From the Book's Forward
For years, fans have enjoyed games powered by Margaret Weis Productions’ award-winning Cortex Plus system. From the embroiled teenaged drama powered by Smallville to the high-tech heist hijinks of Leverage, and the comic book action of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, the community has embraced these games and made them their own. Many have taken the rules from each licensed game and adapted them to a wide variety of settings, genres, and play styles.
In the spring of 2010, MWP sent out a call to its growing community for the best “hacks” of the Cortex Plus system. They asked creators, amateurs, and professionals alike to share new mechanics, settings, and entirely new games from the bones of existing games. Over 20 different authors contributed their own ideas to the project, which was dubbed the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide.
After a delay from other projects, MWP was able to put the Hacker’s Guide back onto the schedule, thanks to the magic of Kickstarter. In January of 2013, thanks to the support of 1,288 backers, we were able to not only publish the original vision of the Hacker’s Guide, but also expand the book to include three largely self-contained versions of Cortex Plus.
This is a book for fans of the Cortex Plus system and for game designers of all kinds. The authors of this book explain, modify, and otherwise break apart the critically acclaimed system in order to give you the tools to make your ideal game. The contributions herein cover a broad selection of different kinds of styles and settings. Some are only pieces of other games, while others are most comprehensive attempts at entire new games. You are encouraged, almost required, to combine the various articles and add your own preferences and insights. This is a guide for game planners, game players, and most of
all, game hackers.
We hope that you find somewhere in these pages the game you want to play, or at the very least, the tools to make the game you want to play.