BLUE SUN ROOM

Anyone still playing the Serenity (Cortex) RPG?

POSTED BY: CARTHAGINIAN
UPDATED: Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:45
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/14FuVVf
VIEWED: 5915
PAGE 1 of 1

Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:58 PM

CARTHAGINIAN


Like I asked... anyone still playing.
I'm hoping to sell my gaming group on a campaign after we finish our current game and am looking for advice of ANY kind. How can I sell the Cortex system to people that generally play D20 and OWoD?

Also, working on some new firearm/energy weapon rules since the corebook has no idea how weapons work.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, February 11, 2013 5:49 AM

YELLOWJACKET


I tried the Cortex system, but found it lacking. Instead, I've run numerous campaigns (and more than a few convention games) using a system I helped write years ago called Omni-Gamer (Universe, The Sci-Fi RPG). I found that the Verse and that system married so well that I've considered doing a 'Firefly' write-up for that system. I've already compiled gun stats for dozens of weapons mentioned in Firefly and Serenity.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, February 11, 2013 9:32 AM

CARTHAGINIAN


Well, the only thing we play on a regular basis are D20 games and Classic WoD.

I've heard that Savage Worlds would make the best 'fit' as it is set up a lot like the Cortex system (seems Cortex copied it pretty hard). I've never played a Savage Worlds game, though, so I don't know.
I do know that D20 doesn't fit well for any game based on firearms. Even D20 Modern was lacking. Somehow, the feel of the game is 'off' for the kinds of damage that firearms do.
OWoD would take a long time to make it work for a game not centered around the undead minions of Darkness. A MUCH better system for gritty action and showing the kinds of severe wounds that gunplay can inflict... but to many teeth involved in the core rules.

Omni-Gamer... well, never heard of it.
I'll give it a look; how well do they do firearms? If I were to grab my handloading books and decide to make some unique firearms for people to use, would I be stuck with a dozen 2d6 weapons ranging from .380 to .40 S&W and including 9x18mm, 5.7x28, and .38 Spl? Or would there be an effective way to simulate various ballistic performance between calibers that seem similar?

I'm planning on looking for some Savage Worlds material to see what I can do with it.

My biggest concern is being able to give the 'feel' of differences between weapons of given types. I mean, there are no +5 Vorpal Longswords here... and no +4 Holy Ghost Touch Ironwood Clubs. I have to make a generally similar class of weapons extremely diverse and differentiated without the use of magic- meaning that there have to be multiple caliber and action type distinctions among firearms to make the players feel like they have unique weapons.
Far too many game systems try and make firearms 'generic d6' weapons.
Even more of them lack any understanding of how firearms actually function- thus you get morons writing about 'assault rifles' and them being somehow more powerful and better than other rifles... instead of actually being weaker and just firing faster under very special circumstances.

I know that Savage Worlds has a Deadlands setting, and if the weapons are given good comparative damage, the widespread use of firearms int he setting might make it a good place to start. Any idea about that?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, February 11, 2013 11:08 AM

EVILDINOSAUR


Our group almost exclusively plays Cortex System. We haven't played a D20 system in years. The thing I love about Cortex is that it's so highly customizable. We use for everything from magic to sci-fi to military, it can be adjusted to fit any occasion.

For me, the thing I don't like about D20, namely D+D, is there's a rule for everything, it's too specific. Every question needs to be referred to a book and you need to look through several tables to find an answer. Cortex puts the power in the hands of the GM, and so long as the GM is a fair and logical person, it works out great. So that's my 2 cents.

"Haha, mine is an evil laugh."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, February 11, 2013 11:35 AM

CARTHAGINIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by EvilDinosaur:
Our group almost exclusively plays Cortex System. We haven't played a D20 system in years. The thing I love about Cortex is that it's so highly customizable. We use for everything from magic to sci-fi to military, it can be adjusted to fit any occasion.



I found the Cortex System Book at DTRPG for dirt cheap and am prone to agree. It is a very flexible system... but too vague on some accounts.
Read on.

Quote:

Originally posted by EvilDinosaur:For me, the thing I don't like about D20, namely D+D, is there's a rule for everything, it's too specific. Every question needs to be referred to a book and you need to look through several tables to find an answer. Cortex puts the power in the hands of the GM, and so long as the GM is a fair and logical person, it works out great. So that's my 2 cents.


I like some aspects of this view... but Cortex is vague 'where it counts' and that is a B-A-D thing for me and mine. For instance:
What comprises an action in Cortex? In D20SRD games, you know exactly what an 'action' is and exactly how much you can get done in a given situation. Real life is much like this- even in combat, I knew about what I could get done in a span of 6 seconds (a D&D round). The Cortex system, however, doesn't let you know anything about 'action length.' It just says that an action 'is something you can do fairly quickly' and leaves it at that. Such a description is too vague and very difficult to work with. It puts a good bit of stress on the GM, allows for offense to the players, and generally increases the chance of conflict at the table.
CONTRARIWISE I absolutely LOVE the 'multiple actions per turn rule! As someone rather skilled in firearms, it is only logical that I (soldier, hunter, handloader, work on my own guns- roughly a d8-d10 level ingame specialty for pistols and rifles, d8 for shotguns and belt fed weapons) be able to fire more often than my wife (knows good end from bad one, can reload by herself- roughly a d2 Guns skill) and have a greater chance of success. I like the decreasing bonus far better than the 'splitting die pools' of the OWoD system... the only other 'classless' system I have much experience with (I have read through the GURPS book, though never played a game). To me, it simulates the situation of 'faster sequential actions' better than OWoD, which always seemed to follow the 'dividing one's attention' school of thought.

I'd like to try the Cortex system, but until I can find some errata that adequately defines certain things- even if it's in one of the other game world books, I can adapt it- I don't think I could sell my group on it.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, February 11, 2013 8:52 PM

YELLOWJACKET


When creating ballistics damages, ranges, etc for the Omni-Gamer System Maiek and Mark drew upon a 25 year study conducted by the military, so it used some great statistics for damages and effectiveness. It was so realistic in fact, that we had to significantly increase medical technology for the Universe game, just to keep people alive. The system is extremely detailed to the point of scaring casual gamers, but we made it detailed for the purpose of offering more for people who want more, but with the proviso that any rule can be chucked if players prefer simplicity.

I'm not sure how to answer your question specifically, except to say that I've charted the stats for dozens of Firefly guns for our system, so if you need variety, the works has been done.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, February 11, 2013 9:20 PM

CARTHAGINIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by YELLOWJACKET:
When creating ballistics damages, ranges, etc for the Omni-Gamer System Maiek and Mark drew upon a 25 year study conducted by the military, so it used some great statistics for damages and effectiveness. It was so realistic in fact, that we had to significantly increase medical technology for the Universe game, just to keep people alive. The system is extremely detailed to the point of scaring casual gamers, but we made it detailed for the purpose of offering more for people who want more, but with the proviso that any rule can be chucked if players prefer simplicity.

I'm not sure how to answer your question specifically, except to say that I've charted the stats for dozens of Firefly guns for our system, so if you need variety, the works has been done.



I'd be interested in seeing your take on it.
I didn't use the most accurate measure (muzzle energy) but it is easy to make consistent. Finding ballistic gelatin penetration for every caliber I wanted to use (not to mention kevlar, ballistic plates, etc) it would be virtually painful.

You got a link for that OmniGamer system?
I'd be interested in looking at something that detailed.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 7:57 PM

YELLOWJACKET


The main server for the project died, so we're currently discussing all things Omni-Gamer on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/52208442579/


The Master Rules are still being completed, but you can buy the most current version here...

http://www.lulu.com/shop/markus-wilkinson-and-michael-wilkinson-and-wi
lliam-pace-and-michael-sorenson/universe-master-rulebook-vol-i/paperback/product-20474614.html


Any gun stats that I could supply would only make sense against the system. I have the game mechanic stats only, but I've charted the following pistols which have been identified in the show...

Seecamp .22
Companion II or III
Seecamp .32
Walther PPK
Colt M1903
Colt M1908
SIG-Sauer P220
M4A3
SIG-Sauer P229
VektorCP1
Browning Hi-Power
SpringfieldXD
Beretta M9
Jericho
VP-70
Piper 19 (Glock 17)
ClaridgeS9/Goncz GA
Astra400
S&W Model 15
Colt King Cobra .357
Desert Eagle .357
Moses Bros - Frontier B
Colt 1911
Firestar M-45 Longslide
Marcus 44 Special
Randall Mare 44-40
Boo-42 Le Mat
Mateba 2500
Colt Single Action Army
Wildey .475

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:13 PM

CARTHAGINIAN


Apologies, when you said you had statted out the guns, I didn't understand you meant that particular system. I'll give some thought to it, but $19 for an admittedly unfinished project that will run into the thousands of pages...

What does the 'Lite' version of the game seem to be developing into?


As for my project, I didn't focus so much on copying the actual weapons seen onscreen as they appear in real life... instead, I've taken a variety of real-life cartridges and created fictional weapons that use various combinations of action type (1) and ammunition types (2) to create weapons with unique properties in-game. Some are going to be good at defeating body armor (and they are not necessarily the biggest or most powerful), and some will be most effective against unarmored target. Some will feature longer effective ranges and some will be less heavily regulated because they are seen as 'inferior' and 'outdated.'

I used the comparative muzzle energy to establish a 'baseline' for damage die, then will use the different ammo types to give each particular caliber its own special 'advantages.' For instance, both the 5.45x18mm (3) and the .22 WMR are D2W rounds- but the 5.45mm will have an AP round that will ignore ballistic armor ratings (4) equal to damage rolled. This doesn't mean that the .22 WMR is less useful, though... that AP ammo is expensive, and the .22 WMR has a longer range bracket and has expanding ammo that does +1W to any unarmored target. Other cartridges will also see similar strengths and weaknesses.
One manufacturers will have reputations for very reliable weapons (won't jam on botches), another will specialize in revolvers so their products aren't as highly regulated (seen as obsolete).
Weapons will be regulated on a sliding scale that will take into account a.) the 'one-shot' lethality of the round, b.) the weapon's effective range, c.) the type of action, and d.) magazine capacity. So while that whiz-bang cool military pistol with select fire and a high capacity mag might be illegal for you to own, an old-fashioned revolver with a much more powerful round, but lower capacity and slower ROF might not be.

1.) actions will be: derringer, revolver, semi-auto, burst and automatic; the companies will generally specialize in one (to keep things simple).

2.) ammunition types will include armor piercing, expanding, frangible and ball; not all types will be available for all calibers.

3.) 5.45x18mm is an old Soviet bottleneck pistol cart that can punch through a flack vest at close range, but has a tough time with leather jackets at long ones.

4.) I'll be adding more realistic ballistic vests using NIJ standards (level I, IIA, II, IIIA, IV) to go with the weapons; expect broken bones if 'Plan A' involves taking a .308 to the chest without first considering 'Plan B.'

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Friday, February 22, 2013 11:18 PM

CARTHAGINIAN


Ok, here is a first draft of my attempt, showing the "d2 bracket" weapons only. Pistols will cover d2-d10, comprising cartridges ranging from the 5.45x18mm to the .440 Cor-bon.

Yes, Virginia, we all know there ARE larger calibers available for handguns... but as someone who has fired most things, up to and including a .500 S&W Magnum (owie), I can honestly say you wouldn't want to take such hunting revolvers into a situation requiring a sustained ROF of anything more than 1 round/hour. Believe me, the (imaginary) wrists of your PC's will thank you.

http://depositfiles.com/files/0wbbkikbh

There are five pistols in this example:
Semi-Automatic: 2
Revolver: 1
Derringer: 2

I didn't include reload times because I am still wondering exactly what comprises a 'round' in the Cortex system, and thus how fast one might reload each basic type of weapon. Just for 'S&G'- the weapons are modeled on the following:
5.45x18mm Blue Sun 'Bee' = PSM (Pistolet Samozaryadny Malogabaritny)*
.22 LR 'Zip Gun' = Cimarron Derringer
.22 WMR FMW 'Trapper' = scaled-down COP .357 Mag
.22 WMR W/Y 'Copperhead' = Ruger 'Bearcat'
Callahan ‘Personal’ 5.8×21mm = scaled-down QSZ-92 Services Pistol

It also give an idea of what I'd like to do with ammunition. The frangible ammo isn't finalized- it may actually be dropped, but I thought it might be a good idea to include it in a world with so many pressurized vessels.

Any opinions would be appreciated.
I'm currently working on tweaking the pistols for use in actual game combat to see if they will give the proper level of 'lethality' in-game. Rifles are also in the works ATM... just don't expect to see the .50 BMG as a viable option (unless as a d12+d12 plot device). Even though they are (sort-of) manageable recoil-wise, the M82 isn't really a practical weapon for trooping around with for any extended period of time.

*wish I could find an import source for these in the original chambering here in the ol' U.S. of A.- but it seems that ammo is about $10/round!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, August 11, 2013 3:09 PM

WAR


I recently convinced my fellow gamers to try the Serenity RPG out! we are all long term Firefly fans, but they were afraid to learn a new system, so I offered to run the game. I read the core book, and am massivly confused. Maybe I am just used to the D&D D20 system, or the White Wolf d10 system, but I am at a loss with combat.

Would anyone be so kind to post a few round of example combat, please include defense rolled, what the defense was and how, and attacks and damage and how that was calculated as well. Its very vague and confusing on rounds, and multiple actions, and blocking, arg, my head hurts.

[img][/img]

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:45 PM

CAPTAIN_COOPER

...by my pretty dim sum bonnet, I will end you...


My gaming group certainly purchased the Cortex product -- but we always wind up defaulting back to d20. There's an excellent Firefly-specific d20 reference out there on the intertubes.

I think the older our gaming group gets in general, the less interested we are in learning new gaming systems!

(If you want the d20 conversion but can't find it, feel free to message me and I'll happily share!)

Captain Bet Cooper,
Firefly Transport Jin Dui

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
The Expanding Verse
Sun, November 12, 2017 01:41 - 78 posts
The crow?
Sun, March 12, 2017 13:03 - 1 posts
Eager student looking for patient fanvid teacher!
Wed, November 30, 2016 19:11 - 14 posts
Tall Card Deck
Wed, September 21, 2016 21:30 - 6 posts
The Writer's Resource Package
Sun, March 20, 2016 15:52 - 29 posts
Any good fics on this site?
Tue, February 16, 2016 19:42 - 4 posts
My Fanfic Plans
Thu, August 6, 2015 11:38 - 1 posts
"Ode To The Final Charge of the Serenity" (Another Firefly theme inspired poem)
Mon, June 29, 2015 06:37 - 1 posts
"Serenity's Crescendo" (A Firefly themed poem)
Mon, June 29, 2015 06:33 - 1 posts
The Adventures of the Jin Dui
Fri, March 6, 2015 16:46 - 3 posts
Ballad of Serenity (re-expanded)
Tue, September 30, 2014 11:46 - 5 posts
Sojourn, a Firefly Tale, a fan audio drama.
Wed, September 10, 2014 16:46 - 1 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL