A slightly less gloomy World Of Progress

by Richard Thomassen

SLA Industries has a superb setting and a tight set of rules, but the whole game can be a bit too oppressive to play for a sustained game.

From our experiences, games such as Shadow Run and Feng Shui provide a more enjoyable, if shallower experience.

The resulting combination of ideas and rule modifications is the result.

Working The Shadows

Operatives are trained to entertain the masses and protect SLA Industries. After a year at Menny learning and training BPNs, the operatives are let loose on The World Of Progress.

BPNs are always available to operatives as a source of income. There are many who find BPNs are too restrictive with the operative facing constant physical danger, surveillance, debriefings and visits from IA.

Those who can sell their souls to SLA, as so many of those wishing to climb the corporate ladder have to do, get to walk in the spot-light. Those who can't walk in the shadows.

SLA sub companies are granted the right to offer contracts to Operatives to get their problems solved, from protection to recovering lost property.

These sub contracts do not offer the operative the Benefits of true BPNs - the sub-company may ask an operative to break the law or even inadvertently come into conflict with SLA, and the operative will have to deal with the consequences themselves.

After centuries of these "shadow" contracts, a culture of mutual silence has evolved - the operatives ask no questions, take the cash and "run the shadows". No official paperwork is seen or asked for.

The contracts can be for anything you would find in a BPN, from investigation, termination, to things no SLA operative should be found doing, such as assassination, theft and kidnap.

An operative on a normal BPN will have the full backing of SLA and the protection of departmental authorisation and sanctioning. The operative of a shadow contract has no official sanction from SLA to fulfil them, although accepting them is perfectly legal. SLA operatives found breaking SLA laws can not expect lenient treatment.


Under SLA Lite, a number of skills are handled with one skill. For instance, the Pistol skill gives skill in pistol, auto/support with pistols and weapon maintenance.

Skills Covered
1 &2 handed blades, weapon maintenance.
1 & 2 handed clubs, weapon maintenance.
Pole Arm
Scythe, Chain Axe, weapon maintenance.
Chain, Flail, Whip, weapon maintenance.
Unarmed, wrestling, weapon maintenance.
Martial Arts
As unarmed, but basing damage on DEX.
Hide, Sneak, Sleight-of-hand.
Pistol, Auto, WM
Rifle, Auto, WM
Drive Motorcycle, Mechanics.
Paired Weapons
Pistols, Melee weapons.
Gymnastics, Climb.
Running only.
Swim, Scuba.
Throw blade, Grenade.
Heavy weapons, WM.
Battle Suit
Silverback, DogeyBone, HARD, etc. WM.
Disguise, Impersonate.
Diplomacy, Interview, Haggle.
Communique, Bribery.
Persuasion, Seduction, Torture.
Intimidation, Leadership.

Electronics, Electronic Repair

Mechanics, Mechanical repair.
Demolitions, Demolitions Disposal.
Paramedic, Surgery, Medical Practice.
Tactics, Evaluate Opponent.

Tracking, Counter tracking.
Lock Pick
Electronic & Mechanical locks
Business practice, Business admin, Finance.
Forensics, Pathology
Electronic &; Manual forgery.
Lip reading, Sign Language.

Drive Civilian, Mechanics.
Drive Military
Drive Military, Mechanics.
Detect Only.
Marksman, WM.
Photography, Cinematography.
Computer Subterfuge
Computer use, computer subterfuge.
Survival, Navigation.
Streetwise only.
Language, Literacy. Killan, Wraith, Shaktarian, New Parisian, Orientan.
SLA Info
SLA Info, Rival Info, Computer Use.
Space Navigation
Space Navigation, Astronomy.
Psychology only.
Formulae only.
Ebb Powers
Ebb Powers, Ebb Activation

Complimentary Skills

If one skill can be used to aid another, a successful roll of the first will give a bonus of +3 on the second. For example, a successful mechanics roll will give a bonus when attempting to blow up machinery. An initial roll of over 20 will give further bonuses. i.e. 21 = +4, 22 = +5, etc.

Secondary Skills

As Listed

Any skill can be chosen (e.g. Occult Info (Know) or Skate Boarding (Dex))

New Skills

All new skills, even for new characters, start at a level determined by the skill attribute. All new skills cost 5 development points, then advance normally.

Attribute Rank
1-3 1
4-6 2
7-9 3
10-12 4
13-15 5

Rank 1 racial skills start at the attribute level.

Rank 2 racial skills start at the attribute level +1.

Package skills either increase by one level if the skill is already known, or start at the attribute level +1 if not.


Most advantages can be purchased with experience after play starts with GM approval. e.g. vehicles, accommodation and wealth are obvious, but also friends, luck, good timing, etc.


Disadvantages with a financial link (such as addictions and dependants) will have a minimum monthly cost of 10c per development point gained from the disadvantage.

e.g. Rank 5 dependants give 5 points, costing 50c per month. Rank 5 Drug Addiction gives 10 points, costing 100c per month.

Friends and Enemies

Acquaintances will be seen/used/abused/fled/called upon once per year per rank, typically.

Inanities and Compulsions

Handle as phobias - roll 2D10 + Rank. A total of 11+ means the character gives in. 21+ means total abandonment.


Housing costs 50c per month, plus or minus 5c per rank of good or bad housing. Housing rank may be considered "social reputation" and may positively or negatively effect some social or financial rolls.



To represent the problems humans have with aliens, humans gain a +2 bonus on all interaction rolls with other humans.


Activation of ebb powers requires a roll of:

11 + power level - ebb skill level - formulae.

For example, a Brain Waster with rank 8 Blast and Formulae of 2 activating a 5th level power would need a roll of (11+5-8-2) 6.

Formulae can only be increased only with the GMs permission and experience.

Formulae and Ebb powers can not be increased passed Concentration rank, and start at rank 1.

LAD accounts are not available.

Brain Wasters

Some are brain wasters are born charred. Some are born ebon and turn, some at puberty, some later, typically due to intense trauma.

As such, arrogance is not a racial requirement, but it is a stereotype. Many are secretly heartbroken at the innocence and purity they have lost, yet many rejoice at their new strength.



Each combat round lasts 10 seconds.

For initiative, roll DEX + 1D10.

The initiative roll determines how many "shots" the round is broken down into. Starting with the highest shot count, each character performs an action. Their next action will take place after a number of shots have been deducted for an action.

1 SLA action equates to 3 shots.


Required Hit Roll must exceed 10 + opponents weapon skill, or their parry or dodge roll. To parry or dodge roll 2D10 + weapon skill. This requires 1 shot.

Damage and Death

Damage, Penetration and ID of ammunition has changed. Relative strengths of ammo will remain the same but the exact numbers are not player knowledge.

When Hit Points are reduced to zero or less, all characters fall into a coma. A roll of 11 using 2D10 + STR/CON must be made or the character dies. This roll is made at a penalty of any negative hit points. LAD accounts will activate.

Each minute another Hit Point is lost and the death check must be re-rolled.

Ebb Powers

Powers take 3 shots of concentration, 1 shot of activation.