On the Shoulders of Dwarves
Better Battles (episode 1)
Typical dwarves, promise 30-40 minutes and talk for 50! This is mostly because of the need to introduce ourselves in the beginning; future episodes will be shorter. **
**00:10 What's this podcast about?**
Originates in our Hebrew podcast (website, facebook page)
**3:00 Who are we**
And why you might want to listen to us talk.
[Up to Four Players](http://www.uptofourplayers.com/)
D&D and Pathfinder you probably know; here are [Exalted](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exalted) and [Dungeon World](http://www.dungeon-world.com/)
[Vanor](http://www.vanorgames.com/), the Hebrew translation of Dungeon World, by Aviv Manoach
[Little Wizards](https://www.crafty-games.com/shop/little-wizards/), and in Hebrew ([קוסמים קטנים](http://littlewizards.co.il/))
[City of Mist](https://www.cityofmist.co/)
**7:30 The Better Battle**
Which sort of games is this advice applicable for?
**8:50 More Dynamic**
Keep things in motion: inanimate things moving around the battle arena. Or not inanimate!
The smallest type of goblin in Warhammer is called a [Snotling](http://warhammerfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Snotlings).
Make it 3D: Have various surfaces on different levels. Have combatants that utilize this difference, give the players reasons to make use of them.
Surfaces: Areas that contain an element that might or might not have any mechanical effect by themselves, but can be used by most combatants in creative ways.
Divinity Original Sin, (https://www.divinityoriginalsin.com) and (https://www.divinity.game/)
**20:00 Players, use the arena**
GMs, go with the player's suggestion - but not all the way. Offer a cost.
**23:20 Varying win conditions**
Getting x to y; protecting X until; getting to X before; taking X down; or a series of actions; draw into a trap; find and exploit weakness against an invincible enemy; get into and get out.
For this to work, advancement (XP, or otherwise) shouldn't come from defeating monsters.
**30:10 Special combat arenas**
Happens in exotic locations and have special rules.
Fuller descriptions of the battle in Cecilia's mind and combat against the Titan are available in Hebrew, [here](http://www.tactica-games.co.il/wp/2012/01/23/%D7%94%D7%AA%D7%A7%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%98%D7%98%D7%AA-%D7%AA%D7%94%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%A0%D7%A4%D7%A9/) and [here](http://www.tactica-games.co.il/wp/2011/12/12/%D7%94%D7%AA%D7%A7%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%98%D7%98%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%A7%D7%A8%D7%91-%D7%A0%D7%92%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%98%D7%99%D7%98%D7%90%D7%9F/).
**35:15 Empowering the players**
Providing enough information so they can plan.
Reality markers, a resource that allows you to announce a factual detail about the world.
[Fate](https://www.evilhat.com/home/fate-core/) (learn the main rules [in comics form](http://www.uptofourplayers.com/fate-core-rules/)!)
Enriching the arena with players suggestions (very common in games [Powered by the Apocalypse](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_by_the_Apocalypse "Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_by_the_Apocalypse")). Making the scenes more interesting, and players tend to interact with the things they themselves create.
[Star Wars RPG](https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/starwarsrpg/), with its Destiny Points. [Genesys](https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/6/27/genesys/), soon.
Download the [City of Mist Starter Set](http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/191450/City-of-Mist-Starter-Set-Rulesbook) for free, and check out the move Change the Game.
Pick one thing from this podcast, and use it in your next session.
If you want to dig deeper: What can we learn from combat arenas in the [LotR movies](http://www.uptofourplayers.com/2016/03/rp-tools-combat-arenas-lord-rings/) and the [Hobbit movies](http://www.uptofourplayers.com/2016/04/rp-tools-combat-arenas-from-the-hobbit/).
**44:25 Taking the load off**
Uri and I discuss things that interest us from our roleplaying lives.
Uri plays the [Curse of the Crimson Throne](http://paizo.com/products/btpy9nme/discuss?Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-Curse-of-the-Crimson-Throne) adventure path...
...and runs Unrelated Incidents, a Fate game in the [Dresden Files](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dresden_Files) universe.
I have been working on City of Mist. I give a few excerpts [here](http://www.uptofourplayers.com/2017/10/mist-red-herrings/) and [here](http://www.uptofourplayers.com/2017/11/mist-think-cinematic/).
[Mouse Guard](http://www.mouseguard.net/), [Torchbearer](https://www.torchbearerrpg.com/), both based on [Burning Wheel](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Burning_Wheel)
_The intro and outro are taken from “Silly Fun” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)_
_On the Shoulders of Dwarves is shared under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/)_
Brought to you by Eran Aviram of On the Shoulders of Dwarves