On the Shoulders of Dwarves
Playing Politics (episode 89)
Since Uri had several GMs ask him how to create a realistic political landscape in a fantasy setting. However, we are not experts in political relations. So we brought in a professional! Haggai Elkayam Shalem - a political psychologist.
## Intro to Politics (02:20)
What is politics?
## How to build a realistic political landscape (04:25)
Start with conflicting desires and then move to these basics:
- Avoid clear “Good” and “Bad”
- Refrain from monoliths and break them into sub-sections (what are monoliths? Good question!)
- The internal conflict of politics: ideology vs. self-interest
- Grant clear psychological aspect to the political players
A good mechanic to represent political issues: Fronts (19:00)
## The main themes for a political game (21:30)
- Paranoia (not the game!)
- The constant tension between ideology and pragmatism.
## What can players do to support this playstyle? (27:05)
Players can help by selecting ideologies for their characters. Ideally, ones that already have the backing of organizations in the game world.
# Summary (29:40)
Sources of inspirations:
- TV shows: [House of Cards](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856010/), [The West Wing](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200276/)
- Audiobooks/reading: [The Powerbroker](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1111.The_Power_Broker)
- Books: [The Dictator’s Handbook](https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/11612989-the-dictator-s-handbook)
Also, watch [Rules for Rulers](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs) (CGP Gray).
# Taking the load off (34:20)
- Haggai - playing a cult! [Invisible sun](https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/267776/Invisible-Sun?affiliate_id=29668)
- Eran - [Australian bushfire relief bundles](https://www.drivethrurpg.com/promo.php). Bought $80 with Up to Four Players money. And wrote [a bunch of short reviews](https://www.facebook.com/nnesk/posts/10159220100064377?__xts__=68.ARCTdR5I1h-pmtGHb3Iyw0KG_s6_m95-dIG4JebB3O5PWtb6PJJwvvgfPc3BMSRsDeguZ534-ZzJUJKF35h4p4_6IUTBMKhUOWluiJcBlXuHp3tTNoVH8jIDbyJfXx7zQZEBR-uAQCLRAjwAF2Sejkk3Vqgp-Is_XaCITNFMVifN8TZ-Nuggd7zv2dJsSVeQsRL8S3Jj7iq__35Ye5jzKK8J9WHOgE6leOTi8IHkCLEyLyyI3RUVUWeQHGwSdNmwBygHblekPdW0snKqre5Tgn-O8zEpVyrp8hvpriEIbVWfxcfBKARYUoK1cqvNsVRo12zbEm25UE9Yr98cT74&__tn__=-R).
- Uri - We have a new [Patreon page](https://www.patreon.com/dwarfcast) with some new ideas. If you enjoy this podcast please support us.
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Intro and outro based on On the Shoulders of Dwarves by the Cliches Duo. 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