Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide hopes to show the versatility of Margaret Weis Productions’ marquee system
I remember when the Smallville Roleplaying Game hit, I was dumbfounded by the number of people who said that the system could be hacked to play, well, anything. Seriously the forums lit up with the enlightened who said that the Cortex Plus system, the one that powered Smallville as well as Leverage and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, was an incredibly versatile system that could handle any sort of story where the relationships between the characters were what drove the story forward. The system comes in two flavors, Action and Drama, and the range of material in just those three products shows a pretty amazing array of versatility. To show off that versatility of the system, Margaret Weis Productions has now turned to Kickstarter to fund the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide. The book had been on the backburner while Cam Banks and the crew at Margaret Weis Prod. worked on cranking out Marvel Heroic RPG material, but the project has now been pushed into the limelight by the Kickstarter (and – my guess which could be wrong – also by the resounding success of fellow indie darling Fate Core).
So what is the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide? It is a book created by over 20 authors “to share new mechanics, settings, and entirely new games from the bones of existing games,” according to the Kickstarter entry. And, depending on how much the Kickstarter funds over its goal of $15,000, there are some pretty cool stretch goals. Of particular interest is the $25,000 goal which unlocks a fantasy adventure of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, which doubles in size at $30,000. More goals are set to be unlocked should the project reach $40,000. All stretch goals are offered to those that pledge for at least $10 (which also includes a PDF copy of the final project and a preview PDF once the campaign ends) and a print copy runs $25 through Kickstarter. An especially cool note, the creative people who wrote for the book will receive half of all net profits after costs are paid, which means you can rest easy knowing that the people that actually worked on the book are making money off of it.