FARSIGHT GAMES

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Blade Runner: More changes for Call of Cthulhu

Spinners

Other than the fact that they can fly, which I think would double their top speed, these can be ariel versions of normal ground vehicles. I've not seen any larger versions so just family/sports cars stats can be used for these.

There will need to be a special skill 'Pilot Spinner' to use, on the ground as well as in the air.



The .45 PKD Detective Special


The standard firearm of a Blade Runner. A six-shooter by nature, this pistol has a lower barrel that accelerates bullets at a higher velocity by pulling the second trigger, an extremely handy feature that helps take down the stronger Replicants. This can only be used twice and then needs recharging – a red indicator light on the side shows how many uses the accelerator has – and triples the damage of a standard round. Once the accelerator is exhausted it needs to be plugged into a recharge unit, and to get it back to full charge takes an hour.

It's stats are the same as a .45 pistol.


The Voight-Kampff Machine

This polygraph-like machine is used to detect Replicants as it measures emotional and physical responses to intentionally provocative cross-referenced questioning. Replicants are considered to have a lower emotional range than humans and so this machine measures respiration, heart rate, capillary dilation and fluctuation of the pupil during questioning. Any irregularities could indicate the subject being questioned is a Replicant.

Players using the machine use their 'Psychoanalysis' skill - they get a 50% bonus to the skill roll if they make a successful 'Electronics' skill roll beforehand, and a 20% bonus if they fail the 'Electronics' roll. A successful roll forces replicants only to roll against their Humanity - if they pass, then the Voight-Kampff machine does not detect they are artificial. Ultimately, and after enough questions, the user of the machine will detect that they are replicants. Humans pass automatically unless they roll 99-00 on their Humanity - that could cause a few problems.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Blade Runner: Call of Cthulhu changes

I want to run a Blade Runner game and I've got Call of Cthulhu, and that's as far as I want to go - I could get BRP but the sheer amount of options would do my head in. I want it fast, easy to use and in my comfort zone, and Call of Cthulhu suits me just fine.

The first thing I'd lose is the magic points, of course, and I'd replace the 'Sanity' score with a 'Humanity' score. You'd work it out the same way and roll against it when seeing something horrific, such as a murder or a nasty act of violence, and this is way of becoming desentisised to it. Humanity lowers with acts of violence and choices of an immoral nature, but rises with acts of heroism, kindness and things considered selfless.

Replicants would start with a very low Humanity score - say, one-fifth of a standard starting score - which makes them easier to spot, especially with a Voight-Kampff machine. But, if a player plays one then there's always a chance that they could become a lot more human as they experience and do things like a normal human being. This would make them cling to life much more when the fourth year came along.

Other than that, I'd treat it like Sanity for both human beings and replicants, along with all the neurosis and phobias that come with it.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Blade Runner RPG: The Final Cut

Here I am, going on about a Blade Runner RPG again. Well, below is a modified version of my original blog post from yesterday. After going on the BRP Forums and adding a bit more material from old notes and my Unofficial Blade Runner RPG I decided to update with more details of what could be done.

So, to go over it once again I once ran a couple of Blade Runner games using a simple system 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.

Looking at Chaosium's publications and 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.

Chaosium could round off their list of alternative genres they've released BRP games for - Lovecraft's 'Cthulhu' (cosmic horror), Moorcock's 'Elric' (weird fantasy), and now Philip K Dick's 'Blade Runner' (existentialist sci-fi). Fair does, the Dick 'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?' story wasn't much like the movie, but the title has a lot of draw potential, and you'll be offering the chance to play in his worlds and not just LA 2019 (though that will no doubt be the one most people opt to play in).

I know that I've had a lot of fun over the years running after cultists in CoC, and there's a multitude of subjects you could cover in a Blade Runner game. The world of Blade Runner can be so much more if you want it to be. Not just because of the central theme what makes a human being, but also dozens of other moral dilemmas. What are the ethics of human cloning? The moral implications of genetic engineering? Do you agree with euthanasia? Where do you draw the line on human testing for new pharmaceuticals? Do the less fortunate have the same rights as those in power? Does power truly corrupt?

Here's some other ideas I've had for general Blade Runner themes:

The Hunt: A general chase-the-Replicant adventure. One or more Replicants have landed on Earth and the PCs must track them down and retire them, or at least inform the authorities so that they can be retired. As the Replicants have hidden themselves away in human society, the idea of the game is to follow clues, possibly use the Voight-Kampff machine, and then confront the Replicants. How will the PCs react to how the Replicants react to being found out? Could they shoot a machine begging for it’s life, or whilst it lies curled up on the floor, totally defenceless?

The Railroad: Fully human Replicant sympathisers are helping escapees get out of the city, hiding them away until they can be smuggled out. Once they discover this, do the PCs stop them? Hinder them? Or ignore them?

The Fake: Not all the people trying to stay out of the sight of the authorities are Replicants, but how can you tell who is real and who is not? If a Blade Runner made the mistake of retiring a human, even of that human was masquerading as a Replicant for their own ends – perhaps they were doing it for rich kid laughs or a party - what lengths would they go to cover it up to save their own hide? How would a Replicant react to a human who acts like them?

The Vengeance: Sometimes even the people on the right side of the law are pushed too far – how would the PCs handle a Blade Runner gone rogue? A Blade Runner who would do anything to retire Replicants because of a pain they suffered at their hands? Who would they go through the get their target, and who would they make suffer to achieve their vengeance?

The Passion: Like all living things, Replicants want to live. If only they could show the humans hunting them that they feel emotions the same way they do. What lengths would they go to convince humans of their humanity? Would they befriend them? Seduce them? Love them?

I think there could be a lot of mileage in this.

Along with ALIEN, Blade Runner is very special to me and I think a game in this world could work wonders. There are so many games inspired by the setting - that their design and feel is so close to what Blade Runner gave us - that they were the world in every essence but the name itself.

I think a Blade Runner game, giving you not only the setting but a chance to game in many other Philip K Dick worlds, would work just great. To be honest, I'd love a chance to explore the off-world colonies and run some Outland-inspired scenarios. There's a lot that can be done with it.

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 www.farsightgames.moonfruit.com. 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.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Fantasy Flight Games STAR WARS RPG: Join the Beta and Be Among the First to Play

At last! Some solid news about the Star Wars tabletop roleplaying game comes in the form of an actual game to play! Fantasy Flight Games are making the basic rules available for beta testing in the roleplaying community, so get on over there and be a part of the creation of the newest iteration of the Star Wars roleplaying game. If there was an actual queue, I'd be at the front.

From the website:
Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to invite you to the Star Wars™: Edge of the Empire beta test! For over three decades, the Star Wars universe has inspired the imaginations and captured the hearts of generations of fans. Now, we invite you to indulge your creativity and lose yourselves in the fantastic world of the Star Wars Roleplaying experience.








To encapsulate the operatic grandeur of the Star Wars universe, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game will be presented in three epic installments. These take place during the height of the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Galactic Empire. Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is the first of these installments, focusing on the fringes of society, on the scum and villainy of the galaxy and the explorers and colonists of the Outer Rim. In this game, players take on the roles of hard-hearted bounty hunters, roguish scoundrels, charming smugglers, or fearless explorers trying to survive and thrive on the edges of civilization. Visit our description page to learn more.


This article originally appeared on the Jedi News website.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Adventure Games Guild - Logo Revealed!

There's a new roleplaying project taking form from the fertile minds of Shane Garvey - of the solo-adventuring game Chronicles of Arax, and Stuart Lloyd, an aficianado of gamebooks.

Below is their official press release:

Adventure Games Guild, a new publishing company, today announced their first game, 'Adventurer: The Solo Role Playing Game.' Due for release in late 2012, this product will be designed by Shane Garvey (QUERP, Fabled Lands RPG) and Stuart Lloyd (Lloyd of Gamebooks). The game promises to blend the appeal of solo, gamebook style adventures with a fully detailed role playing system.

Mr. Garvey, president of Adventure Games Guild, said, "I am honoured to be working with Stuart Lloyd on this project. Our mission is to update the old style gamebook system, which always had a set of simplistic rules, into a fully realised, well detailed role playing game. Sort of Fighting Fantasy meets Dungeons and Dragons."

The company promises to offer a set of rules reminiscent of many popular role playing games but to adapt them into the solo format. They plan to include rules for low and high levels of play, rules for running your own keep and much more besides.

'Adventurer: The Solo Role Playing Game' is due late 2012. For more information, see:

www.adventuregamesguild.com
www.facebook.com/adventuregamesguild
Twitter: @adv_games_guild

Being a roleplayer and a massive fan of gamebooks in general, this project has got me highly intrigued - even more so when they release a teaser image of their character sheet, which you can download from here. I love the 1980s look and feel to the sheet and I'm looking forward to seeing what else they have.

So join me in supporting this project and wish Shane and Stuart all the luck in the world. Share this as much as you can and help spread the word -

Adventurer is coming.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Cthulhu Dark Ages for a General Fantasy Game

I'm a huge fan of Runequest, but it's one of those games that I've never had a chance to get involved in, or been able to get a huge campaign out of. It's not for the want of trying, but at the time I was deep into Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Star Wars D6. What attracted me to Runequest the most (and this was the Third Edition I was reading) was the ancient world/Dark Ages feeling it seemed to emanate. It was a fun game and I regret not trying harder to get a game off the ground.

In recent years I've leaned more towards the simpler systems, and I've delved back in to the old Star Wars D6 game and run a couple of Dragon Warriors campaigns. The last few weeks, I've been running a Call of Cthulhu campaign and the simplicity of the system has been instrumental in me and my players creating an involving, dramatic game. I've been looking for this kind of gaming for fantasy for a while.

I've been going over my games recently and I'd love to have a stab at a Middle-Earth game, or at least a fantasy setting that emulates it (like a lot of settings do). I have MERP, but I found that this game is only really suitable for one or two players as things can ge a bit drawn out with the system, especially in combat. So, my attention has turned on how to adapt a system I have to work, and after the success of my Cthulhu games, and the player's enjoying the system, I've decided to use Cthulhu Dark Ages for two reasons;

1 - We all know the system and there will be no problems moving over to a new setting, and

2 - It's basically a cut-down version of Basic Roleplaying, the Runequest system I liked so much.

There's no reason why I can't use this for the game I want to play, and getting hold of a list of Runequest magic spells and picking and choosing what I want in the game - taking into account the low-key magic of Middle-Earth - will take care of any magic users that want to join the group.

My friend Jason has already looked at running a Runequest game and is right now looking at Cthulhu Dark Ages as the system to use. I think I'll let him have a go first and see how he gets on.