The "fairness" of acks and domains play

I like how the random enconunters, the random dungeon filling, the random treasure, etc. rules leave to a certain fairness that is independent of my will as a judge. If that room has an ancient dragon it has and ancient dragon, if the empty room has a +3 vorpal sword, then it has a +3 vorpal sword. That leaves me as a judge free to "play as the world" instead of playing to present balanced chalenges, that puts the players in the position of having to think wich enemies to face, when to run, and in the obligation of gathering inteligence and having clever plans. 

And i like that that continues on the domain level, not in rando generation, but in the fact that a domain of X size has Y money to spend on troops, and its the players responsability to gather inteligence and decide when an enemy its not to be messed and come up with clever plans to win.

PD: when creating enemy generals i like to ranmly roll to see wath magic items they have and come up with little stories of how they got them. 

I agree 100%. The sense of a world in motion that exists independent of any particular player is something that is important to me as a Judge and designer!

Agreed, it certainly would be nice to have some random tables for domain stuff & generation as well though .

I know what you mean... It's a bit tricky to work out how to distribute settlements and domains unless you've already seen an example of how settlements and domains are distributed; Without that kind of example to serve as context, you don't have a frame of reference in which to understand the intent of the rules, and you have to work it all out from first principles.

I'm hoping the setting gazetteers will provide that example when they're released, but it's been a while since they were last mentioned here.

I always tell my players that the world does not just stop when their characters do. I have a world timeline that I keep track of during a campaign. This timeline details events going on around the PCs and other places in the world. PCs will often hear about these stories or rumors about these events in-game, making the world seem more alive and less of a stage.

timelines give way more deept to sandbox

Threads like this reassure me. On one of my other forums, I just saw a thread asking for more "Player Friendly" settings, because 'If there's a bunch of world stuff going on how are the PCs going to feel important?' and it completely wrongfooted me. 

One thing I think we could do with is a domain wandering encounter table. Something that had larger encounters, but was rolled wth a lower frequency to make up for it.