In 1982, Ridley Scott revolutionized the cyberpunk genre with the release of the iconic, Blade Runner. After a long 35 years wait for a sequel, we got it in Denis Villeneuve’s, Blade Runner 2049. Blade Runner: RPG bridges the gap in-between the movies. I was excited to get this and it gave me an excellent opportunity to revisit this fantastic world.
Human or Replicant?
Blade Runner: RPG is set in the year 2037, in Los Angeles. The game puts players in the shoes of the Blade Runners. The characters, like most Free League games based on the Year Zero rules, have four attributes. Strength, Agility, Intelligence, and Empathy tie to specific skills. Characters can also have unique personalities and traits. Their most powerful asset is really the use of memories and how they work when investigating cases and interacting with other characters.
Character creation is laid out in such a way that you can create a unique investigator, whether you are Human or Replicant. There are seven different Archetypes, like in most TTRPG which tie in with specific attributes. In true Free League fashion, the whole section is laid out which makes it easy to follow and fun.
I was lucky to get the Blade Runner: RPG‘s Starter PDF Set. It gives players everything they’ll need to start investigating cases. The Set includes a condensed rulebook, four pre-generated characters, a map of Los Angeles, a Time Tracker sheet, and playing cards for NPCs. There are also so many hand-outs for the players, which are great if you want maximum immersion.
The Rules book includes timelines and plenty of background info on Blade Runner’s world. Like most Rulebooks, there are also very in-depth sections that will help any GM. They have info on the various Sectors and Corporate Factions of LA in 2037.
As I mentioned above, Blade Runner uses the Year Zero rules, well a modified version. Instead of getting six-sided dice and shooting to roll as many sixes as possible, players only ever roll two dice. They can have a d8, d10, or d12 if they’re particularly good at something. Rolling a 10 or above on a single die gives your character two successes. These little changes keep it fresh and lower the chances of throwing your dice out if the Dice Gods are against you.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
If you have seen the films you will know what the gameplay for Blade Runner RPG is all about. Just like Vaesen, it is all set up around investigations. These case files will bring the characters to dangerous locations, meet Interesting and strange NPCs and throw them into the world of corporate intrigue.
The Starter Set also includes a great starter investigation called Electric Dreams. It’s a great starter to get your players to start their life as a Blade Runner. The 56-page booklet comes with everything you need as a GM to get the party started.
Blade Runner: RPG is not only perfect for a fan of the movies but it is a must for any Cyberpunk fan. As always the tone of the books and artwork is spot on. Jump on this so you would be left crying in the rain.