Cortex Prime

Raleel

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Mine should be showing up here in not too long, but honestly, I didn't remember ordering a softcover :smile: but I did, so it'll be showing up. Hopefully it'll get some good online support
 

chuckdee

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Mine did arrive two days early, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. It was also packed very well, with extra cardboard packed in to keep the books from moving around.
And you were right. Mine came today. Or maybe yesterday. In a row with my carrier because she decided to stop delivery to our house until we came and picked up the mail because my son had stopped in front of the driveway when he ran in to bring us something. So... she stopped delivery because the mailbox was sort of blocked, but what she was bringing wouldn't have fit in the mailbox anyway and she'd have had to come to the door.


Mine should be showing up here in not too long, but honestly, I didn't remember ordering a softcover :smile: but I did, so it'll be showing up. Hopefully it'll get some good online support
We're supposed to be getting 4 more physical products from the KS- I wonder if we actually will.
 

Raleel

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We're supposed to be getting 4 more physical products from the KS- I wonder if we actually will.
why would you think we wouldn't? They've been pretty clear, they've communicated well by having updates essentially every 2 weeks, they've gone through the selling of cortex itself, the primary person moving to another country and still operating the project. we're getting books late, but they are definitely coming, and far better than what we expected.
 

burbles

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We're supposed to be getting 4 more physical products from the KS- I wonder if we actually will.
While I don’t doubt that we’ll get something (I’m only in for the pdfs). Do we have any idea as to the status of these?
 

FreeGamer

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I'm liking the Pathways section. If nothing else(hint: I loved pretty much everything else, too), I absolutely loved this part of the Smallville RPG/C+ Dramatic. Guided character generation that ties them both to each other and to the setting at large? Yes, please! In addition to all of the additional advice on constructing your own Pathways charts, I noticed one difference that stood out.

In Smallville, when you get to step 5 - Life Changing Event - you're allowed to pick from any of the options regardless of where you were in the step above. For steps 1-4, you're only allowed to go down into the 3 nearest options - straight down, down and left, or down and right. Essentially the options are laid out in columns, and you can do a single column shift each time you move down to the next step. But in step 5, you can pick from all 5 options regardless(and if you did the optional steps 6-9, you would then continue as normal). In Cortex Prime, this is never mentioned. So I'm guessing that by default you're only allowed to do a single column shift at every step, including step 5. Of course the GM can change anything in any way, but I don't see it mentioned anywhere. I do wish it was at least mentioned as an option - I have a copy of Smallville, which is the only reason I know that anyone ever thought to do things that way. It might not even occur to people who never had such access(the Smallville book isn't readily available, and the PDFs are no longer available either[and just to flex a bit, yes, I do have the Watchtower Report PDF]).
 

angille

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I was very excited about Cortex Prime because many people had commented to me that it's Fate-like in all of the abstract widgets but it has less wrangling over aspects at the table. I backed the kickstarter but I'm waiting for all of the mini-settings they promised - I need a lot more guidance in the form of worked examples before I could use this thing.
Dude, that is more than fair. As I understand it, the core Prime book is meant to be basically a "build your game" thing with lots of options and advice. And while we have a number of older versions to draw inspiration from, including some mini-settings in the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide, I too am looking forward to having more worked examples(hopefully with explanations of what decisions were made and why). I'm fairly familiar with how Cortex is supposed to work at this point, but I'd like to get to the point that I'm comfortable enough with it to make my own game and be reasonably certain that it's not hot garbage. :wink:
I've made kind of a pile of character sheets for Cortex, and in the last few days I've started to go back and make rulesheets for some of them too. feel free to AMA, if you want "explanations of what decisions were made and why" — there's also a ton of great discussion on the Discord.

So how narrative (Indie game) is it would ya say?

I backed it as well but I was hoping the "tool-kit" aspect of it would allow me to go back to the original incarnation of Cortex, Pre Cortex+. I got the impression that that first version was the least story/narrative version of the rules set? and it had some things in common with Unisystem or Savage Worlds as in being a more "light weight" generic rpg engine than say GURPS or HERO.
you totally can ("go back to the original incarnation of Cortex, Pre Cortex+").

there are enough folks who've been talking about wanting Cortex Classic stuff that even if Fandom doesn't build it out, someone out there is gonna put it out on the Creator Studio, I'm sure of it. but yeah, the toolkit nature of Cortex means you can swing all the way between something like Smallville where your "attributes" are literally your feelings towards ideas and people, and something like Serenity/BSG/Supernatural, which are basically trad games with plot points.

While I don’t doubt that we’ll get something (I’m only in for the pdfs). Do we have any idea as to the status of these?
Josh has been done with editing for a while, and Tina's presumably working on art sourcing and layout, given that the main book is done producing. not sure what the precise timeline is, because Fandom doesn't like to publish dates they're not 110% guaranteed to hit.

In Cortex Prime, this is never mentioned. So I'm guessing that by default you're only allowed to do a single column shift at every step, including step 5. Of course the GM can change anything in any way, but I don't see it mentioned anywhere. I do wish it was at least mentioned as an option - I have a copy of Smallville, which is the only reason I know that anyone ever thought to do things that way. It might not even occur to people who never had such access(the Smallville book isn't readily available, and the PDFs are no longer available either[and just to flex a bit, yes, I do have the Watchtower Report PDF]).
Pathways are utterly brilliant, and the one thing that I think Cortex has been the sole innovator of. one of the things that happened with the Handbook is that some things were streamlined, not the least of which being Pathways. I'm certain there's gonna be something in the future that goes into the kind of depth and breadth of variation you can pull off with what's in the Watchtower Report and the Hacker's Guide, but it's not the Handbook.
 

Cam Banks

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Products from the Kickstarter still to come (in the works):
* System Reference (kind of a big encyclopaedia of the rules and all the mods, no examples or settings): currently in editing
* Spotlight Volumes I thru V (collections of settings, genre mashups, and readymade worlds, made possible by stretch goals): rules development, off to final edits once System Reference is done

Products in the works that aren't from the Kickstarter:
* Tales of Xadia RPG (based on Netflex's The Dragon Prince): almost ready for public playtest
* Legends of Grayskull RPG (based on Masters of the Universe including She-Ra): rules design and development stage
 

chuckdee

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why would you think we wouldn't? They've been pretty clear, they've communicated well by having updates essentially every 2 weeks, they've gone through the selling of cortex itself, the primary person moving to another country and still operating the project. we're getting books late, but they are definitely coming, and far better than what we expected.
It was merely a question with how long these have taken, the change in ownership, and the updates in postal costs. Death by stretch goal is a thing- no slight intended.

Products from the Kickstarter still to come (in the works):
* System Reference (kind of a big encyclopaedia of the rules and all the mods, no examples or settings): currently in editing
* Spotlight Volumes I thru V (collections of settings, genre mashups, and readymade worlds, made possible by stretch goals): rules development, off to final edits once System Reference is done

Products in the works that aren't from the Kickstarter:
* Tales of Xadia RPG (based on Netflex's The Dragon Prince): almost ready for public playtest
* Legends of Grayskull RPG (based on Masters of the Universe including She-Ra): rules design and development stage

Thanks for the updates. As I said, no slight intended. I back a lot of projects, so don't really follow closely so I don't have to deal with the stresses of wondering when something occurs, just being happy when it does, so I miss things.
 

Dammit Viktor

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So how narrative (Indie game) is it would ya say?

I backed it as well but I was hoping the "tool-kit" aspect of it would allow me to go back to the original incarnation of Cortex, Pre Cortex+. I got the impression that that first version was the least story/narrative version of the rules set? and it had some things in common with Unisystem or Savage Worlds as in being a more "light weight" generic rpg engine than say GURPS or HERO.
I think you'll be able to do that without a problem. The main thing with Cortex is for the characters to have Distinctions, and two other Prime Sets to roll. Those other two sets can range from Values & Relationships (like Smallville) to just straight up Skills & Attributes. It has the potential to go full-Indy game, but that's up to you. It can just as easily have a pretty traditional feel, with the only major narrative elements being Distinctions.
Yeah, one of the reasons I prefer Cortex to other narrative-focused game systems is that it's always kinda narrative, but how narrative it actually plays is up to your group.

Like, everyone mentions that your Trait Sets can be Attributes + Skills versus something like Values + Relationships.

But it's more than that... with a little bit of table contract, that requires almost no changing of rules and very little limitation of player options, your reserve of "Plot Points"-- which you would want to rename-- and everything you would spend your Plot Points on can be framed in terms of character resources and character options.

See... I consider myself a traditional gamer (merely as a matter of preference) and an OSR guy... and I don't like a lot of metagaming at my table, and especially not in the rules themselves. I got into Fate at first because it did something very specific that I wanted more trad/OSR games to do: model how a character's emotional state, their beliefs, their moral convictions influence what they are capable of doing, and what they're capable of deciding to do, in the environment modeled by the game.

So, you know... I wasn't looking for "a storytelling game", however you want to define that. I was looking for Planescape, I was looking for a ruleset that would let me do what I felt Planescape wanted me to do.

I'm not going to bitch about Fate, because it's a good game-- but I was screwing around with Fate Core and Dresden Files and Atomic Robo and weird homebrew for a couple of years, and it just wasn't what I wanted for what I wanted it for. In particular, no version of Fate seems well-equipped to handle a system with two modifiers to the dice roll-- like Attibute plus Skill, or Approach plus Role. Aspects are great, but they only count, on the dice, when you spend Fate Points.

You see where this is going.

I've mostly only used Cortex in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, but I'm starting to learn my way around: If I want Planescape, that's Allegiances (in the d20 Modern sense) with Statements, plus (Class) Roles and the Classic Six Attributes. Any D&D game can work with that setup, replacing more cosmic Allegiances with more worldly and setting-specific concerns.

If I want a more cosmic D&D, I would replace the Classic Six Attributes with Approaches... and superpowers.
 

angille

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I'm not going to bitch about Fate, because it's a good game-- but I was screwing around with Fate Core and Dresden Files and Atomic Robo and weird homebrew for a couple of years, and it just wasn't what I wanted for what I wanted it for. In particular, no version of Fate seems well-equipped to handle a system with two modifiers to the dice roll-- like Attibute plus Skill, or Approach plus Role. Aspects are great, but they only count, on the dice, when you spend Fate Points.
imo, there is a version of Fate that does a great job at two-column builds. give ya one guess who helped write it, and what other game it mysteriously resembles.
 

Gwarh

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Products from the Kickstarter still to come (in the works):
* System Reference (kind of a big encyclopaedia of the rules and all the mods, no examples or settings): currently in editing
* Legends of Grayskull RPG (based on Masters of the Universe including She-Ra): rules design and development stage
Question, how usable will the upcoming SRD be as a stand alone RPG. I ask as I'm an old fuddy duddy and I am not a big fan of the main rulebooks look and layout so I'd personally prefer to format the SRD into a more traditional, older school looking presentation for my own use.

And, I'm really looking forward to the He-Man/She-Ra rpg! Kid friendly swords, sorcery & super-science fun!

I got into Fate at first because it did something very specific that I wanted more trad/OSR games to do: model how a character's emotional state, their beliefs, their moral convictions influence what they are capable of doing, and what they're capable of deciding to do, in the environment modeled by the game.
I suspect I'm of the same mindset of you, I tried FATE and even backed the recent kickstarter new version of it, but it's just to modern/story-gamey for me. Seeing your comment made me want to mention this RPG to you if you've not heard of it yet. It purports to be a more trad game implementation of the FATE engine "Strands of Fate". I bought it and its companion book "Strands of Power", but like so many of my RPG purchases I gave it a lite read through and never really dived into it before my eyes were caught by the next new shiney.

Seems there's a newer 2nd Edition recently released.


I've made kind of a pile of character sheets for Cortex, and in the last few days I've started to go back and make rulesheets for some of them too. feel free to AMA, if you want "explanations of what decisions were made and why" — there's also a ton of great discussion on the Discord.

you totally can ("go back to the original incarnation of Cortex, Pre Cortex+").

there are enough folks who've been talking about wanting Cortex Classic stuff that even if Fandom doesn't build it out, someone out there is gonna put it out on the Creator Studio, I'm sure of it.
I saw yer character sheets and nice work, seem to really evoke the theme of each setting. And I'll have to keep an eye out for the Cotrex Classic work on the discord.

Another question for those more familiar with the Cortex engine. How hard would it be to add a 4th category of stats. Say Mind, Body, Social, "Soul" for stuff like Mana or Spiritual Strength.
 

angille

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Another question for those more familiar with the Cortex engine. How hard would it be to add a 4th category of stats. Say Mind, Body, Social, "Soul" for stuff like Mana or Spiritual Strength.
absolutely zero effort. you just do it. you want a trait set to be explicitly "Mind / Body / Social / Soul"? bam, done. (in fact, I did exactly this for Heroes of Metal & Bone)

every trait in Cortex is what you make of it. every trait set in Cortex is only limited by how you define it in-game. it's all mix-n-match, and every choice you make building your game influences how it feels and how it plays.

heck, you could copy the traits/birthrights/principles from Noumenon directly into Cortex and have it work, no matter how, uh, funky the source material is.
 

Cam Banks

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I’ve heard folks refer to Cortex as “trindie” and I think that’s a pretty good term for it: a mix of traditional and indie approaches to TTRPG, which is just how I like it.

The System Reference has all of the Cortex rules and mods in it but it won’t be a very good book to teach those rules to you unless you learn best from encyclopaedias and technical read outs. It serves the dual purpose of being a way to organise the many rules and mods of Prime without the examples or GM and player guidance, as well as being the foundation for the planned Cortex Creator Studio (DM’s Guild for Cortex basically).

Cortex is NOT an open game license system, but you will be able to create and sell your own Cortex games and supplements via our online platform at CortexRPG.com—and taking home 70% of sales as your revenue.
 

chuckdee

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Will you only be able to sell them via CortexRPG.com? Or is that just a platform where you can sell them and get a larger margin?
 
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