SLA Industries 2nd Edition

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Brock Savage

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They've been wanting to do a White Earth book since at least the start of the Cubicle 7 era so it's a strong possibility. And they do seem to have a more developed idea of what is actually there in this edition. You may be in luck.
All would be forgiven if they released a White Earth book full of crunch and fluff that my players can act on and experience without too much trouble.
 

Malleustein

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There are quite a few books planned that were never released. Both the Shaktar and Frothers were intended to receive mostly fluff supplements early on.

At one point, Shi'an and Whistling Bridge books were the priority. I've no idea how much of the Truth or White Earth will feature in the former, but you'd expect something given the in-universe connection. Then again, plans are all too likely to have changed.

The last time I asked, Shi'an was intended to be three .pdfs that would be edited together for printing before 2nd Edition was released.

Whistling Bridge was (pun intended?) to bridge 1st Edition/Cannibal Sector 1 to 2nd Edition. Seemingly, Wordforge were keen to see a new edition sooner than any of this.
 

MarkRapson

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Hello everyone. I notice that there is some suggestion that Nightfall Games has not been transparent with some of its choices and also see there is a nice big chunk of misinformation on this thread.

I am the Managing Director of Nightfall Games and am happy to answer any questions you may have and clarify anything you wish...fire away!
 

TristramEvans

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Heh, this thread does come across as a bit harsh, but I think it's worth putting that in context: the Pub is (mostly) a bunch of 40-something roleplayers who look on the original game with a mix of nostalgia and tied to a particularly influential time in our adolescent development. In other words, change is not something most of us want from our memories. No doubt the new SLA was written and presented with a new audience in mind, and not to cater to a bunch of old grognards who are set in our ways and want the game to be the same game we loved when we were 13. There really was no hope of satisfying that crowd and present a new SLA that would appeal to anyone who isn't middle aged.
 

TristramEvans

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- Apparently it's full of monkeys. Because Brent Walker was afraid of monkeys so Tyde trapped him on a planet full of monkeys so he'd be helplessly afraid and terrified all the time. The implication is that this broken him and now as Bitterness he has gained strength from being broken, so now he lords it over the monkeys, the master of this little empire of creatures he absolutely hates and despises.

SLA was always a gonzo collision of what a group of disenchanted goths in late 80s Scotland found cool, in-scene pop cultural references, satirising RPG weapons fetishism, and so on and so forth. A planetful of monkeys seems to me to be one of the least mad things about the World of Progress. TBH, now that I think about it, kudos to Dave and co for sticking with their vision. Shine on, you crazy diamonds!

The monkeys (Homonids) reinvigorated the game for my group after many years. The .pdf that presented them for 1st Edition made them a terrifyingly dangerous and different foe.

I fully endorse the inclusion of otherworldly rage monkeys!

A planet full of cock-blocking monkeys...

That is brilliant :hehe: . I love that :shock: !


 

MarkRapson

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Heh, this thread does come across as a bit harsh, but i think it's worth putting that in context: the Pub is (mostly) a bunch of 40-something roleplayers who look on the original game with a mix of nostalgia and tied to a particularly influential time in our adolscent development. In other words, change is not something most of us want rom ur memories. No doubt the new SLA was written and presented with a new audience in mind, and not to cater to a bunch of old grognards who are set in our ways and wat the game to be the same game we loved when we were 13. There really was no hope of satisfying that crowd and present a new SLA that would appeal to anyone who isn't middle aged.
Well I’m well placed then fitting the 40- something demograph.

I can confirm there was no intent to target at a new audience in preference to anything other group. In fact we 3 were very mindful of the core fan base. Yes clearly some here are or were already disenfranchised but equally many more of the long term are happy and playing.
 

MarkRapson

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SLA Industries releases have been frustrating, with promised (or at least expected) books never coming out and books by other writers deemed non-canon.
There have been 9 SLA publications in the last 2 years (since NFG took over): 4 PDF progress Reports, CS1 and the mini game rulebook, QS, 2nd Ed and GM Pack.

not bad for 3 blokes working on this in their spare time

additionally...the criteria of ‘books written by others’ will be or have been de-canonised is a fallacy. Products written by others are still canon whilst those exclusively written by current NFG have been.
 
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Malleustein

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Don't get me wrong. The last few years have been abuzz with releases. but the decades before were pretty barren until the Threat Analysis .pdfs started popping up.

It would probably be better to say old books have been superseded. Cubicle 7's release of Cannibal Sector 1 (which I actually liked a lot) can't really touch the new book of the same name. It's glorious.
 

chuckdee

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It would probably be better to say old books have been superseded. Cubicle 7's release of Cannibal Sector 1 (which I actually liked a lot) can't really touch the new book of the same name. It's glorious.
I'd totally agree with this assessment, personally. It was like we went through the wilderness of promise for a while, and CS1 was the exit from that time. It was a bumpy exit, to be sure. But what came out of that was worth it, IMO.
 

MarkRapson

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Pretty much. Or at the very least, I cannot find a way in which the relevant bits of fiction and setting detail can make sense unless it is either that exact BS part, or that exact BS part plus some extra steps.
Which BS part are you referring?
 

MarkRapson

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Don't get me wrong. The last few years have been abuzz with releases. but the decades before were pretty barren until the Threat Analysis .pdfs started popping up.

It would probably be better to say old books have been superseded. Cubicle 7's release of Cannibal Sector 1 (which I actually liked a lot) can't really touch the new book of the same name. It's glorious.
That is what was said for the books and PDF where that was the case: Mort, CS1, Hominid, Dream, All superseded.

Others: Karma for example due to the poor quality of the scan.

remember the books de-canonised, have been out of print for 10s of years. Karma and the PDFs removed from sales at the same time as it were not made non-canon.
 
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Franko77

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That is what was said for the books and PDF where that was the case: Mort, CS1, Hominid, Dream, All superseded.

Others: Karma for example due to the poor quality of the scan.

remember the books de-canonised, have been out of print for 10s of years. Karma and the PDFs removed from sales at the same time as it were not made non-canon.
Mark,

Thanks for stopping by to talk about SLA. As a fan from way back, it's good to see its resurgence. What are plans for the medium to long term? I know that you guys have the Terminator RPG in the works, but I'd love to know what's coming up for SLA over the next few years.
 

MarkRapson

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Mark,

Thanks for stopping by to talk about SLA. As a fan from way back, it's good to see its resurgence. What are plans for the medium to long term? I know that you guys have the Terminator RPG in the works, but I'd love to know what's coming up for SLA over the next few years.
Have you seen the recent announcements about the Collateral and Skaktar/Wraithen books:


These are our next two releases for Summer 2021

As far as Terminator goes, we are in the midst of the writing and art commissioning at the moment.

We also have a number of other projects: SLA and not-SLA coming too. They will be announced in due course.
 

TristramEvans

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....and the satisfaction of knowing that everything you do is a thorn in the side of a young autistic boy trapped on a planet with angry monkeys
 

Ladybird

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Big ass guns.
Sarcasm.
Satire.
More big ass guns.
Chain axes.
Combat drugs.
Doing it all on camera for fun and profit.
SLA starts off as a power fantasy, because you have all this cool stuff! You're like a cross between a rockstar and an FBI agent, you've got the best toys, the best drugs, and you can flash your badge around and get people to respect your damn authority. It feels empowering as a player at first.

And then it very quickly becomes various styles of horror game, as you learn that the things you're up against have even better stuff than you and what you have probably doesn't work on them anyway, the public secretly like them even more than they like you, and you are far from the biggest and baddest in the room; you're barely a step above the plebs, and while one day you might get to join the ranks above you that's contingent on you not upsetting them by pushing too hard or learning too much. SLA Industries has very narrow expectations of you and you'd better stay inside them. Also your friends and you are all gradually turning into monsters, generally metaphorically but sometimes literally; probably best not to think of them as your friends any more, actually, just your colleagues, just in case they're ever your next job. And if you're unlucky enough, you get through that phase and then you might, just might, find out that things are even worse than you learned.

It's grim, satirical, excessive, oppressive, and ultimately just downright awful. But dammit, there's nowhere quite like Mort for just that level of absolute shittiness.

....and the satisfaction of knowing that everything you do is a thorn in the side of a young autistic boy trapped on a planet with angry monkeys
To be fair, that's something that PC's don't know or really have any way of learning. It's another annoying bit of SLA info that is there in the book, but it's meaningless because there's no way to interact with it.

If Brent and Tyde's cold war ever became public beyond the few thousand (At best) people who actually know some portion of the Truth, I could see a third major faction springing up fairly quickly to protect the populace from the two of them.
 

TristramEvans

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That's been retconned out I believe.


I was mostly joking, but from what Ive read on this thread and a few other places, according to the newest books, some of the same elements of the Truth remain, we're just not certain how much. TBF, even the internal document that was leaked was clearly not how the story would have been told in published form if things got to that point.

As Ladybird Ladybird points out though, the Truth really had little to do with play from the perspective of the PCs, at least in the default scenario of the original game.
 

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The aspects of the exiled man (not autistic boy), Tyde and Bitterness can be considered equivalent to the story of the Gods in other settings. It is not a part of the lives of the Operatives nor the general populace BUT the interactions and prior interactions of these ‘gods’ (inc Crantham et al.) shape and shaped the World of Progress, it’s nature and it’s future. The universe wasn’t made right and so is cracking at the seams. New horrors (dream entities, hominids, Shi’an) all exist but because of that.
 

Warthur

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Warthur

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Some further questions:

- What the hell is the point of changing the spelling of "Tide"? If this is not something which is actually all that immediately important to Operatives, why make the tweak?

- Why would you make the literal first bit of text encountered when you crack open the new core book some fluff fiction based around Dr. Crantham, and why would you mention Brent Walker in the timeline, without providing any coherent explanation to newcomers of who those people are? If they are genuinely not that important, why dedicate valuable core book space to them which could have been directed at something with much more immediate relevance?

- If they are important, why not just level with referees as to what's going on with them rather than playing coy? It's not the 1990s any more, metaplots revealed piecemeal through a string of supplements aren't fashionable any more and most people would rather just have the material so they can either use it or junk it as they see fit rather than having this constant string of coy hints.
 

Warthur

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And while I'm at it:

- Why change "Wraith Raider" to "Wraithen" and "Brain Waster" to "Eban"? Not only are the new names more boring, but the whole Ebon/Eban thing is just a recipe for confusion - and of the annoying, fiddly kind, not of an interesting farcical kind.

- What the hell happened to Senti?
 

Stumpydave

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I'm one of those who - once I found out about 'The Truth' - felt disappointed and would be quite happy if it was never mentioned again. Mostly because it had no real impact on the game the players were taking part in and they couldn't impact on the 'real' events in any meaningful way.

For all the horror of 'We exist solely as the figments of a mad man's imagination', I can't see how knowing this empowers the characters or endangers SLA to the extent that they have to silence those who find out.
 

Ladybird

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That's been retconned out I believe.
The basics of Brent and White Earth are still there, even if some details may have changed.

The aspects of the exiled man (not autistic boy), Tyde and Bitterness can be considered equivalent to the story of the Gods in other settings. It is not a part of the lives of the Operatives nor the general populace BUT the interactions and prior interactions of these ‘gods’ (inc Crantham et al.) shape and shaped the World of Progress, it’s nature and it’s future. The universe wasn’t made right and so is cracking at the seams. New horrors (dream entities, hominids, Shi’an) all exist but because of that.
There's a mythic quality to all the Proper Noun characters in SLA, but not much is ever filled in about them, and so all the things like this don't come across well. What I feel the core book could really, really, use is an explicit "hey this is what's going on behind the scenes:" chapter, written out-of-character for players and GM's, and even if actually dealing with it is something reserved for high-level operatives or in a Platinum BPN sourcebook at least then GM's can use and work with the information.

I'm one of those who - once I found out about 'The Truth' - felt disappointed and would be quite happy if it was never mentioned again. Mostly because it had no real impact on the game the players were taking part in and they couldn't impact on the 'real' events in any meaningful way.

For all the horror of 'We exist solely as the figments of a mad man's imagination', I can't see how knowing this empowers the characters or endangers SLA to the extent that they have to silence those who find out.
Because the SLA universe basically works on dream logic. If enough people learned that they weren't actually real, they would cease to exist (Or they'd learn how to use the truth of the universe as a source of power, stick a pumpkin on their head, and take up murder as a hobby), and without enough people to believe in it then the SLA universe itself would cease to exist, along with everyone in it (Including Mr Slayer et al). Mr Slayer's overwhelming goal is a fair one - "keep the universe together in the face of forces trying to tear it apart" (Forces which coincidentally he's usually also responsible for due to him being a callous and vindictive bastard but lacks the self-awareness to acknowledge that) - but he can't afford to give any leeway because the stakes are too high.
 

MarkRapson

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I'm one of those who - once I found out about 'The Truth' - felt disappointed and would be quite happy if it was never mentioned again. Mostly because it had no real impact on the game the players were taking part in and they couldn't impact on the 'real' events in any meaningful way.

For all the horror of 'We exist solely as the figments of a mad man's imagination', I can't see how knowing this empowers the characters or endangers SLA to the extent that they have to silence those who find out.
The ‘we exist solely...mad man’s imagination’ is not correct. The world was created by a man made mad...but it exists (as far as a world in a game can). The ‘we exist...’ trope isn’t nor never was the aspect.
An example of why the release of the truth doc was such a bummer
 
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MarkRapson

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And while I'm at it:

- Why change "Wraith Raider" to "Wraithen" and "Brain Waster" to "Eban"? Not only are the new names more boring, but the whole Ebon/Eban thing is just a recipe for confusion - and of the annoying, fiddly kind, not of an interesting farcical kind.

- What the hell happened to Senti?
Senti: she is ret-conned out. She was a creation of a member of the original team no longer part of the team. And not something Dave and Jared wish to include now that favour is no longer needed.

Wraithen vs Wraith Raider: I guess your view of cool is different to mine. Wraith Raider to me is a more appeasing to a more juvenile disposition. As with many of my answers, Dave has had 30-40 years to think about this and 40 something Dave has a different view to teenager Dave. I agree with this. By the way as with Brainwaster the term Wraith Raider is still part of the game, it’s more of a nickname/common name for the species

Eban vs BW: see above regarding common vs official name. Use of Eban has been part of the lore for 20 or so years (same with Wraithen). Either are useable
 
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MarkRapson

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The whole "SLA Industries universe was created by the Reathanol experiments conducted by Dr. Crantham on Brent Walker" thing.

As linked previously in the thread I did a full review of the new edition giving my thoughts in a more organised fashion (at https://refereeingandreflection.wordpress.com/2021/01/13/a-second-chance-to-sla/), in case you want to exercise your right of reply there as well.
I’ve seen your ‘review’, a commendable essay for sure. I’m not going to go into the bones of in, nor pick into the various errors of misinterpretation of ‘facts’ supposition is based on.

I will say this would have been an awesome thing had it not been so clearly written with a negative agenda.
 

MarkRapson

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Some further questions:

- What the hell is the point of changing the spelling of "Tide"? If this is not something which is actually all that immediately important to Operatives, why make the tweak?

- Why would you make the literal first bit of text encountered when you crack open the new core book some fluff fiction based around Dr. Crantham, and why would you mention Brent Walker in the timeline, without providing any coherent explanation to newcomers of who those people are? If they are genuinely not that important, why dedicate valuable core book space to them which could have been directed at something with much more immediate relevance?

- If they are important, why not just level with referees as to what's going on with them rather than playing coy? It's not the 1990s any more, metaplots revealed piecemeal through a string of supplements aren't fashionable any more and most people would rather just have the material so they can either use it or junk it as they see fit rather than having this constant string of coy hints.
I can see the Tyde thing has clearly triggered you. I’m sorry for that. A creative decision by the creator...the Tyde has changed for sure ;)

again for the last two a creative decision and one that will be reflected in future products (and products released since new Nightfall has existed. Sorry it’s not for you but it is an ignorable aspect.

since joining the team a phrase springs to mind, ‘not my world of progress’, that’s cool to me. It’s a sandbox RPG setting take what you want and add what you want to it. Want no truth, want Wraith Raiders and Predator Shaktar, want to exclude Neophrons or a particular aspect...fill your boots
 

Atelerix

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Before the Truth was leaked I always figured that the setting was Hell by way of Alasdair Gray's novel Lanark.

In the book, it's revealed that the narrator is in an afterlife defined by his own experiences and failures. He undergoes physical transformations caused by clinging to his old, broken personality.

I still think there are elements of the book in there - it was a pretty celebrated piece of fantastical literature by a Scottish author in the 80s.
 

Ladybird

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Senti: she is ret-conned out. She was a creation of a member of the original team no longer part of the team. And not something Dave and Jared wish to include now that favour is no longer needed.
That's a shame. As a Stormer fan, I liked Senti; having our own Proper Noun character to represent us was cool, and more interesting than just anonymous scientists being responsible for the Stormer project.

Wraithen vs Wraith Raider: I guess your view of cool is different to mine. Wraith Raider to me is a more appeasing to a more juvenile disposition. As with many of my answers, Dave has had 30-40 years to think about this and 40 something Dave has a different view to teenager Dave. I agree with this. By the way as with Brainwaster the term Wraith Raider is still part of the game, it’s more of a nickname/common name for the species
Part of the appeal of SLA always has been that juvenilism, though; everything is cool in the way that a deeply angry teenage boy would think was cool, which also entirely made sense given the nature of The Truth and that the universe was previously literally created by an angry teenage boy.

I’ve seen your ‘review’, a commendable essay for sure. I’m not going to go into the bones of in, nor pick into the various errors of misinterpretation of ‘facts’ supposition is based on.

I will say this would have been an awesome thing had it not been so clearly written with a negative agenda.
Warthur Warthur is clearly a long-term fan; if there was any agenda when he originally decided to review it, I can't see it having been anything other than positive.

I can see the Tyde thing has clearly triggered you. I’m sorry for that. A creative decision by the creator...the Tyde has changed for sure ;)
Given the way that the phrase "triggered" is used in internet discourse these days (As an insult intended to make the target seem unreasonable and excessively emotional), do you think that mocking a customer who is providing a reasonable critique or asserting that they had a negative agenda when reviewing your game is reasonable?
 

Warthur

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The ‘we exist solely...mad man’s imagination’ is not correct. The world was created by a man made mad...but it exists (as far as a world in a game can). The ‘we exist...’ trope isn’t nor never was the aspect.
An example of why the release of the truth doc was such a bummer
The whole "it's no less real than the reality Dr. Crantham and Brent Walker were born in, it's just that realities are made from dreams in this cosmology" thing has undoubtedly been misinterpreted a lot. I can see how people would jump to that misinterpretation - especially since a lot of the versions of the Truth that circulate miss some crucial clarification on that - but it's still a misinterpretation.

Senti: she is ret-conned out. She was a creation of a member of the original team no longer part of the team. And not something Dave and Jared wish to include now that favour is no longer needed.
You can say "Anne Boylan" if you want, you've already given us enough information to identify her by process of elimination.

I dunno, man. I can understand writing out someone's character if they drop out of your home game but writing someone's contribution out of the setting once they leave feels... ungrateful. Is it a royalties thing? Either way, it seems kind of rinky-dink and unprofessional.
Wraithen vs Wraith Raider: I guess your view of cool is different to mine. Wraith Raider to me is a more appeasing to a more juvenile disposition. As with many of my answers, Dave has had 30-40 years to think about this and 40 something Dave has a different view to teenager Dave. I agree with this. By the way as with Brainwaster the term Wraith Raider is still part of the game, it’s more of a nickname/common name for the species
See, my view of the setting is that the kind of juvenile/adolescent aspect of a lot of it is kind of the point - it's a grimdark edgelordy science-fantasy setting with the juvenile stuff turned up to 11 so as to hit the point of self-parody. If you try to cool that off, you lose a lot of what made it eye-catching in the first place; if you want to produce something which isn't juvenile or adolescent or edgy or grimdark you kind of need to start over with a new setting because even with those revisions it's still kind of all of those things (but with the dial turned down it seems less enjoyably boundary-breaking than the original, like the difference between classic thrash metal Metallica and latter-day pop metal Metallica).
Eban vs BW: see above regarding common vs official name. Use of Eban has been part of the lore for 20 or so years (same with Wraithen). Either are useable
Right, but only one is massively confusing. It's an invented, fictional world, why deliberately build in this confusion?

I’ve seen your ‘review’, a commendable essay for sure. I’m not going to go into the bones of in, nor pick into the various errors of misinterpretation of ‘facts’ supposition is based on.
Well, like I said, if there's errors of fact you want to correct, I'm happy to look at that if you cite them, but I'm not going to put that work in if you're not going to be specific.

I 100% admit that some parts are based on speculation and guesswork based on the information that's made public, but that's because that's the perspective available to me. If the fans'-eye-view of what's been going on includes some misinterpretations, I'd have thought you'd want those corrected. What seems entirely obvious to you in on the inside track might be less so to outside observers.
I will say this would have been an awesome thing had it not been so clearly written with a negative agenda.
Ah yes, the negative agenda which involved me pledging money to the Kickstarter., patiently waiting for my books to be delivered, and reading and reviewing my books. Truly, the actions of a malevolent actor out to see you fail.
I can see the Tyde thing has clearly triggered you. I’m sorry for that. A creative decision by the creator...the Tyde has changed for sure ;)
Come on, dude, don't do the tired old internet argument thing of acting like someone questioning you is doing so out of frothing anger or "triggered" upset. I'm not upset or angry at you, I'm just kind of confused and disappointed. (Right now, I'm mostly confused and disappointed that you're acting like a teenager on 4Chan who thinks "triggered" is an epic pwn. Seems less than professional, do the rest of Nightfall know you're behaving like this in interactions with customers?)
since joining the team a phrase springs to mind, ‘not my world of progress’, that’s cool to me. It’s a sandbox RPG setting take what you want and add what you want to it. Want no truth, want Wraith Raiders and Predator Shaktar, want to exclude Neophrons or a particular aspect...fill your boots
But anyone who wants to use Chagrrin has a job of work ahead of them, because unless they bought Karma before the boom went down there's no currently-available means for them to get the details on that.
 

chuckdee

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Given the way that the phrase "triggered" is used in internet discourse these days (As an insult intended to make the target seem unreasonable and excessively emotional), do you think that mocking a customer who is providing a reasonable critique or asserting that they had a negative agenda when reviewing your game is reasonable?
I know that word has connotations far beyond any use of it now that it has been weaponized, but I didn't read his use of it is meant in a derogatory manner. Assume positive intent is a good rule of thumb for all internet discourse, I find.

Given the fact that he came here to engage, it seems like the one thing that we, for our part, can do.
 

Warthur

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I know that word has connotations far beyond any use of it now that it has been weaponized, but I didn't read his use of it is meant in a derogatory manner. Assume positive intent is a good rule of thumb for all internet discourse, I find.
Maybe, but another good rule of thumb is "read the room" and take account of context. Dude's accusing me of a "negative agenda" arising from... writing a review. I mean, it wasn't a glowingly positive review, but framing the writing of less-than-stellar reviews as being part of a "negative agenda" rather than, you know, genuinely just kind of not liking the product is a bit of a red flag.
 

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Maybe, but another good rule of thumb is "read the room" and take account of context. Dude's accusing me of a "negative agenda" arising from... writing a review. I mean, it wasn't a glowingly positive review, but framing the writing of less-than-stellar reviews as being part of a "negative agenda" rather than, you know, genuinely just kind of not liking the product is a bit of a red flag.
Maybe. But even if it's not a good look on his side, coming back in that same vein only makes the whole thing less than constructive. Just an observation.
 

Warthur

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I come back by engaging with his points and repeating my offer to make corrections of any errors of fact found in my review, I think I am being plenty constructive. It is possible to be simultaneously constructive and hopeful that the conversation will take a better turn and rather disappointed in how the conversation's currently proceeding.
 

MarkRapson

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I’m sorry if the word triggered was misunderstood to mean anything other than ‘the name Tyde appears to have triggered a strong reaction in the individual in question’- that’s what I meant, that’s what I wrote. I was not aware of any stronger or different meaning, hence my use of the word does not nor should it be inferred to mean anything else. And any extension inferred by ‘ Ladybird’ is not correct.
 

Ladybird

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I’m sorry if the word triggered was misunderstood to mean anything other than ‘the name Tyde appears to have triggered a strong reaction in the individual in question’- that’s what I meant, that’s what I wrote. I was not aware of any stronger or different meaning, hence my use of the word does not nor should it be inferred to mean anything else. And any extension inferred by ‘ Ladybird’ is not correct.
OK, cool, we good.

So about that post-industrial urban hellscape...
 
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