Blade Runner TTRPG will ask players to face their own humanity

Crowdfunding campaign for Blade Runner: Role-playing Game, one of Polygon’s most anticipated RPGs in 2022, premieres on Tuesday. Developed by the award-winning publisher of Free League in collaboration with Alcon Entertainment and Genuine Entertainment, it sends players to the streets of Los Angeles in 2037 as members of the LAPD repository detection unit – better known as Blade Runners. To find out more, we spoke to Free League’s lead designer and co-founder, Tomas Härenstam.

“A lot of the game on the surface is an investigation,” said Härenstam. “Players will travel to different places, talk to people, collect evidence. A great source of inspiration was: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detectiveand other classic puzzle-solving games.

Of course, any good Blade Runner story needs its heroes to grapple with existential questions between cases.

“This is the point that the source material indicates,” said Härenstam, “that your humanity is not determined by whether you are human or a replica. It is not determined by your background. It depends on your actions and what you choose to do, and that is really the path we followed when designing the game. This path is made clear in the character creation process where players must generate a Key Memory and define a Key Relationship that shapes the way their character engages with the world. Finding ways to interact with these key elements during sessions will allow players to earn Humanity Points that can be spent on leveling up skills.

Photo: Martin Grip / Free League

Airplanes shed light on a futuristic coastline.  When the tide comes, an arrest takes place.

Photo: Margin Grip / Free Leauge

A sophisticated man sits and reads a newspaper as a rainy night winds through Los Angeles.

Photo: Martin Grip / Free League

In between ambiguous morally issues, players will spend a lot of time in the game doing downtime related activities. These narrative cutscenes will allow the characters to go their own way and explore their lives beyond the LAPD. “It gives us light in the personal lives of these characters,” said Härenstam. “[Down Time] this is where mechanics like Key Memory and Key Association come into play, and they work in the same way whether you’re a human or a replicant. ”

this Basic set of rules features over 200 world-building pages, immersive detail, and the official Blade Runner ruleset, not to mention gorgeous art by Martin Grip. Fans will recognize his distinctive style from other Free League projects including The One Ring: Role play in the Lord of the Rings universe.

Fans Alien: Role-playing game, Tales from the loopand Forbidden lands will recognize the Roku Zero engine, which appears in a new and expanded form to suit the neon-noir scenery. The Original Year Zero Engine contains a pool of six-sided dice on each roll, with six on one or more dice being successful; more sixes means higher success, and the dice pool increases as the player’s skill and attribute levels increase.

Mockup of the box art for the Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game Starter Kit.

Image: Free League

In Blade hunterthe mechanics have been improved. Players only have two dice: one for the primary attribute and one for the roll skill. The player’s increase in competence is reflected in the type of dice used, from d6s to d12s. Härenstam says this was to keep the rules of the game clear.

“We didn’t want the rules and dice to dominate the table too much,” he said, “so we decided to reduce the touch of the dice and mechanics to be a little more in the background than in a few other Year Zero games.”

The content on Kickstarter also includes the first Cinematic module for Blade hunteradventure titled Electric Dreams. Game Runners get everything they need to create their own case files Basic set of rulesbut Electric Dreams serves as an excellent introductory module to help players and Game Runners acclimatize to the world.

“We didn’t want railroaders,” said Härenstam. Therefore, players can interact with the material presented to them in Electric Dreams and other Case Files in any way. “Each case file is an interconnected web of clues – locations, NPCs, evidence – but players will have a lot of freedom to go wherever they want and talk to whoever they want and how they will come to a solution.”

All sponsors who commit to 55 Basic set of rules Tier or higher in the first 24 hours of launching Kickstarter will also receive an exclusive art print by lead artist Grip. The Rep-Detect package ($ 95) includes the standard Basic set of rules and Blade Runner Starter Kitwhich includes a quick reference, a printed version of Electric Dreams, four pre-generated characters that players can jump into, and a selection of physical handouts representing data files, photos, and evidence for use in the investigation.

An exclusive collector’s edition is also available on Kickstarter Basic set of rules, available in a packet out of the world ($ 140). This special edition has a leatherette cover embossed with a holographic stamp of Japanese kanji for “Origin” and will not be reprinted. For players missing Chin-Yen, the Diji Bundle ($ 35) includes PDF versions of the Basic Rules and Electric Dreams. Digital versions will also be made available to all supporters at higher levels shortly after the end of the Kickstarter.

Stretched goals include additions to Starter pack such as custom dice, initiative card deck, a colorful map of future Los Angeles, additional character archetypes such as Doxie and Cityspeaker, generator tables for creating case files and key memories, and crime scene photos with hidden clues for players to find.

Gamers hoping for a stripped down and dried up mystery game should definitely look elsewhere, says Härenstam. “It’s not just about” solve the case, go home and be happy “; it will never happen in this game. It will always be more complicated. ”

The Kickstarter campaign for Blade Runner RPG will last until May 29.

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