Monday, January 18, 2016

Leading/ Playing the Game

Roleplaying is a mindset, not a skillset. The only requirements of the player are to respond to the events described by the Game Leader. The player should still be creative and collaborate, but his level of required preparation is limited. Ultimately it takes a devoted storyteller to run a dynamic session, but anyone of any age, creed, or social background can roleplay if they are willing to involve themselves. The game exists in the collective imaginations of everyone involved and therefore cannot be a passive experience. Despite the Game Leader’s role in the grander scheme of the story, ultimately the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the players to engage themselves. The stories of Golden Oceans are created by events of the Game Leader, but allow you as the player to control your own character’s destiny. In the end, Golden Oceans is a game, and just a game, so have fun!

The Game Leader holds many responsibilities, but his primary role is as the story-teller. Golden Oceans can be played as an improvisational game, however your sessions will be most fluid if the Game Leader has some predetermined ideas about the direction of his story, even without detailed plot points. The key to success for an inexperienced Game Leader is organization, no individual new to the conventions of roleplaying should attempt to make up an entire storyline on the spot. Instead build an outline for your campaign in advance, allowing yourself time to brainstorm new ideas before the first session begins. Do not fall into the trap of consistently changing your idea, instead chose your basic concept and build on the foundations of your outline by flushing out your story with real world details.

 Like all writers, you will find yourself creatively blocked from time to time. In these instances it is okay to borrow ideas from movies or novels in order to fill in the gaps of your stories. After all, you are playing this game with your friends, no one is going to accuse you of plagiarism or sue you for copyright infringement; the idea is to have fun. The Game Leader should promote conflict resolution through a variety of means in order to make the game more interesting. You should not follow a script, but rather set up a problem. If the players need a prod, feel free to slip them interesting options for resolution to get them back in the right direction. Conflict should not always be resolved with violence, but with the occasional wit and dialogue, which is ultimately more realistic and entertaining.

In one scenario, while searching for buried treasure, the party is beaten and mugged by bandits in a strange, exotic land. They approach a bridge, but discover that it is being guarded by a single young man. He demands an excessive toll for anyone to cross his bridge, as it is the only crossing for miles and the water is too treacherous to swim. Though out-numbered, the young man is armed. The characters, who have no money to pay and no weapons to fight, must now find a creative way to cross. They could try to team up against him, but there is no guarantee that the whole party could make it away unscathed. They decide to converse  instead and after inquiring for a moment discover that his father died building this bridge and now the young man must work as a toll warden in order to support his siblings and widowed  mother. 

Does the party now use the lad’s family against him or do they offer him a share in the buried treasure they seek? Fighting would be the obvious solution in this scenario, but if the party discovers a better way to cross the bridge, you should reward them. Perhaps they invite the kid along and he becomes a valuable asset to them, being an adept guide in this foreign terrain.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

G.O. Book Design

Hey guys! Thanks for everyone's support on the game so far. I will begin some form of public fundraiser soon for the printing of the book. For today however, go ahead and look at some page layouts of the book for a better idea of the design and overall feel of the game.

Please comment if you have any questions about the game/ book or want to request a subject for me to post about!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Occupational Backgrounds

Occupational backgrounds are an important aspect of Golden Oceans. Your character is not simply an archetypal character, but a complex individual with previous work experiences, cultural influences, and personal motivations. When creating your character you will choose from over ninety unique occupational backgrounds comprising the full spectrum of the pre-digital workforce. Choose to be a wandering hobo, a corrupt politician, a hardworking blacksmith, or a fearless explorer.  The following is an excerpt from Golden Oceans: Book One, which reveals two occupational categories, the "Aristocrat" and the "Wanderer".

"Ultimately, Cultural, Occupational, and Reputational Confidences encapsulate the character's background, describing at a quick glance the character's place of origin, profession, and his associations with various established organizations. A good player will attempt to interweave his Motivational and Heroic Confidences into the previously mentioned "background" confidences to help paint a picture of where his character has been, where he is going, and why he continues to go."
Copyright [Tucker Weston] 2015

Non-Human Characters: Feys

The fey are a bizarre group of beings, most easily identifiable by their prominent bone-like horns, which protrude from their forehead. Though appearing offensive in nature, the true purpose of these horns is to protect the fleshy organs which lay within them. These antennae grant the fey a natural sixth sense, allowing them to be more attuned to universal and spiritual energies. This is of course the key to their intuitive ability to detect magic and cast spells, however has led to high rates of murder against their people, as their horns are prized possessions amongst many cultist societies. Feys are a widely diverse species, with different variations in their physiology, including the development of armored bone plates and even wings in some cases, resulting in a naturally gifted group of peoples.

In ancient times, before the reforging of the Seely Court, a group of deadly fey warriors known as the Immuli existed. It was from these epic knights and vandals that the majority of feyish traditions and technologies evolved. The Immuli were known for using obsidian weapons, however unlike normal volcanic glass which  was extremely brittle, Immuli glass could be reforged after it was shaped to create a strong blade which was not only razor sharp but was also as strong and flexible as steel.

Falsely named "Goblin Glass" by the gremmish explorers who originally purchased the material from goblin traders, today it is still most well-known by that name. Though rarely manufactured in the modern era, goblin glass ages slowly compared to steel and swords a thousand years old are often still used in combat today. According to legend, it was illegal for an Immuli to leave his house without his weapon as their vow included a passage about total service at all times. Today those who pretend to follow these ancient traditions, often romanticize this aspect of the warrior lifestyle, keeping a goblin glass blade on their person at all times.

The Immuli utilized the most advanced technology of their day in order to gain advantage over their enemies.  Besides their obsidian weaponry, the Immuli were most renowned for their spider-silk body armor. Harvested from ardathian spiders, living deep within the caves of the Drunin Mountains, this armor is crafted from layers of densely woven fabric referred to as mirkveil. Mirkveil can only be constructed in the cool temperatures of Duhkur and its surrounding territories, by skilled fey tailors who use a technique known as feyweave. Any other type of silk armor is not considered mirkveil and does not carry the same price or quality. Counterfeit mirkveil became so numerous at one point, that a law within the Drunnish Empire was created, allowing law officials to cut off the right hand of a convicted counterfeiter. The Immuli are said to have worn this armor at all times, most of them even bathing in it. 

[In the game of Golden Oceans. fey characters have access to Cultural Confidences not obtainable by human characters, granting them access to rare forms of mysticism. Below is an excerpt from Golden Oceans: Book One, featuring "Puckish Magic" also referred to as "glamour".  Besides the wide variety of Cultural Confidences available to humans, the first book of Golden Oceans includes rules for Dwarvish and Elvish magic, as well as, a wide variety of unique social customs, religious traditions, and long-standing laws for the feyish peoples.]

 (Featured above are two feys; a "Dokka Herrim" on the left and a "Mirkling" on the right.)

Copyright [Tucker Weston] 2015