So the Blue Rose kickstarter has launched, and there's no question that it's going to fund, being paid for by dozens or perhaps hundreds of people who will never actually play the game, but will pay good money to feel superior to others for supporting something that is 'making a difference' in no actually discernible way, but in the sense that it has all the right APPEARANCES of giving pseudo-activist street cred to anyone who says they 'support' it.
I thought it was interesting that one of the first questions asked, in a G+ thread where Green Ronin announced the kickstarter was "just what would you actually do in a setting like this? Who would the heroes even be?" (The question may have come from someone with no prior experience with Blue Rose)
Steve Kenson responded "the adventurers are most likely members of the Sovereign's Finest, chosen defenders of Aldis and agents of its crown".
See, Blue Rose is really all about pseudo-activist utopian visions. How they imagine that an 'ideal' world would be like (if all those evil patriarchies and imperialisms and whatever didn't get in the way), and just who they would like to see themselves as. After all, most RPG play is wish-fulfillment of some variety; but while most D&D players might like to imagine themselves a hero or a wizard, the Blue Rose writers (and fans) want to imagine themselves in a world where THEY are the enforcers who get to decide what is best for everyone else.
So it's obvious when you think about it: in the default game of Blue Rose you are meant to play the Thought Police. Steve Kenson boldly admits it. That's the pseudo-activist dream: that they could have the authority to actually get to go around and impose their ideas on everyone else whether they like it or not. Naturally they see the world that would result from that kind of fascism to be a utopia, but so did every other fascist ever.
Ironically, this make Blue Rose pretty much the exact OPPOSITE of the kind of lesson-giving game on real social justice that you might want to see.
In Aldis as written, you cannot play a plucky young heroine who is trying to make her way in the world and accomplish her dream while facing terrible cultural-based Institutional Discrimination, because there is no such discrimination in the setting-as-written, and the setting-as-written is not just 'absent of evidence' but is explicit in stating that the setting-as-written has no Institutional discrimination (except by the Blue Rose Scepter and Hart, against Individualists).
The lessons of civil rights or social justice are actually entirely ABSENT from the world of Blue Rose, and instead we get the lesson that the ideal world would be one where a special chosen elite rule by fiat and their lackeys get to use armed power to stop anyone who would resist the structure of that order.
Let me put the problem in language a typical progressive might just understand: in Blue Rose's basic campaign, you're not meant to play the Ferguson protesters, fighting the power, you're meant to play the Ferguson Cops, brutally enforcing the world as they want to see it.
The hippies are turning in their graves.
And if you read that previous paragraph again, you would see that this 'lesson' ultimately is amoral: the "Order of things" is naturally what 'the right people' think 'is for the best for everyone', but that idea could just as easily be Nazism as it could be social-welfare. As soon as you put the Collective over the Individual, you lose all moral foundation for anything other than saying "obey because we tell you to". Claims that "we're different because we're the NICE guys" is meaningless because Stalinists and Neo-Nazis think they're the nice guys too. Anyone who decides that the right society is one where the State gets to impose its rules on individuals who have no rights to oppose it, and that the definition of 'heroism' is the armed fanatics that enforce Conformity to that status quo and brutally repress opposition are not the 'nice guys'.
If that's your definition of 'hero', then you've become the very thing you think you fight against.
I'm sure Blue Rose will be a very profitable kickstarter for Green Ronin, and everyone who backed it will get to feel smug about how they've shown what rebellious freedom-fighters for social-justice they are by backing a game where the heroes are the setting's equivalent of the Stasi or the Gestapo, so I guess more power to GR for being such clever capitalists and shamelessly milking bucks like parasites off of legitimate causes (albeit from preening idiots who would likely never have made any meaningful contributions to those causes anyways).
Likewise, I'm sure that this article will be resoundingly condemned like all criticism of the pseudo-activist collective as homophobic or sexist or something like that, even though I've supported diversity in RPGs for my entire career, and even though my vision of the world is one in which every individual has an inherent and inalienable right to their own bodies, identities, and sexuality, while their vision is one where any such rights depend on whether the Collective grants it to you or not.
But hey, every villain thinks they're the hero of their own story, right?
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + H&H's Beverwyck