Xine One Cover Reveal

Behold the cover of Xine One, which debuts tomorrow!

The art is by Tan Ho Sim, and you can check out some of his other incredible work at his ArtStation page.

…and also while you’re here, would you like a sneak peek of the Distinctions Builder from Cortex Lite? Thought you might.


It’s MoonLite Monday!

Vampires, werewolves, and witches exist: you’re one of them. And you’ve been breaking the rules…

Keep the delicate peace, face your elder’s wrath, or both, in Group Chat of the Damned by Jeremy Forbing, part one of MoonLite, and playable with Cortex Lite. It all premieres in Xine One!

What’s a better fit for “beginnings” than character creation? Jeremy served up a character creation process for vampires, werewolves, and witches primed to be dropped directly into all sorts of urban horror mayhem and drama.

I don’t know about you, but I spent a lot of my formative gaming years in a certain World that was full of Darkness, and I’m so excited to see a solid remake of that whole gaming vibe reconstructed in Cortex.

Because Group Chat of the Damned is just Part One of MoonLite, a complete game that uses and extends Jeremy’s other baby, Cortex Lite.

Will we see Part Two in a future issue of Xine? I think it’s a surety if we there are future issues of Xine. If you want to see it, sign up for our releases mailing list at the top or bottom of this page or clicking here.

In the mean time, here’s the werewolf character sheet, in all its interlocking SFX glory.

There’s only two more days until Xine and Lite are both released into the world to wreak havo— I mean, be enjoyed by discerning gamers like you. I’m so excited to have you along for the ride!


Xine’s Bringing a Friend: Cortex Lite

Cortex Lite is a complete tabletop roleplaying game, created as a sleek and simple example of a game built with Cortex Prime, a toolkit of rules which serves as the “engine” for many other games. Cortex Lite is designed as a “generic” RPG, a basic system you can use to run games in any setting.

Weighing in at just 32 pages, Cortex Lite packs a powerful punch. It’s also professionally illustrated and—if I do say so myself—really pretty.

And as with Xine, Cortex Lite is both free to play and free to use in your own Cortex projects. It’s all part of the Cortex Community Licensing!

But why is Xine producing Lite? Simple. Lite will afford Xine a sort of foundational baseline for future articles and games, a presumptive basic level of how-the-game-works that we don’t need to include in every single article, over and over again, in the very tightly-constrained zine format. Lite lets Xine fly.

If you’d like to get email notifications when we release Lite (and all future Lite games), sign up for our releases mailing list at the top and bottom of this page… or just click this link!


Xine One Sneak Peek: Quick & Dirty Pathways by Jasmine Barlow

Got characters for a new Cortex game and no starting situation? Is Pathways big and scary? Do you have three index cards?

Kick off your game with Quick & Dirty Pathways by Jasmine Barlow. In Xine One!

Count on Jasmine Barlow to take a big, complicated chunk of game and magically reduce it to a single page without losing anything important. You’ve no doubt seen her character sheets that encapsulate a whole game. But for Xine One, she took on Pathways.

Jasmine’s article has taken the gloriously sprawling mess that is Pathways and distilled it down to a piquant three-questions-on-three-index-cards dollop of awesomesauce.

I expect this to become the default means of kicking off a Cortex one-shot; it is so tight and packs a punch well above its weight class. It can also launch a long-running campaign with a complex situation that binds together all the player characters and gets the story started on the right foot.

Speaking of getting started on the right foot, have you signed up for our releases mailing list? Pop an email in the form at the bottom of this page (or click on the link at the top of this page) to get notified the moment that Quick & Dirty Pathways and the rest of Xine One are available!


Xine One’s “Mod Corner” hosts Wil Hutton talking Zones and Zone Distinctions

Are your tactical players zoning out during your Cortex game? Zone them back in. Split scenes into tactical zones, assign zone distinctions, zone complications, and zone traits.

Make Cortex crunch with Get Into the Zone, a mod article by Wil Hutton, in Xine One.

“Everybody talks about zones in Cortex but nobody ever implements them.” That changes today—or rather, next Wednesday.

Wil Hutton (AKA @rivetgeek) has put together a compact article detailing how to put zones into your Cortex game. This was, I think, the first article we planned to include in Xine, and I really liked what Wil came back with.

I won’t spoil the details of this two-page article, but I will say that this piece makes me think we’ll start seeing Cortex maps in the future, and everybody loves a good map. I’m excited.

If you’re also excited, sign up for our mailing list (see what I did there? Subtle, huh?) at the top or bottom of this page. Our release mailing list is only to notify you of new releases and nothing else: so you know when the good stuff drops.


Xine One to feature DisemBARK by Lynn Jones

The animals on the ark survived, but the Shepherd who gathered them did not. Now you, in all your furry, feathered, or scaled glory, face a new dawn in a Catastrophe-wracked world.

Build a home and survive in DisemBARK by Lynn Jones, the capsule game of Xine One, which debuts May 31st!

The “capsule game” is a super-short game that goes smack-dab in the middle of Xine, so when you open up the zine, it naturally falls open to this ready-to-rock game.

When I asked Lynn to write up a capsule game, I told him that our issue theme was “Beginnings,” which he could adopt or ignore to whatever degree suited the game he’d write. He came back with “what about the animals coming off the ark and beginning a whole new world?”

Which is not what I was expecting.

I am a big fan of surprisingly different ideas, though, and when the first draft of the game came back, it blew me away. It was unique, it was grabby, it had surprising amounts of depth. I wanted to play it immediately.

With formatting, our projected wordcount for a two-page game turned out to be far too big, and the “capsule” game spilled over to another spread. Oh well! It’s a great game, and I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it!

Inevitable plug: if you haven’t already, get on that release mailing list to hear when Xine One and DisemBARK drop!

While you’re here, we’ve got a character file for DisemBARK!


Xine is Coming

Xine is our love letter to the Cortex RPG Community. It’s a compact little zine filled with punchy articles, professional art, and all manner of dice pool gaming goodness.

And it’s coming out in one week: May 31st!

We are incredibly excited to put together the world’s greatest (and, admittedly, only) Cortex RPG Community zine. The game itself has always been superlative; the community that’s organized around that game even more so. Compiling and polishing top-notch articles for that community is a dream come true.

Xine and all its content will be released under the Cortex Community License, which means all of its articles are ready to use not only in your home games but also in your own Cortex projects. We love the community’s sharing vibe and we’re eager to start contributing to our favorite Big Pile of Game Stuff.

Xine is also, and will always be, free to download.

The first issue of Xine is packed with five high-octane articles by Cortex designers old and new. In the following week we’ll be teasing each one, so stay tuned.

Speaking of staying tuned, sign up for our mailing list to get pinged the moment a new issue of Xine drops (and nothing else: this list is just for new releases). The signup form is at the bottom of this page.

If you want more Xine updates beyond releases, including progress updates towards the next issue and sneak peeks on who’ll be in it, check out our support page.

We’re excited to launch this zine and we’re excited to have you along for the ride with us.

Happy Gaming!