The Rebel GM
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Starting a Blade Runner campaign

Wed 31 Jan 2024, 23:54

Good evening

I am super excited about the Blade Runner RPG and interested about where other GM's have started with this, the starter set is incredible but any tips or options for starting a Blade Runner campaign?
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Re: Starting a Blade Runner campaign

Thu 01 Feb 2024, 15:48

I am not running a Blade Runner campaign at the moment - Blade Runner stands in for Earth in the Alien setting for me.

But, if I were to run a Blade Runner campaign today, some of what I would want to sort out includes:

A Cast of NPCs
To me, the biggest requirement for anything Blade Runner is a large cast of NPCs.
Look at the movies - every scene is a role interaction really.
Even Deckard and Leon's fight is more verbal interaction than physical action (mostly Leon...)
A good system to generate lots of different NPCs quickly seems like the main thing you'd want.
Free League's Twilight 2000 Referee's Manual also has an NPC Motivations generator in the solo rules section pp104-105 has a "3-line NPC method" that can help with this: Think of an Appearance, Portrayal, and Hook/Secret for each NPC. ... npcs-fast/
And there are tons of "sci-fi" and "cyberpunk" NPC appearance generators on the web. Bookmark some and keep them in a handy "GM Tools" folder in your bookmark toolbar.

Factions Factions Factions
I would want at least a handful of "street-level" factions - pure criminals and rebels - the underworld
a handful of "middle class" factions - this includes your typical cyberpunk types - cops, blade runners, small businesses, etc - your traditional governments and their agents could go here too as their power has been eclipsed by corporations and offworld colonies.
a handful of "elite" factions - the megacorps - all trying to take or keep control, do shady things for money, etc...
Groups of NPCs become factions and you can play them against each other as story/plot background to create deeper world immersion notes for your players.

Cultures Cultures Cultures
Earth Reclaimers vs Offworld Colonials, Replicants vs Humans, you could even thrown in Alien style androids vs. Blade Runner style Replicants

Ticking Clocks
Plan a series of world-shaking events - such as one a month - that happen regardless of the players activities.
Mine out news headlines for stuff you think sounds like it could happen in the world of Blade Runner: wars start and end, new inventions, serial crimes etc.
Kick off one of these story events roughly each game month to change the background theme and tone a bit as your campaign goes.
A little hope this month, a bit more despair that month, smooth sailing some month, rough sailing the next month, etc.

And my final general tip:
Run your own GM Solo game for yourself *in* your Blade Runner campaign.
Playing your own character "somewhere else" in the same story as the players can be a great way to tap into the creativity.
The things you create or do for your solo game can also become more "game pieces" to re-use with the players' game.
We live, as we dream -- alone. ~ Joseph Conrad
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Re: Starting a Blade Runner campaign

Sat 11 May 2024, 21:45

I have prepped it in Foundry big time.
I of course have the official case file, but I made a lot of modifications. For example, the maps for most of the scenes are better (IMO) be taking the handout art (not the vector maps with shadows doors and all that) and flipping artwork and text so it makes a nice landscape layout instead of portrait.

I also wired more music than normal for me into scenes to help generate the setting feeling.
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Re: Starting a Blade Runner campaign

Wed 15 May 2024, 16:52

A Cast of NPCs
To me, the biggest requirement for anything Blade Runner is a large cast of NPCs
I agree with this. In a campaign you might want to map out NPCs in a relationship map so that you can bring in characters again between missions and keep notes on their connections and motivations. If you keep a version for yourself and let PCs have their own one you’ll get a sense of what NPCs are interesting to them.
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Re: Starting a Blade Runner campaign

Wed 29 May 2024, 08:30

I'm using a lot of NPCs from the case file generator and working from there to have some background cases that are already open that are in the middle of being solved by other Blade runners but it gives me a flavor of what's going on within the rdu. I'm also using a lot of cyberpunk themed resources from drive-thru plus cyberpunk red for appearance and gangs and scream sheets and I'm using maps from drive-thru and roll 20 for cyberpunk themed Maps of buildings and interiors, and Syrinscape for ambient with a soundboard/control system.

What I found from running cyberpunk red for 16 months was that I needed a lot of NPCs I needed a lot of NPC description I needed a lot of gangs and factions and I needed a lot of events for the news for the scream sheets that are not only cases or things the player characters could do but also those ads that are the flavor for weapons and clothing and like that even though that's more of a cyberpunk flavor it's all useful for this too. So everything that I have collected for running cyberpunk the original game as well as cyberpunk red I'm using for this Blade Runner campaign setup.
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