Cortex Prime Spotlights

Cortex Prime Spotlights

Cortex, the system we’re using in Tales of Xadia and other projects, is a highly customizable and flexible modular tabletop RPG engine… but because it’s such a tremendous toolkit, this makes it intimidating to get started with. Which traits do I use? What mods make the most sense? Do I use a doom pool or stress or action-based resolution?

With Prime Spotlights, we demonstrate how to bring together classic genre tropes and fresh new ideas using Cortex Prime rules, to serve as an appetizer or a head-start for you in your Originally part of the same Kickstarter campaign that brought you Cortex Prime Game Handbook, this broad buffet of bonus content is about to start rolling out to backers. As we get through the backlog, it will eventually be available  to everyone.

Each Spotlight should be exactly that: a spotlight on a genre, setting, or vibe that uses specific Cortex Prime traits found in the Handbook to let you tell fun stories across the breadth of tabletop experience. Each Spotlight includes:

  • Pregenerated characters
  • First session hooks/setup/situations
  • Cortex Prime mods, variations, or hacks
  • A rating (in dice!) of: Setting, Prep, and Complexity
  • Setting information, character creation rules, and more

While we’re planning a staggered roll-out of the Spotlights to the original Kickstarter backers, we intend to release them outside of the Kickstarter fulfillment as useful bundles, or volumes of content, over time. Each volume includes four Spotlights, with illustrations and guidance for using them to springboard your next game.

Volume one consists of:

  • Retired No More by Tara Zuber: Old age hasn’t dulled these veterans of intrigue and espionage. Or has it? Come out of retirement to fight that one last battle of Good vs Evil.
  • Strange Towns by Kira Magrann: Your small, quiet American town has always been a little weird, but lately… there’s something really strange happening. 
  • Terraverse by Luka Carroll: There’s a whole multiverse of parallel earths—Terras—out there, and you’re just the sort of daredevils and thrill-seekers to help a mysterious dimension-hopping agency make sense of it.
  • Titans vs Leviathans by Tristan Jusola-Sanders: One day you’re right up in the grills of a terrifying alien kaiju, and the next you’re having to deal with an angry press conference as the brass breathes down your neck. Experience the drama and the disaster of classic big monster bash cinema with your own Titan!

We’ll be rolling out the first pair of Spotlights to Kickstarter backers soon, and making them more widely available in the months to follow. So keep an eye on our social channels, and be sure to subscribe to the Dire Wolf newsletter for more information and resources to help Cortex and Tales of Xadia come to life on your table!

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