SLA Industries

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SLA Industries
Designer(s)Dave Allsop
Publisher(s)Nightfall Games
Publication date1993
Genre(s)Gothic, cyberpunk, dystopia, splatterpunk

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 dystopian far-flung future in which the majority of the known universe is either owned or indirectly controlled by the eponymous corporation "SLA Industries" and incorporates themes from the cyberpunk, horror, and conspiracy genres.

The game combined concepts inspired by a range of aesthetics and ideas. Elements include: song lyrics from David Bowie and the Industrial music scene, cyberpunk fiction (including Blade Runner and Max Headroom), anime / manga (including Akira, Appleseed, Bubblegum Crisis, and Trigun), and the growing cultural obsession with the media (including 24-hour news services and the Gladiator TV Show).


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 himself, "Intruder" and "Senti". The corporation is headquartered in "Mort City", a densely populated city-sprawl larger than Eurasia and surrounded by the urban ruins of the "Cannibal Sectors". It is all located on a vast planet (also called "Mort") that had been stripped of its natural resources to the point that the ecology had been utterly destroyed. SLA Industries controlled an undefined but vast number of planets, collectively referred to as the World of Progress, and governed them in accordance with Mr. Slayer's Big Picture. The setting is bleak and surreal, with much left deliberately ill-defined in the source material.

Players take the role of freelance employees of SLA Industries, called Operatives, living in Mort City and taking care of odd jobs assigned to them by the corporation. These jobs usually involve keeping the peace—chasing serial killers, hunting monsters in the sewers, quashing riots, foiling terrorist plots, and silencing dissidents are common themes. Appearance, style and branding are emphasized in the game world as much as combat ability, due to the omnipresence of television; for ambitious Operatives public persona and TV ratings are often as important as professional abilities. A supplement, the Contract Directory, also provides the option for players to play as celebrity gladiators called Contract Killers. As a role-playing experience, the game tends to be predisposed towards splatterpunk horror, noir, dark satire, and/or gunbunny high action. However, the complexity and Byzantine politics of the setting allow for slower-paced campaigns based around subversion, inter-departmental rivalry, and cut-throat power struggles within the company.

Along with humans, playable races include 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 evolution, 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.


SLA Industries was first published independently in 1993. The game was later bought by Wizards of the Coast late in 1994,[1] 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. Between 2003 and 2011 Cubicle 7 Entertainment produced new material, and in 2011 the license returned to Nightfall Games Ltd, who released supplements (known as Data Packets) as PDFs. In August, 2016, the Kickstarter for the SLA Industries: Cannibal Sector 1 miniatures game was launched by Daruma Productions and Nightfall Games. [2] On 22 June, 2018, Nightfall Games announced that Daruma Productions was entering the liquidation process and Nightfall would be taking over completion of the Kickstarter. [3] Nightfall have announced that Cannibal Sector 1 will be published in 2019 [4]

The Writers' Bible[edit]

Nightfall Games produced the SLA Industries Writers Bible, sometimes simply referred to as The Bible or The Truth, to allow freelance writers to grasp the complicated background of the game. The terms of the associated non-disclosure agreement required that the contents of the document remain secret. Following an extended hiatus in production of official SLA Industries material, editor Tim Dedopulos released the bible to the members of the SLA Industries email discussion list in 1998. The fans' reaction to The Truth was not entirely warm, and the remaining members of Nightfall Games made it clear that further redistribution of the bible was not permitted without their explicit permission. The writers have since made it clear that the bible was not intended for mass consumption - it had not been edited to the same standard as the published material, as it was an internal document used only to keep the work of disparate authors consistent with the intentions of Nightfall Games. It has also been explained that the process of revealing The Truth was originally to have happened over the course of several publications, each one containing more elements of an increasingly refined version of the backstory. In 2005 Cubicle 7 re-released the old Writers Bible, stating that this was no longer the Truth used internally for further development of material. It is no longer accessible and not considered canon by Nightfall Games.

Product line[edit]

  • SLA Industries Main Rulebook (ISBN 1 899749 23 3) published by Nightfall Games
  • Karma Sourcebook (ISBN 1 880992 56 6) published by Nightfall Games
  • GM screen
  • Hunter Sheets Issue 1 Supplement (ISBN 978 0 9555423 1 2) published by Cubicle 7
  • Hunter Sheets Issue 2 Supplement (ISBN 978 0 9556477 1 2 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.) published by Daruma Productions and Nightfall Games
  • "Klicks End" Data Packet, a PDF only Supplement published by Nightfall Games
  • "Momic 0.1" Data Packet, a PDF only Supplement published by Nightfall Games
  • "Dream" Data Packet, a PDF only Supplement published by Nightfall Games
  • "Hominid" Data Packet, a PDF only Supplement published by Nightfall Games
  • "Hunters Sheets: Red Alert" Data Packet, a PDF only Supplement published by Nightfall Games
  • "Cannibal Sector One" Supplement (352-lage full colour hardback book or pdf published by Nightfall Games)

The following are no longer canon:

  • "Mort" Sourcebook (ISBN 0 9522176 6 X) published by Wizards of the Coast
  • "The Key of Delhyread" Scenario (ISBN 978 1 899749 24 9) published by Hogshead Publishing
  • "The Contract Directory" Sourcebook (ISBN 978 1 899749 29 4) published by Hogshead Publishing
  • "CS1" Sourcebook (ISBN 978 0 9555423 0 5) published by Cubicle 7
  • "Ursa Carrien" Data Packet, a PDF only Supplement published by Nightfall Games


  1. ^ Appelcline, Shannon (August 3, 2006). "Wizards of the Coast: 1990–Present". A Brief History of Game. RPGnet. Retrieved September 1, 2006.
  2. ^ "Kickstarter". August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Daruma Liquidation". August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "CS1 Sourcebook". January 2, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  • Wallis, James (1994). "S.L.A. Industries". Inter*action (1): 118–122. ISSN 1353-4548. Review

External links[edit]