Thursday, August 17, 2017

What does a self-help book and a roleplaying game have in common?

I stumbled upon this video about Ed Latimore's The Four Confidences: I became very excited when I realized this philosophy supports the game mechanics of Golden Oceans.
In Golden Oceans, character creation is primarily focused around the accumilation of special abilities called "Confidences". These confidences unlock areas of expertise for the character. It is Confidence which seperates the heroes from the average people. Without confidence... knowledge and power fall to the wayside.

The following is a summary of Ed Latimore's Four Confidences and how each one relates to the rules of Golden Oceans.

1. Confidence in the Process. Rome wasn't built in a day. Goals come with time. Improvement is a process. Have faith that things will get better. In Golden Oceans, characters recieve Experience just for participating. The Experience they collect furthers them in the game by allowing them to unlock Confidences.
2. Confidence in Instruction. You learn at a quicker pace by relying on trustworthy teachers. You can save valuable time by not having to learn the hard way. In Golden Oceans characters can train, teach, and be taught in order to accelerate the learning of skills. This is much faster than learning on the job.
3. Confidence in the Past. You need to understand where we've been to know where we're going. In Golden Oceans, an emphasis is put on backstory. By choosing the character's Cultural, Occupational, and Motivational Confidences we define what is important to them and why. This makes for stronger roleplaying, by giving the character a starting point and a direction.
4. Confidence in learning. Given enough time, anybody can learn anything. In Golden Oceans there are no class or cross-class skills. Any character can attempt any skill. Every failure is a chance to learn from your mistakes. When your character recieves a Critical Failure on a skill roll, that skill goes up a point. You win or you learn.

In the game of Golden Oceans, Experience leads to Confidence!

Golden Oceans is available here:
Purchase the Four Confidences here:

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Continent of Delvariah

Delvariah is the smallest continent on the planet Drae. Located in the southern hemisphere, Delvariah is primarily comprised of the coastal Del Floodlands and the mountainous Variah Plateau. Surrounded on the northern coast by the deadly Mara Ocean and to the south by the Black Waters of Delvariah, the continent has historically remained free from conquest due to its deadly coastal waters and distant isolation. In modern times Delvariah is colloquially referred to as "Mara Gem"; being the last remaining "wildlands" yet to be conquered by the numerous empires and industries.

The lowlying Del Floodlands are sparsely populated by native humans, but the Variah Plateau, which contains the vast majority of "wildlands" is dominated by tribes of primal creatures such as the Soth,  Sasquatch, Pigmy, and Haug. Though a few tribes near the Del Floodlands are friendly to humans, the majority of these troglodytes are feral, savage, and even cannibalistic. There are many natural resources in the jungles of Variah, including medicine, rubber, sugar, coffee, tobacco, and even naturally occuring veins of precious metal, such as gold, silver, and draenorium. Settlers from the Goath Empire, Compass Alliance, and Coalition of Free Guilds have swarmed to the Mara Gem in recent years; leading to a renaissance in imperialism in the southern hemisphere.

Delvariah is littered with strange predatory and parasitic creatures. The spanx is the epitomy of brains over brawn. Utilizing vocal mimicry the spanx recreates the mating sounds of local predators, taking beasts three times its size by surprise. Vicious creatures, the spanx always goes for the jugular to insure a swift, quiet kill. Giant leeches are also a terror of Delvariah. Secreting a natural pain-killer, they can drain a person dry in their sleep without ever waking them. There are many perils for those brave explorers who dare to traverse the wildlands, but we depend on them to forge the path through the darkness.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Continent of Eastrund

Eastrund is the largest continent on the planet Drae, located in the eastern hemisphere. Its named derives from the Gremmish tongue, literally meaning "Eastern Mounds" (in reference to the numerous mountains and sand dunes). In ancient times, this land was referred to as "Skahiria" and was mostly dominated by shang, trivicks, and giants. The Cahirian River Basin was the first region to support human life on the continent of Eastrund, approximately three hundred years before the first Osarians would migrate down from the mountains. These early Cahirians are categorized by anthropologists into two major groups, the Messick and the Lummick tribes.

The Messick are most notable for being the primary genetic lineage of modern humans in Eastrund. The Lummick would later migrate north, creating their own empire and laying the foundations for the famous Valian Empire; before returning to conquer the Messick peoples. Today the two militaristic super powers controlling the continent are the Cahirian and Goath Empires. The Edumechian Mountains split the continent in half, the north being controlled by the Cahirians and the south by the Goath. The Yru Pass is a wide canyon between the eastern and western stretches of the Edumechian Mountains. Being the easiest route of travel from the north to the south, it is a major trade route and strategic military asset (currently controlled by the Cahirians).

Eastrund is divided into five geographic regions: Cahir (north-western lowlands), Sa'Lam (north-earthern lowlands), Sabra (central desert), Goa (southern lowlands), and Edumechia (eastern and western mountain ranges). Most notably, Sabra is the black heart of the continent, where cults, witches, slavers, and warlords still reign supreme. It is in these inhospitible lands that many foreigners come in search of magical treasures, long lost by the draeick ancients in their buried tombs. Eastrund is a land of great beauty, diverse human culture, and majestic wildlife, but also a violent place controlled by tyrannical empires, packs of vicious beasts, and hordes of monsterous giants.

The Continent of Pan Valia

Pan Valia is a collection of landmasses and large islands in the northern hemisphere of Drae. Renowned for its luscious grass, majestic rolling hills, and seas of jagged ice; Pan Valia is colloquially referred to as the "Greenlands" by the citizens of the Compass Alliance. Extremely mountainous, the majority of the Valian mainland is high in altitude; over ten-thousand feet above sea-level. The low-lying boglands are prized realestate, easily turning a profit from the highly traversed waterways. Areas of dense woodlands are common in Valia, however the majority of the outlying islands can only sustain grass, moss, and lichen.

Originally the homeland of the formidable Valians, today the descendants of that once noble empire exist in the various incarnations which took control after the collapse. From the Valian power vacuum, the Gremmish Empire would be the first to organize, developing into a global empire of industrial and economic superiority. It was the Gremmish who first circumnavigated the planet, giving us the modern names for the oceans and continents.Gremmish has since grown to become one of the most prominent languages on the planet Drae. Other prominent nations of Pan Valia include the Kingdom of Sylvania, the Republic of Linder, the Na'lan Empire, and the Confederation of Quezal (which is techniquely a disputed territory of the Gremmish Empire).

Due to its location in the northern hemisphere, Pan Valia has strange seasonal occurances such as extremely long days or nights, and the ever bizarre "Northern Lights". During the summer months the icy oceans surrounding Valia break down into icebergs, however during the frigid winters, the oceans freeze solid, often connecting landmasses which would otherwise be seperate. Indeed, the Sylvanian Penninsula is surrounded on three sides by water, but freezes over during the winter to create a fully land-locked country. For obvious reasons, icebreaker ships are common in these waters. The undesputed epitomy of this is the self-healing Drasil Ship, plated with Draenorium Armor.