A tale of love, revenge, and giant robots make up the core of Lancer, an upcoming tabletop role-playing game currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Lancer comes courtesy of Massif Press, an indie publishing outfit seeking to empower interesting tabletop game creators. As a wholly original game, Lancer is the realization of a longtime dream of Massif Press' co-founders, Tom Parkinson Morgan and Miguel Lopez. If you're a fan of mecha media like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, or Armored Core, this tabletop was made for you to enjoy.
Lancer takes place in the distant future. Ten thousand years after the planet suffered a colossal climate change event that effectively ended human dominance of Earth, the survivors turned to the stars and have built up a new empire that no longer relies on just one planet. The new era brought new technology that allowed humanity to live in a state of luxury hitherto unknown - but the right to exist in that manner remained reserved for a handful of the rich and powerful. In this setting, players take on the role of pilots, humans capable of controlling the massive humanoid war machines that make up the new era of military might. It's up to the players and their GM to forge a path forward in a galaxy of political and social intrigue, fringed all about with the lurking unknowns of uncharted space. Humanity, for all of its great strides, could still fall to internal strife or to the unfathomable powers that lurk in the dark.
The rules of the system have been kept light to help enable a more narrative-oriented experience. However, Lancer gets tactical when players step into their trusty mechs, requiring teamwork, imagination, and a bit of cold calculation. As players progress through their campaigns, they will have the opportunity to modify and improve their mechs to give a sense of accomplishment, unique narrative twists, and to prepare them to battle ever stronger foes. Pilots gain licenses as they progress, giving them access to new parts for their mechs and new abilities. These licenses are not tied to any classes, each pilot should feel unique and unrestricted in their development. The system backing up Lancer's core mechanics takes a lot of cues from The Demon Lord, Armored Core, and Blades In The Dark. There should be a different feel between the out-of-mech narrative segments and the tense combat of the in-mech segments.
If you're curious about the game itself, you can look through the full game rules, minus the art, layout, and editing that the Kickstarter funds will be used to add. It's completely free and tabletop RPG fans can take it for a spin to see if they enjoy the game before backing the crowdfunding campaign. This free version will persist even after the official release occurs.
The Kickstarter asked for $46,000 to make the core book a reality. However, with a little under two weeks left in the campaign, the Kickstarter has raised over $300,000, unlocking all of the currently available stretch goals. Rewards will ship to Lancer's backers in March of 2020. If you're looking for a unique tabletop RPG experience, Lancer might just be it.
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