The fight with oneself, the conflict between doing the right thing or taking the easy road is one of the main themes in noir fiction. How Blacksad: The Roleplaying Game explores this struggle?
The Conscience stats are a scale for the character’s moral integrity. Characters with high stats are very self-confident; they follow a strict moral code and act according to justice values and righteousness. They keep a clean record and are measured. They act selflessly, are able to forgive easily and even make great sacrifices for others. They avoid violence and search for solutions that benefit the rest, even if that means sacrificing their own selves. Characters with very low Conscience stats are full of doubts and remorse, tending to give in to their low instincts, they are selfish and fall into temptation. They frequently use violence as a solution, especially when they believe they are in advantage. They are also peevish and self-destructive.
During the game, the characters will see themselves exposed to moral dilemmas and temptations, having to choose between making the right choice, no matter how hard it is, or the easy road. Every decision that compromises this integrity will be a step more towards damnation, and this can cause the Conscience stats to fall making the character closer to moral ruin.
If at any moment the character reaches 0 Conscience points, the character will have become an unscrupulous creature, dishonorable, selfish, despicable and wicked. This will mark the moment when the character leaves the story from being a main character to being one more in the cast… or maybe even a villain. We will talk about this afterwards on.
9-10 Acting for the greater good, even if that means to sacrifice oneself for any other person. Resisting temptations and able to subdue any desire to the personal moral code.
7-8 Acting rightfully in most situations, even sacrificing oneself for someone who deserves it. However with only a few minor transgressions, like acting selfishly or giving into certain impulses.
5-6 Knowing the difference between right and wrong, but acting one way or another depending on the situation, frequently sacrificing oneself for loved ones.
3-4 To act according to one’s own interests knowing that they can have a negative effect on others.
1-2 Not being hesitant when breaking one’s own moral code, which is generally for selfish reasons, or when hurting someone if there’s a reason for it.
0 Looking for one’s own personal benefit above all else no matter the consequence. Hurting others for no apparent reason.