SLA Industries-A visit to the World of Progress

 

As it says on the back cover, SLA Industries is the game of futuristic urban horror.  I fell in love with this game, when I saw the first book at the Origins Game Convention back in 1995.  I picked up the first book and read it from cover to cover.  I then picked up 3 more of the 7 products they have out, as I wanted to run a game using this this system.  I still have the 4 books and the product has changed hands several times since 1995, but it is still a good product to pick up and either run or use as a resource to fit into your existing futuristic sci-fi campaign.

SLA Industries (pronounced “slay”) is a role-playing game first published in 1993 by Nightfall Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The game is set in a far-flung future in which the majority of the known universe is either owned or indirectly controlled by the corporation “SLA Industries”.

 

SLA Industries itself is a fictional corporation run by a mysterious and seemingly immortal creature called “Mr. Slayer”, whose upper management team includes two other creatures like him, named “Intruder” and “Senti”. The corporation is headquartered in “Mort”, a densely populated city surrounded by the urban ruins of the “Cannibal Sectors”, all on a planet (also called “Mort”) that had been stripped of its natural resources. SLA Industries controlled a vast number of planets, collectively referred to as the World of Progress, and governed them in accordance with Mr. Slayer’s Big Picture.

In the game, you take on the role of freelance employees of SLA Industries, called Operatives, living in Mort and taking care of odd jobs assigned to them by the corporation. These jobs usually involve chasing serial killers, hunting monsters in the sewers, quashing riots, stopping terrorist plots, and silencing dissidents. Appearance, style and branding are emphasized just as much as combat ability, due to the presence of television; for ambitious Operatives public persona and TV ratings are often as important as professional abilities.  The game leans more towards splatter punk horror, noir, dark satire, and/or gun bunny high action. But, the politics of the setting also allow for more slower-paced campaigns based around subversion, inter-departmental rivalry, and cut-throat power struggles within the company.

The playable races include humans, the drug-addicted mutant humans called “Frothers”, the stealthy feline “Wraith Raiders”, the formidably violent saurian “Shaktar”, and the two ‘Ebb’ / pseudo-magic using races: the emotionally sensitive and charismatic Ebon, and their more sadistic and violent genetic offshoot, the “Brain Wasters”. There are also a variety of biogenetic vat-grown warrior races called Stormers, produced by SLA to fight in their endless wars.

The game was first published independently in 1993. The game was later bought by Wizards of the Coast late in 1994, after their success with Magic: The Gathering. It was later republished by Nightfall Games Ltd and distributed by Hogshead Publishing, until Hogshead was sold to its current owners, and since 2003 Cubicle 7 Entertainment has been working on producing new material along with Nightfall Games

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