For those of you not familier with the Blade Runner Universe

On the Blade Runner universe.

From the Back of the Book

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending man-kind off planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep...

They even built humans.

Emigrants to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when the androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to "retire" them. But when cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Telling Androids from Humans:
Androids in this universe physically resemble humans in every way. There are two ways to determine if a living person is a human or an android. First of all, it should be noted that these androids, or at least the Nexus 6 model with which we will be dealing, are biologically developed and have very little in the way of mechanical parts.

The Voigt-Kampff Altered Test is the first method of judging humanity. This test measures pupil dilation and blood vessel fluctuations in response to questions designed to test the subject’s empathy. A series of situations are presented, and the subject’s physical and vocal responses are measured. The concept is similar to that of a polygraph. The situations presented relate to how much empathy you feel toward both animals and your fellow man. The Voigt-Kampff Altered Test is about as reliable as a polygraph; it is not infallible. Other, medical methods in addition to this test are used to identify specials.

A Bone Marrow Analysis is another technique to determine humanity. This is a slow and painful, but court approved and biologically sound, method for detecting an android.

Even after an android is dead, (at least for the purposes of this game, heh) it is very difficult to determine an android from a human as, again, there is very little about a Nexus 6 that is mechanical. Typically a Bone Marrow Analysis is used after death.

When creating your character, it might be interesting to think of reasons your character would or would not pass the Voigt-Kampff Altered Test.

The World

The earth is not a very pleasant place to be. While some people chose to stay on Earth rather than emigrate to Mars, most are either dead or long gone. Those who stayed behind are often sick from the dust that clouds the air and forces the earthlings to wear masks at all times in the outdoors. But worse than the health risks of staying on earth are the risks to one’s own sanity; the silence, the emptiness of once crowded urban areas is unnerving at best and cause for deep despair at worse. Worse still is the sense that these homes and apartments and businesses feel like empty shells; people’s possessions were often left behind to decay with the rest of the buildings, leaving messes of clutter, which the people of Earth call “kipple.”

Human Culture

Humans on Earth have come to celebrate what is considered to be their key difference from androids; empathy. They treasure all life and believe any killing (unless it is androids) is deeply wrong. They do not eat meat or wear leather; instead, they fight to keep what little life is left on the planet alive for a little longer. It is considered a civic and moral duty to keep a live animal as a pet and care for it, and attempt to breed it. Live animals, due to both their rarity and their demand, are very expensive, and there is some status in which animal you chose to keep. A cat is indicative of a somewhat poor person; a large farm animal, or any bird (birds were the first to die in large numbers) indicate wealth and status. At the same time, having more than one animal while your neighbor has none is considered a disgusting extravagance and reveals a selfish and umempathetic heart. Most people finance their animals much as you or I would finance a car.

There is, naturally, much much more to be found in the wonderful book; I’m just trying to give a general idea of the universe we’ll be playing in. Feel free to make your own contributions or ask questions.

MEC 18 years ago
I would like to play, but I have a few questions first:

1: What type of animals are there (i.e. would we be able to have exotic or normally wild animals?)

2: Why is it considered so badly when we are expected to take care of animals? Wouldn't we be expected to do the best we could for the animals, including having multiple ones? And why is it then alright for rich people to have such a hierarchy of types of animals to care for if having more than your neighbors is bad?

3: What types of occupations are available now?
Verileah 18 years ago
woot, welcome MEC

Types of animals:
Most popular (at least in the book) were farm animals, however the very rich could purchase more exotic animals like an ostrich (which went for 30k in the book. Keep in mind the book was written in the late 60s.) Birds are very rare, as are reptiles. Domestic animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits are common. Goats, sheep, and horses are popular middle class choices. The rich go for large and rare; exotic cats, any sort of bird, etc.

On having more than one animal:
*thinks* It's very much tied into the culture and religion of the time. I think considering animals like a car is a good way of looking at it. Owning an animal isn't just about taking care of the animal for these people; it's considered a basic personal need to survive and stay human in the war torn environment.

With that in mind, think of a neighborhood with several cars in the parking lot. Some are more fancy than others, but for everyone, the basic need of transportation is satisfied. Now imagine that same neighborhood, except you don't own a car at all, and your neighbor has three. With empathy and caring about your fellow man being so important in this culture, it would be extremely rude to own so many cars.

Also, keep in mind that there aren't exactly animals roaming around for the finding and caring for. Animals of any kind are scarce in this environment and can normally only be purchased through some sort of dealer.

On occupations...
In the book, there were entertainers of all kinds, police officers, doctors, vets (and "vets", or mechanics who dressed as vets to repair mechanical animals discreetly), all manner of service workers and repair people, employees of the Rosen Company, the company that creates andriods, and any number of other careers I can't think of off the top of my head. Anything that helps you breath or see in the dust would work, anything that supports the emigration industry, and anything that maintains the host of technology are probably good career choices.
Cobert 18 years ago
Was Harrison Ford an andriod?
Verileah 18 years ago
In the book, doubtful, in the movie, possibly .

Hi Elvaiz