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So it’s official, SLA Industries v2 is coming

Kettlehelm

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This is really good and its nice to hear about what goes into the system from the writer who wrote it.
Based on what Shep have said, I'm going to take a deeper look into the final book to really see how the mechanics tick and work together. Seeing as he's hinted at all the parts that were removed.
Then I can engage on my TBD mega-project, a Great Pendragon Campaign style game going from 900 to the present.

I assume the present date of 2nd Edition is sd 920 or sd 925?
 

Shep

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This is really good and its nice to hear about what goes into the system from the writer who wrote it.
Based on what Shep have said, I'm going to take a deeper look into the final book to really see how the mechanics tick and work together. Seeing as he's hinted at all the parts that were removed.
Then I can engage on my TBD mega-project, a Great Pendragon Campaign style game going from 900 to the present.

I assume the present date of 2nd Edition is sd 920 or sd 925?
Actually, no. We released CS1 so recently that it was important to keep those events current. CS1 is set in 911sc and 2nd Ed, the core book at least, is set in 913sd, with the Bellwood Campaign still ongoing. The next few publications following the core book will however, tell a story that leads us up to 925sd.
 

EventHorizon

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Shep,

First, let me thank you for taking the time out to post a reply and engage with the audience. It's always a good indication to the player base when content creators make themselves available!

Minimum damage has interestingly been one of the best received parts of the system. I understand your stance on this, but it’s here to stay.
Please note that my input wasn't against minimum damage itself, only the implementation. And, true, I think it's more fair to say that my concern was about the full aspect of weapon damage, which is probably actually more about the negatives to the die roll. "1d10-2, min 3". It seems like some of these instances could be better handled by using different dice, rather than nudging the top of a 1d10 around.

Rush is incredible. Ultra Violence is even better. Drug addiction is utterly brutal though and more than punishes for it. The QS has pretty much all the drug rules stripped out.
I appreciate the enthusiasm. =) This doesn't really address my concern, though. I guess I'll have to wait and see what the addiction rules are, but they'd likely need to be PRETTY HEFTY for a two time action multiplier.

The Bullet Tax is very much a thing… with a clip of ammo for some guns costing about the same as your entire payment from a BPN.
Again, I guess I'll have to wait and see the Rules As Written economy.

For perspective: A FEN AR can Burst 8 times in a clip. Burst gives REALLY good chance of a hit since the Success Die can reroll. Assuming decent skill, it's likely to receive two successes (+1 damage). Burst also gets +1 damage. Average base statistical damage of the gun is 7, which moves up to 9 with the quality of success and Burst bonus. This would be MORE than enough to put someone in Body Blocker down. This would like be enough to put someone in HARD down, too. That's 24 bullets of standard ammo. If an Op can do this even ONCE in over the course of a BPN, I'd say bullets are too cheap.

Initiative does not last for an entire combat. It is recalculated each time something changes, such as any combatant dies, another enters. This is covered on the last paragraph on page 10, along with all other rules for initiative and is expanded upon in the full rules, to cover other incidents that may cause initiative to be recalculated (lights going out, significant explosions etc.). I assume you missed this entirely as you have mentioned initiative needing periodic rerolls twice during this summary, and it’s an important part of how combat flows.
Your cited text:

"Initiative Values remain in place for subsequent Combat Rounds, with combatants continuing to choose and resolve actions in the specified order until either a combatant is removed from the combat, or a new combatant joins the fight, at which point new Initiative Values should be determined at the start of the next Combat Round."

After three rounds of combat in the final fight of the QS, no combatant was removed, nor did a new combatant joined. So, initialive may not be getting as recalculated as you think.

Also, with regards to the process of picking actions in reverse order, then acting out in the correct order – this is fairly common in a lot of games and in our opinion allows for the most tactical possibilities. It is fair to say that this process is more common in war gaming than role-playing, but we’re certainly not the first RPG to employ it.
Other systems may use it, but that doesn't make it good. ;) I've got pretty solid experience using declarative combat in Earthdawn 4ed (which offers both held actions and action change with penalty, by the way). Regardless, the GENERAL feedback on declarative combat is 100% our table preference and experience; other tables will differ. Meanwhile, I'd say my suggestions to add held actions and actions changes with penalty would be far more objective.

Hits to the head come with other more serious consequences in the full rules. This is a Quick Start and so many aspects have been stripped out to provide an ‘introductory game’. Rest assured you don’t want to get shot in the head.
I would HEAVILY suggest adding more effects to "hit the head" in the QS, even if that means culling back a line or two elsewhere, maybe even reducing the effects for "hit the arm" and/or "hit the leg". Suggesting that more robust "hit the head" effects were removed to aid in this being "introductory" is at odds with the level of detail provided for both "hit the arm" and "hit the leg".

IMHO, a QS serves two purposes. One, it gives someone enough experience with a system to evaluate its pros and cons, as well as whether its a good fit for them and their table. Second, it generates excitement to play the full game. Current "hit the head" rules are a big con and do not generate excitement.

Next, the stated movement distances are per combat round (3 seconds) and represent how far someone can move ‘under duress’, representing them keeping their heads down and moving tactically.
1 meter in 3 seconds is still dreadfully slow. I'm not the tallest person in the world (just shy of 6'), and my stride is ~50 CM. So, the idea that I could only advance two steps in three seconds is hard to swallow, duress or not. Even while engaged in close combat, two people are likely to move around more than a single meter distance over the course of three seconds as blows are exchange and people maneuver - and that's INCIDENTAL movement. Someone "walking" in an attempt to close distance with a ranged combatant would surely be able to move more than two steps in three seconds, even while ducking.

There is no form of hidden difficulty anywhere in SLA 2ndEd. I’mnot sure where you read that.
Good stuff. I'd say that a simple "GM should always state target difficulty to players" in the QS when introducing Active skill rolles would be helpful. Many systems use hidden difficulty numbers, and it became instantly evident that that would not work in SLA 2ed.

The point about low initiative characters/NPCs getting stung is addressed in the box out on page 11, ‘Move & Charge Actions vs Initiative’.
The indicated box basically says "punish the players for using the system". Specifically, the advise of the indicated box says "Repeated use of combatants moving backwards to lure charging opponents whilst other squad members shoot them, or to ensure that they can never be reached by the opposition, should be punished accordingly". That doesn't sit well with me - it'd be like punishing players with high powered fire arms capable of Full Auto from using Full auto too often.

Yeah, I totally agree the alternate system you describe wouldn't fly, but that isn't the only solution. Again, allowing players to change their actions would go a long way.

We're all committed to making 2nd Ed a success.
Great to hear! And, again, thanks for your prompt and thorough response.
 

Shep

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Shep,

First, let me thank you for taking the time out to post a reply and engage with the audience. It's always a good indication to the player base when content creators make themselves available!
Any time. I'm always available to answer questions and engage over on Facebook on our pages and the fan groups. I'll try and remember to check in here every so often as well.

Please note that my input wasn't against minimum damage itself, only the implementation. And, true, I think it's more fair to say that my concern was about the full aspect of weapon damage, which is probably actually more about the negatives to the die roll. "1d10-2, min 3". It seems like some of these instances could be better handled by using different dice, rather than nudging the top of a 1d10 around.
I can see your stance on this, but I think that just as many people would find having a hand full of different dice for every weapon to be as annoying to them. To date you are the only person who has voiced this (publicly) though all the threads on various platforms, so I think it's fair to say this is a 'personal taste' situation, which is of course absolutely fine (damn, there's plenty of bits I don't like about some highly regarded systems while the rest of my group actively love them).

I appreciate the enthusiasm. =) This doesn't really address my concern, though. I guess I'll have to wait and see what the addiction rules are, but they'd likely need to be PRETTY HEFTY for a two time action multiplier.
Drugs are designed to be highly effective and seriously tip the balance. Rush, as an example, requires a particularly hard to pass addiction test every 3 doses. Addiction (which is likely) results in a daily loss of Hit Points (meaning either a constant supply of medical care or the use of other drugs which come with further risk of addition), and over time, permanent stat reductions as well as other penalties. Once addicted, missing a dose, which must be taken every 12 hours minimum, or each time the user enters a combat situation (effectively costing the user a minimum of 30c a day for the Rush, plus the costs of pain relief or medical care, which are likely to be greater) results in a significant hit to a range of stats and further damage. Drug Addiction slowly kills off a character one way or another.

Again, I guess I'll have to wait and see the Rules As Written economy.

For perspective: A FEN AR can Burst 8 times in a clip. Burst gives REALLY good chance of a hit since the Success Die can reroll. Assuming decent skill, it's likely to receive two successes (+1 damage). Burst also gets +1 damage. Average base statistical damage of the gun is 7, which moves up to 9 with the quality of success and Burst bonus. This would be MORE than enough to put someone in Body Blocker down. This would like be enough to put someone in HARD down, too. That's 24 bullets of standard ammo. If an Op can do this even ONCE in over the course of a BPN, I'd say bullets are too cheap.
A single clip for a FEN AR costs 60c. If your Blue BPN earns you 75c and you use a clip to finish the mission, then you earn 15c. How about that Stormer with the Reaver Cannon that's feeling a bit trigger happy in CS1... at 350c a clip you better hope he has some restraint.

Importantly we don't want to price guns out of the game... the hardware is important and there is a good reason the guns still sell well, which is discussed in the lore for the full rules, but Bullet Tax has struck hard and 2nd Ed accurately reflects that (in our opinion, of course).

Your cited text:

"Initiative Values remain in place for subsequent Combat Rounds, with combatants continuing to choose and resolve actions in the specified order until either a combatant is removed from the combat, or a new combatant joins the fight, at which point new Initiative Values should be determined at the start of the next Combat Round."

After three rounds of combat in the final fight of the QS, no combatant was removed, nor did a new combatant joined. So, initialive may not be getting as recalculated as you think.
Three Rounds is not a full combat though. There are plenty of DN agents to drop, even if all the players survive. Each time one goes down or flees, the initiative is recalculated. Depending on how many players are in the session, that's up to 4 recalculations of initiative during the final encounter (more if any players drop) and in the full rules, more if the same scenario occurred (lights and explosives may also force further tests).

Not retesting after every round (or three if the combat goes that way) is a deliberate choice, but in any situation that isn't a 'one on one' and where the GM doesn't have any tricks up their sleeve, you can expect potential shift in initiative at some point through the encounter. I appreciate that you might not like that process, but in practice it works as intended.

I would HEAVILY suggest adding more effects to "hit the head" in the QS, even if that means culling back a line or two elsewhere, maybe even reducing the effects for "hit the arm" and/or "hit the leg". Suggesting that more robust "hit the head" effects were removed to aid in this being "introductory" is at odds with the level of detail provided for both "hit the arm" and "hit the leg".

IMHO, a QS serves two purposes. One, it gives someone enough experience with a system to evaluate its pros and cons, as well as whether its a good fit for them and their table. Second, it generates excitement to play the full game. Current "hit the head" rules are a big con and do not generate excitement.
Noted. We'll make sure to discuss this before the next revision.

Yeah, I totally agree the alternate system you describe wouldn't fly, but that isn't the only solution. Again, allowing players to change their actions would go a long way.
It is indeed not the only solution... many many solutions were tried and tested. This was the most preferred by far, both by the Nightfall team and by the play testers. However, the full rules do allow for more than just an auxiliary action, this again was slimmed back the QS. I'll look to add this expansion of the rules into the QS for the revision.


Thanks for the feedback!

Shep
 

nikink

Rampant Green
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Even in 1e the price of bullet tax made BPNs net losses in my games (both played and GM'd). Not just Blues either, although they were the majority.

Then that scramble to ensure your character had 100c in the bank for rent at the end of the month. It all added up to strong incentive to use guns rarely and go for more profitable BPNs. (And no, not all our Blues were Blacks with a paint job! ;) )

YMMV and all that. :)
 

Shep

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Even in 1e the price of bullet tax made BPNs net losses in my games (both played and GM'd). Not just Blues either, although they were the majority.

Then that scramble to ensure your character had 100c in the bank for rent at the end of the month. It all added up to strong incentive to use guns rarely and go for more profitable BPNs. (And no, not all our Blues were Blacks with a paint job! ;) )

YMMV and all that. :)
My general rule of thumb was always this: if my players have plenty of bullets, I’m paying them too much :)
 

EventHorizon

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Thanks for the additional reply, Shep! I appreciate the peek into the larger rule set, and it definitely helps to allay my concerns on those topics. Looking forward to see more of the system revealed as part of the Kickstarter as it plays out (I’ll definite be a backer).
 

EventHorizon

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My general rule of thumb was always this: if my players have plenty of bullets, I’m paying them too much :)
You know, I’m scratching my head trying to remember, but was there any guidance on BPN payout rates in 1ed? I’ve read the core book and Karma (both been a while) and skimmed Contract Directory, never touched Mort. Whether there was or wasn’t for 1ed, will there be payout guidance in the 2ed core book?
 

Shep

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You know, I’m scratching my head trying to remember, but was there any guidance on BPN payout rates in 1ed? I’ve read the core book and Karma (both been a while) and skimmed Contract Directory, never touched Mort. Whether there was or wasn’t for 1ed, will there be payout guidance in the 2ed core book?
There was nothing official in 1st, but there was an example BPN of each colour at the back of the book, which had values on them, which in turn formed the basis of what people paid out for those colours.

In 2nd Ed there is bit more depth of discussion over each colour of BPN (plus a new colour!), as well as guidance on the payout in Credits, and potential SCL increase that can be awarded with each of the different colours. This is all included in the GMs chapter which offers guidance on building a game.

For example, a blue has a value range of 50-100c per Operative and +0.1 - 0.3 SCL increase.

Similar guidance is provided for Hunter Sheets too, for those who provide that approach to the game.
 

Kinghuge

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You know, I’m scratching my head trying to remember, but was there any guidance on BPN payout rates in 1ed? I’ve read the core book and Karma (both been a while) and skimmed Contract Directory, never touched Mort. Whether there was or wasn’t for 1ed, will there be payout guidance in the 2ed core book?
There was a basic rate payment for each colour of BPN in the core book somewhere (i think it was either right at the end just before the index or mixed into the section on operative culture that had all the forms and the operative contract). What I could never find was any details on bonus payments or critter bounties beyond a few mentions in the fiction.

EDIT - Found it, its in the core book page 287, just after the section on sponserships, theres a small table detailing recommended SCL increases and payment ranges for BPNs by colour. Blue is the same rate as Shep mentions above, 50-100c and 0.1-0.3 SCL. And yes the payments are not high, if you go by the table the max you could get paid as an individual for any BPN that wasnt a Black op was 500c. No mention of rates for squad payments though apart from what appears on the sample BPNS on the next page and in the CS1 book.
 
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