Last Saturday I ran my first Into the Nexus game using the Cortex+ system. It was kind of nerve wracking. I have been working on this game for so long in the familiar D20 system that I was worried it wouldn’t go well or that my players wouldn’t be able to enjoy themselves as much. My fears were unfounded. It was a great night of gaming. I made some notes and will have to make some adjustments but I think this system will really work for the game. We had craziness abound and the the complication/opportunity mechanic adds some real depth and unpredictability to the story without it being as random and unruly as the D20 mechanics could be. Being able to add a D8 complication of Warrant for Arrest to each players dice pool is much cleaner than just having tons more encounters and fights that just take up the gameplay.
I think my favorite part of the Cortex+ conversion has been the Talents. No longer bound to tons of unnecessary math that feats and skills of D20 can yield, I was able to add some really fun and entertaining Talents for each of the Archetypes and some good generic ones that anyone can use. I was able to crank out 10 pages of Talents in about 3 hours and my players really enjoyed using them in game play.
One issue, and I hesitate to use the word “downside” , but it is kind of sad for me is that the dice pool mechanic does not lend itself to larger groups. I need to set a cap on players and I’m not used to having to do that. It will take some getting used to but I feel I will get a more robust game experience if I don’t have more that 6 players. This will cause me to make some adjustments for the Con but I have some great GM’s that help me so I don’t think it will cause too many problems.
I ran a very small test mission after character creation and it went longer than expected but I fell that was due to too many players and some people still figuring out how to use the dice pool mechanic. I will adjust accordingly for the next session and see if the flow improves.
Monica Valentinelli, author of the Firefly RPG, wrote in her blog about taking the month of September off of social media (Facebook and Twitter) to focus on her creative works. I have been letting that idea rattle around in my head the last few days and I feel it is a really good idea. I am not a huge Twitter user but I do sometimes get lost in the mindlessness of Facebook. I feel my time would be better spent doing…almost anything. Facebook has devolved into a bunch of angry whining and protestations (without actually doing anything about it). I am guilty of it myself and have been finding myself more and more angry about something someone posted. Angry to the point of it ruining my day because of the shear stupidity of it.
I don’t need that in my life. I am a curmudgeon to begin with. I don’t that particular fire fueled. So, For the month of September I will not access Twitter at all and my Facebook will only be used for my game page and game related posts. I have unfollowed all of my friends and groups so my newsfeed is blank. I was going to deactivate the account to just have my wife change my password and not give it to me until a friend of mine reminded me that we only talk on Facebook Messenger. So I will keep the account active for that purpose and Nexus related material. My friends have my phone number, they know how to find me. I don’t need to spend my days yelling at gun nuts and people who take that toupee’d Presidential candidate seriously. My hope is that this will let me focus my time and needs on more creative pursuits.
My game needs to be finished…and that Commodore 64 won’t be modding itself.
Ta for now.