I ponder some design questions to you:
Player vs Nature
This is a computerage old question I often find asking myself, how far should a player be able to effect the world?
If bandits ransack a town what happens to the quests/events that could occur in that area? Gone forever? Some gone, some moved?
I guess some quests could be moved, some gone, and events could be restored if you restore the town to its rightful state.
Should say a player chopping down trees remove the trees forever?
What happens if a building gets damaged(don't comment on implementations, I plan to have two models for each building design, regular and damaged, maybe three if it's called for) should you be able to repair it? Leave that to the townspeople to decide?
This came up in #gamedev, superpig commented on it and this is what I settled on,
You can tame a pet, and train it to pick up certain smells and alert you next time that smell is near, and to follow scents::
Implementation of that would be record key places that every trackable unit has been, say every ten steps and do pathfinding, not everything would be trackable unless speed allows for it, a very interesting concept.
The bandit effect
If you kill the head of all the bandits, they should cease to be? Do they elect a new head? Maybe unless you have done some quests on the bandits, they elect a new head, and you hear about it in town the next day that
All idea, if they take too long to implement some may be cut, but I'd like the player to be more or less as in control as they can possibly be.