Cortex Prime was developed by Cam Banks, who worked on a number of Cortex-based games while working as the lead developer at Margaret Weis Productions. Banks has licensed the system for his own new company, Magic Vacuum (see “Cam Banks Licenses Cortex Systems for New Studio”).
The Cortex rules set has been used for a number of games based on pop culture licenses, including Serenity, Leverage, Smallville, Firefly, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. As such, it is a proven multi-genre system. Banks has further developed this aspect of the game, creating a modular game system that can be used for any genre, or even used to combine genres to create unique “mash up” games.
Magic Vacuum will be supporting the system through a program called the Cortex Creator Studio, which will be hosted by OneBookShelf and DriveThruRPG. This program will allow would-be game designers to publish their own Cortex Prime material, earning 50% of all sales.
The initial release of Cortex Prime will include two books:
The Cortex Prime Game Handbook will be the core rulebook for the new system. This 152-page black & white book will include rules for character creation and playing the game, as well as three pre-built game settings.
The Cortex Prime System Reference book will include the game rules and instructions for players who want to create their own settings, as well as guidelines for designers who want to create Cortex Prime products for the company’s Cortex Creator Studio.
Both books will be softcover. MSRP is expected to be around $25.00.
Magic Vacuum is funding the project through a Kickstarter campaign which reached its $30,000 funding goal during the second day. The campaign includes a retailer-only backer option that includes five copies of the Kickstarter exclusive hardcover version of the Cortex Prime Game Handbook and a copy of the Cortex Prime System Reference. As an added incentive, anyone who purchases a copy of the game from a retailer who backs the campaign will be eligible for a free PDF copy of the book.