Saturday, 25 August 2012

Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game

I wish.
Let's face it - a Blade Runner RPG
would be awesome (I lifted this image
from a German print novel)

I created a basic unofficial roleplaying game for Blade Runner using my SKETCH system and made it available for free on I ran a couple of games and it worked just fine but it had more to do with the atmosphere, and that's something that the simple rules helped with. There was no stalling over rulings and the players were able to get their teeth into a flowing, emotionally charged adventure.

There were three players - one was a Blade Runner, one was a police detective, and the other was a private detective working under contract with the police (a bit of an Adrian Monk character). The story revolved around a powerful and influential - but very, very lonely - businesswoman in her sixties trying to hide a replicant by pretending it is her long-lost daughter. The London PD (the city was partially flooded so a lot of people got about in motor boats and spinners) knew there was a replicant in her company but, because the woman had contacts in the police (namely the Police Chief) they were limited as to who they could use the Voight-Kampff machine on.

The businesswoman kept trying to convince them that the replicant was a boy who worked in the post room, but he failed the Voight-Kampff test because he was partially mentally retarded. Once the players realised this - after chasing the boy through the building and taking a couple of shots and almost killing him - they had to go after the buisnesswoman.

They fought through her heavies (the private investigator was unfortunately killed) and forced the false daughter to take the Voight-Kampff test. She failed after the first ten questions and accepted her fate. The Blade Runner retired her. The police detective tried to arrest the businesswoman but the Police Chief interceded and she got away with it. Now she has sworn revenge on the Blade Runner and the police detective.

It was all done with minimal dicerolls (except for the firefight, of course). The simple rules did not slow the game or interrupt the emotionally tense moments, and that was perfect. We agreed that the best way to run a Blade Runner game was with a simple, flexible system that would allow GMs to add their own twists and moral/ethical dilemmas.

Saying that, now that I've been running Call of Cthulhu this last few weeks I honestly think that if Blade Runner was ever properly licensed it should be done with the Basic Roleplaying system, as it is already an established and enjoyable system with a great history and, if kept simple, would suit a Blade Runner game down to the ground.

I think I'll go and share this on the Chaosium/BRP message boards.


  1. What about licensing the Technoir or Gumshoe systems?

  2. I'm not familair enough with those systems, to be honest, but

    I was thinking Chaosium so that they could round off their list of alternative genres they've released BRP games for - Lovecraft's 'Cthulhu' (horror), Moorcock's 'Elric' (fantasy), and now Philip K Dick's 'Blade Runner' (sci-fi). Fair does, the Dick 'Electric Sheep' story wasn't much like the movie, but the title has a lot of draw potential.