Sla Industries
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SLA Industries is a roleplaying game first published in 1993 by Nightfall Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The game combined concepts inspired by a range of song lyrics, asthetics and ideas from the Industrial music scene, cyberpunk fiction (including Blade Runner and Max Headroom), Anime (including Akira and Bubblegum Crisis), and the growing cultural obsession with the media (including 24 hour news services and the American Gladiator tv Show) in order to create an ultra-dystopian far-flung future in which the 99.9% of the known universe is either directly owned by, or in-directly controlled by, the eponymous SLA Industries corporation. It is also noted as having a distinctive flavour due to the influences of the Glasgow / Scottish upbringing of the writers, as opposed to the more pure Americana influences of other games written around this period.


Think Gotham City crossed with Blade Runner… :-)

SLA Industries, the game, is set for the most part on one planet, Mort, where it always seems to rain. In Mort City serial killers always seem to be on the loose, not to mention cells of terrorist organisations, like DarkNight, Thresher and Tek Trex. SLa Industries, the company, is a massive organisation that owns most of the known universe (known as The World of Progress) and is based out of Mort, and the characters play Operatives, sort of freelance FBI agents who track down subversive and hostile elements. The afore-mentioned terrorist organisations are, in fact, 'soft companies' trying to compete in the same markets as SLA Industries, but the spirit of free enterprise is not really big in the World of Progress. You're either with SLA Industries (and the man in charge, Mr Slayer), or your'e against it.

Mort City is a magnificent city, in a world that has been stripped of resources and is now, for the most part, inhospitable. Aside from the threat of terrorists and serial killers on the inside, there are gangs in the DownTown areas of the city, and it is here and in the sewers that creatures creep in from the hostile territories that surround the city, and live off its waste - The Cannibal Sectors. These regions are home not only to the families of cannibals that give them their names, but also Manchines, in a nut-shell cyborgs who got left behind when the World of Progress moved on into biogenetics and less clunky technology, and that now ruthlessly kill those that stumble upon their half rotting robotic carcasses, and the Carrion, horrible creatures that are humanoid but with the bestial heads of herd animals like cows and deer, skin peeled off and skeletal visage exposed. Not nice at all. And sometimes these creatures make their way into the city.


The following are a quick list of commonly recognised terms and names in The World of Progress:

Non-human Races:

Brainwaster - Aggressive, hyperactive Ebon warriors, Brain Wasters are recognised by a pattern of charred flesh around the eyes. Brain Wasters are commonly considered violent, unpleasant and touchy by other races.

Cannibal - One of the degraded humanoids who inhabit the Cannibal Sectors and feed on humans (and other races) whenever possible. Not PC material.

Carriens - Tall, semi-intelligent carnivores that roam the Cannibal Sectors. Not really PC material.

Dark Finder - Biogentically altered human, used primarily as an internal police force for SLA Industries. Not PC material.

Ebon - A race of attractive, pale-skinned humanoid aliens gifted with the ability to manipulate the Ebb and possessing great curiosity. Also applies as a general term to Brain Wasters and Necanthropes, as these races are derived from true Ebon stock.

Frother - A human warrior culture based around dangerous combat drugs.

Manchine - Robots designed to eliminate 'vermin' in the Cannibal Sectors. Malfunctions caused them to turn into roving killers. Not PC material.

Necanthrope - The final stage of Ebon evolution. Necanthropes are extremely powerful. Not starting PC material.

Shaktar - Tall, red-scaled aliens from the planet Kn'nth, Shaktars are fierce warriors who follow a rigid code of honour and dedicate themselves to their gods.

Stormer - Biogenetic creatures grown in a tank and given life by the Deathwake Device. there are many different types of Stormer.

Wraith Raider - Lithe, bipedal feline aliens from an extremely cold native environment. Wraith Raiders are known for theoir reflexes and speed.

Companies, subsidaries and other groups:

Civilians - People who are not directly or indirectly employed by SLA Industries; people without an SCL (Security Clearance Level) card.

Contract Killers - People who compete on the Contract Circuit, highly-publicised group of events, generally of a gladitorial nature.

Dark Lament - A sub-company of SLA Industries that has administrative control of all Ebon-related matters and produces all ebb-based equipment.

DarkNight - Large Soft Company dedicated to the overthrow of SLA Industries.

Ex-War Criminals - Insane War World veterans, usually placed into the Cannibal Sectors for the safety of civilians.

Johannas - Largest of the Downtown street gangs in Mort City.

Karma - A sub-company of SLA Industries that produces all Stormers and biogenetic material, and also administers LAD (Life After Death, providing resurrection for Operatives with sufficient cash).

Kiestaas - One of Mort City's three largest Downtown street gangs.

Krosstown Traffic - One of Mort City's three largest Downtown street gangs.

Monarch Law Enforcement - Civilian law enforcement agency, lacking any real power or authority.

Operatives - Troubleshooters for SLA Industries, paid for assignments completed (BPNs -BluePrint News files).

Props - Gangland mercenaries and bodyguards for hire.

Serial Killers - Psychotics with an irresistable compulsion to repeatedly commit murder. The most famous of which is Halloween Jack, a legend in his own lifetime.

Shivers - SLA Industries' law enforcement agency (acronym for Street and Home Investigative, Variable Espionage and Reconnaissance).

SLA Industries - Pronounced "Slay Industries", this gigantic company owns and rules most of the known universe, referred to as The World of Progress. SLA Industries is headed by Mr Slayer.

Soft Companies - Subversive comapnies dedicated to the overthrow of SLA Industries and/or each other.

Third Eye - The largest media group in The World of Progress, particularly famopus for their one hundred 24-hour news channels.

Thresher - Soft company dedicated to overthrowing SLA Industries. Their main strength lies in their unsurpassed Powersuit technology.

Vets - Veterans, normally referring to the survivors of conflicts on War Worlds.

Reflections (a review/critical analysis I found elsewhere on the net, that addresses a few points)

The SLA (pron. "Slay") Industries corporation itself was run by a weakly godlike creature called "Mr. Slayer", whose upper management team included a number of other creatures like himself, such as "Intruder", "Senti" and "Preceptor Teeth". The corporation was headquartered in a planet-covering city-sprawl called "Mort". Much of the setting was surreally disturbing, and tended to provoke as many questions as it answered.

Players took the role of freelance employees of SLA Industries living in Mort City, taking care of odd jobs assigned to them by the corporation. These jobs usually involved keeping the peace — everything from hunting down serial killers, clearing out monsters from the sewers under the city and foiling terrorists to bodyguarding celebrities, quashing riots, assassinating irritating civilians and generally making sure the public toed the line. Appearance and style were emphasized in the game world as much as combat ability, because everything was televised, and a character's television ratings were often more important to her career than her abilities. Later expansions to the game also let players play as celebrity gladiators called Contract Killers. As a roleplaying experience, the game tended to be predisposed towards splatterpunk horror, noir, dark satire, and/or gunbunny high action. However the Byzantien political nature of the setting along with detailed environment allowed for more thriller and politics based campaigns should the players wish it.

Along with humans, playable races included the drug-addicted mutant humans called "Frothers", the stealthy feline "Wraith Raiders", the formidibly violent saurian "Shaktar", and the only two 'Science Friction' / pseudo magic using races: the emotionaly sensitive elfin humanoid race called the Ebon along with their more sadistic & violent genetic offshot the Brainwasters'. There were also several varied nightmarish biogenetic vat-grown warrior races called Stormers that had been built by SLA to fight in their endless wars.

On the basis of pure game mechanics the races were considered by many to be unbalanced, with Humans having a significant 'numbers' disadvantage to members of any other race. Additionally the issue of the Ebon's and Brainwasters being the only races able to use the powerful Science Friction powers, and later being able to evolve / devolve into the uniquley powerful demonic "Necanthropes", has caused further concerns. However the balance is felt by the more experienced players to be found in the setting material rather than in the game mechanics, with many references to the greater ease of social / employment progression for humans and even the environment being ergonomically designed for the human sized races being seen as the 'soft' balancing of the game.

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