Got my set and book. Good system, but thematically I'm having trouble getting sucked in. In fact, I have this odd feeling that something is turning me off. Something isn't sitting right. I keep stopping reading the adventure.
Partly, it is the 6 point body text font which is a huge mistake for GMs reference and prep in an adventure, but thats my only presentation complaint.
Something else is bugging me though. Rep-detect officers are about retiring homocidal and defective/problematic models (e.g. n-8). All models have the potential to be problems (Wallace's big secret no matter the model anyways..as they can have their own emotional response in addition to reps being innately narcissistic.
There are groups of people who are organized to hate or always-give-a-pass to reps. This rpg really plays up for rep sympathy and youre a crap person if you think otherwise.
It smacks too much of today's popular extremism news trends. Every criminal/shoplifter/murderer is misunderstood, drow/orcs arent really evil, and every policeman is a bigot, etc.
Am I not seeing this correctly? Help me understand how I'm supposed to enjoy a game that feels like a mirror of the worst un-fun current news tripe and just more cop-trauma rather than cop-drama.
We played it at a recent convention and the themes were presented accurate to the rpg. Now Im prepping to run for my group. I get that youre supposed to be conflicted, but this seems a bit cliche, depressing, and I worry about redundancy during multiple adventures on the 'fun' factor. Inflicting real-world ptsd on my players seems like a pretty miserable way to spend my gaming time.
How is it that Cyberpunk and Judge Dredd can be fun themes and this seem so icky?
At its heart, Blade Runner has a push and pull dual mechanism in place: Promotion Points and Humanity Points. Promotion Points get your Blade Runner LAPD training, specialized gear, and possible pay raises. They make life better and the job easier. Humanity Points raise skills. But they require doing the right thing which is usually the hard thing and could lead to the loss of Promotion Points if exposed. It is hard to get both at the same time.
Promotion Points are gained by closing Cases and protecting fellow officers for example. They are lost for letting fugitives get away or violating an order IF the Blade Runner gets caught. See page 220 for more.
Humanity Points are gained for acts of compassion and humanity. It is literally half the game. Refusing to upload evidence to protect someone. Refuse to follow orders because the PC felt they were wrong. See page 220 for a large list.
Push and pull. No easy answers.
These are powerful mature themes and PCs should feel stretched and challenged at nearly every turn. At times they might actually get to save hostages to the positive. At other times they may come across a Replicant who says their owner ordered them to commit unlawful acts or another Replicant who says their employer murdered a Replicant co-worker. What do they do? That literally is the game, not solving Cases. The RPG is very clear about this point.
Page 217: It's Not About the Case: The core purpose of the game is to confront the player characters with challenging personal and moral dilemmas, letting them ask themselves what makes them who they are.
These are deep complex issues. That is the whole point of Blade Runner the RPG. Explore these difficulties through your Blade Runner and learn what it means to be truly human. You just might have to choose between your life or your humanity. Not a beer and pretzels RPG but it isn't meant to be.
Hope that helps.