Finally we arrive at the end of our little journey through The Third Horizon. But before everything else, let’s have a quick gander at the GMing chapter.
To be honest, the advice on GMing here is decent, if a bit sparse. Fans of Sci-Fi settings and Space Opera in general will be able to pick up from what they already know in terms of the stories and make do, but I can’t help but feel that this one could use a little beefing up.
Still, it does the job of giving guidance on how to manage gameplay, paying attention to story, managing difficulty ratings and experience points. Just don’t expect this chapter to provide life changing insights and you’ll be fine.
That said, there’s also a small adventure in this section of the book, giving new GMs something to run until they can internalize the various systems of the game. I won’t spoil the details on the one in Coriolis, but it does feature multiple locations and plenty of opportunities for the players to get in trouble without feeling too much like it was on rails.
Conclusion & Review
Coriolis: The Third Horizon promised a sprawling Space Opera setting with a unique “Arabian Nights meets Firefly” aesthetic and it delivers. This is what happens when a game’s designers have a solid idea of what exactly they want.
Speaking of design, I would be remiss had I not talked about the production values and stunning artwork used in the book. There’s a certain visual tone in it that I’ve yet to see matched in other games, and I can only express joy at the fact that I’m expecting a physical copy to reach my doorstep within the next few months.
Taking the mechanics from Mutant: Year Zero does nothing to diminish the game, if anything the solid rules that power Coriolis is a great way to accommodate the wide breadth of possible games that can be run with it. Whether it’s a Free Trader game, or one where the players are all Mercenaries, Soldiers or Pilgrims, there’s plenty of mechanical backbone to support those stories.
In many ways, I find myself thinking back to the Arabian Nights, a compilation of epic tales of different genres, and different tones, and I can’t help but see Coriolis as a catalyst for such. I normally balk at games who “don’t know who they are” or “Try to do too much” but somehow Fria Ligan manages to do the impossible and actually give us a game that tells every kind of story we can think of, and much like Shahryār, I find myself asking, “What happens next?”
Coriolis: The Third Horizon is available for sale at the Fria Ligan Website: http://frialigan.se/en/product-category/coriolis-the-third-horizon/