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Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
 
$29.99 $4.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
30 9
19 6
7 2
1 1
1 0
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
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Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Ian S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/04/2013 12:20:23
A solid and very playable game. It takes a lot of tinkering to get it just how you want for a particular game, but it is worth it. Unfortunately, it does suffer from some balance issues in their advantage/disadvantage system. Even with those problems, it plays very well and was greatly enjoyed by my group.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Gregory D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/08/2012 13:12:46
So I found cortex on a youtube review, and I thought it sounded intriguing. I got it, and tried it, and was not happy. I hear that many people like it, but I just don't know why, it seems clunky, and unbalanced in all its forms. I does not focus on gameplay, or story, leaving me at a table wondering "What am I supposed to do with it then?" I decided not to try it, it is just a little too crunchy for me. But I worked on a campaign that I gave up on half way. It just wasn't worth it. But if you like very random rolls, realistic combat, and forced character development this can be a potentially good product for you.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Andre M. C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2012 22:59:54
I've had the Cortex core rules for a while now, and on the whole I like it. The basic mechanics are simple and very flexible--so it's easy to improvise in play, and very hackable outside play. Each attribute, skill, and trait is rated as a die size (d4, d8, etc.). When you attempt anything, you take the dice from each attribute, skill, and trait that applies, and roll them; add up the results, and compare the total to a target difficulty number, or to an opposing roll.

The "feel" of Cortex is a well-balanced mix of system light traditional play, and more of a story game approach. In particular, the character complications (disadvantages) and plot points form a powerful mechanic, similar to Aspects in FATE, which rewards both good roleplaying, and creative, player-driven plot input.

The core rules themselves are fairly bare (basically just traits, skills, and combat), although the book features a "Special Effects" section about adding Magic, Psychic powers, Cybernetics, and "Meta Powers" to the game. This is quite helpful for customizing it into the game you want.

If I have any complaints about this book, it's only these two:

1) the combat rules are actually a bit clunkier than I'd like for an otherwise very straight-forward game; for example, four types of physical damage, and a grappling rule I found difficult to decipher.

2) It's not very well supported. They avoided any sort of economy or extended equipment section in this book, and the Special Effects (magic, etc.) rules are really only short sketches of what's possible. To their credit, they are very upfront about this. Still, in a perfect world, I'd have liked to see some published supplements or a few genre books to support the core rules. You can import a few things from other Cortex products, like Serenity or BSG, but that only goes so far, depending on the game you're trying to run.

Case in point, in only a few days I'll be starting a new Cyberpunk genre game, and I've spent most of my free time for the past couple of months just putting together proper Martial Arts rules and an Equipment section--and in fact, I'm wasting precious time writing this review, because I'm not even close to done yet.

So, to sum up, the Cortex core rules aren't so much a great game, as they are a good kernel or framework for a great game. Lots of fun for aspiring system hackers, world-builders, and players who like some story game elements in their games, but not as well supported as some other generic games out there, if all you want to do is jump in and play.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Mike C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2012 14:29:47
A very clear and concise set of rules that my group really enjoyed. The generic nature of the rules are enabling us to come up with our own setting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by James K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/30/2011 21:16:30
Cortex is one of the best RPG systems on the market. Its die-step system and rules for rolling dice for both characteristic and skill make this RPG stand out among other RPGs. The book is shy on illustration, but illustration is far more useful in a setting book and isn't truly necessary in a generic rules book. If you enjoyed the Serenity RPG, you very likely will want to have the Cortex book on your game shelf also as, due to its generic system nature, it includes a magic system and other information aimed at the usual genres of play. Character Traits add a rewarding element to roleplaying and those offered in Cortex are for the most part reasonable (in many games too many offered Traits border on the absurd); included are valuable guidelines for applying Traits to game play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2011 11:56:38
Cortex is a good system if you are looking for something that isn't d20. The way the system handles skills and attributes is good. I especially like the way that the GM decides what Attribute and Skill are linked, based upon the use of the skill. The skill specialty system is good, however, I think there should be a finite subset of specialties, which can be done by the GM -- but I would have like to see a base set in the book.

This is a good tool kit for running almost any type of genre, though it suffers a bit when it comes to fantasy. Though there is a suggestion and a few spells, it leaves a huge gap in the magic department. Also, scaling for creatures doesn't seem to work well.

Over all I would recommend it. Cortex does have a slight getting use to curve, mainly in resolving damage, but one the players get the knack of that its smooth sailing.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Andy H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2010 17:45:34
This is a marvelous RPG, a balance of fluff and crunch. As the author puts it, it's an attempt to have a lot of fun. Is it mathematically balanced? Not really. But that's not the point. The point is to roll a bunch of dice around, and make them do stuff. It's a step down from the intense simulation of GURPS, but it's no lightweight rules system either. It strikes that middle sweet spot, making for a game that's fun while full of options.

The book lays out the system well, stepping from point to point with adequate explanation. It's a game for players, by a player.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Eric P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/08/2010 21:20:29
I liked this system so much after buying the pdf that I bought the book as well. Similar to Savage Worlds in some ways, but I like this system a bit better than SW. I would have given it five stars, but it lacks a basic magic system; it does give you some ideas on how to create one yourself, but it would have been nice to have a basic framework to expand on. For people who think this doesn't scale well for high powered games, they're wrong. There are scaling rules that show you how to do this. Overall, I am actually blown away at how cool this actually plays. For me, it is great rules light replacement for my Gurps 4th edition, and yet just crunchy enough...it hit all the right notes for me.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2010 05:10:33
Cortex is a generic, one-stop rule system for playing any genre you like. It is very similar to another "dice type for attributes" game system, and when you want to create fantastic and savage worlds, this game is simpler to use and, for me, better to play. (You should know that I like the other game as well, but time and money being limited nowadays, simpler is better.)

After buying the PDF, I bought the printed book. This is an excellent buy, and I use it as one of my core systems. The only cavet I have with it is that the variety of ability is not broad when it comes to the common attributes -- however, this is a small thing (it only means that you should play regular humanoids, monsters, or androids vs. using it for a super-hero campaign. Cortex does give you a decent system for creating a super-hero, but it is geared more towards fantasy / pulp / modern / space opera action.)

For a 10 dollar PDF, it is an excellent buy in all respects - hats off to MWP.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2010 13:34:36
Cortex is from the mind of Jamie Chambers and it is a great multi-genre game system. Similar to both Unisystem and Savage Worlds, Cortex does not attempt to recreate the wheel, but instead show you how the wheel can be used.
I find Cortex to be superior to Savage Worlds in many respects, but it is not quite up to Unisystem level yet for me. One thing I felt it was missing was a great magic system. This is the system behind such games as Serenity, Supernatural, Demon Hunters, Battlestar Galactica and the upcoming Smallville. There is nothing here that is not in those games, but this is presented as background free.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2010 15:04:14
The Cortex system is the backbone of Serenity, Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural. It is a good, solid set of rules. The ideas behind the system will be familiar to anyone who has played games such as Deadlands Reloaded and Usagi Yojimbo.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Thomas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/08/2010 16:28:47
This is an interesting core rules set, used for Serenity and Battlestar Galactica, plus some other games by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.

I like the way the system uses increasing die types instead of traditional methods to signify key stats for characters. If you're burned out on d20, definitely give this one a try!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Berin K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/25/2009 08:39:15
I couldn't review this system without comparing it to Savage Worlds. I love SW, and Cortex stands the test. If you found SW too "light" and want/need something similar that's a bit more crunchy, Cortex is the way to go. Full review can be found here: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7705-Phoenix-RPG-Exam-ine-
r~y2009m10d22-Read-through-Cortex-Role-Playing-Game-System

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Sébastien G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/21/2009 07:26:51
I first learned about the Cortex system a while ago when one of my friend introduced us the Battle Star Galactica RPG.

I started to like this system the moment I started to play BSG|RPG.

The system is KIS (Keep it simple) by itself. It's axed toward the action instead of rules mechanic. It's made for fast roleplaying and quick learning.

Only the battle system seems a little bit too simplyfied. BUT, IMO, it's not a problem at all for me. I dont like overcomplicated (ala d20 D&D) system with tooooo much realistic what you can do. Let that part to the GM, he will tell you what you can and what you can't do.

So, Cortex book it a little plain. Not much pictures. If you like to look at book with colors, eyes blowing product, you are at the wrong place.

THOUGH, if you want to have a small book, with nice simple rules, you should really have a look at it.

It easily can adapt to all rpg age (past, present and future) although it's more geared toward present and future.

A must try!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Nathan R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/01/2009 15:18:30
This product was fine. It has a strong system for roleplaying and has a very versatile and easily adaptable.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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