I just purchased AoA and its Campaign Options on Drivethrurpg while searching specifically for games that focused on higher status play. I am overall pleased with the product but am still digesting it. I picked it up in part because it seemed the sort of system that would have settlement management (very few RPG system do, and I try to collect them because I aspire to run a campaign with that focus).
As best I can tell from the system so far, advancement of a settlement or town in would be largely based on the Consequences system as described under Tracking Change in the Running the World section. Does anyone have any advice for implementing the system in this way beyond the scope of what is discussed in the book? Are there any plans to make a system that supplements this along the lines of A Song of Ice and Fire or Mutant Year Zero systems? There seems to be a solid foundation for such a system.
I got to say though, I am very impressed by how comprehensive and robust this system is on initial release. It covers things a lot of modern RPGs don't bother with, and what a lot of older more complicated RPGs got buried somewhere in a supplement.
We've got an Age of Ambition project in the outline stage that is very close to what you're looking for, although the truth is it's not likely to see print for another year or so. In the meantime, I can offer a few broad guidelines.
Think of each month (or maybe each season?) as a Realm Turn. You can mark the end of each Realm Turn with a Downtime (as per the AOA rules). Each realm turn the character may take a downtime action to improve their realm.
There would probably need to be a list of possible improvements. I don't have one right now, but it may be good to pilfer ideas from other games. Maybe raising troops (as per the Mass Combat system), improving industry, crop yields, raising morale, etc.
The cost for these improvements would be consequences placed on the realm. Once you're built up the requisite number of consequences, you can purchase the improvement with them. Events like quests or major enemy actions might affect the consequences as well.
You might even divide realm consequences up into several categories, so Martial consequences would be used to purchase martial advancements or raise troop. Or Prosperity consequences might improve crop yields, etc.
Siren's Call (a sci-fi supplement we published for Shadows Over Sol) has a somewhat similar system with four advancement trees: Prosperity, Might, Industry and Knowledge).
Sounds like a good project. I look forward to it. I might check out the Shadows Over Sol supplement, but your advice seems pretty good. I'll tinker around with a few ideas and see how they look on paper.