Wish List/Trader Changes
(Moved from main list for clean up)
Make it so that you can sell directly to the peasants. For example: if the region is starving, the peasants might buy food for X per bushel, however the banker knows that food is coming soon, and so is only set to buying for X/4 per bushel. The peasants would gladly buy from you, and this would drop the amount that they contribute to the enemy realm for taxes, however they would get food enough. This goes in line with what would actually happen many times. And, you could institute an hours appropriation to it. If you spent 12 hours, you might find peasants enough to buy 200 bushels, but if you only spent 3 hours, you might only find enough to buy 30 bushels. Then, you can decide if the price is high enough that you want to sell. If so, then you can sell, but if not, you try again to find peasants to sell to. The amount of peasants and gold they offer would depend on how much food they need. This way, a starving region would offer a very good opportunity to a trader. I'll admit that this is sort of like the black market (OK, very much like the black market) however the black market is a few things: to easy to get caught, and be imprisoned, and doesn't incorporate some of the features that this would. For example a starving region would be easy to find buyers, while a non starving region would be hard.
Add would be a message function. I would let the traders message any other traders, like the ruler's channel, or the judges channel. That way, they aren't totally disconnected, and it keeps them involved and having fun. Also, this would lend itself to a few things. One, it would give them the ability to shout out prices or good places to buy or sell for thier realm, instead of bankers, which is a single point of failure as far as activity is concerned. Second, this would lend itself to rebellion. This is a good thing believe it or not. The Trader would be the best class to pass secrets in and out of the realm, as they could message the other traders directly. This lends itself to real life. If you see two soldiers from opposing countries talking in hushed tones, you think "that guy is a traitor". But if you see two traders talking in hushed tones, you assume they are brokering some new deal that makes you a lot of money. However, it's the best class to pass secrets, as well simply because of the ease of communication. Look at how many secrets were passed inside bushels of grain, or carts of fruit throughout the ages. That was one of the main ways it was done!
Also, if you modified (and here I'm just spitballing. This would be quite difficult I think) the way that items are used it would help. Wood, for example is used almost none. So require that to outfit troops you need to have wood in the region for every troop, otherwise the region doesn't produce them. Also, make it so that repairing equipment takes wood (it already has a "not enough raw materials message". Link it to this.) and you get a great demand. Food is needed so that the region doesn't starve, and you can sell that directly to the peasants with the first suggestion, so you've improved that as well.