Ok, so the name might change but I finally decided on a concept!
Take the role of a shop keeper and supply adventurers with items. Craft items from resources. Get resources from returning adventurers or buy them from traveling salesmen. Adventurers try to defeat an evil empire and you can see the progress as they move towards their goal. If they survive a fight they come back to purchase more things and hand over any goodies found. Repeat until one side wins!
Cake Mania meets Minecraft meets Pianola!