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 I'm impressed with Cortex Prime

Spatula

More Ideas Than Time
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#41
Maybe I misunderstood. Without "compels" does the GM have a mechanism by which to activate a Distinction negatively?
No, although maybe it depends on the specific flavor of Cortex, as the Cortex Plus games all play differently despite being built atop the same chasis. In MHR the Watcher can’t force a negative Distinction (why would they need to?) but they can activate the Limits on power sets.
 

Old Man Vegan

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#42
I'm mainly coming at Cortex from the Heroic angle, which is the flavor employed in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.

Think of rolling your Distinction as a D4 in Cortex like a Self-Compel in Fate to make trouble for yourself. The GM has ways to influence things in games with the Doom Pool by spending dice from the pool (it's both a fund for the equivalent of player Plot Points, as well as rolled opposition). When players roll 1s (Opportunities), they're removed from play and they fund the expansion of the Doom Pool (the player gets a PP). When the GM rolls an Opportunity, the player can buy it for various things (like stepped up dice, etc).

All power sets have Limits of one form or another. Let's say it's based on equipment. So the player could signal to the GM that they wanted some trouble here and choose to shutdown their power (let's say being disarmed). They narrate it and get a PP. If the GM wanted to have the player disarmed, they could offer it to the player, and if they went along with it, it would be the same as if they'd triggered it. OTOH, if the player didn't want it, the GM could more or less "compel" it by spending from the Doom Pool to trigger it regardless. All Limits have methods to recover from, e.g. rolling against the Doom Pool successfully, or activating an Opportunity, etc.

I love the Doom Pool more than ice cream.
 

Reynard

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#43
I think I am too much of a traditional GM for those sorts of mechanics. I bounce pretty hard off PbtA games for similar reasons. It's not that I don't want players to have agency, and I think player facing metacurrency is a good thing, but IMO GMs do not need metacurrency to do their job.
 

Miss Atomic Bomb

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#44
I think I am too much of a traditional GM for those sorts of mechanics. I bounce pretty hard off PbtA games for similar reasons. It's not that I don't want players to have agency, and I think player facing metacurrency is a good thing, but IMO GMs do not need metacurrency to do their job.
The doom pool is optional in Prime. Most builds will only have player-facing metacurrency. When I mentioned the GM buying spoilers, those plot points come from an infinite pool.
 

Cam Banks

Kiwi Game Designer
Validated User
#45
I am on record for saying that I love imposing limits on what the GM can do in games. I don't like omnipotent game masters, I like giving them a specific set of procedures and responsibilities but otherwise consider them to be players. So, in Prime, the GM can do a lot of powerful things, such as set up scenes and decide when they happen, who's in them, and what's going on when they start, but the GM doesn't have carte blanche to do anything they like during a scene. Instead, they rely on the same meta currency has the players but often in reverse: handing out plot points to create complications in the scene, spending points to give their GMCs things to do, and so on. Cortex Prime has a variety of switches and dials ("mods") to alter this in your own game, such that some Cortex Prime games may limit the GM more than others.

But I had had enough of "the GM is special and you are lucky to be playing in his game" approach years ago, so I've abandoned it in my design and often work to erase parts of it when I can.

Cheers,
Cam
 

Miss Atomic Bomb

Welcome to your life. There's no turning back.
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#46
But I had had enough of "the GM is special and you are lucky to be playing in his game" approach years ago, so I've abandoned it in my design and often work to erase parts of it when I can.
And thank God for that.
 

Stacie.Winters1

Registered User
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#47
What I like about Cortex and especially Cortex Prime is that it's a game design toolkit and not just a game. This makes it pretty unique.

It gives you different dials and levers and things to do what you want with it while also having a core dice mechanic that works for all the dials.
 

Reynard

Registered User
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#48
But I had had enough of "the GM is special and you are lucky to be playing in his game" approach years ago, so I've abandoned it in my design and often work to erase parts of it when I can.

Cheers,
Cam
Even in the most stridently traditional RPG, the players have the ultimate metacurrency: their presence. Being the GM is a privilege provided by the players based on collectively agreed upon social contract. And if the players need to boot a GM, one of them grabs the screen and the game goes on.

All that said, I'm glad you are doing it how you want and having success doing so. There's room for every style of game in this hobby and every player and group deserves to have an awesome game that matches their preferences.
 

CitizenKeen

Rules Lawyer
Validated User
#49
So, in Prime, what are my options if my players like the "numbers go up" style of play?

My experience with Cortex was that it felt awesome at the table, but that characters "grew" by having new values or relationships or whatnot. Emulating things like Marvel comic characters (Captain America hasn't gotten that much more powerful in the last twenty years, if I understand correctly) or the Smallville TV show, that makes sense. But if I'm trying to play something like a classic adventure game, I just like the way Cortex feels at the table, how do characters grow in power?

What options are there for them to start as small cogs in the cyberCorp machine, and rise their ranks until they're unstoppable cyborgs and omnipresent hackers who have a wide suite of powers at their disposal?
 

Spatula

More Ideas Than Time
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#50
That specific example I think wouldn't be too hard, I don't think - you start off with low dice ratings and few skills/powers/whatever, and spend XP earned through play to gain more. Where you'd be working against the grain would be to have a D&D/CRPG-style leveling experience, where you get to very slightly upgrade your numbers on a regular basis.
 
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