Adapting Cortex Prime for Different Genres

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Adapting Cortex Prime for Different Genres

Post by FaerieGodfather » Wed May 09, 2018 10:43 pm

I have fallen, rather recently, in love with Cam Banks' Cortex Prime/i] system during the process of adapting it for my White Whale campaign-- two concurrent campaigns with the same players, set in the Planescape and Star•Drive settings as they slowly merge into a new setting.

The core mechanic of Cortex is that players pick dice (usually one each) from a list of trait sets and roll them, looking for two high dice for Effort and one big die for Effect.

The biggest part of adapting Cortex to different genres is picking different trait sets.

For my White Whale, for instance, you combine a Role (like a party role in D&D-- Combat, Subterfuge, Exploration, Expertise, Diplomacy) with an Attribute (again like D&D) and hopefully a Distinction and/or Belief.

I'm still working on my Tales from Cascade City hack, which will not involve Attributes or Roles-- since everyone's supposed to be a badass-- but will focus more on Values and Powers.

The previous version of Cortex was used to power many different kinds of games, from Leverage to Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, simply by varying the types of trait sets in play.

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Jack of Spades
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Re: Adapting Cortex Prime for Different Genres

Post by Jack of Spades » Fri May 11, 2018 7:42 pm

I really love the concepts of Cortex, but I found the lack of crunch killed my creativity as a GM. I tend to ruminate on personalities and backgrounds while writing up mechanics, and if I'm done with that in thirty seconds I end up with no character. But I really like the emphasis on "this is of dramatic importance." And Smallville was an awesome implementation for a solo super-hero series.
Jack's Deck build threadFantasy Geographic Society campaign web site

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