Free League Publishing announced this morning they have a new famous IP being turned into a tabletop RPG as we enter the world of Blade Runner. Working with Alcon Entertainment, the two will be publishing a core rulebook (which you can see the cover here) along with other materials and resources throughout 2022. For this particular series, Free League's co-founder Tomas Härenstam will be the lead game designer with setting writing by Joe LeFavi and original artwork by the lead Alien RPG artist Martin Grip. We have the finer details and quotes from the company for you here along with screenshots and a trailer showing bits of what's to come.
The official Blade Runner RPG will propel players into the neon noir streets of Los Angeles as Blade Runners with different specialties, personalities – and memories. Set in the year 2037, the Core Rulebook begins the adventure shortly after the Wallace Corporation debuts the new Nexus-9 Replicants on Earth, giving players the choice to play as either human or Replicant Blade Runners. The Blade Runner RPG and its line of future expansions will push the boundaries of investigative gameplay in tabletop RPGs, giving players a range of tools to solve an array of cases far beyond retiring Replicants.
Apart from the core casework, the RPG will both in setting and mechanics also showcase key themes of Blade Runner – sci-fi action, corporate intrigue, existential character drama, and moral conflict – that encourage roleplay and challenge players to question your orders, empathize with your enemies, and make hard calls with high stakes and long-lasting implications. Joe LeFavi of Genuine Entertainment, who brokered the deal on behalf of Free League, will serve as the lead setting writer, brand manager, and a producer on the game series. A life-long fan that's no stranger to Blade Runner, LeFavi is also a producer on the upcoming Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition video game with Nightdive Studios, as well as the producer behind Alcon's art book The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049.
"It is important for us to fully capture the Blade Runner experience and themes from all perspectives – even the city," says game director Tomas Härenstam. "One of the most fascinating characterizations in Blade Runner is Los Angeles itself, and we want LA to act and react differently based upon your character, specialties, and agenda. Yet regardless of what you are, you're always a Blade Runner first and foremost – the ultimate outsider who must walk alone in a complex city and system where everyone could be a threat and no choice is without its compromises or consequences."
"It's easy to get mesmerized by the noodle-slurping, blaster-shooting neon spectacle of it all, but Blade Runner is a retrofitted world with many layers, and at its core, it's always been such an evocative yet relatable human drama to me," says writer Joe LeFavi. "In classic noir fashion, it's never afraid to challenge everyday people to make extraordinary choices and sacrifices, and really delve into that dark and delicious moral gray. That's why Blade Runner continues to make such a distinct impact on pop culture – not just for its iconic vision of the future, but for its themes and the pursuit and preseverence of humanity at the heart of science fiction at its best."