Hello, and welcome to the Philippine Gamer Workshop! Over the past years, Life and Times of a Philippine Gamer has grown from a hobby blog to dispensing GMing advice and most recently a home for the extensive Let’s Study series of game reviews.

With my current state as a parent and the inherent additional financial strain of providing for my son, I’m looking for new ways to earn though my enjoyment of the hobby.

Today, we’re looking at a new angle of growth for the Philippine Gamer, where I’ll be putting up small tabletop RPG games with a minimal development budget. These projects will will grow and evolve with the inputs and suggestions of the people who play them.

At the end of each year, the Workshop’s outputs will be collected, edited and polished up as a collection of mini games available for purchase. Crowdfunding might be an option to be able to afford artwork and layout to spruce up each volume further.

It’s a crazy idea, but I’m looking forward to giving it a shot.

I’ve got a small handful of ideas bouncing around in my head, and I’ve been meaning to resurrect some old concepts that have never seen completion. I guess it’s time to put them to work!

Nice! How can I help?

I’ve had a Patreon account for a while, but it was initially keyed to charge whenever I put out a complete Let’s Study review series. You can place you pledge there, and I’ll charge whenever I finish an RPG game for public consumption.

Don’t worry, each game will be complete and playable, no half-baked projects here!

A Few Reflections on Slowing Down

Posted: January 2, 2017 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Roleplaying Games

Happy New Year everyone!

Over the past few months, my content on this website has slowed down to a mere trickle. Whereas I used to be able to post at least thrice a week, I’ve had months with only one or two posts these days.

Most of it is likely due to my shift in lifestyle. I’ve moved on to a new job, with great new perks and correspondingly greater responsibilities. Add the fact that my son is now well into his terrible twos, making managing him whenever I am at home a full-time effort and most of my energies are spent.

As such, it’s getting harder and harder to focus and plan out my games like I used to. I used to be proud of being able to set up intricate campaigns with a ton of moving parts and agendas, but now I’ve slowly settled to just being able to run a session at a time.

I have to admit that it was rather disheartening at first, but I’ve come to understand that this was my new status quo, and rather than rage against it, it was simply better to take a moment to accept it, and make the most of it.

So what does this mean for the blog?

Not much, to be honest. I’m still going to be doing reviews and Let’s Study series (albeit a little slower given how things are.)

As for gaming, I’ve decided to take every session as a blessing, so to speak. I may have to avoid too many new systems as I don’t have that much free time to really learn them, but that doesn’t leave me bereft of systems I already know and enjoy. I have an odd feeling that I’ll be back with a new L5R campaign sooner or later, though I don’t think it’ll be as long as my previous Lion Clan game.

I don’t think of this as quitting the hobby as much as an inevitable dialing back on it to accommodate more real life responsibilities. That said, my game development writing is unaffected, and I’m still trying my best to get new games out for people to play.


Coriolis is the new RPG release by Free League Publishing. Enthusiastically described as “Arabian Nights in Space” and citing inspirations from Joss Whedon’s Firefly universe, this title has pretty much dropped all the citations for me to invest.

And invest I did. I backed the game on Kickstarter on a pledge level that gives me a print copy of a whole boatload of stuff. While the boatload of stuff is still on the slow boat from wherever it’s being printed, I’ve been able to secure a copy of the PDF which I am going to be reviewing now.

Let your heart decide

Coriolis – The Third Horizon assumes that the players take on the role of a crew of adventurers in a space opera setting that draws influence from the Arabian Nights, full of exotic locations, strange artifacts and mysterious secrets.

As you might have noticed, this leaves a big question wide open: Just who are the player characters, and what are they meant to do?

Well, Coriolis sort of flips this on its head by being open to a large spectrum of possible play styles. Depending on the nature of the Crew and what side of the Coriolis universe they want to explore, games of Coriolis can be anywhere from high adventure to techno-thrillers to even Space Horror.

Shining, shimmering, splendid

In order to sustain this kind of open sandbox, a game needs to have a solid setting. Coriolis is set in a region of space known as The Third Horizon, a collection of 36 Star Systems joined through space and time by mystic portals, making The Third Horizon a massive melting pot of cultures, peoples and factions.

The history of the setting is one full of classic tropes from Space Opera. Mankind set off from Earth on 2 massive ark ships named the Zenith and Nadir respectively., towards the distant star of Aldebaran. Only the Zenith made the voyage successfully, and discovered that they did not make it there first.

Instead, Mankind had discovered the ancient portals in space, and they used them to establish distant colonies, one of which is the Third Horizon. During Zenith’s travel time, a great war broke out among the colonies, resulting in the Third Horizon closing off all portals outside of itself.

When the Zenith arrived, they had to meet and get along with a civilisation of humans that had been there before. Sending word to the Third Horizon’s Firstcome denizens, the Zenithians established a council for peace and trade. While it wasn’t a perfect solution, it did help in the integration of the Zenithians to the existing Firstcome cultures and led to a time of relative cooperation.

But just as things were settling in, a mysterious race known as the Emissaries arrived and demanded a seat in the Council. Nobody knows what game the Emissaries are playing, or even who they truly are, but the trouble they’re stirring up among the factions can only mean trouble.

A new fantastic point of view

Coriolis is a new spin an an old Space Opera setup. The elements of Arabian culture definitely give it a different feel, while still being accessible to fans of Space Opera that might find the themes a little different from what they’re used to.

Overall, while I don’t see anything super unique in the broad strokes of Coriolis, the devil (as they say) is in the details. It’s an accessible Space Opera setting with many similarities to popular Space Opera worlds that will make it friendly for people what will want to try it without being too intimidated.

Next up, we’ll take a look at character creation in Coriolis, and see how they were able to take Mutant Year Zero’s rules and apply it here.


coriolis-cover

Now that I’ve had a chance to recover from my recent trip to Dubai in the UAE, I think I’m in the right headspace to do a Let’s Study series on Coriolis The Third Horizon by the Free League.

I joined the kickstarter campaign for this game, sold on the premise of “Arabian Nights, in Space!”, and opted to get a PDF and a copy of the physical book. While the book isn’t out yet, the PDF is, and so I’ll be cracking it open and sharing my thoughts on the setting, rules and design of the game. Having had the time to experience Middle Eastern Culture first hand (however short it was,) I’m really looking forward to seeing how the game brings it to the forefront.

As with all my Let’s Study Series, I’ll be taking the game apart to see what makes it tick. We’ll create characters, try out combat, and see if there are unique mechanics that deserve to be called out.


I haven’t been posting much lately, but I did want to pop in and talk a bit about a great experience I had today checking out a hobby store in Dubai. I’ve been lucky to be sent to Dubai on a company trip. Eager to see if the hobby has any representation in Dubai, I did some quick internet research a few days back and stumbled upon Geeky Lizard on Facebook.

A quick, and very friendly Facebook chat conversation later, I had an address to check out.

Fast forward to today, and I and my co-worker Daryl were able to find Geeky Lizard. It was clearly still under renovation, but the place was a nice open area, with plenty of gaming tables and neat things on display. It had everything from Board Games, to CCGs, Playmats, Deckboxes, dice sets and more!

I also go to finally talk to Omar, the proprietor of Geeky Lizard in person. Warm, friendly and passionate about his hobbies, he’s exactly the kind of person you’d like to see running a hobby store.

geeky-lizard

Omar of Geeky Lizard in black. The other guy is me.

Omar showed me around, and I regret not having taken more photos of the place as my phone was running low on power.

That said, he was able to show me two very cool things:

volo.jpg

First, Volo’s Guide to Monsters was in stock for both the standard and special limited edition cover, that you see pictured here. Geeky Lizard carries a good number of D&D 5e books, as well as the Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight Games. Pathfinder has a place in his shelves while Numenera also had a few supplement there too.

The other, more impressive thing was the fact that his store had an area specifically for running tabletop RPGs!

geeky-lizard-2

Still under construction, but looking cool already!

Most gaming places in the Philippines don’t really have this sort of feature and I honestly wouldn’t mind paying for using something like this if it was designed to help facilitate play. Definitely a great idea.

Another thing I liked was how good the vibe of the community is. There was a Magic the Gathering tournament going on when I arrived, and they all seemed to be a fun group of gamers.

Given the large Filipino community in Dubai, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a few RPG gamers around. If you’re there, and you’re seeing this, then get your butts to Geeky Lizard over at Al-Ghazal Mall along 2nd December Street and dive right in!

Oh, and tell Omar that Jay sent you.