Crimefighters Cortex Template

Here are the rules we’ll be using to create characters for Stan’s sequal ‘Crimefighters’ game which switches over to use the Cortex Prime rules.

Cortex Prime Rules Used

We’ll be using the Cortex Prime SRD rules, with the following ‘mods’:

  • Traits used: Affiliations (Solo/Buddy/Team), Values (Duty, Glory, Justice, Love, Power, Truth), Powers (1 Power Set with 2d8 or 1d8+2d6 Powers), Distinctions, Relationships (for NPCs only), and Specialties and Signature Assets
  • Milestones
  • Static Difficulty (for tests)
  • Hero Dice (considering this but haven’t added it yet)
  • The Doom Pool 
  • Powers don’t have SFX (decided to skip this)
  • Distinction don’t have SFX
  • Multi-Level Specialties (considering this but haven’t added it yet since this might be OP for a low-level Supers game)

Creating Cortex Prime Characters for ‘Crimefighters’

Step 1: Biographical Information

List your actual name, your alias, your appearance, and relevant background information.

Step 2: Affiliations (Solo/Buddy/Team)

Assign each a d8 value to start. You may step back a single attribute (from d8 to d6) to raise a different attribute from d8 to d10.

Step 3: Values (Duty/Glory/Justice/Love/Power/Truth)

Assign d8 to three values, and d6 for the rest. You can setup up a value by stepping back another.  New characters cannot step up a value to d12 or below a d4.

What are these values? Here’s how Cortex Prime describes them:

  • Duty: Motivated by what one feels they must do for others.
  • Glory: Motivated by praise, acclaim, and renown.
  • Justice: Motivated by adherence to fairness and what’s right.
  • Love: Motivated by affection and compassion for others.
  • Power: Motivated by control, wealth, and influence.
  • Truth: Motivated by facts, fidelity, and rejection of deceit.

Step 4: Distinctions

Select three distinctions. Distinctions represent a quirk, personality trait, unique background, relationship, or anything about the character that makes the character special. The best distinctions are ones that can both help you or hurt you depending on the circumstances.

All distinctions have this special effect: “Gain a plot point when you use this die as a d4 instead of a d8.”

Step 5: Powers

Update: Considering houserule of ‘1 Power Set with 2d8 or 1d8+2d6 Powers’

You have five points to spend on powers all contained within one ‘power set’ of thematically related powers. Each point may be used to:

  • Create a power rated at a d8
  • Step up a power (to a max of d10)

You may step back a power to step  a different power to a max of d10 (no power may be stepped back below d6).

You may optionally choose up to 3 SFX for your Power Set.

Your power set must also contain a limit, which has your focus item (e.g. Dr. Presto’s crystal on his cane) and has this rule: “Shutdown <power set> and gain 1 PP. Test to recover.”

Step 6: Specialties and Signature Assets

You have five points to spend on specialties and signature assets. Each point may be used to:

  • Create a specialty rated at a d6
  • Create a signature asset at a d6
  • Step up a d6 signature asset to a d8
  • Step up a d6 specialty to a d8

With your five points you might:

  • Assign 5 specialties and create no signature assets
  • Assign 4 specialties and create one d6 signature asset
  • Assign 3 specialties and create one d8 signature asset
  • Assign 2 specialties and create three d6 signature assets
  • Assign 1 specialty and create one d8 and two d6 signature assets
  • Assign 3 specialties (one of which is stepped up to d8) and create one d6 signature asset

Step 7: Relationships

Update: Considering having 3 NPC relationships only

Assign relationships with each other player character (one relationship at d10, one at d8, and the rest at d6). Likewise, assign relationships to any NPC connections the GM assigns to the players (one relationship at d10, one at d8, and the rest at d6).

Step 8: Milestones

Milestones are a set of three roleplaying actions that earn you XP. The structure of a milestone is:

A 1 XP level that can be hit as many times as it applies (or once per test or contest).
A 3 XP level that can only be hit once per scene.
A 10 XP level that can only be hit once per session. If it is a shared milestone among the party, once this milestone is hit, it is unusable until the next session. If it is a personal milestone, it closes that milestone completely, and the player should choose a new one at the end of the session.

Players create one personal milestone and also receive one group milestone created by the GM.

Here is an example personal milestone:

Kryptonian Heritage
1 XP when you first meet another Kryptonian or discover your alien origin.
3 XP when you seek out or uncover more about your Kryptonian background.
10 XP when you make a major sacrifice of your Kryptonian or human life for the sake of the other.

Here is an example group milestone:

Heroic Adventurers Milestone
1 XP when your party defeats an adversary.
3 XP when you emerge successfully from a battle or conflict.
10 XP when you complete or abandon a major quest.

Here is a fill-in-the-blank approach to creating a personal milestone:

Fill-In-The-Blank Milestones

[Describe in 1-5 words a personality or background trait which is driving you towards a future goal]

  • 1 XP whenever I [describe something distinctive or interesting you do related to your goal].
  • 3 XP once per scene if I [describe something exceptional and challenging that you might do as a step towards your goal].
  • 10 XP if I [describe your ultimate goal which is not easy to achieve] or [describe a personal, highly dramatic decision you would make to abandon or reject your goal].