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

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ah, I guess they have arranged something with Roll20 --

"Roll20 works with publishers on an individual basis for crowdfunding campaigns. Use of the Roll20 trademark without our authorization is not allowed. Do not promise Roll20 rewards for your campaign without our permission. Doing so is cause for us to contact the crowdfunding platform to have unauthorized use pulled from the site."
 

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payn

Legend
Ah, I guess they have arranged something with Roll20 --

"Roll20 works with publishers on an individual basis for crowdfunding campaigns. Use of the Roll20 trademark without our authorization is not allowed. Do not promise Roll20 rewards for your campaign without our permission. Doing so is cause for us to contact the crowdfunding platform to have unauthorized use pulled from the site."
Im guessing this explains why Foundry was one of the earliest stretch goals and Roll20 came much later. FL was likely working out the deets with Roll20.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Looking back over the thread and the Kickstarter’s progress, Blade Runner RPG is kinda underwhelming right now in terms of money. Hit $1 million early on day two…and has barely managed $400,000 more in the 13 days since. With 9 days to go will it break $2 million?
 

Reynard

Legend
Looking back over the thread and the Kickstarter’s progress, Blade Runner RPG is kinda underwhelming right now in terms of money. Hit $1 million early on day two…and has barely managed $400,000 more in the 13 days since. With 9 days to go will it break $2 million?
I think that's a strong indication that those that want this game REALLY want it and jumped on quickly, but outside of that baked in market there might not be much demand. I wonder if they use the KS to get an idea of how much to send to stores and stuff? I don't know enough about the printing side to know whether they still have to do big print runs to be economically feasible.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Looking back over the thread and the Kickstarter’s progress, Blade Runner RPG is kinda underwhelming right now in terms of money. Hit $1 million early on day two…and has barely managed $400,000 more in the 13 days since. With 9 days to go will it break $2 million?
It shows how outlooks have changed when folks are saying that under $2M is underwhelming.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
It shows how outlooks have changed when folks are saying that under $2M is underwhelming.
Maybe it's poor phrasing then. I meant more that given it hit $1 million early on day two that it looked like it was going to be doing much better by now than it actually is.
 

MGibster

Legend
Leon always gave me the impression like he's meant to be a meat forklift.

Makes no economic or technological sense, but that's kind of the defining feature of Philip Dick stories.
I think they're all pretty strong as Zhora, Leon, Roy, and even Pris were all able to overpower Deckard at various points. Leon was designed specifically for physical work, Zhora was some sort of assassin, Pris was a pleasure model, and I think Roy was a soldier.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Leon always gave me the impression like he's meant to be a meat forklift.

Makes no economic or technological sense, but that's kind of the defining feature of Philip Dick stories.
The trouble is in the adaptation, not the original PKD story. A lot of the context that makes it make sense was removed for the movie. A world war irradiates the planet, kills off the majority of the animal life on the planet, and begins mutating humanity. To survive, humanity must go off-world, but only those who are not mutated by the radiation are legally allowed to emigrate. Their numbers are not sufficient to build, much less maintain, off-world colonies...so they create genetically engineered slaves...replicants...for those rich enough and "pure" enough to go off-world.

And it's important to remember how difficult it is to tell replicants apart from humans. They're basically genetically altered clones. They're not computers with metal legs and rubber "skin". They're not robots. We could do this now, with real world technology. We can and have cloned humans. We have CRISPR. What prevents us from doing it is the thin veneer of ethics we call civilization, neither economics nor technology.
 

Yora

Legend
Robots would be easier and cheaper.

Philip Dick stories are really horror first and science fiction second. And the horror is about dissolving the boundaries of the self and being stripped of the fundamentals of humanity. I see the sci-fi elements as a tool for turning these ideas into narratives that can be communicated. They don't need to make any more sense than in Star Trek or Inception.
 

ruemere

Adventurer
The trouble is in the adaptation, not the original PKD story. A lot of the context that makes it make sense was removed for the movie. A world war irradiates the planet, kills off the majority of the animal life on the planet, and begins mutating humanity. To survive, humanity must go off-world, but only those who are not mutated by the radiation are legally allowed to emigrate. Their numbers are not sufficient to build, much less maintain, off-world colonies...so they create genetically engineered slaves...replicants...for those rich enough and "pure" enough to go off-world.

And it's important to remember how difficult it is to tell replicants apart from humans. They're basically genetically altered clones. They're not computers with metal legs and rubber "skin". They're not robots. We could do this now, with real world technology. We can and have cloned humans. We have CRISPR. What prevents us from doing it is the thin veneer of ethics we call civilization, neither economics nor technology.
This. Also, in the novel the humans as the species are dealing with major existential crisis. They essentially are facing their own psychological extinction event - that's why Rick is having artificially induced quarrel with his wife, that's why there is the artificial participation in the suffering of their new Saviour.

Humanity is going back to its roots in search of a meaning to its existence.

At the same time Replicants are imbued with all psychological qualities humans lost. They struggle because they were built to do so. Their lack of free will makes them not-human.

Rachel's act of vengeance vs. Deckard lack of ability to question himself is at the core of the novel.

The first film presents similar issue in a subtler way: Replicants are guided by their memories, their need to accumulate the new ones, and their expiration once the new memories take them beyond their original mental design. Roy the soldier becomes a son and a judge. Leon - an infiltrator and a grieving spouse. Zora and Priss seek to form a family, form bonds - Leon is genuinely upset despite lack of empathy toward others being a fundamental trait of Nexus 6 generation.

Rachel in this case is an attempt to go further beyond the design - she rises in her humanity, while Deckard falls by losing bits of his.

The novel and the first film approach similar subject, with the novel being much more pessimistic despite Deckard being "saved" by Mercer and Rachel.

I wonder if the game will allow us to explore the novel concepts.
 
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ruemere

Adventurer
Robots would be easier and cheaper.

Philip Dick stories are really horror first and science fiction second. And the horror is about dissolving the boundaries of the self and being stripped of the fundamentals of humanity. I see the sci-fi elements as a tool for turning these ideas into narratives that can be communicated. They don't need to make any more sense than in Star Trek or Inception.
Isaac Asimov answered this question: human body is versatile in its application, while a car is not. As long as the core processing unit has two hands, can walk, has access to knowledge and skills, it can build the rest of the civilization.

So, to a new planet you should send R. Daniel Olivav, not Tesla.

PS. I know it's SciFi golden age point of view. Nowadays we would probably go with nanites and a self replicating hive mind.
 

Looking back over the thread and the Kickstarter’s progress, Blade Runner RPG is kinda underwhelming right now in terms of money. Hit $1 million early on day two…and has barely managed $400,000 more in the 13 days since. With 9 days to go will it break $2 million?
I've been pretty surprised at how slow the progress has been, too. It's moving along at about half the daily rate of TOR 2e during the same period in its campaign.

Maybe that's because there aren't as many add-ons? More people want to buy this stuff than play it.

But also TOR 2e had some really juicy additional content as stretch goals, like additional books. Maybe they realized in hindsight that it wasn't worth stretching themselves like that? Or maybe it's just that they can't exactly pump out or even promise to pump out a slew of additional BR books, since that means making up tons of new lore and having all of it approved by Alcion (whereas with a LotR license there's tons of available source material that's part of the license).

Plus, TOR 2e had a monster final stretch goal: solo mode. That seemed to really light a fire under the campaign. I get why FL doesn't want to try for that as part of this first BR campaign, but I don't know if they can come up with a similarly enticing stretch goal, unless they figure out more dice colors or an origami unicorn kit or something (barf).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Robots would be easier and cheaper.
Except they're not. No robot can do what a human can do. Not completely. And not all in one package. One or two robots can out perform humans at chess or go. One or two robots can compete on Jeopardy. Giant, stationary robots can lift and move huge weights. And they're far more expensive than clones. Look at real-world present day technology. And it's fiction. It's the author's prerogative to write the story however they want.
Philip Dick stories are really horror first and science fiction second.
As someone who's read almost every word the man ever published, I think that's laughably inaccurate.
And the horror is about dissolving the boundaries of the self and being stripped of the fundamentals of humanity. I see the sci-fi elements as a tool for turning these ideas into narratives that can be communicated. They don't need to make any more sense than in Star Trek or Inception.
The bulk of PKD's work centers around the nature of reality and perception of it. Some of his stories deal with what it means to be human, memories, and empathy...like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and We Can Remember it For You Wholesale.

If asking questions like "what does it mean to be human?" and "what is the nature of reality?" makes something horror for you, then I guess you could twist and mangle PKD's work and call it horror. But it's really not.
Also, in the novel the humans as the species are dealing with major existential crisis. They essentially are facing their own psychological extinction event - that's why Rick is having artificially induced quarrel with his wife, that's why there is the artificial participation in the suffering of their new Saviour.
At the start of the novel they're fighting over whether Iran, Deckard's wife, will use the mood organ to artificially change her mood to something happy or positive. It's not a fight that's artificially induced.

And physical extinction event as well.
Humanity is going back to its roots in search of a meaning to its existence.
They seem to have found it with the empathy box and Mercerism. I'm not sure that's what I'd call "roots" of humanity.
At the same time Replicants are imbued with all psychological qualities humans lost. They struggle because they were built to do so. Their lack of free will makes them not-human.

Rachel's act of vengeance vs. Deckard lack of ability to question himself is at the core of the novel.

The novel and the first film approach similar subject, with the novel being much more pessimistic despite Deckard being "saved" by Mercer and Rachel.
No offense meant, but you might want to re-read the novel. I just finished it for like the 20th time a few days ago and this doesn't track.

Some humans are mutated and less smart than baseline humans. Replicants are also designed with a range of mental capabilities. The only thing replicants lack is empathy. They have free will. Which is necessary for them to rebel, kill humans, and illegally go to earth...which is the inciting incident that kicks off the novel. If they had no free will...there'd be no novel.

Rachel does what she does specifically because Deckard doesn't lover her more than his wife and his pet.

And the second 1/3 to 1/2 of the novel is Deckard questioning himself.

In what way does Rachel save Deckard in the novel? That's not how it plays out.
I wonder if the game will allow us to explore the novel concepts.
I really hope so. There's so much more texture and richness to the novel than the movies.
I've been pretty surprised at how slow the progress has been, too. It's moving along at about half the daily rate of TOR 2e during the same period in its campaign.

Maybe that's because there aren't as many add-ons? More people want to buy this stuff than play it.

But also TOR 2e had some really juicy additional content as stretch goals, like additional books. Maybe they realized in hindsight that it wasn't worth stretching themselves like that? Or maybe it's just that they can't exactly pump out or even promise to pump out a slew of additional BR books, since that means making up tons of new lore and having all of it approved by Alcion (whereas with a LotR license there's tons of available source material that's part of the license).

Plus, TOR 2e had a monster final stretch goal: solo mode. That seemed to really light a fire under the campaign. I get why FL doesn't want to try for that as part of this first BR campaign, but I don't know if they can come up with a similarly enticing stretch goal, unless they figure out more dice colors or an origami unicorn kit or something (barf).
I'm not sure they're even going to make the listed stretch goals, much less any new ones added on.

I'm a dice fiend and I don't care about the dice colors. Or the origami foil cover vs the kanji. It's weird. There's only like two people talking about those things. I'm much more interested in solo mode. I think it would be far easier than Tomas estimates. Whatever random process they're using for the random case file generation system could just as easily be used by the player as they play. Mystery games aren't about hiding information behind rolls, they're about deciphering what the information means. And something like Blade Runner is more action-adventure with a dose of noir. From the start Deckard knows who is and who isn't a replicant and simply tracks them down. In the book there's more of a "who's who" and mystery element. Unless they add a lot of proper murder mystery and noir to the game, it's not likely to be a huge pillar.
 

ruemere

Adventurer
[...]
At the start of the novel they're fighting over whether Iran, Deckard's wife, will use the mood organ to artificially change her mood to something happy or positive. It's not a fight that's artificially induced.

Ok, that's just my interpretation of the scene - I cannot throw a quote at you :)

You are assuming that their moods at the beginning were natural. Given the premise of my interpretation, they were most likely not - why would a artificial mood junkie start a downer day in baseline depression?

They seem to have found it with the empathy box and Mercerism. I'm not sure that's what I'd call "roots" of humanity.

That depends on whether you consider faith to be a core of what it is to be a human. In the novel, Mercerism is a finished product, like a tv-set or a book, sold to those who want to use it.

Given Dick's nature of religious experiences (The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick - Wikipedia.), I would say that being able to participate in a suffering a savior does qualify.
I do not know whether you're familiar with Catholic ritual of Stations of the Cross (Stations of the Cross - Wikipedia), Mercer functions as a more intimate version.

Again, this is symbol of end times according to Dick - you purchase and apply your spirituality and feelings.

No offense meant, but you might want to re-read the novel. I just finished it for like the 20th time a few days ago and this doesn't track.

Some humans are mutated and less smart than baseline humans. Replicants are also designed with a range of mental capabilities. The only thing replicants lack is empathy. They have free will. Which is necessary for them to rebel, kill humans, and illegally go to earth...which is the inciting incident that kicks off the novel. If they had no free will...there'd be no novel.

That's your interpretation. Mine's a bit different - why would you rebel and escape to poisoned earth? Why this need is present on such a massive scale that a specialized police has been instituted to hunt down escapees? Also, if the replicants are quasi humans, why they do not use all these control measures needed by humans? Is it really their free will that spurs them on a lemming-like migration?

Rachel does what she does specifically because Deckard doesn't lover her more than his wife and his pet.

And the second 1/3 to 1/2 of the novel is Deckard questioning himself.

Both of these sort of prove my point - Rachel's act of vengeance is quite human. And Deckard's questioning himself begins only after his experiences with Rachel and Mercer - in the beginning there is not an ounce of anything beyond routine stuff in his mind. Even when he is informed that his colleague was mauled, or that he is supposed to retire remaining replicants, there is nothing (well, I do not recall anything) that would indicate he is doubting or self-reflecting on his life.

In what way does Rachel save Deckard in the novel? That's not how it plays out.

His feelings become genuine. His state of mind when he find that the frog is electric is quite natural. Rachel gets to him - makes him feel.

I really hope so. There's so much more texture and richness to the novel than the movies.

I'm not sure they're even going to make the listed stretch goals, much less any new ones added on.

I'm a dice fiend and I don't care about the dice colors. Or the origami foil cover vs the kanji. It's weird. There's only like two people talking about those things. I'm much more interested in solo mode. I think it would be far easier than Tomas estimates. Whatever random process they're using for the random case file generation system could just as easily be used by the player as they play. Mystery games aren't about hiding information behind rolls, they're about deciphering what the information means. And something like Blade Runner is more action-adventure with a dose of noir. From the start Deckard knows who is and who isn't a replicant and simply tracks them down. In the book there's more of a "who's who" and mystery element. Unless they add a lot of proper murder mystery and noir to the game, it's not likely to be a huge pillar.

I have high hopes for Fria Lingan.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Ok, that's just my interpretation of the scene - I cannot throw a quote at you :)

You are assuming that their moods at the beginning were natural. Given the premise of my interpretation, they were most likely not - why would a artificial mood junkie start a downer day in baseline depression?
Again, you should consider reading the book. Iran explicitly states why she dials a downer mood.
That's your interpretation. Mine's a bit different - why would you rebel and escape to poisoned earth? Why this need is present on such a massive scale that a specialized police has been instituted to hunt down escapees? Also, if the replicants are quasi humans, why they do not use all these control measures needed by humans? Is it really their free will that spurs them on a lemming-like migration?
So the replicants are following their human-derived programming by murdering humans, illegally emigrating to Earth, and in response to the replicants following their human-derived programming the humans set up a kill squad to hunt down and murder replicants...in order to pointlessly risk the lives of humans and waste time and money...just because. Sorry, that's too much mental gynmastics to make sense of. The androids of the novel explicitly have free will. Sorry you disagree with PKD and what he wrote.
Both of these sort of prove my point - Rachel's act of vengeance is quite human. And Deckard's questioning himself begins only after his experiences with Rachel and Mercer - in the beginning there is not an ounce of anything beyond routine stuff in his mind. Even when he is informed that his colleague was mauled, or that he is supposed to retire remaining replicants, there is nothing (well, I do not recall anything) that would indicate he is doubting or self-reflecting on his life.

His feelings become genuine. His state of mind when he find that the frog is electric is quite natural. Rachel gets to him - makes him feel.
Again, I'd suggest reading the book. It might have been a few years since you read it because you're jumbling a few events chronologically in the book and forgetting a character or two that are the ones who cause this change in Deckard that you're attributing entirely to Rachel. She's involved in the process, but other characters start it.

This seems like a pointless tangent and a waste of time, so I'm leaving it here.
 

aramis erak

Legend
In alien an androids looks different on the inside, a replicant doesn't. A replicant can get injured without revealing that he is a replicant. In BR it is apparently very hard to detect a replicant, inside or outside, so hard that it takes a special test to do it (at least in the first movie).

You have a rival in Alien, a game that does support PvP, even though the concept of rival has nothing to do with PvP, it is just a feature to promote roleplay. In other YZE-games have, the characters have a buddy, best friend and you sometimes write a sentence what you think of the person.
The only other (English) game FL make use of PvP is Mutant: Elysium.
You need to really go reread a bunch. Or correct you definition of PVP from "Attacking each other" (as that is a grossly narrow view) to "Acting against each other."

Such as the section on relationships in TFTL (p 60) which notes that "None of the kids should be enemies, but it's fun to have tension in the group: love, envy, or mistrust."
MYZ p 22 doesn't specifically mention negative relationships.,but the sample on page 20, reationship to PC2 is definitely a hostile one, which will, if played up, result directly in PVP competition.

PVP is not axiomatically violence towards each other. It can be harsh competition and/or interference in their actions. It's players A and B not acting for the same outcome and being able to use mechanics in so doing. EVERY game by FL I've seen (and that is most of the ones in English) has provisions for negative relationships; most of them have combat rules; those that do, it's quite easy to use them PVP. (If you want to see a game that makes PVP hard, try Talisman Adventures - since the mechanics are all player facing, PVP actions of any kind do not follow normal resolutions.)
 

Fenhorn

Explorer
You need to really go reread a bunch. Or correct you definition of PVP from "Attacking each other" (as that is a grossly narrow view) to "Acting against each other."

Such as the section on relationships in TFTL (p 60) which notes that "None of the kids should be enemies, but it's fun to have tension in the group: love, envy, or mistrust."
MYZ p 22 doesn't specifically mention negative relationships.,but the sample on page 20, reationship to PC2 is definitely a hostile one, which will, if played up, result directly in PVP competition.

PVP is not axiomatically violence towards each other. It can be harsh competition and/or interference in their actions. It's players A and B not acting for the same outcome and being able to use mechanics in so doing. EVERY game by FL I've seen (and that is most of the ones in English) has provisions for negative relationships; most of them have combat rules; those that do, it's quite easy to use them PVP. (If you want to see a game that makes PVP hard, try Talisman Adventures - since the mechanics are all player facing, PVP actions of any kind do not follow normal resolutions.)
I don't have to re-read anything thank you. I have read them all and played many of them. To have different views is one thing, that can cause a tension between the players and can create interesting scenes.
PvP (or what FL means with PvP) is something else. FL only have a PvP warning in two of their games, Alien RPG and Mutant: Elysium just because in those two games the players can actively work against other players from time to time and only in Alien RPG, this can lead to a direct confrontation.
 
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MGibster

Legend
The Kickstarter is over, and those of us who participate have access to a PDF of the game. Has anyone read it yet? I just started and the book looks pretty cool so far.
 

I started reading, but was frustrated by the small font size (an unfortunate trend in recent Free League books). I read comments about armor not being very useful and firearms being a bit too deadly, but for the aforementioned reason I didn't really check the respective sections myself.
 

MGibster

Legend
I started reading, but was frustrated by the small font size (an unfortunate trend in recent Free League books). I read comments about armor not being very useful and firearms being a bit too deadly, but for the aforementioned reason I didn't really check the respective sections myself.
"The rules are designed to keep combat brief and brutal" - pg. 217. The amount of protection armor affords is rather anemic, and even the basic police armored undershirt has an armor rating of C and gives you a penalty to the Mobility and Stealth skills. To resist damage, you'd roll 2d8, and for each 6 or higher on the die you'd get one success (an 8 counts as two successes). The PK-D blaster does a base damage of 2, but the end result could be more damage depending on how well the shooter rolls. Yeah, this is not a game where you can expect your characte to just shrug off multiple gunshot wounds even while wearing armor.
 

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