SLA Industries 2nd Edition

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MarkRapson

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Tristan pulled in Warthur's inflammatory language- it would seem it would be good to do the same to yours, no matter how you feel about it. This started out on the wrong foot, and sorry for your reception, and glad for your contribution and presence. But it seems that as he pulls back more and more, you go in harder.

I think it would be the best look for all to keep it to the written word and getting it corrected and promoting the product you have now. Engage if you want with Warthur in a professional manner to get the facts straight, but your own emotional responses are doing more harm than his review ever could at this point...
I’m sorry if my want for the essay to be fair and factually correct appears to be emotional.

Thanks for the advice.
 

Warthur

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Mark,

I've updated the article to reflect your actual words on the Karma PDF, despite the fact that they're frankly synonyms. If the PDF is not of a standard you feel comfortable selling, I don't think it's unfair to characterise that quality as being "a bit crappy", because if you didn't think it was sort of rubbish quality, you'd be happier about selling it. I'm not seeing where there's this weird middle ground where the PDF is simultaneously too poor to be worth selling in its present state but also too good to describe as "crappy".

I'm not changing the bit about the truth because my whole point is that the Truth - both the ideas and the documents which introduced those ideas to the fandom - is clearly still relevant to the 2nd edition. The actual document may no longer be up to date or reflect the current state of the secrets... but the secrets are still there, and the document is at the moment the only published source which would allow someone to (for example) even understand what is going on in the 2e intro fiction and why it is at all relevant.

The Nightfall declaration that the Truth document should be disregarded could clearly and foreseeably be interpreted by fans as meaning that the ideas in the document were no longer a feature of the setting. The ideas clearly are. I'm sorry, but I'm not even the only person who interpreted Nightfall's statement in that fashion and were expecting to see the Truth's ideas excised from the setting. You might see it as a distortion, but you've been privy to internal Nightfall discussions about all this which fans haven't. What might seem obvious to you is not at all obvious from a fans' eye view. I do not think the way I frame the "what should the answer to that question be?" point is at all an unreasonable interpretation, based on what was actually communicated to fans via the statement.

I will not be applying any further corrections to the article based off posts from you here because you have consistently tried to frame matters of genuine differences in subjective interpretation as matters of fact, and I'm not going to continue that dance. Even if there are any errors of objective fact to be corrected in the article, I will not be paying attention to any further posts or contact from you about it unless you are able to provide me independent documentation or citation to confirm that correction.
 
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Malleustein

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How do the rules differ from 1st ed?

Very different. I don't have the book in front of me, but here's a few noteworthy changes.

1st Edition was 2D10+ bonuses, beat 10 for a success, beat 20 for a great success.

The new system is a pool of D10s, with more degrees of success/results. There are less modifiers (especially in combat) but it is more involved. A lot of easy skill tests can be skipped by the well-trained (as in first edition), which helps things skip along.

Very generally speaking, it is better to focus on the skills that matter, because the way dice pools are constructed and results determined is very dependent on skill. Back in 1st Edition, you could rely on chance to give you a basic success more often than not. 2nd Edition less so.

Character creation is step-by-step choices, not "300 points and go crazy" anymore.

There are fewer ebb powers (some were merged and Gore Cannon is currently absent, boo!) and fewer levels for each, which is very welcome. Ebb still uses flux points.

You have luck points and three pools (derived from stats and player choice) for rerolls, stunts, etc.

There are fewer advantages and disadvantages. Only the ones that make a big impact in-creation or in-play remain.

The multitude of ammunition calibers and types are out. Some speciality ammo remains, but you can't win every gunfight with hotline rounds (sadly!) and HEAP rounds.

The Predator-themed weapons are also out, along with the Predator-looking Shaktars. Most of the classic gear remains, some new stuff has been added.

Anything else?
 

Stumpydave

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The old combat had phases - are they still used?
The ammo and calibre choices were a big sell for me and mine - how generic is it now?
 

Ladybird

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The old combat had phases - are they still used?
The ammo and calibre choices were a big sell for me and mine - how generic is it now?
Phases are gone, although there are things that let you take extra actions (Drugs!); it's a conventional initiative count system now.
Ammo types still exist, but they're massively cut down; high explosive, armour piercing, and slug rounds (For shotguns; after a cursory reading, I'm still not sure if shotguns can also use the other ammo types). SLA doesn't make the fun ammo any more because...
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Rather than buying generic ammo of the right size and type for your gun, guns now have clip size and cost as part of their profile which you can apply modifiers to if you buy special ammo. Some weapons also have their own specific ammo types, for example the SHV-01 has the option of ball bearing or flechette rounds, and the concept of HESH still exists - the FEN 989 "Stormer Cannon" and FEN 904SH "Reaver Cannon" both use it, in varying calibers (And at 500c for a FEN 989 clip, I would expect to do BIG DAMAGE with it). Clipsp aren't interchangeable, even between guns that use the same calibre.
 

Dan Davenport

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I always thought Sla was a treasure trove of fantastic ideas. Still, to this day, it's one of the most original games I've ever read. But I always felt it was a tad unplayable as a concept. However, I still loved the setting even if the play was one dimensional.

I was stoked for 2e. Until I started seeing the divergence from the 1e. I've not read the finished product tbh, but from everything I've heard,and read about it I'm just going to leave it be. Shame...

Hmm... Interesting. Having read it and being in the process of reviewing it, 2e seems a vast improvement over 1e. The writing is more coherent, most of the secrets kept from the GM in 1e are revealed, and there seems to be more playable content.

Of course, that's just one guy's opinion. :smile:
 

Stumpydave

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For me SLA was always about players getting a BPN but that BPN not telling the whole story, finding out how outclassed they were as the Mission goes sideways fast and trying to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in a way they could somehow still get paid/not get blamed. All through the medium of gunfire, brutality and callous disregard for life and liberty.

If 2nd ed still lets us do that, I might actually spend money on a dead tree version.
 

Malleustein

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For me SLA was always about players getting a BPN but that BPN not telling the whole story, finding out how outclassed they were as the Mission goes sideways fast and trying to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in a way they could somehow still get paid/not get blamed. All through the medium of gunfire, brutality and callous disregard for life and liberty.

If 2nd ed still lets us do that, I might actually spend money on a dead tree version.

Yeah, you can absolutely still do that.

Operatives gettings BPNs are still the default way to run a session. What happens, how screwed they are during it and how screwed over they are by the end of it is all for the referee to decide.

The setting has progressed, the universe is explored in greater depth, and it's a new rules system, but it's still SLA. Just in full colour.
 

chuckdee

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Hmm... Interesting. Having read it and being in the process of reviewing it, 2e seems a vast improvement over 1e. The writing is more coherent, most of the secrets kept from the GM in 1e are revealed, and there seems to be more playable content.

I'd agree too. The first was an artifact of its time and fit my sensibilities. This seems made more for this time IMO.
 

Malleustein

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SLA only comes in three colours, black gloom, grey rain and red blood.

Between Cannibal Sector 1 and SLA Industries 2nd Edition there are... Just bloody hundreds of pieces of art. Most are Dave's and all but a tiny few are new. Ignoring all else, on the level of pure visual presentation, these two books are tremendous. For the 1st Edition fan, there is finally art (correct art!) for the hardware!

Do I still have a strong, nostalgic, appreciation for the pencil and ink illustrations of 1st Edition? Yes. I like that style in general. But the new look is pretty glorious.

There are still plenty of gloomy, rain-soaked, pollution-tainted, blood-caked pieces, but there is a lot of bright colour in there too.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Hmm... Interesting. Having read it and being in the process of reviewing it, 2e seems a vast improvement over 1e. The writing is more coherent, most of the secrets kept from the GM in 1e are revealed, and there seems to be more playable content.

Of course, that's just one guy's opinion. :smile:
That's fair enough Dan. :smile: TBH, I love the old lore so much, it'd be very hard for me to leave it. That said, after I heard Grim Jim's review of the Beta they released I kind of thought I'd just stick with the 1e and use a different system for it. Probably the grognard in me! I was like that for Vampire 5e. I'm happy if people liked it, but I felt it wasn't for me - There were no Sabbat for a start. :sad: (but I did read that one!!).
 

Rob Necronomicon

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I will say, the art of Sla industries had a huge effect on me (even to this day!). Dave Alsop is one of my favorite artists and not only is he a very gifted artist but I love his conceptual designs too. I especially love the black & white stuff he did in 1e (he'd blow me away to be fair!). :smile:
 

TristramEvans

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I will say, the art of Sla industries had a huge effect on me (even to this day!). Dave Alsop is one of my favorite artists and not only is he a very gifted artist but I love his conceptual designs too. I especially love the black & white stuff he did in 1e (he'd blow me away to be fair!). :smile:

The difference in art is mostly why I skipped 2e. It may be technically more proficient, but nowhere near as visceral and evocative of that angry adolescent grimdark that epitomized the 90s.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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The difference in art is mostly why I skipped 2e. It may be technically more proficient, but nowhere near as visceral and evocative of that angry adolescent grimdark that epitomized the 90s.
Yeah, I think that's a big part of it too. I mean... I loved the grim and gritty art of the old stuff. It really resonated with me. When I first saw that book (many moons ago now) my jaw hit the floor. The Necanthropes with the gore cannons! I so wanted to play one of them bad boys. But I believe they are gone in 2e. :sad:
 

Jared Earle

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Hello, RPG Pub. I thought I’d best clarify something that was said here that puts us in a bad light:

Senti was not removed because she was created by Anne Boylan - people confuse Anne’s old character Widow with Senti. We didn’t remove Anne’s contributions from the game; Anne was an essential part of Nightfall and i don’t like the assumption that we would be that petty, especially towards a friend of ours.

The “Anne is Senti” weirdness happened because Anne was one of the rare women in U.K. RPGs, so anything remotely feminine was assumed to be her creation, in spite of the fact there was more than one woman in our circle of friends. What you see in our books is merely the duck gliding across the pond, while the furious paddling under the surface is kept from you.

This sort of thing is why we don’t answer “yes, but how exactly is the sausage made” questions.
 

Ladybird

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Yeah, I think that's a big part of it too. I mean... I loved the grim and gritty art of the old stuff. It really resonated with me. When I first saw that book (many moons ago now) my jaw hit the floor. The Necanthropes with the gore cannons! I so wanted to play one of them bad boys. But I believe they are gone in 2e. :sad:
No new Necanthropes are being created - The White is teleporting around, seemingly to hide from Momics, and the transcendence ritual doesn't work any more, but the Necanthropes still exist in the setting. No rules, but IMO they seem like an obvious fit for the eventual Ebonite race book.
 

CRKrueger

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I have no dog in this hunt, but I will say we're getting a fair bit of forum warrioring here by some of the detractors. Far too many Whys as to what occurred rather then just expression of dislike that it occurred.
 

TristramEvans

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Hello, RPG Pub. I thought I’d best clarify something that was said here that puts us in a bad light:

Senti was not removed because she was created by Anne Boylan - people confuse Anne’s old character Widow with Senti. We didn’t remove Anne’s contributions from the game; Anne was an essential part of Nightfall and i don’t like the assumption that we would be that petty, especially towards a friend of ours.

The “Anne is Senti” weirdness happened because Anne was one of the rare women in U.K. RPGs, so anything remotely feminine was assumed to be her creation, in spite of the fact there was more than one woman in our circle of friends. What you see in our books is merely the duck gliding across the pond, while the furious paddling under the surface is kept from you.

This sort of thing is why we don’t answer “yes, but how exactly is the sausage made” questions.

Welcome to The Pub Jared Earle Jared Eatle

Thanks for that explanation!
 

chuckdee

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Hello, RPG Pub. I thought I’d best clarify something that was said here that puts us in a bad light:

Senti was not removed because she was created by Anne Boylan - people confuse Anne’s old character Widow with Senti. We didn’t remove Anne’s contributions from the game; Anne was an essential part of Nightfall and i don’t like the assumption that we would be that petty, especially towards a friend of ours.

The “Anne is Senti” weirdness happened because Anne was one of the rare women in U.K. RPGs, so anything remotely feminine was assumed to be her creation, in spite of the fact there was more than one woman in our circle of friends. What you see in our books is merely the duck gliding across the pond, while the furious paddling under the surface is kept from you.

This sort of thing is why we don’t answer “yes, but how exactly is the sausage made” questions.

Welcome to the Pub, Jared Earle Jared Eatle ... and is the t on purpose?
 

MarkRapson

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Here is a link to the SLA Industries product list, this list had been on Wikipedia until recently, but has been deleted:
 
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Warthur

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Hello, RPG Pub. I thought I’d best clarify something that was said here that puts us in a bad light:

Senti was not removed because she was created by Anne Boylan - people confuse Anne’s old character Widow with Senti. We didn’t remove Anne’s contributions from the game; Anne was an essential part of Nightfall and i don’t like the assumption that we would be that petty, especially towards a friend of ours.

The “Anne is Senti” weirdness happened because Anne was one of the rare women in U.K. RPGs, so anything remotely feminine was assumed to be her creation, in spite of the fact there was more than one woman in our circle of friends. What you see in our books is merely the duck gliding across the pond, while the furious paddling under the surface is kept from you.

This sort of thing is why we don’t answer “yes, but how exactly is the sausage made” questions.
Sorry for playing into the assumption. Mark had mentioned that Senti was a former team member's creation; Anne was the most prominently-credited member of the original team to have not been involved in 2nd edition, the process of elimination seemed to suggest it was her but evidently that was a bad assumption.

I still think it's odd that someone's contribution was removed from the game, unless Mark's information is outright incorrect. His exact words were:
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.
and the only way I can really parse that is "we included her as a favour to someone on the original team, now that they no longer work with us we've excised that contribution".
 

MarkRapson

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Sorry for playing into the assumption. Mark had mentioned that Senti was a former team member's creation; Anne was the most prominently-credited member of the original team to have not been involved in 2nd edition, the process of elimination seemed to suggest it was her but evidently that was a bad assumption.

I still think it's odd that someone's contribution was removed from the game, unless Mark's information is outright incorrect. His exact words were:

and the only way I can really parse that is "we included her as a favour to someone on the original team, now that they no longer work with us we've excised that contribution".
This is why Jared has clarified.
Jared’s statement is direct from source.
 
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MarkRapson

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"we included her as a favour to someone on the original team, now that they no longer work with us we've excised that contribution".

I did not write that.
 

Warthur

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"we included her as a favour to someone on the original team, now that they no longer work with us we've excised that contribution".

I did not write that.
Right, but I included the words that you originally wrote and I truly, genuinely cannot see how those words do not parse out as that. You specifically wrote "that favour is no longer needed", it's right in that post of yours if you want to check, post #109 in this present thread.

I'd love it if the conversation steered back to SLA in general, but we can't have *any* meaningful conversation if we're not going to be basically honest with each other.

So, what is it? Was post 109 accurate, or was this most recent reply accurate? Or, if I am misreading your original words from post 109, where am I going wrong here? Again: I literally cannot parse your words any other way. You specifically talked about her being a contribution of a member of the team who was no longer there, you specifically said Dave and Jared decided to pull her because the favour was no longer needed. Go back and read your own words, that's what they say!
 

MarkRapson

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Right, but I included the words that you originally wrote and I truly, genuinely cannot see how those words do not parse out as that. You specifically wrote "that favour is no longer needed", it's right in that post of yours if you want to check, post #109 in this present thread.

I'd love it if the conversation steered back to SLA in general, but we can't have *any* meaningful conversation if we're not going to be basically honest with each other.

So, what is it? Was post 109 accurate, or was this most recent reply accurate? Or, if I am misreading your original words from post 109, where am I going wrong here? Again: I literally cannot parse your words any other way. You specifically talked about her being a contribution of a member of the team who was no longer there, you specifically said Dave and Jared decided to pull her because the favour was no longer needed. Go back and read your own words, that's what they say!
I don’t believe post #109 and Jareds are either/or.

As I said previously Jared’s supersedes my posts on this.

(But for mine #109 and #127 should be read in combination. Your reworded reiterations, are not what were said.).
 

Ladybird

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Just to unite all the official things that were said in one place...
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.

Regarding the creator of Senti - I was away from home, working when I responded and could not remember her name. I have never met Anne and given she left SLA behind in the mid-nineties, she is not a name I have come to know, moreso one of many that have a distant link to the franchise.
it is not once she left - nearly 30 years have past.
As said before this is Dave’s creation and his vision, given his creative thoughts and discussions with active members of the writing team since the mid-90s have never involved this character it makes sense to me she is not in 2e.

Hello, RPG Pub. I thought I’d best clarify something that was said here that puts us in a bad light:

Senti was not removed because she was created by Anne Boylan - people confuse Anne’s old character Widow with Senti. We didn’t remove Anne’s contributions from the game; Anne was an essential part of Nightfall and i don’t like the assumption that we would be that petty, especially towards a friend of ours.

The “Anne is Senti” weirdness happened because Anne was one of the rare women in U.K. RPGs, so anything remotely feminine was assumed to be her creation, in spite of the fact there was more than one woman in our circle of friends. What you see in our books is merely the duck gliding across the pond, while the furious paddling under the surface is kept from you.

This sort of thing is why we don’t answer “yes, but how exactly is the sausage made” questions.
 

Warthur

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Jared's posts clarified that Senti was not Anne's contribution, which is fine, I'm not disputing that.

Both of Mark's posts #109 and #127 are consistent on the point that Senti was retconned out because she was the contribution of someone who was on the original team who then left, and that Dave has just not been particularly keen on the character. That doesn't seem controversial and nothing in Jared's post contradicts any of it. Whoever it was that created Senti wasn't Anne, we can accept that and move on, but there's still a bunch said about her creation and subsequent removal that Jared hasn't really contradicted.

Mark's post 109 clearly and explicitly says that there was a "favour" of some sort which was "no longer needed", which made it viable to remove Senti. Nothing in post 127 or in Jared's post at all contradicts the existence of this favour.

It's on that basis that I paraphrased your words the way I did, Mark. You pretty much directly stated there was some kind of favour involved, and that Senti could be removed because the favour was no longer needed, and nothing said later has contradicted that. If you want to contradict it now, that's fine, but I don't understand why you would make the claim in the first place if it wasn't actually true.
 

Stumpydave

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Did anyone use Senti or Tide (Tyde? Taede? T'Eyed?) or any of the named NPC's beyond a bit of set dressing or name dropping?
I used Digger once and that was only to pretty much TPK the players. Other than that, surviving the day to day BPN drudgery was more important than what some big name NPC might have been upto.

It comes back to my disconnect between the WoP and The Truth - if there was a gnostic side to the game (like maybe the PC's had 2 characters, one in the WoP and another as a fellow patient) with the two worlds impacting on each other it might have had relevance.
 

Warthur

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Senti always struck me as being one of those Big Deal named NPCs who was actually more useful than average - in fact, more likely to appear directly in a campaign than Mr Slayer himself - because she's very intimately involved in the creation of Stormers, a fairly popular player character type.

Namedropping Mr Slayer in connection with something is attention-grabbing but not as exciting as you'd think because SLA Industries is so pervasive and his hold over the company so total that everything winds its way back to him eventually anyway, and when everything's connected to that one dude the fact that a thing is connected to him isn't that special. Guy with tentacles that extend almost everywhere has tentacles that extend here: big whoop.

However, mention that Senti has some interest in a case or have traces of her activities show up unexpectedly on a job, and all the Stormer PCs' ears prick up instantly. It's that personal connection which makes it special.
 

MarkRapson

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Did anyone use Senti or Tide (Tyde? Taede? T'Eyed?) or any of the named NPC's beyond a bit of set dressing or name dropping?
I used Digger once and that was only to pretty much TPK the players. Other than that, surviving the day to day BPN drudgery was more important than what some big name NPC might have been upto.

It comes back to my disconnect between the WoP and The Truth - if there was a gnostic side to the game (like maybe the PC's had 2 characters, one in the WoP and another as a fellow patient) with the two worlds impacting on each other it might have had relevance.
In the dozen games I have run the Truth aspect has not been required, but equally neither has anything in CS1 nor Thresher et al. That said in time, and as the SCL progresses, they will likely be part of what I introduce. I’m especially excited to implement the Deep Construct and Dregs etc.

I’m keen to one day be a player rather than GM and see what someone else does in the sandbox.


which parts of the WOP are you keen to implement?
 

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Senti always struck me as being one of those Big Deal named NPCs who was actually more useful than average - in fact, more likely to appear directly in a campaign than Mr Slayer himself - because she's very intimately involved in the creation of Stormers, a fairly popular player character type.

Namedropping Mr Slayer in connection with something is attention-grabbing but not as exciting as you'd think because SLA Industries is so pervasive and his hold over the company so total that everything winds its way back to him eventually anyway, and when everything's connected to that one dude the fact that a thing is connected to him isn't that special. Guy with tentacles that extend almost everywhere has tentacles that extend here: big whoop.

However, mention that Senti has some interest in a case or have traces of her activities show up unexpectedly on a job, and all the Stormer PCs' ears prick up instantly. It's that personal connection which makes it special.
One of the big conflicts that comes up in our games is biogenetics vs ebb, and the forces trying to tilt the Karma vs Dark Lament power struggle in either direction; DL has plenty of Named Characters, while Karma doesn't and that can make them feel less important.

(Without Senti, the Conflict War stuff suggests that Karma and the Stormer's ultimate patron is really Mr Slayer himself, but that's less fun because he'd gut Karma or Dark Lament in an instant if they became unprofitable or a threat. DL at least has Preceptor Teeth to give it a place at the table in that situation, while Karma doesn't have someone of that stature any more.)

My stormer has reminded our ebonites a few times that, if it came down to it, not only would he and every stormer instantly be reprogrammed to fight for Karma (A prospect he finds horrifying because without his thoughts, he would cease to exist, even if his body is still fighting), Karma would win that war because they can produce a new generation of stormers in weeks as opposed to the years it takes the ebonites. So it's in all of our best interests to do our best to stop things boiling over.
 

Warthur

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Yeah, having that tier of named characters who are a big deal in the SLA power structure and can be the "faces" of internal factions is really useful, and yanking Senti without any replacement depletes that tier.
 

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Did anyone use Senti or Tide (Tyde? Taede? T'Eyed?) or any of the named NPC's beyond a bit of set dressing or name dropping?
I used Digger once and that was only to pretty much TPK the players. Other than that, surviving the day to day BPN drudgery was more important than what some big name NPC might have been upto.

Not me. They were a backdrop and not an essential part of anything I was doing.
 
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