- 1 Custom Rules
- 1.1 Financial
- 1.2 Social
- 1.3 Professional
- 1.4 Medical
- 1.5 Firearms
- 1.6 Miscellaneous
- 1.7 Standing BPNs
Adding depth to a campaign is mainly about storytelling and interaction, but a few extra mechanisms for translating events in the story into game effects can be useful. Most of these optional rules add a little colour to the general campaign setting, enhancing the players’ feeling of immersion and involvement in a living, breathing world.
The financial rules are designed to expand upon the manner in which characters handle their finances. Costs of living are a drain on the characters’ resources, but for characters who choose to roleplay the extra depth added is worth the price. Stocks and shares allow shrewd players to make their money work for them, and for some to even work the stock market themselves, adding another level of interaction with financiers and other corporates. The Operative Credit Scheme enables characters the opportunity to recover from otherwise potentially fatal financial disasters, at a price to be paid later.
Cost of living
When a player sees the bonus scheme for a BPN they will generally mentally tally up how closer the sum will take them to the next bit of equipment on their shopping list. A character, however, will also be thinking of how they can use the money to get new shoes, a better apartment, a new TV, or sometimes even basics like food and heating. Frothers particularly are driven by their insatiable need for expensive drugs, but all characters will see their money dwindling over time as they spend it on the general cost of life. Tracking the cost of living needn’t be pin-point accurate, and if done on a general level can release players from having to track trivia such as buying drinks on BPNs, as these can be included in the overall costs. Tracking the characters’ outgoings means a GM will also have to track the in-game date, but this isn’t as much of a bind as it sounds if done only roughly. Costs can be tracked most easily by taking a lump sum off each character at the beginning or end of the month. Almost every credit a character spends will go to a SLA owned subsidiary, and so consider their monthly bill as balancing their credit. Listed here are rough cost examples for a character’s cost of living by month. Some of these choices are set by advantages and disadvantages taken during character creation, some are at the player’s discretion and some are set by the GM. A player may dispute that their cost of living is too high, but a GM should remind them that many people in real life are also at a loss to explain where much of their money goes. Remember, the GM’s decision is final.
A character’s housing is initially dictated by their rank in the housing advantage or disadvantage. If a character wishes to move to better accommodation then they may apply, but they aren’t guaranteed to get anything. Lower grade housing is in short supply, and luxury housing is allocated by committee. If a player wishes to move to a new home the GM should make a roll against the housing availability, adding the character’s reputation (whichever the GM deems appropriate, but generally SLA or public image). This may be done once a month, and will incur a one off charge of a month’s rent in addition to the rent due for administration, moving expenses and modifications carried out to make the house secure for an Operative. Ranks 8 and upwards of housing advantage represent the character owning the lease for their property and therefore pay no rent, and as such are not included in the list.
The character lives on the streets in Downtown. A homeless character may not own more equipment than he can carry unless he has an alternate place to store it, such as a vehicle. A GM should use their discretion with regards to equipment storage, thefts and general health of a homeless character. Remember that SLA forbids homeless Operatives from staying with friends.
- Lower Downtown bedsit
A bedsit in Lower Downtown is little more than a room with a bed and a TV in it. It will have access to a shared kitchen and a shared bathroom with a shower and toilet. Being in Lower Downtown, the building will be old, dilapidated, and badly in need of repair. Necessities such as power, heating and water will be intermittent and security is limited to a simple lock on a thin door. Even the walls are thin and weak, allowing the sounds of the neighbours to constantly penetrate and offering little resistance to any physical stress. The other residents of a bedsit in Lower Downtown are likely to be thin and unhealthy, forgotten by SLA’s welfare system and resentful of an Operative neighbour because of it. Despite the terrible conditions in these slums, the low cost puts them under great demand by those desperate to get off the streets.
- Small Lower Downtown apartment
Most housing in Lower Downtown is in a poor state. The buildings are ancient and neglected, and basic amenities are a luxury. This rank is typical apartment in Lower Downtown, occupied by the majority of the residents here. Nobody lives here by choice, but there are less comfortable options and so these little dwellings are under constant demand. Despite only having one small combined bedroom/living room/kitchen, and a tiny bathroom, many of these dwellings will have an entire family living in them.
- Large Lower Downtown apartment
Describing any Downtown apartment as large is misleading – it is still tiny, but compared to other housing there it is relatively large. This rank of housing will have a single bedroom, small living room, and a small bathroom and kitchen. Occasionally these are two small apartments knocked into one, usually accidentally. While a Lower Downtowner may see this as being luxurious, it is still fraught with the problems of living in such a squalid area.
- Upper Downtown bedsit
Bedsits in Upper Downtown are typically of the same size as the ones in Lower Downtown, but they have the advantage of having working electricity and water most of the time. The quality of the structures is good enough to stop people being able to kick holes in the walls, and so this is the minimum level of housing where an Op can consider leaving things unattended at home. Even so, security is poor and space is very limited. Other occupants of such poor housing are likely to feel resentment towards SLA and their employees for being made to live there.
- Small Upper Downtown apartment
Upper Downtown consists of millions of these small apartments. They are mass produced in vast concrete towers and consist of a single room that acts as bedroom, living room and kitchen, with a small bathroom attached. These are the staple housing of most of Mort’s population, and SLA provides them free for the unemployed. Operatives, however, have to pay for them.
- Large Upper Downtown apartment
While still very small, by Downtown standards this rank of housing is above average. Many Ops who grew up in Downtown choose to live in these locations as they prefer to be close to the areas where they spend most of their BPNs, and some feel more comfortable in their home environment. These apartments are similar to the average small apartments found in abundance, but have a separate bedroom and living room/kitchen. This allows an Op to fit a secure closet for equipment without dramatically reducing their living space. SLA sees this security as an important asset for its Ops, and will often prioritise them for this sort of housing.
- Upper Downtown family apartment
One of the successes of SLA’s benefits scheme is the family apartment. While many families in Downtown are forced to share a single room, lucky ones may get one of these multi-room apartments. Most are a result of an ongoing modernization programme run by the Dept of Housing, and demand for them is extreme. Consisting of two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, and a separate kitchen, this grade of housing is comparable to housing in Suburbia apart from the location. The rooms in a family apartment branch off a separate corridor, allowing particularly large families to use the living room as a third bedroom. All this is provided rent free to families on benefits. Operatives may apply for one of these large apartments, as a few are privately owned and exempt from allocation by the Dept of Housing. Those that aren’t occupied by families, though, are usually owned by influential gang members and other Downtown profiteers, so Operatives are advised to be cautious when dealing with potential landlords. Of course, an Operative with enough influence can always find a way around the red tape to get one legitimately.
- Suburban bedsit
The economic gap between Downtown and Suburbia is huge, and it shows in the quality of the housing. While uncommon, a bedsit in Suburbia may seem less inviting than an apartment in Downtown, but the presence of the inner wall and larger numbers of Shivers make it far safer. Suburban bedsits are usually used as temporary accommodation for those found without somewhere more suitable to live, or who are between homes. This makes them more like a motel or hostel, and rooms are usually available. Some choose to live there though, such as students needing a cheap but safe place to stay, and Shivers who use them like barrack blocks and thrive on the sense of camaraderie encouraged by shared accommodation.
- Suburban Apartment
The Suburban apartment is even more standardised than those in Downtown. They form row upon row of squat, cube-like concrete buildings and are depressingly identical. With few exceptions they resemble a smaller version of the family apartments found in Downtown, with a central corridor feeding into a bathroom, separate kitchen, living room and bedroom. Many Operatives live in such places, and often the living room is used as a second bedroom instead so that the rent can be shared.
|150c*||-1||+3||*75c if shared|
- Standard Uptown apartment
SLA pledges to try to house Operatives in these purpose built apartments. Whole buildings are set aside specifically for this purpose, with each apartment fitted with security doors and armoured cabinets to store weapons and armour. Additionally, CCTV and permanently manned reception provide an extra, active, level of security. The security of these buildings combined with a heavy Shiver presence make thefts of Operatives’ equipment rare. The apartment itself is small, with only one combined bedroom and lounge, a separate kitchen and a bathroom, but for most Ops this is entirely satisfactory. Standard apartments are well constructed in order to accommodate potentially energetic residents such as Frothers and Brain Wasters, and are usually well decorated. Operative housing, as with many residential buildings in Uptown, has underground parking for its residents.
- Extended Uptown apartment
Operatives who would like a little more space can choose to apply for one of the extended apartments. These are usually located on the corners of buildings and are less numerous, which of course makes them more desirable. Extended apartments are almost identical to the standard apartment, but are slightly larger with a separate bedroom and lounge/kitchen.
- Two-bedroom Uptown apartment
While more commonly occupied by families, Operatives do occasionally shun their purpose built accommodation in order to live among real people. This grade of housing is typically occupied by executives and successful freelancers such as reporters and financiers. As well as comfortable housing, the central parts of these buildings are usually given over to sporting facilities and children’s play areas, enabling the residents to relax in safety. Civilian apartment buildings in Uptown are administered by resident committees, and Operatives wishing to live in one must first convince the residents that they will not endanger them or their families, and that they will not lower the tone. A two-bedroom apartment in Uptown typically has a bathroom with bath and shower, a separate kitchen, lounge and two comfortably sized bedrooms.
- Three-bedroom Uptown apartment
These large apartments often share the same buildings as their two-bedroom counterpart. Similar in design, they have a spacious bathroom, separate kitchen, living room, dining room and three bedrooms. Rent: Rank: Availability: 500c 3 -6
- Two-bedroom Uptown penthouse suite
At the top of every tower block in Uptown are the penthouse suites. These expensive apartments are spacious, beautifully decorated, and offer stunning views of the city. The two-bedroom suites are the most affordable of these, but are rarely within an Operative’s price range. Typically a two-bedroom penthouse will have a large bathroom, separate kitchen and lounge, and two large bedrooms with smaller en-suite shower rooms.
- Two-bedroom luxury Uptown penthouse suite
All Uptown penthouses are luxurious, but some are more luxurious than others. Luxury suites consist of two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a generous kitchen, large living room and separate dining room. The typical luxury penthouse also has a balcony that hosts a small garden in addition to all the features of a regular penthouse. Chemically treated soil leeches the pollutants out of the rain, and biogenetically engineered plants never require cutting, allowing busy executives to enjoy their little patch of greenery. Most gardens have retractable covers to allow the residents to relax there without getting wet, or entertain guests on the lawn. Alternatively, some luxury apartments don’t have the garden but have individual underground garages.
- Three-bedroom luxury Uptown penthouse suite
The three-bedroom suite is very similar to the two-bedroom luxury suite, but is slightly larger and has an extra bedroom.
- Two-bedroom Uptown executive suite
Executive suites are the most decadent homes on Mort, found spanning the tops of residential buildings. They are vast, often occupying two levels and fed by private elevators. Each huge bedroom has a spacious en-suite bathroom complete with Jacuzzi, fitted music systems, and biogenetic self-tending plants. Often the centre of the suite is occupied by a lounge that rises through both levels, overlooked by balconies leading to the bedrooms and with glass ceilings and huge windows. Many executive suites have modest gardens, similar to luxury penthouses but larger. Access to these homes is by private elevator, which also leads to a private underground garage large enough for several vehicles.
Everybody’s got to eat, but some characters are more discerning about what they eat. Few Ops will choose to eat badly though, and players wishing to have their characters live on 12c a month should be prepared to accept a -1 phys due to malnutrition. Basic food represents a typical Op’s diet – a mix of fast food, nutrient snacks and an occasional bar meal. While this may not seem particularly healthy, Ops are usually extremely physically active and the nutrient snacks they supplement their basic diet with provide everything that pizza and burgers lack. Shaktar and Wraith Raiders tend to be more discerning about what they eat, and tend to prefer food prepared in the manner they are accustomed. Much of what they eat is shipped to Mort from off-world, and so is more expensive. SLA does what it can to subsidise these specialist ingredients though, so the price isn’t as high as it would normally be, and while the alien races prefer their own food they can survive on a basic diet as well as a human could. Stormers rarely care what their food tastes like. For them it is simply fuel, but as Stormers burn a lot more fuel then they eat much more. Most Stormers tend to eat food designed for them – a sort of protein rich tofu that other races find tasteless and plasticky. This is designed to be cheap enough for the Stormer to be able to consume enough of it and not suffer financially, and so it works out about the same as a basic human diet. Stormers are perfectly capable of eating normal food though, and often supplement their diet with red meat.
|Poor (low quality and quantity)||12|
|Basic (fast food, nutri-snacks)||30|
|Good (some prepared meals)||45|
|Very good (some restaurants)||60+|
|Stormer – basic||30|
|Stormer – supplemented||40|
|Wraith Raider – basic||35|
|Wraith Raider – racial||60|
|Shaktar – basic||40|
|Shaktar – racial||60|
Lifestyle is why many Ops are who they are. Their dangerous occupation gives them the money to be able to go out when they like, take recreational drugs whenever they like, sleep with whoever they like. This can be expensive. A GM should allow a player to choose a lifestyle that suits their character, but should also be prepared to step in should the lifestyle be inappropriate. It comes down to the player’s roleplaying. A player may choose several lifestyles if they are feeling particularly affluent, or a GM may allow them to combine some or create their own, providing the end cost seems reasonable. A character’s lifestyle has more effect than just a drain on finances. Life as an Op is stressful, and letting off steam stops it driving them crazy. The stress system is described in the Contract Circuit sourcebook, and each lifestyle will reduce stress by a certain amount to represent the amount of recreation and relaxation they allow themselves.
- Simple – 30c
Following a simple lifestyle is very cost effective way of living, but it is also a very difficult way. Few other than Shaktar have the self discipline to abstain from all vices, and a player should be ready to justify why their character lives like a monk to their GM. The basic costs incurred from a simple lifestyle represents replacing worn out clothing and other day-to-day paraphernalia.
Characters receive no reduction in stress from recreation. Shaktars receive a reduction of 1 stress per month through meditation. Brain Wasters and Frothers actually gain a point of stress every month. All characters suffer a -1 penalty to public image and media reputation.
- Clean – 100c
Some Ops like to be professional. They eat healthily, train hard, and prepare for their work like athletes. They rarely go out to bars and clubs, instead preferring healthy physical and social pursuits. It is common to find Shaktar, Ebons, Wraith Raiders, and many humans living in this manner. It is very rare for Frothers and Brain Wasters.
Characters lose one stress per month. Brain Wasters and Frothers receive no benefit.
- Regular – 150c
Most Ops are relatively moderate in their lifestyle. They go out partying once or twice a week, get decent clothes when it takes their fancy, buy the odd gadget or luxury.
All characters lose two points of stress every month as a result of their recreational activities.
- Party – 250c
Some Ops love to go out clubbing and drinking, Frothers and Brain Wasters particularly. Partying three or four times a week can really hit a person’s wallet though, and these characters often find themselves cutting back on other things to compensate. There are advantages to counterbalancing working hard with playing hard though.
Characters lose three stress every month through partying, drinking and relaxing. Shaktar and Wraith Raiders lose only two as they naturally prefer a quieter existence.
- Elegance – 300c
More refined Operatives, such as Ebons and human financiers and media Ops, prefer a more civilised lifestyle. They dress smartly, eat in restaurants, and enjoy the arts. While this doesn’t allow as much scope for releasing pent up frustration, it makes a character so much more approachable on a business level and respected among corporates as professionals.
Characters lose two stress every month as a result of their recreation. Frothers, Stormers, and Brain Wasters receive no loss. Characters also gain +1 reputation with regards to business transactions with corporate representatives.
- Fashion – +150c
Some people are fashion victims, and can’t be seen dead without the latest clothing and accessories. Whether it be Arducci suits or Sigerson Airwear and Clown Fabrics, a character who splashes out on the latest fashions and ensures they are never seen in the same outfit twice will stand more chance of grabbing the public’s attention.
Being fashionable gives a character a +1 bonus to public image and media reputation.
- Smoking – +5c/Addiction Rank
Smoking is still a common vice of many people in the World of Progress. While most Ops are aware of the health implications of smoking, few expect to live long enough to suffer from them. Even if they do, they’d most likely be wealthy enough to afford the medical treatment.
Characters lose one point of stress every month, but gain one potential stress every three days if made to stop.
- Drinking - +10c/Addiction Rank
Alcoholism is a common problem on Mort, and far more common among Ops. The pressures of the job often lead to them turning to drink to numb the pressures. This additional cost is not applicable if the character takes the Party lifestyle – more than enough booze to feed any addiction is provided by such a hedonistic lifestyle.
Characters lose 1 stress every month, but gain one potential stress every week if forced to stop.
- Drugs – variable
Characters who are addicted to one or more drugs will have to pay to feed their addiction. The GM should work out how many doses the character will need for the month and charge them accordingly. Frothers tend to find that this drives them to work particularly hard.
- Gambling - Variable
Gambling is a common vice among Operatives. They have the spare cash and are used to playing the odds with their lives. More often than not they're less lucky with their money.
Characters with the gambling disadvantage must make a Gambling skill roll once a month, minus the level of the disadvantage. Results in the 1-10 range equate to a loss of the roll multiplied by double the level of the addiction. Results between 11-20 equate to a loss equal to the result multiplied by the level of the addiction. Results of 20+ equate to a profit of the amount over 20 multiplied by the level of the addiction. If a double 1 is rolled, the loss is equal to the result multiplied by ten times the addiction. If a double 0 is rolled, and the result is above 20, the profit is the amount over 20 multiplied by ten times the level of the addiction.
The cost of owning a vehicle doesn’t end with the price of purchase. Most vehicles use a rechargeable power supply, so fuel bills are negligible, but repairs and maintenance can be expensive. While most vehicles won’t need maintenance every month, the amount describes the average cost over the course of a year, including servicing, testing, tyres, and suchlike.
|Small civilian motorcycle||5||Saipan Trail|
|Large civilian motorcycle||25||Calaharvey Raider|
|Small SLA motorcycle||15||Zaikuro T-Port, Zaikuro Samurai|
|Small SLA car||30|
|Large SLA motorcycle||35||Calaharvey Urbaniser|
|SLA military motorcycle||45||GC Patrol, BLA Pandora|
|Large SLA car||75||Augustus, Julius|
|SLA military jeep||100||GA 'J', MAL Prowler|
|SLA military APC||260||FEN Battle Taxi, FEN Phalanx|
Debt is a common thing in the World of Progress. Everybody wants to live beyond their means, and some don’t consider the consequences of doing so. Operatives are discouraged from getting into debt, but many still do. Gambling is the biggest cause of debt for Operatives, and SLA looks very disfavourably on employees with such poor financial sense as they put themselves in a position where they can be manipulated by external agencies. Administrative burdens such as these usually have short careers. Others, though, get into debt through less irresponsible means. Some suffer a disastrous fine or loss of payment that causes their living expenses to exceed their income temporarily. Others incur charges while in hospital or at a LAD facility and have to work to pay them back. Some simply need a cash boost to purchase equipment desperately needed for a BPN. SLA understands this, and offers a system of loans called the Operative Credit Scheme. The rates are designed to discourage using a loan as a source of temporary cash, but they do not negatively affect an Op’s progress – on the condition he is prompt with payments. The amount Operatives may borrow depends on their SCL. A higher SCL Op is more likely to earn money faster and therefore pay off more.
|SCL:||Maximum credit:||SCL:||Maximum credit:|
|7||6000c||3+||Unlimited, by appointment with Dept of Finance|
The maximum credit an Operative can request is adjusted by 10% per rank of reputation with the Dept of Finance.
SLA expects their employees to be financially responsible, and has a harsh rate of repayment. Interest and rates are deliberately kept simple for several reasons. SLA stands a better chance of getting their money back, Operatives are more likely to appreciate the impact of the loan, and fewer employee hours are spent by Ops and financiers alike trying to untangle their accounts. Every loan incurs a flat rate charge of 20% as soon as it is credited to the Operative’s account. From then on, a fixed interest charge of 5% a month of the remainder of the amount is incurred. In order to relieve Ops of the responsibility of repayment, a fixed 10% of the total loan will be debited from their account every month. Of course an Op may opt to pay more off and no extra charge is incurred – after all, the Operative Credit Scheme is designed as a financial safety net, not a money maker. SLA has civilians for that. Should the funds not be available from the Op’s account at the time of payment, an emergency payment of 5% (interest) will be taken instead to prevent the debt escalating, and a formal letter dispatched warning the Op of their financial predicament. Should the funds for the emergency payment not be available, the Op will be put into financial support by the Dept of Finance and will be called in to discuss their cash flow problems. Characters under financial support will automatically have 25% of any payment from a BPN redirected into paying off their loan until their case is reviewed at the end of the month. Should the amount recovered be equal or greater than the standard loan payment then the Op will be removed from financial support and continue with standard payments. If the amount recovered is greater than the emergency charge then the Op will remain on financial support. If the Op fails to make payment a second time they will be called into the Dept of Finance again. The Dept has several methods of recovering funds from those unable or unwilling to pay. Least drastically is to issue them BPNs to cover the costs. These are usually Yellows (retrieval), and are compulsory. The payment is the minimum for the colour, of which 100% is taken by the Dept, and no SCL increase is gained. If compulsory retrieval BPNs fail to pay off the entire outstanding loan amount (and the Dept is more than happy to issue one a day) then the Dept has the option of issuing a Yellow BPN against the Operative to repossess enough equipment to pay off the loan. Any equipment in decent working order can be recovered at 50% value up to the outstanding amount, and the Operatives confiscating it will not be sympathetic about which equipment is taken, as they are likely in debt too. If an Operative has shown themselves to be incapable of supporting their own finances, too incompetent to complete enough BPNs to pay off the amount, and owning insufficient equipment to cover the amount, final action will be taken. Usually the Op is homeless, penniless, and with no equipment by this stage. They are given two options: service or prison. Those who choose service are made employee status (SCL 11) and drafted into one of the more undesirable jobs in the World of Progress, ranging from Shiver, to Artery factory worker, to soldier. Of course the former Operative is not told which employment they will be used for until they agree to service. Prison is generally considered to be a better option than the military, but a worse option than a factory world. Penal colonies in the World of Progress are little more than slave camps. There is little in the way of health and safety, most waking hours are spent working in conditions that make Artery seem pleasant, and of course they receive no pay for it.
|Failed to pay monthly charge||Defaulted to emergency charge|
|Failed to pay emergency charge||-1 reputation with Dept of finance|
|Enrolled on Financial Support|
|Failed to pay emergency||-2 reputation with Dept of Finance|
|charge on financial support||-0.1 SCL|
|Issued compulsory BPNs|
|Failed to recover from financial||-2 reputation with Dept of Finance|
|support by compulsory BPN||-0.5 SCL|
|Repossession of equipment|
|Failed to recover from financial||SCL reduced to 11|
|support after repossession||Re-employed or incarcerated|
Example of a loan payment
The following chart is an example of a character borrowing 1000c and paying back the standard charge of 10% each month. The initial 20% (200c) charge is applied and the first month’s interest applied after the initial payment. Therein the Operative pays off the loan over fourteen months, incurring a total amount repaid of 1591c.
Operatives often invest in stocks to make their spare cash work for them. Usually they will get a financier to deal with all the paperwork, but many Business package Ops actually dabble themselves. If an Op wants to get a financier to deal with his stocks, the financier will give him monthly reports and the opportunity to reap any profits. If the Op chooses not to, the financier will simply take his percentage of the profits and re-invest the rest. If the Op wants to sell some shares, however, the financier will take a cut and give the Op the remaining profits. The broker’s fee varies, depending on the skill of the financier, but always involves a set fee. As a rough guide, the fee is usually ten times the financier's Business Finance skill and the monthly percentage is usually two times the financier's skill. If a character wants to dabble himself, he doesn't pay any fees but is probably not going to make as big a profit and has modifications according to his Business Administration skill. An Op is required to have a trade license before he can invest on the stock market himself, which is limited to the Business package.
Every month, a Business Finance roll is made to find out how well the shares are doing. The amount above or below 11 is equal to a 2% profit or loss on the amount invested. If an Op is managing his own shares a Business Administration roll must first be made, and if the total is 11+ the transactions are worked out in the normal way. SLA, however, is notoriously awkward when it comes to giving money away and there are many bureaucratic traps to fall into. If the Op fails his Business administration roll, the transactions get lost in the red tape and the shares are frozen for that month. If at any point a double one is rolled, something has gone terribly wrong. Another roll should be made with the amount rolled being used as an additional loss of 5% per point.
Re-sale of Equipment
As Operatives buy new equipment, the old stuff becomes obsolete. Sometimes the owner will wish to keep a spare weapon or armour, but often they will prefer to try to make some money back off them. SLA has a returns policy in place for Ops wishing to 'sell back' old equipment for reconditioning, despite all equipment being owned by SLA and leased to the Ops. Of course some Ops may prefer to sell privately to other Ops, which can also be done legally via a transfer of ownership. This method may sometimes make the seller a better profit, but it is usually offset by the charges SLA places on such transfers. It is also possible, although not recommended, for Operatives to sell their equipment on the black market. Players chosing this course of action would be better suited playing the scenario out with their GM, as it will inevitably lead to interesting situations.
The SLA returns programme offers Operatives the means to hand old equipment back for a modified refund of the original cost. The equipment is then refurbished and redistributed among other branches. Refurbished equipment is never resold to Operatives by SLA Industries. The equipment will be accepted for return providing it is in correct working condition, undamaged, and that it is unmodified. Upon return SLA will refund 60% of the original cost of the item.
Operatives wishing to sell equipment privately can get a better price than if they return the equipment, but it can be hit-and-miss. Transfers between player characters can be worked out between the players, but various methods of advertising equipment for sale exist legitimately and are widely utilised. Unlike returns, damaged or modified equipment can be transferred, although this will alter the price.
- Transfer Charge
SLA charges a flat rate of 10c to re-register equipment as an administration charge. Additionally, a tax of 15% is also charged. The responsibility for paying the charge and tax falls on the seller, so the 15% is taken from whatever price the seller receives, rather than adding to the price the buyer pays. These charges are mandatory regardless of the method of purchase, and failure to register a transfer of equipment effectively makes the transaction a black market sale.
- Sale Price
Methods of sale vary, but when selling to NPC Operatives the outcome is much the same. The price is usually haggled or auctioned, and as such is highly variable. Sales are made on a time period wherein it is assumed that the seller may have had several offers, but the outcome is the best price for them. The seller has the right to refuse the sale if they feel the offer is not high enough, but they will have to wait until the next time period has passed. When working out the offer the base price is represented by a roll of 2D10-4. The result of the roll is multiplied by 5 to give the percentage of the original price that is used as the base offer. Note that this may result in a negative result, indicating no interest from potential buyers. On top of this figure the seller may opt to use any haggle skill they have in order to adjust the price, with every success point an additional 5% up to a maximum of 90%. The final result is the base sale price for that time period.
- Sale Time Period
Different items take different amounts of time to sell, depending on demand. Common items such as ammunition, handguns, and low value armour are in good demand and will have a sale period of only a week. More unusual items such as KK weapons, exotic melee weapons, and expensive armour can have a sale period of several weeks. Specialist items such as customised equipment can take a month or more. The figure is very much down to the GM, but demand and availability should be factored into the period.
Damaged equipment can still be sold, but obviously at a reduced price. Again, the reduction can vary but the hard and fast rule that most Ops will be aware of is that the price is reduced by double the cost of the repairs. Most sellers will make the effort to fix whatever is broken, but sometimes the repairs are beyond their financial means.
- Custom Equipment
Selling customised equipment is a double edged sword. Often the equipment will be customised specific to a user, and as such will be less desirable to the buyer. Conversely, some Operatives have been known to buy equipment and customise it specifically for resale, and make a tidy profit. The change in price will very much depend on the nature of the customisation. Generally the price will be reduced - general aesthetic customisation will bring around -10%, while ergonomic customisation can reduce the sale price by 50%. However, sellers with a high public image or who are skilled in design or fashion can actually increase the value of an item. Again, the GM should decide the specifics.
The social rules allow the GM to represent the character’s interactions with the world on a larger scale than just BPNs. Reputations and sponsorships add another level to the campaign that helps bond the BPNs together into a cohesive story where actions in one job may affect the results of others.
Friends and Enemies
Clarifying the friend advantage and enemy disadvantage. Both work the same way, with the person either liking you or hating you depending which way the advantage/disadvantage goes. The specific advantage/disadvantage (major/minor) simply dictates the strength of emotion. A major friend will go out of their way to help the character, even to the point of risking their career or even life. Likewise a major enemy will want the character dead. Minor friends and enemies won't be nearly so passionate; friends will want favours in return, and enemies will be content to make a character's life difficult. The rank will dictate the influence and power of the friend or enemy;
- 1 - Monarch, Civilian
- 2 - Shiver, Office worker, Gang member
- 3 - Low SCL Op, Receptionist, Cameraman
- 4 - Shiver Sgt, Talent Scout, Reporter, minor gang leader
- 5 - Cloak Division Op, Financier, Anchor
- 6 - Shiver Cpt, Corporate researcher, News editor, 'Big 3' gang lieutenant
- 7 - Famous Contract Killer, Corporate senior manager, Channel head
- 8 - Necanthrope, Executive, Internal Affairs agent, 'Big 3' gang leader
- 9 - Subsidiary CEO
- 10 - SLA Department head
Reputations are a neglected aspect of the game, but can be very important to a more advanced campaign, so here are some guidelines.
|No coverage in a month||-2||Public image|
|Little coverage in a month (1 BPN)||-1||Public image|
|Average coverage in a month (1-2 BPNs)||0||Public image|
|Good coverage on a BPN||+1||Public image|
|Causing civilian casualties||-1 or more||Public image|
|Hitting a reporter (depending on popularity)||+/-1 to -2||Public image|
|-1 to -2||Media|
|Deliberately providing good camera footage||+1||Media|
|Successful BPN with extra effort||+1||Department|
|Spectacularly failed BPN||-1 or more||Department|
|Successful BPN for company||+1||Company|
|Unsuccessful BPN for company||0||Company|
|Spectacularly failed BPN for company||-1 or more||Company|
|Plugging a sponsor on TV||+1||Company|
|Dropping a sponsor||-3||Company|
|Being dropped by a sponsor||-1||Company|
|Being dodgy||-1 or more||Cloak/IA|
|Causing unnecessary civilian casualties||-1 or more||Cloak/IA|
|Pissing off an agent||-1||Cloak/IA|
These are just guidelines, but something not covered is if an Op does something REALLY bad he may have relevant reputations turned negative. If this is public image (and it frequently is) he could end up severely screwed.
"Man, I hate KPS. Okay, I punch a reporter a bit an' everyone gets pissed at me, so KPS cancel their sponsorship deal. Which is shitty to begin with 'cos now I have to do a BPN a week to pay off my loan, but what makes things worse is I can't afford to respray my armour an' so I leave their logo on my shoulder. Next thing I know some asshole lawyer is ringin' me and tellin' me KPS are gonna sue me for copyright infringement! 'Cos I'm wearing their fuckin' logo!"
Seamus Leary, Human Death Squad Op with Red October squad.
While lucrative sponsorship deals are mainly the domain of Contract Killers, successful Operatives can also attract lesser fortune if they have a knack for appearing on camera. SLA realises the potential for Ops to provide popular TV in a style that the Contract Circuit can’t provide, a sort of reality TV that is very popular. However, Operatives have a job to do and so to prevent them from being distracted too much by the bright lights and cameras there are restrictions placed upon how much they can benefit from sponsorships.
The amount of sponsors an Operative can have is limited by his SCL, but depends upon his reputations. The higher SCL an Op is, the more influential sponsors they are allowed to sign to. The quantity of sponsors a character can have is less tangible, and is dependant on their public image. As abstract a system as it is, a character can have a total of sponsorship points to allocate. Sponsors of different levels cost different amounts of points, and the total number of sponsorship points cannot exceed a character’s public image rating. If public image drops below the total sponsorship points, the highest SCL sponsor (ie, the best) will contact the Op and give him an ultimatum, either drop a smaller sponsor (to bring the sponsorship points back in line with public image) or lose their sponsorship. Public image is a fickle thing, and a particularly bad move on TV could cause an Op to lose all his sponsors in one fell swoop!
|SCL Requirement||Example Sponsor||Points cost||Income|
Sponsorships are arranged on a contractual basis. The Op may usually choose which type of deal he wants and they are by no means limited to these examples. The standard sponsorship contract works on a monthly basis. The Op wears the sponsor's logo on his armour and gets paid every month for doing so. The sponsor may cancel this contract at any time, and the Op may cancel at the beginning of the month. Another common form is for the sponsor to supply equipment for free in return for the sponsorship. This usually takes the form of working out how long it would take the Op to cover the cost of the item in sponsorship money and wearing the logo for that amount of time. The deal is then either cancelled or re-negotiated at that time. The payment and perks an Op gets from his sponsors depends upon his reputation with them. Payment is standardised by SLA to prevent Operatives becoming too much like Contract Killers, but other perks such as free clothing or equipment are not uncommon with particularly photogenic Ops.
Reputation with sponsor Effect
|Less than 0||Sponsor immediately cancels contract|
|0||Sponsor will not sign new sponsorship|
|1||Op may approach SCL 8 or 9 sponsors|
|2||SCL 9 sponsor may approach Op|
|Op may approach SCL 7 sponsor|
|3||SCL 8 sponsors may approach Op|
|Op may approach SCL 6 sponsor|
|4||SCL 9 sponsor may offer free goods up to 25c/month|
|SCL 7 sponsors may approach Op|
|Op may approach SCL 5 sponsor|
|5||SCL 8 sponsor may offer free goods up to 50c/month|
|SCL 6 sponsors may approach Op|
|6||SCL 9 sponsor may offer free goods up to 50c/month|
|SCL 7 sponsor may offer free goods up to 75c/month|
|SCL 5 sponsors may approach Op|
|7||SCL 8 sponsor may offer free goods up to 100c/month|
|SCL 6 sponsor may offer free goods up to 100c/month|
|8||SCL 7 sponsor may offer free goods up to 150c/month|
|SCL 5 sponsor may offer free goods up to 175c/month|
|9||SCL 6 sponsor may offer free goods up to 200c/month|
|10||SCL 5 sponsor may offer free goods up to 250c/month|
Sale of Footage
Footage taken on BPNs flagged for Third Eye coverage can often be sold to the TV channels. The price varies, dependent on many factors, but can prove very lucrative to squads who think to film their antics. Not all footage can be sold - carrien hunts in the sewers are ten a penny, but a showdown with a DarkNight Contract Killer will make the ratings. The prices below reflect the sale of combat footage in a BPN to channels like Third Eye News and Slaughterhouse Six. They form part of a montage of events of the day that are played regularly as part of rapid fire news bulletins. Footage taken for a documentary, such as a serial killer hunt, will depend on the reporter or Media Op.
Combat footage will generally bring between 20 and 50 credits per second, but various skills can extend the footage length with interviews and setup footage, and raise the price through better quality recording.
Footage fees per second:
- Combat: 20-50c
- Interview: 10c
- Padding: 5c
- Combat: As per actual combat length
- Interview: 1s per point over 10 for interviewee's Communique roll
- Padding: 1s per point over 10 of cameraman's Cinematography roll
Fee modifier rolls:
- Telegenics (subject): +5% per point over 10 for combat footage
- Cinematography (cameraman): +5% per point over 10 for combat footage
- Interview (interviewer): +5% per point over 10 for interview footage
- Business Administration (broker): +/-5% per point over or under 10 for combined footage
Third Eye will take the best results of everyone's footage, so if five people film something, the one piece which would make the most money is used.
The professional rules add a little for both starting characters and established ones. The new training packages offer a little more scope for players individualise their character, and the addition of supplementary packages can enable older characters to pick up benefits they might only have otherwise gained at character creation.
Operatives, during the course of their career, may wish to pick up extra training packages. This can be done by applying to Orange Crush, who will send the Op a Reality Overlay course to follow. The course takes two months to complete and trains the Op in the specialist forms of the package. Once the two months are passed an exam at Meny is taken and if it is passed the Op can now be classed as the new package as well as the old one. This is kind of like accumulating qualifications. SLA doesn't want their Ops studying constantly instead of completing BPNs, however, and so limit package changes to one at SCLs 8, 6 and 4, and at SCL2 an Op can train in as many packages as they like. The Operative will gain all of the advantages of the new package, as well as retaining any existing ones, but no skills are given. When the Op takes the exam, first he must pay a fee, which is usually 100c. At the end of the course (2 months) the Op goes to Meny for the exam, and must have all the skills in the package at a level set by the GM and which must be unknown to the player. The player must then put the relevant skills up to the level required by the exam, using experience from BPNs, in the two months. If all of the skills are equal or above this level the exam is passed and the package is earned. If any of the skills are lower than the required level the exam is failed and if the Op wishes to re-sit he must take (and pay for) the course again. The Sector Ranger package is not available as a secondary package due to the intense specialist training required.
|Investigation & Interrogation||100c|
|Medical||100c||Access to SLA medical database.|
|Pilot & Navigation||100c|
|Scout||100c||Use of Scout helmet, 3 month course.|
|Media||140c||Link to 'control'.|
The medical rules add an extra element of realism and risk to combat. Characters may find themselves incapacitated and in need from their friends. Serious injuries may have long-running effects as extreme forms of medicine are used. Characters suffering a lot of damage can’t just shoot up with kick-start and carry on, they must find medical attention and squads may be temporarily weakened as members recover.
Torso Hit Points
The problem with having the same amount of hits in the torso as total body is that it is very cut and dry between being alive and fighting and being dead. With the torso at two thirds of total body, the character can be effectively taken out of combat without killing him. This may lead to characters being taken out of combat more often, but should prevent them from being killed outright, leaving them to fight another day. It also gives their colleagues something else to think about.
Loss of hit points is the game’s representation of the body taking damage. As they stand, the rules for damage represent the amount of damage a location can take before it becomes unusable, but in reality the transition is not as black and white. Operatives are fit, healthy, and combat trained. They can take a certain amount of cuts, bruises, abrasions and minor tissue damage and continue to fight with little ill effect. Kick Start is designed to promote fast coagulation and recovery and can make a light injury negligible in seconds. It cannot re-grow muscle, bones, organs, and sinew though. These alterations blur the line between healthy and unhealthy and a little more reality to the way characters become injured. A location which reaches negative hit points will become useless until restored to positive hits, however, serious damage has been sustained and Kick Start or normal Ebb healing cannot fully repair the injury. Negative hit points must be healed by Ebb regeneration or with surgery and cannot be restored in the field. This has the effect of reducing the maximum number of hits the location can be healed back to by the negative amount, although total body hits can still be restored. A location taking such serious damage will be bleeding badly and as such every point below zero counts as an additional wound. These wounds can be counteracted with Ebb healing, but drugs will only heal any wound taken from the penetration. Either way the negative hit points remain. As these are very painful injuries, the negative modifier to skills incurred by the wounds are also accumulated. These negatives remain even if the wound is healed, although these can be countered with drugs such as Pain Away. Lastly, there is a 10% chance per negative point that serious damaged will be sustained such as losing an eye or finger, or having an organ damaged. Such damage will need a replacement, as described under LAD. A location that reaches a negative equal or greater than half its total hit points is considered to be severed or destroyed. Assuming the character survives, a destroyed limb may be replaced by Karma or Dark Lament. If the torso or head are reduced to negative half hit points the character dies.
Example; An Operative is shot in the leg and it is reduced from 8 to -3 hit points. This has multiple effects: The Op will collapse as the limb will no longer take his weight. The Op, in addition to the wound from the round penetrating his armour, has 3 more wounds. The extra wounds cause all rolls to be at a -3 modifier, making -4 in total, and the Op is bleeding at a rate of 1 point of total body every 3 rounds. The Op must make a phys roll at -4 to remain conscious, both from the amount of damage taken and from being reduced to negative hits in a location. There is a 30% chance that the Op has a serious injury such as a broken leg or torn sinew. The leg can now only be healed to 3 points below its normal level.
Later in the combat an Ebon comrade reaches the stricken Op. The Ebon heals the Op as much as possible, raising the leg to 5 (3 below the location’s maximum hits). The Op can now stand on the leg providing it isn’t broken (failed the 30% chance of a serious injury, at GM’s discretion). The Op is still bleeding and in a lot of pain though, and struggles to contribute to the remainder of the combat from the injuries.
After the combat the Op takes some medical drugs. A couple of doses of Kick Start stop most of the bleeding, and a dose of Pain Away removes the negative modifiers (at least until it wears off 6 hours later). The Ops should hope that this is enough to keep him alive long enough to get medical attention.
The paramedic skill is used to apply battlefield first aid to injured personnel in the field. It is quick and dirty, and designed to prolong life enough for the recipient to get to proper medical facilities. Mere flesh wounds are easily treated by Kick Start, but combat healing drugs have little effect on more serious wounds. Those wounds taken from a location being reduced to negative hit points cannot be healed by Kick Start, but paramedics can attend these more serious injuries and stem the bleeding. Each wound, regardless of cause, requires a seperate roll to treat and takes two minutes. The results are applied at the beginning of the action in order to prevent characters bleeding out while being treated, but will resume bleeding if the medic is interrupted. A successful roll will result in that wound being treated so that the bleeding is greatly reduced, however only medical treatment at a hospital will fully stop it. Paramedic can only be performed with the aid of a medical kit.
|1||1 per 30 mins|
|2||1 per 20 mins|
|3||1 per 10 mins|
|4||1 per 5 mins|
|5+||1 per min|
The Medical skill allows more advanced healing once a character is in a properly equipped facility.
After sustaining serious injuries, a character must seek professional medical attention if they are to recover. The basic cost for this is 20c per negative point of the injury. Extra fees will be incurred, for example Killcopter evacuation or an ambulance will cost 500c and 100c respectively, and if the Op is still down hit points or is bleeding he will have to cover the cost of the Kick Start used to stabilise him. The Op will be hospitalised for an amount of days equal to the sum of all negatives in all locations. People can also opt for Ebb regeneration, which is faster but more expensive (and a bit creepy for non-Ebons). Limbs cost 30c per negative hit point and take between 5 and 10 minutes, while torso and head costs 50c per point and take around an hour. While medicine cannot recreate lost limbs (although Karma can, see below), Ebb healing can regenerate body parts in a matter of days. The time and cost depends on how much of the location is destroyed, and the replacement will be identical to the one lost. Ebb healing cannot regenerate Karma enhanced body parts.
|Arm||250c – 600c||12-36 hours|
|Leg||200c – 700c||8-48 hours|
Life After Death
Since 900SD Karma’s Life After Death facility has made a massive difference to the lives of many Operatives and Contract Killers. Death is no longer the disadvantage it once was, and a 1c LAD account can allow a fallen Op to rise again. While LAD is chiefly described in the Karma sourcebook, this section attempts to clarify some points and also take into account the other medical rules mentioned here. With the addition of the rules regarding serious injuries, locations can now reach negative hit points. As a result, the torso and head can now reach zero hit points and less and still be repaired so long as they haven't dropped to minus half or below. Of course reaching 0 total body hit points still results in death. The cost of repairs by LAD depends on the damage and the location, the same as in Karma, but extra costs are also likely. The 'patient' will have to be given Chain in order for the process to be successful and he must cover the costs of the amount used during his recovery. Kilcopter evacuation will also cost 500 credits. Obviously, the patient will have to pay for any organ or limb replacements, with the quality of the replacements depending on the amount of credit in their account. Any superior implants are not freebies, they will be deducted from the account if there is enough money, otherwise they will be replaced with the nearest affordable set. Operatives with insufficient funds will be revived and given the option of a SLA loan (see financial section) to pay for any required replacements. An Operative with insufficient funds to cover revival will have a loan taken out in his name for the amount required. Most have no objection to this. As well as the financial costs, there are other prices to pay for dying. The character will be addicted to Chain and must take one dose a day as per the rules in the Karma sourcebook. Also, death is quite a disturbing experience and has been known to send Ops insane. A character who receives LAD treatment must make a cool roll minus double the amount below zero their total hits was on after their death (remember +3 cool from the Chain). If the roll is failed, the amount below 11 is equal to a rank of psychosis. The psychosis should be relevant to the death and discussed between the player and the DM.
- Replacement Limbs:
While most of the Karma replacements from LAD may appear similar in all but price, adding a few minor effects can provide an incentive for a character to splash out a little.
|Hands:||Claw||250c each||Claws (1 PEN to punch attack)|
|4 Paw||200c each||No little finger|
|Arms:||Bi-Tech||450c each||+2 STR for lifting capacity (per pair)|
|Flex||400c each||+1 STR for lifting capacity (per pair)|
|Feet:||Sprinter||300c each||+0.1 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Far reach||200c each||no toes - -1 to all rolls involving balance|
|Frantic||300c each||+1 to all rolls involving balance (per pair)|
|Frantic||600c each||+0.2 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Bi-Tech||650c each||+0.3 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Gripper||500c each||+0.1 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Arms:||Brute II||500c each||+3 STR for lifting capacity (per pair)|
|Legs:||Bi-Sport 3000||800c each||+0.5 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Hands:||Club||175c each||-1 to all rolls using hand|
|Stretch Limb||300c each|
|Bi-Limb||350c each||+1 STR for lifting capacity (per pair)|
|Feet:||Flexer||350c each||+2 to all rolls involving balance|
|Bi-Pad||200c each||only has two large toes|
|Sure Foot||270c each||+1 to all roll involving balance (per pair)|
|Legs:||Bi-Pad||500c each||+0.1 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Flexer||540c each||+0.2 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|True Step||495c each||+0.1 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
|Skin:||Easy Flow||600c||No hair, slightly plastic looking|
|Hands:||Excel||300c each||No little finger, +1 to all rolls using hand|
|Excel II||375c each||+1 to all rolls using hand|
|Arms:||Excel||500c each||+3 STR for lifting capacity (per pair)|
|Feet:||Excel||450c each||+3 to all rolls involving balance (per pair)|
|Legs:||Excel||700c each||+0.4 run and sprint rate (per pair)|
Drugs are often a neglected part of campaigns. Characters rarely take enough to be addicted, unless already so, and even more rarely suffer detox effects. Certain combat drugs could be considered unbalanced and out of character with the harsh realism of the combat in the game. Elaborating the rules on drugs allows the GM to introduce a few more interesting effects and withdraw some of the less appropriate ones.
Ultra-Violence & Blaze UV
The Ultra-Violence based combat drugs are designed to give the user increased speed, fearlessness, resistance to damage, and immunity to pain. They represent these factors very well in all but one aspect – the resistance to damage. The drugs do not make a character’s body harder or tougher, they simply give the user the ability to ignore the effects of the damage. Halving the damage taken, therefore, feels more like a game mechanism than a representation of effects. As an alternative, a GM may consider this variation on the damage modification aspect of UV and Blaze UV. All other bonuses from the drug are retained, but rather than halve all damage taken UV users take no point of bruising damage if a weapon’s damage and penetration fail to exceed their armour. Additionally, the user’s ignorance of their injuries negate any modifiers to rolls due to wounds and serious injuries. While this now makes Frothers less powerful than they were, their drugs still give them quite an advantage over a non-UV enhanced human.
With the addition of the serious injury rules, Pain Away can be given the optional effect of reducing the negative modifiers from wounds. It is described as a powerful pain killer, and for the duration of the effects it is not unreasonable to assume that a character under the effects could ignore the distraction caused by the discomfort of their wounds.
While most Ops are aware of the danger of becoming addicted to the drugs that form part of their daily routine, less are aware of the dangers of taking cocktails of drugs. Individually these drugs are relatively safe, but any Op who cares to read the instruction will see that it is recommended that they are not mixed with others. While it states in the SLA Industries main rule book that cocktails of drugs cannot be taken, this more than likely refers to several drugs mixed into one syringe. Few would be insane enough to try this, but should someone attempt it an instant PHYS roll with negatives depending upon the mix should be made to avoid overdosing (see below) immediately. Passing this roll leaves the user still feeling ill but otherwise fine. Regardless, none of the intended effects work. Drugs taken at the same time but not mixed together are a safer option, but are still risky. The effects will act as normal, but a modified PHYS roll must be made when the effects kick in three phases later. If this roll is failed the character will overdose, otherwise they can continue unaffected. Kick Start is designed to allow several doses at once to be taken without ill effects, but different varieties of Kick Start still run the risk of an overdose. In the cases of both cocktails and simultaneous doses the PHYS rolls are compulsory, and drugs such as Pain Away and UV will not exempt a character.
PHYS modifiers for multiple drug use
Even without shooting up cocktails of drugs, a character taking too many doses in too short a space of time can still risk an overdose. To work out if a character may overdose, the two addiction statistics for the drug are used. The first statistic (eg, -1 PHYS per 15 doses) indicates the amount of doses that can be safely taken, and the second statistic (eg, 1 dose/day) is the space of time the aforementioned doses must be taken within to risk overdose. If the amount of doses is exceeded within the timescale the character must make a PHYS roll at -1 for the first dose, and any subsequent doses will accumulate another -1 PHYS. If the character fails a PHYS roll, he will OD. The effects of overdosing are the same as the detox effects of the drug, or the combined detox effects of all the drugs if several have caused the overdose. Flush may be used to prevent an overdosing character taking any detox effects, effectively forcing the character to pass his PHYS roll for that occasion. No other drugs will prevent the PHYS roll from having to be taken.
Ranged combat is an integral part of SLA Industries, and this selection of advanced firearm rules can add more realism and tactical considerations to gunfights.
The rules for taking multiple phases to aim are ambiguous with respect to how long you recieve the bonus for. Any marksman is trained to re-aim after every shot, at least partly because the recoil will kick your aim out anyway. So aims only apply for one shot, after that the modifiers are reset to 0, with no bonus or penalties.
A character who knows exactly where a target will appear (to within a few degrees) can bring to bear in advance. This is called being in overwatch, and when the target appears the firer can bring to bear for free on a DEX -2 roll. A character in overwatch cannot aim in advance.
A character using auto fire, i.e. firing a burst at a single target, should roll to hit as normal using the appropriate weapon skill (rifle/pistol). If the attack is successful, the amount of rounds that hit are worked out using the same roll, but with the auto/support skill instead. For every two points over 11 of the remaining score, a round hits up to the RoF of the weapon. This translates to an additional hit on 13, 15, 17, 19 etc.
A character using suppressive fire is firing fully automatic fire against an area or group of targets, locking the trigger for a continuous stream rather than a burst. The firer must declare the area or group they are shooting at and roll to hit as normal. All normal firing modifiers apply (range, rate of fire etc), but the firer recieves no bonus for aiming (so all shots are at -3 for being wild). Target modifiers are taken into account later. The amount of rounds which hit depends on the range of the targets and uses the firer's Auto/Support skill;
- Point Blank: One hit every 2 points (11, 13, 15, 17 etc)
- Optimum range: One hit every 3 points (11, 14, 17, 20 etc)
- Medium range: One hit every 4 points (11, 15, 19, 24 etc)
- Long range: One hit every 5 points (11, 16, 21, 26 etc)
The hits are distributed among the targets in order from the ones with the least modifiers to hit to the ones with the most until those modifiers bring down the roll result to a point where the round would miss. The distribution of the targets will also cause modifiers. Every lateral meter between targets will accrue a -1 modifier to the roll, while multiple targets within a meter span will give a +1 per additional target. Suppressive fire is effective on every phase, regardless of whether the firer normally acts. However, on those phases where the firer does not act their weapon skill is not added to the roll.
Fk'Khr fires his Power Reaper at a squad of six DarkNight 10m away who are each on average two meters apart. When he makes his roll he has the following modifiers:
- -3 for suppressive fire (wild shot)
- -2 for target spacing
- +4 for rate of fire
- +8 for rifle skill
He must make a roll at +7 to hit anything at all. Assuming he does, at 10m (optimum range) he will hit an extra target for every 3 points of his roll, using his Auto/Support skill. So, if Fk'Khr rolls an average 11 his result to hit is 18. Having successfully hit the group, he can work out how many rounds of the burst hit. Assuming his Auto/Support skill is also 8, the result of 18 will cause three hits - 11, 14, and 17.
Now lets put the DarkNight squad in a 2m wide corridor, at the same distance. This time there are 6 targets in a 2m span, giving him the following modifiers:
- -3 for suppressive fire (wild shot)
- +2 for target spacing
- +4 for rate of fire
- +8 for rifle skill
Rolling an 11 again now gives him a result of 22, he hits the group with four rounds - 11, 14, 17, and 20.
This time four of the original DarkNight squad are in heavy cover. The rolls are the same as in example 1, but this time the amount of rounds that hit are distributed among those not under cover first. The third hit suffers from the -3 modifier for the cover, dropping it below 17 and hitting the cover instead.
While modern weaponry is designed to be extremely reliable, even the most reliable firearm will jam eventually unless properly cared for. Operatives in particular put their weapons through a lot, getting water, dust, sewage and gore in them. Add to this the amount of rounds that are sometimes fired from them and the chances of the weapons jamming increases by a huge amount. Correct maintenance and the correct equipment to take care of a firearm can minimise the risk of such an occurrence. If at any point a double 1 is rolled when firing a weapon there is a chance of it jamming. This depends on several factors: the type of the ammo, whether the weapon has been customised, the rate of fire, and how well looked after the weapon is. Should a double 1 be rolled a weapons maintenance roll should be made with the appropriate modifiers (see below). If the roll is passed then the result is a simple miss, but if the roll is failed the gun will jam and several actions (and another weapons maintenance roll) must be spent to un-jam it again. The amount of actions taken should be equal to the amount the roll was failed by. If the unfortunate firer rolls a double 1 for his weapons maintenance roll something has gone badly wrong in the mechanisms and the weapon is rendered unusable until it can be repaired.
|Ammo:||Std||0||Rate of fire:||1||0|
|Blank||-4||Clip not full||+2|
|Hotline||-3||Custom repeat action||-2|
|Slug||-2||No maintenance kit||-5|
|Chopper||0||Very wet conditions||-3|
|Disc||+2||Very cold conditions||-1|
Using SMGs and rifles one-handed
Submachine guns are small enough to be used one handed, but are designed to be supported by the other hand. Rifles are not designed to be fired one-handed, and the balance of the weapon makes it very difficult to do so. Characters firing an SMG or rifle one-handed have the weapon's recoil doubled, and in the case of rifles suffer an additional -3 (-5 for oversized rifles) penalty due to the size.
At long ranges there are a lot more factors to take into account. Snipers have many considerations, and to take those extreme range shots will need to do some preperation to have the greatest chance of hitting their target. Bear in mind that these rules won't affect combat most of the time, it's really designed for very long range, aimed shots.
- Bullet Drop
A round will always fall at the same speed, the only factor is how far it gets before it lands. Snipers need to account for the round falling over long distances and aim high. This can be easily done by adjusting sights to the correct range, which raises them in compensation. Spending a phase setting sights for shots at long or extreme range will add +1 to the roll.
Not all shots will be affected by wind, but considering that most shots over long range will be outdoors due to the distance involved, it's fair to say most will be. Shooters need to adjust their aim against the wind in order for it to take the round onto their target. This translates to between a 0 and -3 (or more in exceptional circumstances) modifier depending on wind strength, with an average on Mort of -2 at long range. Wind modifiers are doubled at extreme range. Wind can be compensated to some extent by measuring wind speed in advance, and shooters taking a wind measurement before their shot can reduce the wind penalty by half. Alternatively the shooter can make a marksmanship roll to guess the wind. A successful roll reduces the modifier by 1, and a roll over 20 reduces it by 2.
Scopes and Sights
This is an alternative to the scopes listed in the game. It offers more variety and specialisation in which optics can be fitted to a weapon, offering both advantages and disadvantages for each type.
Laser Painters - +1 up to 25m or up to 150m with scope, modifier stands with wild shots up to 25m
- CAF Red - 5c, visible red light
- CAF Green - 8c, visible green light, up to 175m with scope
- FEN IR - 20c, variable settings for: red visible laser, IR laser, white light torch, IR torch, red dot sight, or any combination.
- FEN UV - 20c, variable settings for: red visible laser, UV laser, white light torch, UV torch, red dot sight, or any combination.
Mounted Flashlight - +1 up to 10m, wild shot only, opponent must make a CONC roll or be dazzled if facing shooter.
- CAF underslung flashlight - 2c, white or red light, dazzle up to 10m
- FEN IR flashlight - 3c, IR light, no dazzle
- FEN mounted spotlamp - 3c, white light, -3 to CONC roll for dazzle up to 50m
Red dot sights - +1 up to effective range for non-wild shots.
- 1x reflex - 5c, up to 25m
- 1.5x scope - 8c, up to 35m
- 4x scope - 12c, up to 100m
- 6x scope - 18c, up to 150m
Telescopic sights - Reduces range modifiers by half the magnification factor. Telescopic sights recieve a -4 to use at point blank range, which is also extended by half the magnification factor.
- 4x scope - 10c, minumum range 10m, -2 range modifier
- 8x scope - 20c, minimum range 20m, -4 range modifier
- 12x scope - 40c, minimum range 30m, -8 range modifier
The Gun Kata (CONC)
Gun Kata is a style of fighting developed in Orienta which uses a pair of pistols to good effect. While still very rare, the Gun Kata is becoming more and more popular on the Contract Circuit because of its cinematic style and balletic finesse. A character armed with two identical pistols may opt to use the Gun Kata skill instead of their pistol skill. When using the Gun Kata both weapons are fired in a single attack, adding together the rates of fire (rounded down for the purpose of RoF bonus). Every point over 11 counts as an additional hit, up to the combined RoF of the weapons. Characters must have the ambidexterity advantage in order to use the Gun Kata, and the skill cannot exceed the character's pistol skill.
While combat may be considered complex enough, advanced players and GMs may wish to add further realism by implementing some or all of these optional system rules.
Combat in SLA industries could potentially benefit from a little randomisation of where a hit might land. As it stands, most shots will hit the torso unless there is a specific reason for the attacker to aim elsewhere. By adding a little chance to where a location might hit there is a little more uncertainty and more potential for fortune or disaster. A character who does not aim for a specific location will generally hit the torso, but may occasionally hit another location. This depends on the final result of the skill roll, as shown below. A character aiming for a location still runs the risk of hitting the wrong one.
|Less than 11||Miss||Miss||Miss||Miss||Miss|
A character wishing to use two weapons at once may split the attack roll between two simultaneous attacks. Both attacks must be directed against the same target (or group of targets in the case of suppressive fire), but are otherwise treated seperately. Attackers without the ambidexterity advantage suffer a -3 penalty to the weapon in the offhand. Paired ranged attacks cannot be aimed. If the weapons are not identical the firer suffers a -1 penalty to both. Additionally, a different rate of fire will accrue another penalty of -2.
Note that characters using dual weapons but only using one at a time do not suffer any of the above penalties apart from the -3 modifier on the offhand weapon.
Melee vs multiple opponents
A character fighting multiple opponents in melee may direct attacks or parries against as many opponents as they have weapons. The weapon skill must be split between the weapons, but the exact numbers are up to the user. Characters who do not have the ambidextrous advantage are at a -3 modifier to the weapon in their offhand.
Formulae and Ebb Abilities
Formulae is an Ebon's knowledge and experience concerning the Ebb, therefore it is fair to say that the higher an Ebon's Formulae, the more skilled he is. This could be represented by limiting the rank an Ebon can put his abilities to by his Formulae plus 10, and also prevents them getting very powerful very quickly by pumping all their experience into one ability. As in the book, Ebons start with one point of formulae which restricts their ranks to 11. This can be limiting to new Ebon characters initially, but Formulae should be acquired quite quickly at first as the Ebon learns more about the Ebb and the limit adds for the player the incentive to roleplay the thirst for knowledge an Ebon character feels.
There is a certain amount of confusion about how the Thermal Gauge affects Red and Blue Thermal abilities. In either case the gauge will give the user access to the next level of the ability, effectively increasing it by one.
Ranged Ebb Attacks
Some ranged Ebb attacks, such as Thermal Ball, originate from the Ebon. These attacks do not need bringing to bear, but also cannot be aimed. All other normal modifiers apply. Blast abilities can be used in the same way if the Ebon chooses to forego the use of their Flintlock.
UV and IR vision
What's the difference between UV and IR? Well realistically none, but this doesn't really add much to the game. A way of representing the two vision types could be to have UV take the form of light amplification (night-vision) and IR as thermal imaging. This way there is a difference between the two, each of which is useful in its own way. UV can provide high resolution black and white images in very low light conditions, but is useless when there is no light. IR, on the other hand, is lower resolution and detail is difficult to make out because the user is seeing heat, rather than light. IR is useful in extremely dark conditions where UV wouldn't work, and warm things (such as a body, armour or a recently fired gun) can be seen through camouflage and shadow, making it potentially more difficult to hide from. To represent this the two methods work slightly differently. UV vision enhances low light as if it were daylight, reducing the negative modifiers by 3. However if there is no light at all they have no effect. IR uses thermal imaging and can work even when there is no light at all, but as it works in a different method to the eye it is more difficult to understand. To represent this, a character using IR vision is at a -2 modifier to vision regardless of the lighting conditions.
When fighting mundane opponents en masse there is always the chance that they will break and run once it is clear the odds are against them. This shouldn't be used as a substitute for a correctly planned and weighted encounter, but rather for routine scraps with line enemies (especially groups of) such as gangers and Carriens. They can be instigated by a player with the use of an Intimidate roll, or by the GM using a fear roll.
Intimidate Vs Fear
A player can force a morale check on an opponent or group of opponents by making an intimidate roll as a free action. This is a one-off out of combat, or can be done once per round in combat, and is rolled against the NPC's COOL (or average cool in the case of groups). A GM can initiate a COOL roll if it looks like the NPC has been sufficiently beaten to consider running away. In either case the modifiers below apply to the NPC's COOL.
Some NPCs are more likely to break than others. A lone Carrien may have the same COOL as a Thresher Contract Killer, but the former is far more likely to run away when confronted by a squad of Ops. Therefore NPCs can be categorised into three types: Basic, Elite and Leader. Basic NPCs are the likes of Carriens, street thugs, and DN Civilian Converts. They have little taste for fighting unless they're confident they're going to win. Elite include DarkNight Ops, Cannibal warriors, trained soldiers, and are fighting for a reason. They are more likely to stand their ground against the odds, but are by no means suicidal. Finally, Leaders are fighting for themselves and are much more confident. This still doesn't exclude them from running if the going is bad, but they're far more likely to stick it out. Leaders include DarkNight Espionage Agents, Greater Carriens and Serial Killers.
Size - +/-1 per meter of size difference Outnumbered 2:1 (Basic) - -4 Outnumbered 2:1 (Elite) - -2 Outnumbered 4:1 (Basic) - -8 Outnumbered 4:1 (Elite) - -4 Outnumbered 4:1 (Leader) - -2 Outnumbered x:1 (Basic) - -2x Outnumbered x:1 (Elite) - -x Outnumbered x:1 (Leader) - -0.5x Outnumber 2:1 (Basic) - +1 Outnumber 2:1 (Elite) - +2 Outnumber 2:1 (Leader) - +4 Outnumber 4:1 (Basic) - +2 Outnumber 4:1 (Elite) - +4 Outnumber 4:1 (Leader) - +8 Outnumber x:1 (Basic) - +0.5x Outnumber x:1 (Elite) - +x Outnumber x:1 (Leader) - +2x Insane - +4 Injured - -1/wound Allies fled, 25% - -1 Allies fled, 50% - -2 Allies fled, 75% - -4 Opponents fleeing - +5 Casualties taken, 25% - -2 Casualties taken, 50% - -4 Casulaties taken, 75% - -8 Casualties inflicted - +2/character Elite - +2 Leader - +4 Leader present (group) - +4
When an NPC fails a morale roll it loses the will to fight and will take appropriate action to start preserving its life. This is up to the GM, but could include running away, surrendering, or hiding. In a group a failed morale check will mean that some of the NPCs will falter. The amount will depend on how many the morale roll failed by or the intimidate roll succeeded by - 1 per point under or over 10 respectively. Faltering opponents will reconsider their willingness to fight and no longer attack the characters. Should they come under threat they will flee.
There are several standing BPNs open to Operatives. These are tasks which need to be performed often, and are usually paid by the day or for a particular result.
Sewer Maintenance - Blue
Many squads begin their careers on the sewer maintenance BPNs issued by the Dept of Sanitation. The BPN is paid daily and brings in a pittance, but is sometimes preferred to endless queuing in the BPN Halls until the Ops can find a financier or get sufficient SCL to attract offers.
Downtown Survey - Green
The lower levels of downtown are increasingly dangerous and decreasingly mapped. Allsorts of horrors lurk down there, and SLA knows little about the basement of the city. The standing Green to map the area below level 25 of Lower Downtown is dangerous and unpleasant. Many squads never return. The BPN is paid by area mapped, as logged by the digital terrain scaners provided by the Dept of Architecture, Construction and Planning.
Perimeter Reconnaissance - Black
Many Oppressor Power outposts are situated in the outskirts of the cannibal sectors, away from the prying eyes of SLA Industries. The Dept of Company Militia offers a standing Black BPN to travel between two points on the outskirts of the city, looking out for enemy activity there. Bonuses are provided for a successful find, which are later dealt with by artillery or air strikes, although many Ops choose to take the outposts themselves. Survival rates vary with each sector, but broadly only around 10% of squads undertaking perimeter reconnaissance BPNs make it to the Kilcopter rendezvous point. Even so, the money and SCL increase still prove irresistible to many.