Blade Runner: The Next Million Dollar Kickstarter?

Free League's Blade Runner Kickstarter has just launched, and is tearing through stretch goals after funding in just 3 minutes. It looks very likely that this will be the company's second million dollar Kickstarter (following last year's The One Ring campaign, which raised over $2M). It will also be the third million dollar Kickstarter in the last month, following Matt Colville's Flee Mortals!, and Monte Cook Games' Old Gods of Appalachia.

Blade Runner was voted the Most Anticipated TTRPG of 2022 by readers of EN World right here.

Free League's other million dollar Kickstarter, The One Ring, did $521K on the first day and finished with $2M. Compared to the other million dollar campaigns in the last few weeks --
  • Flee Mortals! did $788K on the first day.
  • Old Gods of Appalachia did $679K on the first day.
  • Only one campaign has done $1M+ on day 1, and that was Avatar Legends with $1.15M on the first day.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey






Backed! Couldn't resist--it looks so pretty.

Easy million dollar campaign here. The only question is how long that will take. Any bets on first day?
I don't know if the day-one art print is enough to make it happen. Then again, this does seem like a property where fans just haven't had much opportunity to spend money on it. Could be a bit of an Avatar effect--folks buying to buy. If they did enough marketing, they could grab those folks right away.

Not hating on that buying style at all, btw. And if any company's going to give you the goods as a collector, it's Free League.

For me, I'm just really excited that they took the Twilight 2000/Forbidden Lands direction for the dice mechanic. If you did want to use this as the basis for a larger/different sort of cyberpunk campaign--including possibly taking it off-world--I bet you could easily port over combat mechanics from Twilight 2000.
 

Reynard

Legend
It sure does look pretty but I am still struggling with what an official BladeRunner RPG might offer that most any cyyberpunk game plus a wiki wouldn't provide. It is such a narrow setting to license a whole game for. I guess you could say the same about Alien, although recent films have expanded on that universe (and yes, i know they are sort of the same universe).
 


It sure does look pretty but I am still struggling with what an official BladeRunner RPG might offer that most any cyyberpunk game plus a wiki wouldn't provide. It is such a narrow setting to license a whole game for. I guess you could say the same about Alien, although recent films have expanded on that universe (and yes, i know they are sort of the same universe).

I think part of the potential appeal is what they do to mechanically dig into the setting and themes, like Alien did with its rules for panicking, synthetics, and xeno attacks. In this case they've mentioned that pushing rolls has different effects on humans and replicants, and one of the first stretch goals was related to setting up a key memory for your character--a huge part of the Blade Runner movies, at least for replicants.

In other words, I don't think the Alien RPG has been so well-received because it collects Alien setting lore. That game is a master class in aligning rules to setting/themes. It's not just a generic skill system and a combat system, like so many games are.
 

It sure does look pretty but I am still struggling with what an official BladeRunner RPG might offer that most any cyyberpunk game plus a wiki wouldn't provide. It is such a narrow setting to license a whole game for. I guess you could say the same about Alien, although recent films have expanded on that universe (and yes, i know they are sort of the same universe).

This is what the kickstarter has to say:
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While Free League is well known for their dice mechanics, the publisher is also really good at helping develop PCs--backstory, motivations, and goals. They can tie why the PC does something (the roleplaying) to the how (the dice). The memories of PCs they reference is especially intriguing.
 

Reynard

Legend
While Free League is well known for their dice mechanics, the publisher is also really good at helping develop PCs--backstory, motivations, and goals. They can tie why the PC does something (the roleplaying) to the how (the dice). The memories of PCs they reference is especially intriguing.
I am not convinced that mechanics need to tell players how to conduct their roleplaying. I like the Alien RPG and the Stress mechanic is really cool, but its "scripted" adventures are... not to my liking. That's not something I want at my table. That's "murder mystery night from Target" style "storytelling".
 

I am not convinced that mechanics need to tell players how to conduct their roleplaying. I like the Alien RPG and the Stress mechanic is really cool, but its "scripted" adventures are... not to my liking. That's not something I want at my table. That's "murder mystery night from Target" style "storytelling".

I'm not referring to mechanics in this case. Character creation in Free League tends to include goals, drives, connections to other PCs and NPCs, etc. These choices are player chosen and player driven. Mechanically, yes, they do tie into gaining XP. But the player makes the decisions first. So the PC gains XP for acting the way the player thinks they should act and for accomplishing the goals the player wants the PC to achieve.

Alien added a new layer where what the PC wants according to the group's knowledge is not what the PC secretly wants. Again, I don't see that as mechanical except for tying it to XP. And doing stuff normally does tie to XP so it makes sense to me.
 


Reynard

Legend
I'm not referring to mechanics in this case. Character creation in Free League tends to include goals, drives, connections to other PCs and NPCs, etc. These choices are player chosen and player driven. Mechanically, yes, they do tie into gaining XP. But the player makes the decisions first. So the PC gains XP for acting the way the player thinks they should act and for accomplishing the goals the player wants the PC to achieve.

Alien added a new layer where what the PC wants according to the group's knowledge is not what the PC secretly wants. Again, I don't see that as mechanical except for tying it to XP. And doing stuff normally does tie to XP so it makes sense to me.
I do really like the way Mutant Year Zero ties the PCs not only to one another but to different factions in the Ark with relatively simple choices.
 

J.M

Explorer
I think games were traditionally designed with the idea that players made their characters separately, so adventures needed to be written with a wide array of character possibilities in mind (D&D still mostly follows this model). I like how newer games (not just Free League) put more emphasis on character backstories and motivations and tie them into the adventure, it opens up more ways to challenge the PCs and make the players care.
 


I think games were traditionally designed with the idea that players made their characters separately, so adventures needed to be written with a wide array of character possibilities in mind (D&D still mostly follows this model). I like how newer games (not just Free League) put more emphasis on character backstories and motivations and tie them into the adventure, it opens up more ways to challenge the PCs and make the players care.

I'd add that this game really feels like it might tilt toward much smaller groups--two PCs would probably be pretty perfect. The smaller the group, the more the game can dig into what you're describing.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
2 hours and 45 minutes in and it’s already at $465,000?

Holy…
Free League's other million dollar One Ring KS did $521K on the first day and finished with $2M. Compared to the other million dollar campaigns in the last few weeks --
  • Flee Mortals did $788K on the first day
  • Appalachia did $679K on the first day
  • Only one campaign has done $1M+ on day 1, and that was Avatar Legends with $1.15M on the first day
It's exciting to watch!

 

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