books, thinkamancers for communications, turnamancers for more efficient popping and self propelled vehicles, Data-a-Mancers to catch incipient treachery and help with the diplomacy angle, hat mages to mass produce hats, dollamancers to make weapons for both personal usage and export.
A solid system for trading with other sides(If you fight, we'll call in your mortgages. And incidentally that's my pike you're pointing at me. I paid for that shield you're holding. And take my helmet off when you speak to me, you horrible little debtor.)
A mass transit system, preferably underground(I am going to hold on to this idea until the end of time, Titan's boop it in its booping ear hole)
It'd probably work best with a bunch of sides ruled by casters, really.
What else would you need?