Coriolis: The Great Dark

Exploration & Intrigue in a Lost Horizon

Coriolis: The Great Dark
This is a community submitted press release.

The star portals are dead. Ship City is dying.

But there is still hope. 

You are explorers in a dangerous world. You’ll do the work few others will. The enigmatic ruins of the Great Dark are shunned by most, but not by you. You seek them out, to delve into their shadowy depths and uncover their secrets. The Blight – the cataclysmic scourge that spreads from the ruins – is your beacon – where there is Blight, there are artifacts to find and mysteries to solve. Ship City is dying, but you and your fellow explorers can find a way to a better future.

So don your delver suit, step aboard a mighty Greatship and venture down the Slipstream towards the unknown. Your creed: explore or perish!

Inspired by 19th century expeditions, deep sea diving and pulp archeology, Coriolis: The Great Dark is a roleplaying game about exploration and intrigue. Join dangerous expeditions, navigate the Byzantine schemes of Ship City, and hunt for the keys that unlock the mystery of this Lost Horizon.

Key features:

  • Exploration of long lost ruins
  • Expeditions into the vast unknowns of space
  • Intrigue in a frontier asteroid-city
  • Rules that bring these key features to the front

The Game

In Coriolis: The Great Dark, you and a crew of fellow explorers will set out on expeditions and delve into ruins of the Lost Horizon. You all have your separate backgrounds and homes in the meandering asteroid-metropolis of Ship City.

You are employed by the Explorers Guild to undertake dangerous missions into ruins on desolate moons or take part in expeditions to other star systems in search of resources and artifacts. 

Delving into the ruins will bring out the best of you and your crew. You’ll need to overcome physical obstacles, creatures from the Dark as well as endure the ubiquitous Blight, a space plague affecting both mind and body. Other explorers may also become your opponents as you vie for the same treasure and knowledge.

In the metropolis of Ship City, you can take on missions and investigations to help your guild and build your crew’s reputation with the other major players of the city – the Navigators, the Machinists and the Gardeners. 

The World of Coriolis: The Great Dark

After a long voyage through space, a diaspora of refugees entered a lone system, naming it Jumuah and settling on an barren asteroid. Converting their armada of ships into a city on its surface and burrowed into the rock, these refugees created Ship City.

Three distinct groups took charge of this colony: the Machinists build ships and keep the vast bowels of the asteroid in shape, the Gardeners grow food and rejuvenate the atmosphere, and the Navigators plan expeditions into the cold space in search of resources.

The first explorers soon found abandoned ruins on far-flung moons. Strange artifacts told tales of a long lost previous civilization. Unfortunately, not only treasures were found – the ruins were covered in ice-like protrusions and vines. The first explorers were soon afflicted by a strange plague, the Blight, twisting their minds and bodies in bizarre ways.

The Jumuah system was a dead end, but soon the algebraist of the Navigators Guild found hidden routes through space, making it possible to travel to nearby star systems. New ruins were found, as perilous as in the Jumuah system but at least more resources could be harvested.

To travel the star lanes, massive space vessels were needed, and the Greatships were constructed from the detritus of the old armada and the factories of the Machinists.

There is new hope in Jumuah and Ship City. Expeditions are planned to new stars and the Greatships are filled with explorers, prospectors and the like – hopeful of new riches to bring home. 

This is a new age of exploration and hope.

The Rules

The rules of Coriolis: The Great Dark are based on the latest iteration of acclaimed Year Zero Engine, used in award-winning games such as the ALIEN RPG, the Blade Runner RPG, the Tales From the Loop RPG, and The Walking Dead Universe Roleplaying Game, but specifically tailored for this new game.

As a core mechanic, you roll a number of six-sided dice decided by the value of your base attribute and your talents. The more competent you are, the more dice you get to roll. Any roll of 6 indicates a success, and multiple successes trigger bonus effects. Rolls can be pushed, i.e. re-rolled, at the risk of losing Hope that you will ever survive the horrors of The Great Dark.

The Core rulebook includes rules for quick character generation, combat, shuttles & rovers, exploration and expeditions. The rules are designed to blend seamlessly with the story, and let you focus on your explorer's endeavors while pushing the themes of the game to the forefront.

About the game

Coriolis: The Great Dark is for all intents and purposes a second edition of Coriolis – The Third Horizon. The rules have been updated and further developed, the setting is new and advances the timeline of the universe. The old game will not be developed further and the old books will not be reprinted, but with the Open License that will be available, fans will be able to create and publish new modules.

The Kickstarter will be launched on March 19 at 3 pm Central European Time (9 am US Eastern / 6 am US Pacific). Backers and retailers alike eager to enlist should visit the Kickstarter pre-launch page.

A boxed campaign set entitled The Flowers of Algorab will also be part of the Kickstarter and delivered alongside the core game.