Each move your hero makes = 1 year of their life. Each hero has a limited lifespan (50-125 years) that puts pressure on you to think carefully about how you spend the years you have left.
Before your hero passes away you must find a mate and have a child. You'll then navigate the world you left behind as that offspring. The right mate will pass on traits (special abilities) that make your child more powerful and prepared.
Heroes are judged by how famous they become in a single lifespan. Heroes grow and gain fame by completing quests and pursuing the strategic paths of Strength, Love, Exploration, Wealth, Fame, and Building & Technology.
Buildings provide long term benefits and influence the culture of neighboring towns. Towns morph in response to combinations of buildings nearby, causing the mates in the town to take on unique traits.