[Let’s Study Coriolis Part 5] The Third Horizon

Welcome back!

Today’s entry is about The Third Horizon, and will briefly touch upon what kind of information you can expect to find in the book. Take note that in Coriolis, there are no less than seven chapters devoted to the various facets setting.

The Third Horizon is the chapter that gives you a history of the setting, a thorough treatment of the key moments that made The Third Horizon what it is today. From the First and Second Horizons, to the coming of the Zenith and the establishment of Coriolis, the chapter gives a great overview of the big events that shook the setting and gave it form.

Factions, is a fairly self-explanatory chapter, one that delves into the history, culture and nature of the various power-wielding factions of the setting. Divided into two main types of being either Zenithian or Firstcome, each of the factions is a pillar of society in The Third Horizon, even if some of them are involved in some truly dark deeds, like The Syndicate. Each of the factions has sufficient detail to satisfy any setting-junkie, and is loaded with interesting tidbits that an enterprising GM can spin off as a plot hook.

The People Of The Horizon is the chapter that goes into the details of culture, and traditions of The Third Horizon. There are broad notes on the various cultural lines between different colonies, and an overview of the daily life in the Horizon, from the point of view of people on the colonies, the space stations, the cities and as a nomad. Everyday technology and communication are also given treatment here, to give players a sense of what is “normal” in the setting. This chapter sums up quite nicely with a treatment of the Icons, their religion and myths and how this is expressed in a setting so highly steeped in technology as Coriolis.

Coriolis is the chapter that talks about the Coriolis space station, cradle and holy shrine to the Zenithian civilization. This chapter pulls out all the stops to describe all the various locations and details of the Coriolis station, making it an easy “urban” setting in itself for games of espionage. One could run an entire campaign without setting a foot outside of Coriolis if one wanted, and you’d still have plenty of space and plot hooks untouched.

The Kua System discusses the star system that surrounds Coriolis Station. Each of the primary planets is discussed with a profile of each one presented in a neat snapshot, along with notes on life and notable features in each.

Atlas Of The Third Horizon pulls the lens back to a macro view, and talks about the various star systems of The Third Horizon. Each of the thirty-six(!) different star systems gets a snapshot and encyclopedia-like entry discussing the system and what it has in store for adventurers, while leaving plenty of room for GM to improvise.

Beasts and Djinni is the bestiary chapter, and displays the myriad strange things that can be encountered in the various adventures of Coriolis. Given the wide range of different group concepts supported by the game, this chapter has an equally diverse selection of threats. From wild beasts to strange automatons, and even creatures that defy logic or are born from superstition and myth, there’s room for pretty much anything in Coriolis. I would definitely recommend that GMs choose their opponents to their players wisely, as it is rather tempting to throw just about anything at them, though that would sacrifice consistency and theme.

If it’s setting details you want, then Coriolis will not let you down. There’s a hefty amount of everything in this single book, a trend that I heartily encourage in other RPGs. While it does require a bit of effort to go through everything, Coriolis can’t ever be accused of  being short on detail.

Next up, a bit on running games of Coriolis, and wrapping up my review!

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