I came up with a few thoughts, and a few questions. Warning: Wall of text ahead.
With bed assignment and enough Hearthlings you could probably get something that sort of worked like multiple tiny interconnected villages. I haven’t seen fireplaces for sale for a while, but we could spawn one in with debug tools for each village center.
If we’re doing this, how long should these turns be? A day might be too short for some of us busy people, but a week would go too slowly. Do we just want to pass it back when we feel done, or should there be some amount of time in real life, or should we go off of in-game time?
I think this would be most fun if we somewhat keep the function of each village different. A mining town here, a large farmland there, a fortress there, a port full of merchants… We could let players decide as they build, or we could assign these to each player.
Scattered tiny villages would be a disaster when it comes to combat. Net worth would be high and trigger the more difficult encounters, but the forces in one place would be too low to deal with them, and there wouldn’t be many defenses. We could always play on peaceful, I suppose… Or someone could try to mod in an easy mode.
We might want to share a few blueprints so that all our villages look somewhat related - lamp posts, watch-towers, etc. I still want plenty of creativity, but I think this could make the world feel more like an actual world than a bunch of completely different villages plopped into the same map.