Tag Archives: Cortex

Cortex TMNT – Master Splinter Datafile

So last time I talked about setting up a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game using the Cortex system. Today I’m going to build a datafile for Master Splinter, the father and mentor of the Turtles.

The datafile might not make much sense if you’re new to the Cortex system, but I’ll give a quick run down at the end to explain a few things.

Splinter (IWD Comic Cover)
Splinter (IWD Comic Cover)

Name: Splinter (alias: Hamato Yoshi, Master Splinter, Sensei, Father)

Affiliations: Solo d8 Buddy d6 Team d10

Distinctions: Mutant Rat, Master of Bushido, Father of the Turtles.

Power Sets:
Mutant Rat:
Enhanced Senses d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Speed d8.

SFX: Claws & Fangs. Add a D6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in your pool by -1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: The Nose Knows. Spend 1 PP to add Enhanced Senses (or step up by +1 if already in your pool) and reroll all dice on a reaction.
Limit: Mutant. Earn 1 PP when affected by mutant-specific Milestones and tech.

Weapon (Cane/Bow) d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Stamina d8.

SFX: Focus. In a pool including a Ninjitsu die, replace two dice of equal steps with one die of +1 step.
SFX: Area Attack. Target multiple opponents. For every additional target, add d6 to your pool and keep +1 effect die.
Limit: Exhausted. Shut down a Ninjistu power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

Acrobatic Master d10, Combat Master d10, Covert Master d10, Medical Expert d8.

Master Splinter by Dave Rapoza
Master Splinter by Dave Rapoza

Design Decisions

Splinter has Team as his highest affiliation to represent his leadership of the turtles. Solo is his next highest, because he fights well by himself, while with a buddy he’s often forced to be the minder and teacher, effectively slowing him down somewhat.

His distinction Mutant Rat should work nicely when he meets humans for the first time and has to try and get past the “Ahh! You’re a talking rat” stage of the conversation. Master of Bushido will tie him to the code of Bushido nicely and represents his role as a ninja sensei, while Father of the Turtles will mean that his sons influence his decisions to a large degree, which is often a major driver of stories involving Splinter.

The power sets cover his mutation and ninja training and the SFX were mostly plucked from Marvel Heroic Roleplay’s Hero Datafiles. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.

His specialities are pretty self explanatory. You might want to add Mystic Expert to give him more esoteric ninja knowledge. I didn’t take that route, which is why he has Medical Expert instead. Splinter uses ancient Asian medical practices and has a deep understanding of the human (and turtle) anatomy, so Medical Expert seemed a better fit.

I didn’t create any milestone, but some major themes to explore would include raising and training the turtles as well as getting revenge against the Shredder.

Till next time
Tell Thrilling Tales

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Waaay back in the day someone in our role-playing group (called Bob’s Rent-a-Cult btw) owned a copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness, a supplement for Heroes Unlimited. I don’t think we ever actually played it, but the idea of role-playing a ninja turtle has stuck with me ever since and that’s a gap I intend to fill.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness
The Book That Started It All

How? Well, If you haven’t already heard about Marvel Heroic Roleplay (MHR) then you’re already too late, since it’s become so hard to get the books after their short print run. Anyway, the fan base is still huge and people are playing. Besides, the standard Cortex System is still available, which MHR is based off. It’s a perfect system for some turtle powered action. Cowabunga!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by theCHAMBA
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by theCHAMBA

Datafiles, the game’s character sheets, are easy to build from scratch, but here is some inspiration from RPG.net.

That just leaves the Events (adventure), and I think there are some great resources, namely the original and reboot comics as well as all the numerous TV series runs and all the movies. My favourite would have to be the 2003-2009 run, which was the second series and is closer to the comics.

If your interested in playing, or just want to know more about Marvel Heroic Roleplay, why not join the Google+ group and let’s talk turtles. If you’d like to see campaign notes and other articles about the sessions here, leave a comment below.


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