New Game Release: Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide

Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide

Today’s new release is the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide. Here’s some information about this project:

We asked creators, amateurs, and professionals alike to share new mechanics, settings, and entirely new games based on our popular Cortex Plus roleplaying games: LEVERAGE, SMALLVILLE, and MARVEL HEROIC ROLEPLAYING. An army of authors contributed their own ideas to the project, which we dubbed the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide. Emboldened by a highly successful Kickstarter project and the investment of over a thousand backers, the Guide has blossomed into a fully featured sourcebook for all things Cortex Plus!

My essay is about role-playing like you’re starring in your own television show. It had two parts. First, I wanted to have a section where I addressed thematic issues about this style of game. Second, I took the Cortex Classic character sheet and modified its contents to put more emphasis on roles and relationships. Combined, the essay will likely be more helpful for newer Cortex Plus fans who have roots in Classic than those who’ve played through this system since the very beginning.

Enjoy the book! There’s a lot of great material here!

Fulling a Firefly Fan Promise

As the brand manager/lead writer for the Firefly RPG, there is nothing that makes me feel happier than being able to make good on a promise. We said we were going to offer the Wedding Planners Cortex Classic Set in July, ahead of the Gaming In The ‘Verse: GenCon 2013 Exclusive, and?

Today is that day.

A Letter From Margaret Weis

My fellow Browncoats:

It’s hard for me to imagine how much time has passed since my company first started in 2005. I remember standing at GenCon with stacks of freshly-printed books talking to hundreds of gamers about the movie Serenity and, of course, Firefly. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of the ‘Verse and have loved the series since it first debuted. I know many of you feel the same way, too.

Some of you may remember that the history of Margaret Weis Productions is closely tied to Firefly and other, popular science fiction shows and movies. Those games used a system we now refer to as Cortex Classic and were published over eight years ago. Since that time, we’ve revised and updated the game mechanics to a more streamlined system we now refer to as “Cortex Plus.”

That’s why I am thrilled to present the first Echoes of War adventure for the FIREFLY RPG. But, more than that, I’m excited that we’re offering my adventure in two systems for our fans: Cortex Classic and Cortex Plus.

This edition of Wedding Planners uses the Cortex Classic stats from our original game system and complements the Serenity Crew in Cortex Classic and the CORTEX CLASSIC SYSTEM ROLE PLAYING GAME included with this release. We are offering this option to fans of our original game mechanics as a way of saying “Thank You!” for being such an important part of my company. We have not forgotten about you!

The Cortex Plus version, which will employ our shiny new FIREFLY RPG game mechanics, will be released separately and will be clearly marked as such.

Regardless of what system you love, I hope you have fun with Wedding Planners and are excited as I am to play in the ‘Verse!

Margaret Weis
July 2013

The above text is republished from a letter that appears in the Wedding Planners Cortex Classic adventure. A PDF version of this letter is available here.

Presenting… Scion: Extras (Supplemental Yet Can Be Somewhat Useful On Occasion Scions)

Scion Extras

While it is well-known that not every God is as potent as Zeus (and not every Goddess as brave as Isis), even the Gods themselves tend to“forget” their long-lost cousins and great-aunts twice-removed on the other side of the family. Among the immortals, the uber-powerful feel there are some deities best left off Junior’s wedding invitation, ignored at holidays, or obscured deep in a poorly updated Wikipedia page.

In Extras (Supplemental Yet Can Be Useful On Occasion Scions), a select number of these rare Gods, Goddesses, and their Scions have been thrown under the spotlight. From the oft-overlooked Queen of the Porcelain Throne to a brave-but-curious Scion who loves the outdoors, discover how the pantheons feel about these add-ons and their place in the War against the Titans.

This book is compatible with Scion: Hero. It includes:

  • 10 playable Scion extras from 6 pantheons
  • Deadpan humor. Because RPGs are dead, ya know?
  • Song lyrics for Sci, Scion Style. We expect to see a fan video.
  • Easter eggs! Not the literal kind. That’d be too messy. The “Oooo…Fans might want to…” kind.
  • …and more!


    New Hero Volume 1 and Aesop’s Modern Fables Now Available in US

    The New HeroToday, I am pleased to announce that both New Hero Volume 1 and The Lion and the Aardvark, Aesop’s Modern Fables are available for purchase in the US.

    The Lion and the Aardvark CoverThe first anthology includes a detective noir story titled “Fangs and Formaldehyde” about a vampire named Atlas who will die if he gets too emotional. “Bored to Fu,” a modern-day fable about a mouse, a dragon, and productivity, is featured in the second collection.

    You can buy both books, in print or digital, direct from the Stone Skin Press website. If you have questions about other places to purchase them, drop the publisher a line.

    I hope you enjoy these stories! They were a lot of fun to write! :-)

    Announcing “We Are Dust” a New Apocalyptic Anthology Release

    We Are Dust apocalyptic anthologyWhether or not you believe the world ends on Friday, I have good news for you! “We Are Dust” (an apocalyptic-themed anthology) was released yesterday! This end of the world collection of stories features my story titled “The Button,” which is a Lovecraftian-themed tale featuring a female nuclear physicist.

    Download a copy of We Are Dust here.

    “The Button” is loosely related to the Mythos and is written in first person. I also built out the world some to serve the character, the plot, and the theme. Creating new gods and writing about Romans was a lot of fun!

    I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this collection of fantastic stories. Forgive me if I got a little over-salesy… I’ve always wanted to tell people to read a story before the world ends — and now I have! The anthology is available in multiple formats for your Nook, Kindle, laptop and other devices.


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