Over on his blog, Tim Brannan, who may be the only person ever to have run a Blue Rose campaign longer than me, has suggested that in order to help make Blue Rose more tolerable, it can be combined with Dark Albion: Cults of Chaos.
Well, I can't argue with that! Just about anything would make Blue Rose better than its default, of course. When I ran it, long long ago, I combined it with Port Blacksand. Apparently Tim has been mixing it with a whole bunch of stuff.
And Cults of Chaos is spectacular for making just about any fantasy campaign better. I strongly recommend you check it out, to combine with Blue Rose. Or, if you don't own Blue Rose, well.. fuck it, just buy Cults of Chaos.
Anyways, this led to a little debate between him and I on G+, where he argued with me and a couple of other people that Blue Rose is in fact a "good emulation" of the genre it seeks to be based on, namely Romantic Fantasy.
But it isn't.
It doesn't do a good job of emulating Romantic Fantasy at all. Because most Romantic Fantasy is based on a formula that depends on the default setting have significant injustices for the plucky young protagonist (usually a heroine, but not always) to overcome.
Blue Rose doesn't have that. It's a utopia. There is no social injustice, except against libertarians.
BR does a better job of fulfilling left-coast socialist/wiccan/feminist fantasy wish-fulfillment political-fantasies, than it does of reflecting most of the romantic fantasy novels.
Brannan tried to argue with me that it is specifically a dead wringer for Lackey's "Heralds of Valdemar" series. Only it isn't. In Valdemar, the countryside features places where women are not taught to read and are forced into marriage. In Valdemar, the young heralds beat and essentially try to kill the heroine (throwing her off a bridge) for daring to try to join their ranks.
That literally could not happen in the Blue Rose setting. Nothing like it could. Aldis is a place bereft of social injustices. It's a wicca-feminist utopia, and thus has no potential for the most important part of Romantic Fantasy.
You see, so much of romantic-fantasy is based on this premise: plucky marginalized-person (usually a girl, but it could be a person of color, a disabled person, an LGBT person, or some other kind of outsider) wants to join/become X.
'X' does not allow for this person's identity-group to join, but after much tribulations and enormous pluckiness and the help of some magic animals, an exception is made somehow. Then plucky young person faces ENORMOUS harassment and opposition from people full of prejudice, uncovers some kind of evil plot from shadowy monsters, saves the kingdom, and gets some measure of acceptance/revenge against all the bullies who tried to exclude him/her/hir.
In Aldis, that can't happen. Or, ALMOST can't happen. There's only one group who are routinely harassed, prejudiced against, and excluded in Aldis: Individualists, who refuse to bend to collectivist will and are thus labelled "twilight" or "shadow" as derogatory terms and are excluded from government and other positions of state authority/monopoly.
I've said before that in a romantic-fantasy novel set in Aldis, the only "plucky young heroine" that could possibly exist is Ayn Rand. And no one wants that.
That's why BR sucks, even at emulating its supposed genre.
But then suddenly, I realized I was wrong.
Thanks to Tim Brannan (and remember everyone, Tim Brannan is directly responsible for what follows), it may not just be Ayn Rand who could be the plucky young heroine of a Romantic Fantasy story set in Aldis!
It may be a plucky young Milo Yiannopoulos. That could work too! It'd be fabulous. I could see it now:
Blue Rose: Heralds of Breitbart
"Young Milo embarks on a quest to be the 15000th openly-homosexual member of Aldis' Queen's Guard, but only its 1st ever Dangerous Faggot.
No one cares he's gay, in fact they're ridiculously saccharine in their gushing praise of it to the point that they seem unable to shut up. But he quickly encounters groups of his fellow apprentices setting out to have him exiled or even killed for being such an unrepentant asshole by pointing out thing like how fat people are unhealthy, socialism is stupid, and identity-politics feminism is cancer.
Exiled from the Queen Guard's college in Twitter House, Milo's only hope now depends on relying on his friends and fellow-outcasts: Cernovich the troll and Ezra the Northern Jew, the help of his spirit-animal Pepe the Frog...
and the guidance of the outcast seeress Ann Coulter. Long shunned by all the people of Aldis, Coulter predicts a savior will soon come to Make Aldis Great Again. She knows young Milo his friends will be essential to helping him overthrow the Magic Deer. Can he succeed, or is his quest doomed to be thwarted by dark witches of the Aldis Trust and Safety Council?"
See that? Its the best Romantic Fantasy story you could possibly tell in Blue Rose. Thank you, Nicole Lindroos & co, for creating an RPG setting where the only possibly brave-hero to overcome prejudice are the Cultural Libertarians, and the only people in the entire kingdom doing the oppressing are the Collectivist Left.
Maybe Blue Rose is more realistic than I first gave it credit for.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + H&H's Chestnut