|Some of Arnold Arre's 2000 work. A lot if his paintings actually|
inspired my early attempts at RPG work in Fuzion, but it didn't
see the light of day, sadly. Much of this work is arguably set in the
shared world of Hinirang (and that's the setting I was working on),
but I'd have to ask him moving forward. There are Tiq'barangs in
this painting, along with other creatures of Philippine myth.
The primary use was trade; secondary use was transporting people. This meant caravan travel quite often involved people following alongside or within sight of the river barges and boats.
I also incorporated the concept of rest stops along the river -- some warehouses, some moorings, some inns that primarily cater to travelers along the river.
I stopped short of creating a system whereby certain types of material would travel certain river segments, then travel the rest of the way via carts and other wheeled contrivances -- but I did allude to them.
They also made slightly modified water creatures interesting potential encounters.
Other potential encounters: river pirates, ornery owners of other boats, grifters and con artists, and peddlers of food stuffs (they cook along the river, attracting customers through aroma).
Inspired by the aforementioned seminal fantasy work (Lord of the Rings) I started thinking of shrines to the gods or spirits of the river, but my campaign ended before I could follow up on that thread of thinking.
How have you made use of riverways in your campaigns?