Monday, August 23, 2010

Cortex, Part 5 - Cortex ++

So I am continuing to spend some quality time with Cortex and Cortex Plus.    One thing though has become very apparent; the only proper way to build a character in Cortex Plus is in a group.  You need the input of others in order to determine what it is your character will do.  This is a cool thing, but doesn't work well in all situations.  For example, me working by myself to stat up some characters on my own in far more work.

When putting together the cast for The Hallows, one thing became very obvious.  Rachel is the star of the show, the others support her.  This is perfect for a book, a less than perfect situation for a game like Smallville.  While playing some D&D with my boys this weekend I thought it would also be cool to try the Cortex Plus system with their D&D 3.0 characters.  They could tell me how they all reacted to each other, how their actions played on each other and what their goals were.  Not bad for an 11 and 7 year old.  This got me thinking.

Could you apply this system of social interaction to any game?

I think the answer here is yes.  The other question is, would you want too?  This one depends on your group.
For most of the D&D-like games I am in, I am thinking not.  But certainly I could see doing this in a Unisystem game (Unisystem Plus?) and I know some of the people on the Cartoon Action Hour yahoo list are discussing this very idea.  But as it turns out there is a game that is absolutely PERFECT for this.

Cortex.

Cortex in it's classic version (BSG, Supernatural) is a great game as I have mentioned in the past.  It is lacking something though to separate it away from the likes of Unisystem and Savage Worlds.  Cortex Plus is a great system that does some very different things, but sometimes that high level of social interaction between characters needs to take a back seat to beating the crap out of some monsters.  The two systems share a base and they have many of the same design elements in place.  What they need then is to be merged.  This gives you the best of both worlds.

Cortex ++ ("Cortex Plus Plus", like C++) combines the best of both games into a cohesive whole.  It has the same base character development as Supernatural or the Core, along with the added Social Development dynamic of Cortex Plus.   Some of the points might need to be tweaked a bit, ad this would make the character sheet a minimum of 2 pages.  But it is something I would like to see and try out.  Players would start with a concept, stat out their characters per the points given by the GM (basic stats only) and then everyone would come together for the first session to work out the details and the social interactions.

This would provide multiple levels of play and interaction.

I want to provide some write-ups this week of some characters both as Cortex Plus characters and as Cortex ++ characters just to see how it would work.

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