I haven't seen a lot of constructive or creative posts lately--even from myself. Of course, a lot of that stems from the mods banning threads about ideas for new civ's. Since that creative outlet has been stifled, I'll try working another angle.
I'd been mulling over some alternate leaders for existing civ's, and I was looking at Nero for Rome. I was trying to build a "bread and circuses" theme, giving Nero a discount on maintenance costs as long as happiness was at least equal to its number of cities. I was trying to come up with a way to represent the Roman grain dole as a unique building that replaces the grannary or the water mill, a unique building (aqueduct), or perhaps a unique improvement for wheat tiles.
Then it occured to me that a national wonder would be the closest fit. A unique national wonder. What if every civ got one? That actually fills a niche for distinguishing civ's from each other that was once filled by governments and religions. Unlike a world wonder, a national wonder isn't locked into being anything physical; it can just as easily be a philosophy or social doctrine (e.g. National Epic and Heroic Epic).
So, here's what I came up with for Rome:
+3 happiness, and an additional +1 happiness for each city with an improved wheat resource. Requires each city to have a grannary.
Here's another I came up with when I was slapping together Mao as an alternate leader for China:
Gain one free social policy from one of the following: Tradition, Patronage, Rationalism, Autocracy, or Order. Requires each city to have a...I dunno. Paper maker? Suggestions welcome.
You could really go nuts with this. The Library of Alexandria for Eqypt, the West Point Military Academy for the U.S, Hinduism for India.
Anyway, I figured I'd run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. Or we can start another thread about bad AI diplomacy. Either way is good with me.