View Full Version : [Online] Looking for Players for a dramatic student/duelist game using Cortex Plus

09-22-2011, 11:44 PM
Time: Tuesday evenings beginning at 9pm EST. I'm hoping to have each session last approximately 4 hours.

LFP: I'm hoping to have 4 regular players. That will make the character generation process pretty interesting and give us a lot of material to work with in game that I can be reasonably sure you guys will actually be invested in.

System: Cortex Plus, specifically the version found in the Smallville RPG. I will not be using the Smallville setting, but the system is brilliant for games with a lot of drama and actually encourages players to engage in interpersonal conflicts(without fear of death or many other nasty things that make it a bad idea to engage in such in most games).

Setting: You are students at a private school who are some of the elites who engage in the school-sanctioned duels at the school's underground arena. Your position affords you certain privileges, as does winning duels. Losing also has its costs, and nobody really knows the reason the duels are held in the first place, or even when they were first instated. Not even the oldest faculty members seem to have any idea. They simply occur, and are treated as a normal part of student life. The duelists range from the extremely honorable to those who would do almost anything to gain an advantage(no matter how unfair) in the arena. What kind of duelist will you be? And what, if anything, will you discover in the process? Note: a number of specifics of the setting are determined in character generation(see below).

First Session Weirdness: The first session in a game that uses this system is actually group character creation. You create your characters together, and part of the process actually has the players creating many of the NPCs and locations that will feature heavily in the game. If this process goes quickly, I may try to run a short session with any remaining time in order to get everyone accustomed to how the rules work in play.

Second Session and Onwards: Once character creation is complete, the game progresses much like most other RPGs. Instead of doing random things, though, you are encouraged to think about what your character wants to accomplish, why they want to accomplish it, and who they're doing it for(or maybe who they're doing it to). Why you're doing something and who you're doing it for(or to) are often more important than your skills and other resources in determining success, though you can call on other resources to increase your chances of success.

Conflicts and Fights: Combat is handled like any conflict. The way conflicts work in Cortex Plus is that you roll all the applicable dice and add the highest two together to get your final number(spending a type of currency called plot points can allow you to add a third, fourth, etc. die to the total). Then your opponent does the same, trying to get a higher total. This goes back and forth until one of two things happens. First, instead of rolling one person can just "give in," which means they give the opponent what they want. Second, one person can fail to roll higher than their opponent, in which case they take a type of damage called "stress." The type of stress(angry, injured, etc.) taken depends on the type of conflict, but it's important to know that stress cannot kill or cripple a character. Your character can only die or otherwise be permanently disabled if you "give in" on a conflict when that's what your opponent is trying to accomplish. Otherwise, it cannot happen. You can only take stress, and stress eventually heals.

Hopefully, that gives you a basic idea of how the system works, and whether or not the setting would be intersting to you.

09-25-2011, 09:38 AM
I am interested. I think the Smallville and Cortex+ rules are awesome and have been looking for a chance to play them.

Infrno sounds interesting, but I would use whatever tool set you want.


10-04-2011, 09:19 PM
I'm in ^.-

10-30-2011, 08:01 PM
Any movement on this?

10-30-2011, 08:14 PM
I have two players interested, and want two more. I just posted an ad at RPG.net the other day, but no bites yet. I will also advertise on that Cortex message board you told me about, but an admin has to approve my registration and that hasn't happened yet. I was hoping to get all my players from one spot for easier coordination and whatnot, but looks like that's not going to happen. Still, it shouldn't be long now.

10-31-2011, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the update, I just saw your post over there. I did see some folks starting a PbP on the forums for a Wuxia High School game, perhaps messaging them to see if they want to join? While yours does not seem Wuxia, there could be some crossover appeal with themes. http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?599036-Interest-Wuxia-High

11-01-2011, 02:49 PM
I'm quite familiar with the Demon Hunters Game, which also uses the cortex system, and although the whole stress thing is news to me, i know about the basic mechanic (attribute+skill=result) as well as plot points.

I would be interested in this game, especially since none of the other games i wanted to join for tuesday have panned out for one reason or another. I am on EST so scheduling shouldn't be a problem if we keep it on tuesdays.

11-01-2011, 08:02 PM
Ok, cool. 3 down, 1 to go!

11-08-2011, 07:32 PM
I've made a decision as of today: if it is alright with the 3 of you, we will start two weeks from today. November 22. I have ads running here, the Cortex forums, and RPG.net. I'm hoping a 4th will sign up, but if that doesn't happen it's really not fair to make you guys wait any longer. I know at least two of you have been waiting for a while already. So yeah, even if we only have 3 people we'll go ahead and start in two weeks.

11-09-2011, 08:44 AM
I am fine with the 22nd, looking forward to it!

11-14-2011, 04:26 PM
Sound good to me - what time Tuesday and what form of communication will we be using?

May I suggest using LucidCharts for charting if you don't already have a tool. Here is an example of it in a Superhero PBP over on RPG.net (note that it took us 3 weeks doing it by PBP, but it should only be an evening if people are familiar with the system and we are doing it in real time):

You can do a free trial of the personal level, which should get us all through character generation. https://www.lucidchart.com/users/registerLevel


11-14-2011, 06:14 PM
Since this first session will probably only be chargen(I'm not sure how long it will take, so I may or may not be able to run a trial game afterward), I want to meet using a voice chat thing. I have Skype. If we do have time for a short session(probably just a practice session to get everyone familiar with how the rules work), we can move to a more regular chatroom since I don't think everyone is ok with chat.

For those uncomfortable with voice/video:
As I said before, you do not have to use the voice or video options if you don't want to. If it makes you uncomfortable, turn your mic off, cover your webcam up, whatever works for you. This voice chat is mainly so that you can hear me, so that I can give answers to questions and guidance through the pathways steps faster than I could by simply typing. If you want to just type your questions and replies out yourself, that is fine.

And that lucidchart program looks like *exactly* what I need for this! It even has diamonds. Awesome!!!

ETA: Oh, yeah. 9pm EST will be the starting time. It's just like me to forget to answer the question posed in the very first sentence. :o

11-14-2011, 08:08 PM
Do you mind if I ask general setting questions in this thread, or would you prefer me to PM them to you?

11-14-2011, 11:12 PM
You can ask here if you want, though I don't really have a lot set in stone. That's part of what gets accomplished in pathways, which in turn will tell me a lot about the kind of game you guys are hoping for, letting me tailor things to better engage you guys, and so on. I think pathways character generation is pretty brilliant in that regard.

11-15-2011, 08:03 AM
I love pathways. I managed to integrate Archangel w/ reasonably canon back story into Metropolis w/ hints of X-men and direct conflict with Metallo. Great fun.

I am fine if you want to leave things to Pathways and seeing what we like.

For the "Private School" is it going to be in an urban, suburban, rural, or our choice of setting? Country/Continent? Are the duels public knowledge (beyond school grounds) or are they just never discussed outside of the school environment?

Now I just have to decide which of my three character concepts I want to go with.

11-15-2011, 02:10 PM
US, probably somewhere suitably snooty for such a prestigious academy such as New England. Beyond that, you guys get to help flesh out the area during pathways.

And I dunno. As originally envisioned, it's just something taken for granted by the student body. People outside of the school might know there are duels going on, as will alumni, but the specific nature of the duels wouldn't be public knowledge, no. Heck, the more "secret" stuff that even the PCs won't know(at least at first) isn't even common knowledge amongst the duelists themselves. Kinda hard to share a secret you don't know.

11-15-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks, that is what I was looking for.

11-15-2011, 03:56 PM
So i'm ready to game, but how are we going to contact each other on skype?

11-15-2011, 08:11 PM
I already have Kaye's name on Skype. I'll PM you other two with my Skype name. Just add me on Skype(I'll add you back), send me a PM to let me know which name is yours, and make sure you all are on at the appointed time -- Tuesday 9pm EST -- and I'll invite you all into a chatroom.

Oh, and for the voice/video shy, remember to turn your camera off(or cover it up) and/or set your mic to mute before entering the room, ok. I don't want this to be uncomfortable for anyone.

11-16-2011, 11:14 AM
Geek - if you plan on using LucidCharts, will you be able to post the image in between each phase? I found it extremely helpful for the other game I was in to see how things were laid out when doing my next set of pathways.

Also, not sure you noticed from the example, each lead's network was done in a different color, otherwise everything ends up looking like a jumbled mess. While some items are shared, the color keeps track of who originally created a location. The arrows back from Extras/Locations and between them are left black.


---------- Post added at 12:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:04 PM ----------

Can you clarify any character restrictions? I know in one of our messaging exchanges you mentioned that we should be "skilled normals" with no abilities. Does that still hold and is there anything else? If we choose something from a stage that has Ability/Heritage, can we replace that with a distinction?

11-16-2011, 01:39 PM
I noticed the different colors, but didn't associate them with particular leads. That's pretty nifty, so I'll be stealing that idea(I get the feeling that was kind of the point). And yeah, posting the images shouldn't be a problem.

And on the skilled normals -- if the step is specifically about getting superpowers, it won't be allowed. If power/heritage comes up in a step that's not obviously all about the powers, then yeah, I'd let you replace it with something else. Probably a distinction, yeah.

11-18-2011, 10:13 AM
I can probably do a chat session for the initial meeting up/chargen if it's this Tuesday, but after that I can only really do text =x which I hate to say.
Were you planning on doing voice for all of it or have you decided as such yet?

11-18-2011, 01:25 PM
Nope. Never planned on voice for all of it. Just the character generation session.

11-18-2011, 04:03 PM
Okay, if it's text, I can definitely pull that off.

---------- Post added at 04:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:02 PM ----------

I'll be on Skype Tuesday (possibly invisible, but I'll be there.)

11-20-2011, 07:57 PM
Anyone have their character concept yet? I am still at my 3 possibles:
* someone who is perpetually on the wrong side of the law (B&E, drugs, etc) but somehow always manages to not get thrown out (either through manipulation, blackmail, or family ties).
* A bookworm w/ some issues who strives to always be in-the-know so that he can stay one step ahead of the bullies and get back at everyone who treats him poorly.
* a circus kid on sent to the school on scholarship/grant, poor and socially out-of-place, but very skilled physically.

What about KayeoticNeutral and whisperwind1 - what are you two thinking of playing?

Geek - are we at 4 or 3 players for Tuesday?

11-20-2011, 09:03 PM
3 players.

11-23-2011, 01:36 PM
We are still looking for 1 or 2 players to join us!

11-23-2011, 02:05 PM
1 more dude on Infrno messaged me to say he's in.

11-23-2011, 09:46 PM
And we have a 4th.

11-24-2011, 12:08 PM
Huzzah! *Dances to the Happy, Happy- Joy, Joy Song*

See? Always listen to the Kaye. =P Lol jk. Glad we found more potential players.