I have an idea for mechanically representing the mystery of whether a Balde Runner is a replicant or not in Per Fischer's Trollbabe hack Tears in Rain
, and if anyone can point out improvements/cautions/advice I'd be grateful.
The idea is to add a new reroll option called Identity or something like that, perhaps replacing the 'Flashback' reroll in Tears in Rain. This reroll gets a number of boxes depending on the length of game you want to play - maybe 3 or even 1 for a one-off, 5 for a 2-3 session story, more for greater length, but always an odd number.
Unlike the other rerolls, this one doesn't need to refresh and can be used as many times as desired until the Identity of the Blade Runner is established. Every time a player chooses to use Identity for a reroll they assign either Human or Replicant to success or failure before
rolling. The result fills in an Identity box with an H or a R for Human and Replicant respectively, depending on the assigned result of the reroll, and representing gathering evidence for one identity or the other. Once the clear majority of boxes are filled in with one result, a scene must follow shortly after where the character is revealed as either a human or replicant. Whether this is an end for the character as playable or not I guess depends on the game, but my feeling is this would signal the bowing out of that character since they no longer straddle the no-man's land of being definitively either human or replicant.
For example, Deckard has 5 boxes of Identity and 2 are already filled in 'R'. He gets in a fight with Pris and is losing, so decides to use Identity for a Combat reroll, assigning success to Replicant (He succeeds because his replicant body is tougher than a human's should be). He rolls, but fails again. He fills in his third box with a 'H' and the mystery of Deckard's identity continues - if he'd succeeded, with 3 out of 5 boxes filled with an R he'd need a scene shortly where he's revealed as a replicant. Perhaps something involving origami creatures from his dreams?
Workable? Good idea? Bad one?
The nice thing I think is that if a character wants to keep their character's true identity a mystery, then they stop using the reroll before hitting the point when this becomes certain. The player can also strongly influence the outcome by choosing tactically whether to assign success or failure to which identity - if you'd like a human end to the character's story for instance, regularly assign 'replicant' to the low chance of success side of the roll (Social for instance, where human empathy might plausibly represent success and a replicant's difficulty with this explaining the failure).