I’ve decided I’m going to redo this action scene and try to do a few more, and write them as Cortex+ scenes. So here’s the Back to the Future scene I wrote before with a few edits to introduce concepts from Cortex+ and Cortex Prime. The movie seems to fit the Action brand most closely, though the use of stress and complications/assets might be a mix of action and heroic.

Mike is playing Marty.
Chris is Playing Emmet.
Robert is running the game.

Unknown to Mike, Robert has talked with Chris about the coming session. Something is going to happen in this early chapter of the campaign.

The session starts at the local mall, in the car park. The drama pool starts with 2D6 and each character has 1 plot point.

Emmet has told Marty all about his latest invention, and is about to put it into action when his dog Einstien barks out a warning.

Robert: Out of the darkness a pair of headlights comes into view. The shape of a battered VW van grows more distinct and you get a spooky feeling that this is trouble. Out of the sun roof pops a gun wielding terrorist. 

Chris: “They found me Marty… I don’t know how but they found me. Run for it Marty”

Mike: “Who?”

Chris: “Who do you think? The Libyans.”

Robert: The van rushes towards you.

Mike: Marty ducks behind the car.

Chris: Emmet draws their fire at the back of the science truck. Firing his revolver out across the car park. [rolls dice against the drama pool, fails to beat it and rolls two 1s] I’m firing blanks or some kind of lousy shot.

Robert: Ok let’s say you forgot to load the gun.

Robert pays Chris two plot points. One for each of his 1s.

Chris rolled a one on a D6 and a D8.

Robert buys the D6 and adds it to the Drama Pool.

With the D8 Robert decides to add a complication [Need to load the gun D8]. Now if anyone uses the Pistol the GM can include the complication dice against them. This will mostly act as a deterrent, so that Chris and Mike don’t opt to go into combat.

Chris: Ha! Yeah that’s in character for Emmet.

Robert: The Libyans fire a burst of shots from a distance. But their shots only hit the science truck. The driver of the van pulls up with a screech of tires. The gun man looks menacingly at the gun in Emmet’s hand. Chris you have initiative

Chris: I toss the gun away. Hopefully they will talk.

Robert: They don’t seem interested in talking. The gun man empties another burst into your chest. Throwing Emmet backwards to the ground.

Mike: No way!!

Robert: Is that in character?

Mike: Yeah and then some. WTF? Chris are you ok about this?

Chris: Let’s play this out Mike I’m ok with the way it’s going.

Mike: ok Marty foolishly stands to head over to try and help with Emmet’s wounds. Is he ok?

Robert: Well the gun man notices you as you see Emmet motionless on the tarmac. The Libyan turns the rifle on you and opens up another burst. What are you doing with your action?

Mike: I use the science truck for cover, [rolls dice and beats the drama pool] And I want to spend a plot point to put put a complication into play, I’ll take my D8 and make the rifle jam.

Mike’s dice pool produced a result using two of his dice, that was higher than the result from the drama pool, meaning he dodged behind the truck and into safety. He can also use one of his remaining dice from his pool to create a complication. Spending a plot point Mike creates a D8 complication [Rifle Jammed] which will help buy him time.

Robert: Ok noted. The driver of the Camper van pulls around after you. But as the gun man pulls the trigger his gun jams and the van stalls. Giving you chance to act again.

Mike: I run back to the car while he’s un-jamming his weapon, and get it started up.

Robert: Ok make a drive check to get the car going under stress.

Mike: [rolls dice rolling against the Drama Pool] Just but I pass.

Robert: Cool but the Libyans are on the move again and giving chase. I’m going to spend the D8 from the empty pistol to cancel the jam, as the pistol isn’t going to be immediate anymore. So the rifle is working again.

As you are in a chase now we’ll run this as a Contested Action. You’re just trying to get away, but the Libyan’s are trying to kill all the witnesses. So set the stakes with your next driving roll.

Mike: I’ll spend a plot point on the DeLorean to get a D6 for my rolls.

Mike can buy a D6 asset at the cost of a Plot Point, this will last till the end of the scene, and represents how important the DeLorean is in the current action.

Chris: I’ll throw in a plot point too, to make that a D8. I’ve got a Distinction Trigger that lets me increase gadget assets.

Robert: Sounds great add that into your pool then.

Mike: [rolls dice] If the van is trying to come along side I’ll put my foot down and pull ahead. Then use the parking lanes to try and put barriers between us.

Mike’s result (two dice from his pool) sets the stakes, we’ll use this to track if he can keep ahead of the terrorists. 

Robert: [rolls the drama pool to raise the stakes] The driver keeps up and manages to pull into the same section of the parking lot. But keeping up with you is shaking the shooter too much for him to get a good shot at you.

Each side can roll against the current stakes to gain an advantage, in this case to get away or to catch up.

Mike: [rolls dice] hmm I’ve raised the stakes barely but there’s a one.

Robert: I’ll take that opportunity and give you a stress dice. You’re distracted and anxious.

Stress is a specific type of complication, it can be used to track damage to a character or resource. In this instance Marty is mentally stressed, and [Distracted]

Mike:  And then some. I’m gonna really build up speed with the next long straight bit.

Robert: You notice that the gun man is still having trouble with his rifle, but you don’t have time to pay attention to the lights and noises in the car. [rolls dice and manages to raise the stakes] as you turn into a straight and start pressing down on the gas you spot the gun man raising the tip of a rocket launcher out of the sun roof.

Mike: Holy shit! Can I take the chance to flee?

Rather than continue to raise-the-stakes the player can opt to Flee the scene. This saves them from being taken out when they fail, but creates a complication.

Roger: Yup, I have just the complication for this – You peel away accelerating into the high end of the speedometer. Pushing past 85mph, the car starts lighting up like a Christmas tree just as you get dangerously close to driving through a ticket booth.

Mike: I…

Roger: Hang on – The windscreen fills with a shock of blue light. The booth disappears and you’re driving over rough ground. A body bounces off the bonnet, it’s only a scarecrow but before you know it a barn comes at you out of nowhere…