An interesting idea came up while my wife and I were doscussing the game (we both play). Both she and I come from a tabletop gaming background and a common theme in many systems is attracting followers.
It is a historical and thematic constant that successful, powerful people attract followers looking for protection, work, or to share in the glory. Exiles is a game about carving out a life in a world where every person is out for themselves abd it makes sense that those who are able to bot only survive, but thrive (as the players are) would attract others to their banners. How could this be put into action in Exiles?
Items that can be built to attract them would be one way. Let’s call them billets. A player could build a bed like object representing the quartering for this thrall follower. Borrowing from the various traps and feeding mechanics, you could perhaps attract specific types of thralls based on items placed in the billet. The better quality (Tier?) of the billet and materials, the better quality of the thrall it attracts.
The cost/reward of billeted thralls would need to be such that the reward reflects the extra outlay or the outlay would need to be cost equivelent to risking combat to get thralls. It could simply be a matter lf greater materials cost and time. You would not be building a wheel of pain and having to venture out to get thralls but you would have to build a billet per thrall and pay for equipment. It could also work that if a billet (the thrall’s home) is destroyed, you lose the attached thrall as he is now homeless and wanders off to seek bettee fortunes.
After the thrall is attracted by the billet, it would follow the same rules as other thralls.