Head Shot Updated for Cortex Prime SRD

Head Shot, the Cortex Plus Action Roleplaying hack for the zombie apocalypse, now has an additional document containing updates to the latest version of the Cortex Prime SRD, plus a new character sheet to take into account the new skills and updated Distinction rules!

Click here or check out our Free Stuff page for the link to the PDF, and read on if you want to get a brief overview of some of the enhancements!

…and UPDATE! (2/5/2018) We’ve added a PDF that contains the entire, fully-revised-for-Cortex-Prime text for all of the Talents found in Head Shot!

HEAD SHOT! A Zombie Apocalypse Hack for Cortex Plus Action Roleplaying

Cortex Prime?

For those not in the know, Cortex Prime is a successfully Kickstartered successor to the Cortex family of roleplaying games as seen in Serenity, Firefly, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Leverage, Battlestar Galactica, the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide, and others. Designer Cam Banks has updated the game system to be a sort of Rosetta Stone bridging all of those games, streamlining the mechanics, and adding a few new tools and widgets. This means that the game is a robust, narrative tool set for creating games where the players have a lot of narrative power in the form of their traits and Plot Points, while keep a strongly balanced rules-medium foundation. Think of it like a mix of Fate‘s narrative mechanics and attitude of “skilled player characters” right out of the gate, combined with Savage Worlds‘ balanced dice-rating mechanics.

(I’m sure there might be a better metaphor or comparison, but that’s how I look at it, at least!)

The Kickstarter promises the full rules later this year, but Cam has been releasing a rules-only System Reference Document (SRD) to Kickstarter backers as well as members of his Patreon, providing ample opportunity to playtest the new systems, catch errors or vague wording, and otherwise just kick the tires on this thing.

As of this writing, the current SRD version the Head Shot update refers to is: CORTEX PRIME System Reference Document DRAFT v3.1 2018-01-01.

Our goal is to continuously update the Head Shot rules as more drafts come out, and then, when the final Cortex Prime rules drop, we’ll re-write Head Shot to conform to the final rules. This means that if you previously purchased the PDF version of Head Shot through DriveThruRPG (or the POD+PDF version), you’ll get the update guide as an additional file. Just login, go to My Library, and find the additional PDF file right there. If you plan to ever pick up Head Shot in the future, you’ll immediately get access to the Cortex Plus and Cortex Prime versions as soon as you pick it up; this way, folks who stick with the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide don’t lose out!

(We also have plans to publish supplemental adventures, GMC compilations, and other stuff in the future, assuming this puppy continues to sell!)

Head Shot Updated!

We’ve been planning an update for Head Shot for a while now, having playtested this beast for quite some time and finding ways to streamline the system. As it turns out, Cortex Prime already includes mechanics that help with this, so it’s a piece of cake for us to put together a document syncing Head Shot up with the Cortex Prime SRD. The provided document includes all of the updates we have planned, as well as an updated character sheet so you can start roleplaying with the Cortex Prime system in an already-realized hack/setting for the game!

Here’s a quick list of what changed:

  • There’s no more “double difficulty dice pools” for the GM to manage (the standard Difficulty dice and the Viral Pool). We’ve combined everything into the “Horde Pool,” which works almost exactly like the Doom Pool in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying…
  • …except we’ve streamlined random encounters, Alerts, and Missions to better interface with the Horde Pool! It’s all a lot more clear, streamlined, and yet still incredibly versatile to give GMs the ability to create the zombie apocalypse of their own nightmares!
  • We’ve gone with Cortex Prime’s list of basic skills (which adds Survive, Fly, and one or two others).
  • We’ve streamlined character creation a tad, removing Highlighted Skills from Distinctions (a Cortex Prime thingy) in order to make all skills cost the same number of points during character creation.
  • With the updated skill list and the lack of Highlighted Skills coming from Distinctions, we’ve included the updated Game Moderator Character (GMC) creation rules with the appropriate trait listings and points so you don’t have to reverse engineer anything when creating your non-player characters.
  • Did we mention the updated character sheet?

Go kick the tires on this baby! And keep your eyes peeled for zombies shambling toward you in the distance!


If you enjoyed this article, please comment, like, and share! We publish supplements, campaign accessories, and adventures for Dungeons & Dragons at Dungeon Masters Guild as well as other OSR games and Cortex Plus at DriveThruRPG.

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neuronphaser is an editor, eCommerce consultant, web producer, and analyst living in sunny Hollywood, CA. He's been playing tabletop RPGs of all kinds since 1985.

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