SLA Industries: Karma by Traveller
In the grim darkness of corporate dystopia there is only vapid magsOriginal SA post
I'd love Carcosa.
A PROPOS OF NOTHING
SLA Industries: Karma
In the grim darkness of corporate dystopia there is only vapid mags
So! This is Karma, the biogenetic implants sourcebook for SLA Industries. Yes, you're not seeing things - that is a Wizards of the Coast logo on the cover. Suffice to say, SLA has had a long, chequered publishing story, and at this point in its life it was published by WotC. It's still Dave Allsop and company's writing, though, but WotC's influence can be seen in the fact that it's way, way better edited than the clusterfuck that was the corebook.
The book is styled as a SLA Industries lifestyle/general interest magazine. This being SLA Industries, of course, a lot of that involves questionable biological research, casual ultraviolence and more guns you can shake a Chagrin at. The book frontloads all the fluff and leaves the crunch at the back, with a couple of notable exceptions, but it's otherwise easy to reference in game.
It opens, like the corebook, with a piece of fiction. A little girl is murdered by a robed man! Maybe they loved each other? Who knows, all I know is that SLA has a thing against little girls surviving its intro pieces.
Next, the main story: on December 30, 899 SD, a beloved Contract Killer by the name of Delia was murdered by a civilian boy, Icon, who capped her in the head with a CAF gun. Delia was loved by the public, media and fellow SLA operatives, so a manhunt immediately started and Icon has a 400 credit bounty on his head already, though many Killers are offering to kill him for free. There are doubts on how a simple civilian could infiltrate the Perimeters, murder a high-profile Op and escape undetected, though.
Alas, poor Delia! We'll never hear from her again. PROTIP IT'S THE CRAZY LOOKING LADY IN THE COVER
DID I TELL YOU THIS WAS WRITTEN IN THE 90s
Next, there's a letters column from SLA Operatives! Let me summarize them for you:
I am an Ebon and I know that biogenetic implants are not supposed to be used by Ebb users, but really? Yes, really. Sorry.
My squadmate has anorexia WAT DO Get her to a good counselor.
What type of boots do Shivers wear? Also do they get their name because they're out in the rain all the time? They're Perrani Kickers (TM) and it's an acronym for, uh, "Street & Home Investigation Variable Espionage & Reconnaisance."
I AM A FROTHER AND THERE IS THIS GIRL I LIKE BUT I THINK MR SLAYER IS DATING HER BUT I THOUGHT HE WAS MARRIED AND HIS WIFE LEFT HER ALSO CAN I GO UP 5 SCL RANKS WITH SEWER CLEANING JOBS ...the fuck is wrong with you.
I am a NICE GUY and girls don't want to date me! Does being too 'possessive' and the DNA tattoo saying 'disease carrier' on my forehead have anything to do with it? ...yes.
i am a storma and me and my storma frends not like our names can we meet guy that gives us names Oh, this is adorable.
There's also a letter where the representative of a Contract Killer regrets his client's 'defeat' before Halloween Jack and promises a rematch as soon as his client 'returns from limbo'. Between this and the Opinions column, it appears death might just be a serious setback for certain operatives. SLA CAN TOTALLY REVIVE DEAD OPERATIVES GODDAMN The other thing that stands out is that Ebon Navigators feel the universe is 'alive'. As in, sometimes it can even have a bad cold. There's a bit of SLA RULES ALL but not too much - it's an in-house magazine after all.
Fiction time: an operative tells the tale of the worst BPN she's had to complete. Foolishly, the rookie member of her squad took a job from Crazy Herman, an infamous financier noted for giving his customers extremely dangerous jobs with little notice of the dangers involved. She wants to kick the rookie's ass to high heaven, but he didn't know any better and now the whole squad needs to track down a serial killer and an ex-war criminal. Just peachy.
I don't think I can add anything to this.
Next: Sigourney Weaver and Justin Bieber fight crime.
So life in Downtown is kind of shitty huhOriginal SA post SLA Industries: Karma
So life in Downtown is kind of shitty huh
So, the letters for those who asked!
I am an SCL10A Human. Just a plain old boring human being. I am very alone and in need of some female companionship. I have had one or two girlfriends but they left me because I was apparently too possessive. Now, anybody I meet and get to know would prefer to be 'just friends'. This is okay but they don't seem to understand that I have changed. Do you think that the DNA Hallmark I inherited from my father, the words 'disease carrier' which was, incidentally, his nickname that was put on his forehead one very drunken weekend, has got anything to do with my lack of success with girls?
Tom Beagle (The Tattooed Man)
I am sympathetic of your position. The first thing that you should do is to go and see Nuke Tendon with regard to getting a skin graft over the tattoo. This may be costly but it would cover it up as you cannot get DNA tattoos removed. The second thing you should do is to try and join clubs where you will meet new friends other than those you already know. This way they will be unaware of any previous bad relationships you may have had. Try to be reasonable about the situation. Would you go out with a female who had 'I am terrible in bed' tattooed on her head? I don't think so but as you know, it is not necessarily a true statement, as with yourself. Some people will understand, you will just have to try and find them. Be patient.
I am a Storma kold Kan. Me and my frends wood like to no who names us wen we are in our tanks. My Storma frends and me are not likin our names. My frends are Tin, Paynt, Ash, Dowt, Sig and Fag. Others ops laf at Fag and col him a girl. He is not a girl he is a Storma like me. Kood you ask who names us to meet us in the pit next Friday so we can by him a drink and have a tok.
(Editors Note: This is the first letter that we have received from a Stormer. We decided not to remove Kan's wonderful spelling mistakes as this would have unfortunately ruined the innocence of his sorry plea.)
Thank you for your lovely letter, Kan. I understand that you are extremely bothered that no one cared to put much thought into what you are named, this much is obvious. We asked the bio-engineers at Karma if they knew who was responsible for this thoughtlessness. Unfortunately, we could not pin down the individuals. I suggest that you go to your nearest Department of Information for details on how you can change your name.
So, classifieds! Positions as lab assistant for Nuke Tendon Laboratories (no experience needed!). Maybe your operattive decided that the freelance-ish life was not for him? Well, they can always join up with the Shivers, or take a Crazy Herman job if they're particularly nuts. Counseling, adult toy store ads, "Lonely female Ebon looking for exciting male...", correspondence courses and night schooling. Don't say SLA never did anything for you.
Really, SLA. Really.
And it's fashion section time! This means guns. There is 10mm 'Hotline' rounds now, a slug capable of delivering a ten-thousant volt shock that will fritz most powered armor. Also available for ops are the GA 9442 'Browbeater' gauss guns used by Shivers which... are glorified BB guns. Kind of puts their desperate plea for actual firearms in the previous book in perspective. errata says these things have negative penetration D:
There's an article on DNA Hallmarks but it's not very interesting. Easy to get but hard to delete, they're, as you may imagine, tattoos coded at the genetic level. Please not to be tattooing 'disease carrier' in your head.
Some more ads and... Symbiote! Oh, these guys. Because we didn't have enough NPCs to care about already.
The deal is that they're a two-people SLA Kick Murder squad. Phantom (bald girl) is loaded up with Karma gear and implants, while Geist (alien bishie) has all the Dark Lament equipment he may want. Since both companies hate each other's guts, as soon as one member of the team gets the latest from their sponsor the other gets buffed up by their sponsor. They enjoy working together, but they're not a couple! Honest. Their main deal these days, besides being the media darlings of the moment, is dealing with Downtown's skin trade - which hits them particularly close as they both used to be Downtown gang kids.
More guns! BLA, more famous for their Blitzer custom hand cannon, expand their offering with the 446M Derringer backup pistol (in 12.7mm ) and the 646M Buzzsaw revolving barrel SMG in the new BLA 9mm cartridge. It also offers the 710M Snubber to compete with FEN's traditional 603 pistol - admittedly less lethal than the competition, but it's not a bug, it's a feature! How else are you going to have prisoners to interrogate? FEN, meanwhile, now offers the 94 GAG designated marksman rifle, as well as the 091 Farjacket pump action pistol in 17mm because we are not overcompensating for anything, no siree. Also there's a limited stock of special issue 808 Power Reaper Long Bore machine guns in 12mm, previously unavailable anywhere except War Worlds! That's bound to go swimmingly in Mort's closed quarters.
I swear I played this game on a Speccy.
A story on Downtown! It's terrible, the populace lives their miserable lives stuck watching TV - if nothing else, that's the best way of knowing when the gunfire will start next to your house. See, programs like Gorezone love to send teams to sneak into Downtown maintenance corridor and open unused hatches. Said corridors coincidentally lead to the Cannibal Sectors, and the gribblies lurking beyond the walls love any chance to enter the city and cause carnage. Which is all well and good as when they appear, they are greeted by squads of operatives, Contract Killers, shock armor troops and Necanthropes. The ratings are off the hook, let me tell you, and everyone loves watching a good Gorezone as long as it's not their hood being shot to hell and back on camera.
Did I tell you life in Downtown is shitty? It's a dead end for most teenagers, many of them simply die at the hands of Carriens and worse, end up joining the gangs, fleeing for the city, getting brainwashed by DarkNight and other subversives, or (yikes) selling their bodies. But the new misery business in town is the skin trade, where slavers go out and outright kidnap good looking boys and girls for unspeakable purposes. Monarch Law Enforcement and the Shivers are swamped by reports of missing people, but they're just too many - and in any case, the skin traders easily outgun and outman the regular law enforcement. They're even ballsy enough to leave calling cards.
The Delicacy gang is believed to be the largest skin trader organization, kidnapping, selling and disposing of teenagers with alarming efficiency. If they can't 'push' their 'product' within the week, the poor boy or girl ends up dead and in the sewers, no questions asked. Some other organizations like Puppy Talk aim for other niche markets like selling extremely young kids to high-ranking corporates and FUCK THIS SHIT. FOREVER. At least Cloak Division, Internal Affairs and squads like Symbiote are on the case but godfuckingdammit.
still doing better than Cthulhutech
MOVING ON. Props are Downtown mercenaries, hired guns and blades that civilians (especially gangs) pay to be protected from Carriens, other gangs, serial killers and even SLA ops. They mostly gather around the Depth Charge, an old subway area that used to house a fusion power source, and present little threat to SLA - in many cases, they end up the Company's job for them. They're all about the image and charisma, just like actual ops, and many favor the Halloween Jack "never speak, only charge" loner badass style. Though most of them are just guys in funny suits with guns, some are actually ex-SLA and Darknight operatives that have gone rogue.
Everybody wants to rule the world~
There's a small bit on SLA Talent Scouts, scouring through Downtown looking for prime SLA Op talent in the teenage gangs and ghettos and... Soft Companies! These companies-slash-gangs are dime a dozen and everywhere in Downtown. They're all small fry next to SLA, of course, but the Company is aware that they still pose a threat to their dominance of the World of Progress. The public holds no sympathy for them, thanks to timely SLA propaganda - when a Soft Company strikes against SLA, it retaliates with brutal search and destroy operations in Downtown, which the media is quick to pin on the emerging Soft Company. Soon, the public is baying for the Soft Company's blood. One of their usual methods of attack is striking at civilians first, then ambushing the SLA first responders (Shiver units, mostly), salvaging their gear and escaping before heavier reinforcements arrive. They tend to buy DarkNight weapons, armor and drugs - sometimes for use, sometimes for resale (particularly in the case of drugs).
And now, armor! The Power Projects 112 Silverback power armor was designed for speed and first strikes, and is the armor Phantom wears in combat. It trades protection for fusion turbines allowing limited flight (or very long jumps, if you prefer to see it that way) and a permanent 165% power output, which makes it fast as all hell. A special HUD system keeps the user from smashing into building walls and such. Handy!
More fiction! The squad is trying to track down the serial killer and ex-war criminal, but not before the less kind members of the team rough up the rookie for taking a Crazy Herman job. The leader, Cheronna, tracks down a sociopath SLOP by the name of Jackal and - though he's an arrogant Ebon scumbag - she manages to get good info out of him: the targets are Tremor Travis, an automatic weaponry monster, and Bloody Valentine, a Martial Arts expert from 'Orientia.' See, he had done his homework already because he would be paid in SLA credits for info he got using UNIs. Good business!
Next: New races! New drugs! New gribblies itching for your guts!
Partying like it's 901 SDOriginal SA post SLA Industries: Karma
Partying like it's 901 SD
Because you were all expecting it... drugs. Yup, Karma has new drugs available for sale!
Look at this happy motherfucker. Don't you want to be as happy as he is?
New drugs available include Alice , a powerful hallucinogenic; Drum , a relaxing sleep-trance drug (Ebons are fond of it); Flip , an anti-depressant and calmant; Lumo , an injectable pigment that changes the user's skin color ; and Slosh , hangover-less booze sold in cans. PCs might be interested in Blaze UV , a fast-action, fast-flush version of Ultraviolence; Bass , a strength enhancer; three new varieties of the KickStart medical drug, and Chain , which helps with the issues that occur with the LAD process. But what is the LAD process, you ask? LATER
An op-ed on the Cannibal Sectors! Guess what, they're awful. Carriens, mutant pigs, flies and worse lurk in them, just waiting for their chance to enter Mort and wreak havoc. The Gorezones mentioned earlier are said to cause more trouble to the patrolling Shivers in the area that they're worth, as wiser enemies like Cognate serial killer gangs look forward to them as their chance to break into the city, and it doesn't help that the news teams sometimes don't seal all the hatches back.
Two of the more recent nightmares from the Cannibal Sectors are cannibal humans, mutated by toxic waste and less mentionable things. These poor bastards end up like zombies, slow to react but stronger than the average human and hungry for flesh. And yeah, the disease is contagious. More dangerous than the zombies are the Ex-War Criminals: former Company Militia 'honorably discharged' and sent back to Mort after their ten-year tour of duty on the worst War Worlds of the universe is over. The Ex-War Criminals return to their homeworld broken men and women, ready to continue fighting for SLA - but their minds are warped in such a way that they see everything as the enemy. And because SLA is SLA, they return with their War World kit - advanced power armor, FEN Warmonger SMGs, Nuke Tendon implants, and more. Extermination warrants on them have nice-looking rewards, but they will chew inexperienced operatives and spit them out without even blinking.
And still, they're not the most dangerous things in the Cannibal Sectors. Those will always be Halloween Jack, the serial killer god, and Digger, the first Manchine. They are THE DARK BREED. Hey, it's the '90s, I just do the writeup.
Let's talk about fashion!
OK LET'S NOT
And now, a word by The Man himself.
Mr. Slayer, Expo 900 posted:
You gave me results and I rewarded you.
For hopes, I gave you dreams.
For war, I gave you battle.
For dreams, I gave you hope.
For honour, I gave you justice.
For money, I gave you purpose.
For blood, I gave you life.
For knowledge, I took it from you.
I will give you everything you want...
...for blind loyalty.
THAT'S TOTALLY NOT OMINOUS AT ALL NO SIR.
Let's talk Doppelgangers! Specifically, the Doppleganger Institute. It's a new Karma subsidiary, barely a year old, the brainchild of a Dr. Marcus Delani. He was a man with a vision, and he made it a reality - even if he had to put his own job at Karma's Stormer labs (and that of many others, without their knowledge or consent ) at risk. Fortunately, his gambit paid off and his Doppelganger Institute is on the rise! He is a cheerful man in the interview, though he gets strangely tight-lipped when asked about souls and theology. Spooky!
The Institute's flagship product is the Vevaphon , which is nothing less than an entirely new variety of biogenetic creature. The Vevaphon or 'Vev' is a biogenetic polymorph, able to take on different shapes and forms through the manipulation of individual cells in its body. It's designed from raw biogenetic material, unlike Stormers, based on Intruder's DNA code. Its nervous and cognitive system is spread all over the body, not just the head. It needs a lot of energy to function (either from a special Doppelganger edible paste or regular food, though it needs five times the usual amount of the latter) but it can change shape to pass through narrow spaces, harden their skin if they need armor, and even try to impersonate humans - though it cannot master the form completely.
This is also the part where the book forgets this is meant to be the fluff bit, and gives us the base skills for the Vevaphon. Oh well!
Humans : "Perfection of form and movement but lacking the versatility we possess."
Ebons : "The powers of these creatures are a mystery to me. I have no wish to learn the secrets they hold so dear."
Brain Wasters : "I cannot understand why this race bothers to exist. They are totally self-destructive. Violence breeds violence. By the looks of things, a lot of inbreeding does as well."
Shaktars : "You can teach a monkey to write so you can teach reptiles to use guns."
Frothers : "Complete lack of control - perhaps due to drugs, lack of intelligence, or more believably, their inability to raise themselves above the rank of savage."
Stormers : "A blend of pure strain warriors who are single minded, unstoppable, brave soldiers of SLA Industries. We have an unbreakable bons. The bond of biogenetics."
Wraith Raider : "Self centred, opinionated beasts that have only just managed to scrape themselves up a few notches on the food chain so that they are no longer classed as animals."
Chagrins : "They are the masters of power. Rage personified."
Xenos : "The Xeno is the pinnacle of Stormer technology. They have unique abilities that set them above others of their kind."
Oh, see those last two? Yes, they are new Stormer variants.
The Chagrin , Stormer variant 714, is basically the classic Stormer only more so. Chagrins are huge, up to 2.8m tall, musclebound as fuck and with two huge tusks in addition to their rows of razor sharp teeth. Their intellect and reaction time suffer in comparison to the average 313, not to mention a regular human, but it's not like they need a brain to brain people. They prefer to hang out with fellow Stormers, or whoever is carrying the most visible Karma implants if they're not present.
Humans : "Small. Easy to kill. Most alright."
Frother : "Harder than kill than other humans. Take two hits."
Ebon : "Talk too much."
Brain Waster : "Not like. Nasty. Try to hurt people. I hurt them good."
Shaktars : "Fight good. I fight better."
Wraith Raider : "Fast. Not strong. I am strong."
Vevaphon : "Like silly putty you can get at 'Joke and Tickle' shops."
Xeno : "How come their skin changes colour like that?"
Stormer : "They were first. I respect my elders.
And then there's the Xeno , Stormer variant 711. Xenos are more slender and agile than 313 Stormers, but their main deal is that their armored skin can change its pigmentation, allowing Xenos to blend with their surroundings. Their mental capacity is also improved compared to the 313 Stormer, and since their chameleon ability requires them to go in the buff most of the time, they're equipped with several "skin pockets" all over their body to carry their gear.
They also have GIANT BUG EYES.
Humans : "They created me. What more can I say?"
Frothers : "Single minded. Unbalanced. I tend to steer clear of them and their drugs."
Ebons : "The mind of the Ebon is a powerful thing but they lack physical stature."
Brain Waster : "Very brutish. Having Ebon powers makes them untrustworthy."
Shaktars : "The Shaktars have the right idea. Fast and deadly."
Wraith Raiders : "The Wraith Raiders are good at what they do. I respect them for their strength and cunning."
Vevaphons : "The manipulative control my biogenetic cousins possess is true perfection."
Stormers : "Although they have the power and some of my intelligence they are not assassins. They are soldiers. Very good soldiers."
Chagrins : "What they lack in intellect is more than compensated for by their strength. If they can't talk their way out of a situation, they can always tear their opponent limb from limb."
Other new biogenetic gribblies that are not PC material are the Stormer 114 "Low-Wave", an incredibly strong, incredibly docile Stormer meant for heavy industrial work; and the Domino Dog, a biogenetic killer hound that is both strong and slippery. No stats for them!
Next: another bunch of NPCs you don't care about and a trip to Warhammer 40K.
Is that a Stormer in your pantsOriginal SA post SLA Industries: Karma
Is that a Stormer in your pants
We left on an article about Phantom Pregnancy: the strangely named division of Karma responsible for manufacturing Stormers, and the single largest subdivision of any of SLA Industries' departments. Phantom Pregnancy is currently seeing their position as big dogs threatened by other subdivisions like Nuke Tendon and therefore are pushing new products like the Chagrin and the Xeno around, as well as giving the Doppleganger Institute a hand in creating the Vevaphon. Phantom Pregnancy's employees are proud of their biogenetic knowhow -and they neatly disregard the fact that it was Senti, her Deathwake device and arcane knowledge that made the very first Stormers.
Phantom Pregnancy's plants are everywhere in the World of Progress, and---
OH MY posted:
Even on the Pleasure World of Arkadia there is a Stormer production plant, although there are rumours about the growing (no pun intended) trend in biogenetic sex toys that can be purchased there.
NPCs! Dr. Ernest Strand is the man at the top of Phantom Pregnancy. A SLA operative in his youth, he soon joined Karma and worked his way up to a consultancy position and a doctorate in biogenetics, and later obtained the post of Head of Biogenetics from Mr. Slayer himself after the previous head died in an accident. His life is full of rumours like having arranged the death of the previous head himself, forcing his wife to commit suicide to marry someone else, having his heart replaced by a Stormer one and a metric fuckton of paternity suits. He is over 150 years old thanks to anagathic treatments and all the Nuke Tendon implants he can get. Dr. Strand favors SLA operatives over the corporate drones: Phantom (from the Symbiote squad) is his latest protegé op. Dr. Iesha Collins is the genius daughter of two Phantom Pregnancy techs that got her degree in Biogenetics before she turned 17 and caught the eye of Strand because of her detailed knowledge of Stormers. He took her to Phantom Pregnancy, and within years she became project head for the Low Wave Stormers. There are suspicions regarding her relationship with Strand and her quick ascent through the ranks, but she has enough achievements under her belt to dispel them. Dr. James Frederick Grey is a combat medic and war veteran from Dante: his experiences in the field led him to create the Chagrin Stormer. He has suffered health problems for years and is currently without a clear end project in sight, but he is still in good standing. Dr. Ethan Coen arrived in Mort on a Shaktar Ion transport, and worked his way up to a biogenetics degree and a position in Karma which led him to work on the development of 330 Gator Stormers in Artery (more on that later); unfortunately, injuries sustained during an attack by one of them left him with a limp that current medical science cannot heal due to an allergy to biogenetic material. He now heads a secret project by orders of Strand himself, and has a mild phobia of Stormers due to his experience. Dr. Taro Toyama (who is a woman, incidentally) comes from 'Orientia' and the press knows diddly squat about her, other than she's working on a high-SCL project under Strand's supervision. Dr. Maxon Hagen is a head consultant on three projects (Toyama's project, Coen's project and the Vevaphon project) and an unabashed racist against Ebons. He also had a 'good childhood' that involved her single mother getting murdered by DarkNight goons, laughing at mentally scarred orphan Ebons, and testing neurotoxins on classroom rats. No, seriously, he doesn't give a fuck.
He also rocks the bad boy look.
Dr. Gareth Miles is on his 60s and his life pursuit is the basic 313 Stormer. Tried and true is what works for him, and he would like nothing else than stay with his beloved 313s forever. Indeed, it's an obsession for the man: two years ago, he ordered all Phantom Pregnancy plants to make core copies of the 313 construction blueprints and bury them deep under the plants of each world, for posterity. Dr. Anna Strand is Ernest Strand's adopted daughter and has seen a tough time working in Karma, suffering accusations of sleeping her way through the ranks or even of her being Strand's actual daughter. Nonetheless, she has risen to a consultancy position on the 114 project, only three years into her employment with Phantom Pregancy, and people believe she will take over her adoptive father's position one day. Finally, Dr. Leo Black was a poor kid from Downtown who paid for his college classes by playing the sax at jazz clubs. He graduated from Meny University with full honors and took up a post as a consultant at Phantom Pregnancy. He is a cheery, laid back man who keeps his staff happy and works hard, though it's said that at night he can be heard playing the sax in the 714 facility.
There's a list of Stormer implants, but we'll get to those when we do crunch, and... Artery! Artery used to be a green, lush Natural World of predominantly vegetarian animal life: its ecosystem was collapsing within 25 years of colonization. The Conflict Wars almost destroyed what remained of the world, and the remaining survivors welcomed SLA taking over the planet. SLA turned it into an Industrial World, and while it doesn't strip mine its massive mineral resources carelessly, Artery is still a hellhole.
Most importantly, Artery is where the Angel Complex - the very first Stormer production plant - was built. It covers 30,000 square kilomters and it's a maze of tunnels, buildings and railways. Traffic is horribly crowded (hour-and-half trips that should take ten minutes are not uncommon), where the populace is worked ragged - but at least they get Nuke Tendon implants from the company. Gang violence in the lower tunnels is rife, and Artery Shivers are a tough lot that carries firearms as a matter of course. They are brutish and corrupt, a far cry from Mort Shivers, who are pretty decent people as far as 'jackbooted enforcers of corporate tyranny' goes. You could go outside to avoid the gangs and Shivers, but you would still have to endure the polluted atmosphere, mutated wild life and shitty weather. The Angel Complex itself is protected from enemy attack by the gigantic 'Chattering Wall' full of gun emplacements and guards: two-year service in the Wall is mandatory for all employees. The older buildings date to the time of Angel and Taarnish and are guarded by fanatical operatives that see themselves as the only line of defense against the evil heretics of DarkNight and Thresher, and highly aggressive and territorial custom 330 Gator Stormers.
They are adorable. Also they will rip your head off if you don't have the proper pass and show it IN FIVE SECONDS, MAGGOT.
As one approaches the center of Angel Complex, the environment becomes more oppressive and menacing, to the point of keeping Ebons at bay just from the pain and anguish that emanates from the area, until one reaches Malice Tower, the oldest free-standing structure on Artery, and the single largest Stormer production facility anywhere. Ebons believe the thing, and Artery in general, is a goddamn abomination. Even arriving at the planet and maintaining communications with it is hard, as the constant electromagnetic storms screw with the waves and the suffering it emanates forces Ebon navigators not to fold too close to it.
Fiction! Our hapless crew of ops are geared up, drugged up and ready to take on Valentine and Travis. They have their plan all set, but it seems that the two psychos have give them the slip... only for a ragged body to crash through the window of a nearby apartment. The team are led on a wild chase that ends with them facing the business end of a Carrien nest: while they're dealing with them, Valentine decapitates McClusky, the Frother member of the party. While the team picks itself up and switches to close combat weapons, Travis the War Criminal sneaks up behind Elmoe the rookie and knocks him with a Mutilator power fist - only for Elmoe to go berserk and tear him apart with nothing but his hands. Valentine tries to sneak on team leader Cheronna, but she gets a punch in the face and a Blitzer pointed at her head for her troubles. Unfortunately, the serial killer taunts Moger the Stormer a little too much and he lets loose with his machine gun, bringing the entire damaged building they were in down on them. Though Valentine escaped, he team survived and was considered to complete their BPN, so... happy endings? Moral of the story: Crazy Herman is a jerk, never take a job from him.
Next: Delia returns!
I totally didn't forget I was uh STUFFOriginal SA post SLA Industries: Karma
I totally didn't forget I was uh STUFF
The fuck is wrong with this guy's neck GODDAMN
Well! That was a long time. There even was a software update in the forums and all!
So as it turns out Delia, the SLA operative killed at the beginning of the book, was actually alive and well! Which would be a surprise if a) she weren't on the cover of the book and b) the book hadn't been announcing the possibility of LIFE AFTER DEATH every ten pages or so. Delia is ready to kick ass, and she is going to avenge her own death by going after Icon. bdazz
So what is LIFE AFTER DEATH ? See, immortality is no longer for Necanthrope fuckfaces. Now it's within reach of everyone! Everyone that works at SLA and has enough money to cover the procedure, that is. Born out of desperate combat surgery techniques practiced in the War World of Dante, it's basically rebuilding a dead body with implants and new organs before lack of oxygen damages the brain too much for resurrection. When registering with the LIFE AFTER DEATH company, an operative opens an account where they can put as much money as they want, with 1C as a minimum. The operative is then implanted with a chip that broadcasts a distress signal whenever it detects that the operative's life signs have gone out: a heavily armored Trauma Team- style flying ambulance drops by (in 4 minutes or less), picks up the corpse, and takes it back to LIFE AFTER DEATH for the procedure. Broken and damage organs and limbs are replaced, paid for from the funds in the operative's account, and the subject is finally brought back to life, with a shiny new LAD logo in their records from that point on. LIFE AFTER DEATH comes in six levels, depending on the moolah the operative has in their account.
1-999 c: the patient is patched up and stabilized, but no more.
1000-1999c : patient receives replacement limbs for those that were lost during the incident. No enhancement on these, but they will last for a lifetime. Skin not included.
2000-2999c : patient receives top-quality replacement organs and limbs, with new skin, hair and nails to conceal the surgery if requested.
3000-3999c : now we're talking business. The patient receives Sinewshock/brace and Shock/Brace tendons in addition to the bonuses of previous levels.
4000-4999c : full body reconstruction. The patient receives the equivalent of two sets of Sinewshock/brace and Shock/Brace Tendons. Skin is not automatically replaced for some reason but hey, 20/20 eyes and facial reconstruction come as standard.
5000c+ : at this level the patient gets to decide how they will look after their reconstruction. Zombie-style or supermodel hotness, it's all there.
Michael Jackson looks available to the proper SCL as well.
Operatives can also buy space in an "Assurance Locker", where they can store replacement organs and limbs that can be used right away in an emergency instead of having to wait for tissue typing and such. They can also be used to lessen the cost of a LIFE AFTER DEATH procedure.
And now for something completely different: cameras! Yeah, you can buy new different cameras to record your horrorshows with (no real mechanical difference between them other than different PV and integrity values, though.) There's also a small media glossary so you can talk shop with your Third Eye News controller like a pro.
Operatives also have access to a wide variety of replacement organs and implants! Since cyberware is for LOSERS, it's all genetically engineered stuff here. Operatives can have better eyes, heart, muscles, extra limbs and more, helpfully supplied by a large number of bioware manufacturers. With the exception of a couple of companies, all of them have signed the Racial Equality Agreement, which means they will charge the same for a human, Ebon, Shaktar or Wraith Raider organ or implant. (Stormer implants are, as we have seen, the province of Phantom Pregnancy.) Oh, and speaking of Phantom Pregnancy, they also sell biogenetic pets for that Blade Runner touch.
"Sour Blood", the Contract Killer. I would be sour too if I looked like that.
Next time: some actual crunch and we're done.
Munneh Munneh MunnehOriginal SA post SLA Industries: Karma
Munneh munneh munneh
Screw it, let's finish this book today. So, on with stats! First, we get stats and rules for the three new PC Stormer types. Chagrins get a fearsome 5-20 spread for STR, compensated by their 1-5 in DIA and 1- 3 in CHA. They can also run really fast, too. Other than that, they get no special rules (stats for their tusks would be included in errata - harder-hitting versions of the regular Stormer teeth, really)
Xenos also get above-average physical stats and below-average mental stats, though the gap is not as large as with the Chagrin. Their special rules are related to their skin: first, it doubles as armor, giving a PV of 7 to all locations in their bodies and doubling all HP. Second, their chameleon abilities let the Xeno blend in with their environment, as long as there is an environment to blend into (like, say, buildings.) They need to stay still for a number of Phases for the effect to kick in, applying part of their KNOW score as a penalty to any Detect rolls by opponents. The more time they stay still, the bigger portion of their KNOW they can apply.
Finally, the Vevaphon gets human-average stats, but the most special rules. Their metamorphosing abilities don't let them split their mass into two or more parts, move through apertures less than 25cm in diameter, reduce/increase size by more than 15%, duplicate specific individuals or merge with other Vevaphons. They can't receive implants, replacement limbs, organs, DNA tattoos or LAD procedures either. On the other hand, they can transfer points from STR to DEX and viceversa, as long as at least one point remains. They explicitly can go beyond their racial stat maximums, but they need to pass a CONC roll with a difficulty of 18 to pull it off. If they reduce a stat so that a skill keyed to it ends up with a higher score than its stat, they can only use the skill up to the level of their reduced stat until the points are restored. Vevaphons can also move PHYS points around with a CONC roll of 22+ to harden their skin, at the rate of 1 PHYS per 2 PV. This effect lasts for the Vev's CONC in rounds. They can also turn parts of their body to blunt or bladed weapons, transferring HP from a location to weapon damage on a one per one basis. It is actually possible to turn all of the HP in a location to damage, which will make the Vev lose the location and force it to recalculate HP in the other parts of its body. CONC rolls of 18+ are needed for each HP to be converted. PHYS can be transferred to the weapon to grant it penetration at the rate of 2 PHYS per 1 PEN. Finally, they can make vibroweapons: they start with a PEN of 2 but they require a CONC 17 roll each phase or the oscillation will break down.
As for damage, all kinetic damage deals half damage (round down) to a Vevaphon. Ebb abilities deal their full damage however. Vevs also take full damage if they have hardened their skin, as their cells actively try to resist damage instead of letting it pass through. If a body section is destroyed, the Vev loses 1 point from each of their main stats: they can all be regenerated later with the exception of DIA, CONC and KNOW as this represents memory loss. Vevaphons regenerate 1 HP per round, and they never take any Wounds.
There are also stat blocks for the Domino Dog and 114 Low Wave Stormer (but not the Gator Stormer, what the fuck ), as well as a new Traning Package. Media operatives are basically embedded journalists, trained in camera usage and int terviewing techniques. So I guess you can be that poor camera guy from Devil Inside, if you want!
He just wants to be your friend~
There is a reprint of character sheets, as well as a new firearm caliber damage/penetration/armor damage table that includes the new 9mm BLA caliber. The
PP112 Silverback armor is also described here: it has a PV of 15 and grants a +3 m /phase movement bonus when sprinting, as well as +1 PEN to all melee attacks simply because of the speed granted by the armor. Silverbacks can also fly at a speed of 30km/h in five second bursts every three rounds, or hover up to 70 meters high for those five secs. Their helmet, like the Scouting helmet, is also loaded with detector gear.
Next follows a section with NPC stats: we finally get to see the Mutant Pigs statted, as well as a traditional gallery of SLA ne'er-do-wells like Ex-War Criminals, serial killers, Darknight operatives, Thresher pilots, Manchines, Props and such. There are also stats for Shiver grunts, SCAF pilots, and regular Mort civvies, as well as a sampling of average SLA operatives.
There's also an equipment list.
Due to Errors and Omissions In SLA Industries This Is The Definitive List of all Equipment
Here we have all the guns, weapons, armor and gear in easy to reference pages: something that stands out is how gauss gun ball bearings have a PEN of -4 , so they're basically useless against anyone with decent armor (no wonder that one Shiver Commander was requesting Slayer for actual firearms in the previous book) All in all, this is all really useful info for actually running SLA game - something that should have been in the corebook. As is stands, you really need Karma as a GM to run the game.
New stuff! First, the drugs. The soft drugs just let the character using them "enjoy" effects like inebriatrion or trips, with the exception of Flip (+3 COOL for 3 hours) or Drum (allow Ebons to regain full FLUX in 3 hours, not 5 or 6). As for medical drugs, the Kickstart-derived ones are advanced versions of the original, with some extra effects - Solo gives +1 to COOL for two hours and autosuccess on PHYS rolls for 30 minutes, while Karma KS makes the PC heal more damage if they have Nuke Tendon implants. Finally, the Blaze UV combat drug is less effective, but also less addictive than the original and even then the detox penalty is not as bad, while Bass is a basic strength enhancer that everyone could use in a pinch.
Mutant flesh-eating pigs are metal and I will hear no argument otherwise.
Custom armor! PCs can spend 75C for a custom paintjob on their armor, rework the armor they have to any form they wish to, or even buy armor specifically customized to them. Rules are a bit confusing here: I tried building some of the basic corebook armors using the rules here, and I ended up with armor both cheaper and more expensive than the standard issue stuff. There is a list with prices for individual armor pieces - using this or not while building custom armor seems to make all the difference, and it's not particularly clear whether they're meant to or if they're just for the armor reworking rules.
Implants! The stat-raising implants are divided in Shock/Brace (DEX/STR implants) and Tendon/Sinew (long-term development vs. short-term boost) For instance, Sinewshock raises DEX by one point per implant, while Brace Tendons raise the racial maximum STR by +1. Combining Sinew and Tendon implants explicitly allows a character to raise STR and DEX beyond racial maximums, up to three points, but they don't affect PHYS. Also there is some weirdness where Sinew implants take some time to kick in (60 days for Sinewbraces, or 15 when used with Brace Tendons) - but Sinew implants must be bought one per each set of Brace Tendons, so characters don't seem to be able to have them without Tendon implants. Weird!
There are also skeletal enhancements that give a character claws or quills (which must be replaced) for extra damage in close combat, or augmenting the bone
structure for +3 hits per location and raising Tendon maximums by 5 instead of 3 points. This augmentation can be bought per individual location or in a
whole set, which is really cheap compared to buying it piecemeal. An extra 70 credits will let a PC retract their skeletal enhancements, but I'm not sure
how that is supposed to work with shell augmentation.
Photogenic as fuck, this guy.
As for Stormers, they can buy extra limbs that allow them to split their melee attacks (CONC 14+ roll though, which is dickish to most Stormers.) They can
also get an armored tail which hits like a truck and adds +3 HP to the torso, or enhancements to their natural claws and teeth, as well as elbow/knee
implants for unarmed combat. They can't use normal Tendon or Sinew implants, but instead get Assertion Tendons that provide a +1 bonus to both STR and DEX,
up to racial maximum plus three points. Finally, Surveyor Transition Optics give the Stormer an effective third eye, located in a stalk around the neck that can be manipulated to look in any direction required.
Then there is the list of replacement organs and limbs. These are all mostly the same: some are mere replacements for the originals, others provide some
form of bonus. Care must be taken as some organs are cheaper than others of the same effectiveness based solely on the brand - for instance, both Quad Valve
and Forever Young hearts from the Spore-Tech company both provide a +1 to PHYS rolls, but Forever Young is 100 credits cheaper for no reason. Non-Stormer characters can also get extra limbs, with the same rules as Stormers.
And now, LAD! Here is how it works. Once a character with a LAD account is retrieved by the trauma team, the cost of the procedure will depend on the damage
taken by the body. For instance, arm damage costs (HP lost * 20) credits to repair, with an extra 200 credits if all points are lost. Damage can quickly rack up a medical bill, and a character needs to have at least 1 HP remaining in both head and torso, otherwise LAD cannot revive them. Fluff text seems to indicate that LAD is all too willing to provide loans to characters whose accounts cannot cover for a full repair, however. The GM, if they so wish, can also reduce or increase the cost by fiat, but the book advises to keep things as 'realistic' as possible so that players don't simply leave their characters to die instead of footing the bill.
And that's it for SLA Industries: Karma! I seem to remember from other sources that LAD procedures also make the characters come back wrong somehow, as evidenced by the Chain drug that's supposed to counteract the side effects of it, but I can't find any rules for that in this book. Oh well.
Next time: The Mort Sourcebook, and THE TRUTH.