Best. Game. EVER.
This is truly comparable to playing with mind LEGO's!
Lancer Core Book: First Edition PDF
A downloadable game
Lancer imagines a future where a survivor humanity has spread to the stars after weathering terrible ecological collapse on Earth - the end of the Anthropocene as a consequence of unrestrained consumption and poor stewardship. Five thousand years later, humanity lives in the wake of a desperate revolution, one where the victorious radicals now manage the galaxy they've won.
The setting features a mix of gritty, mud-and-lasers military science fiction and mythic science fantasy, where conscript pilots mix ranks with flying aces, mercenary guns-for-hire brawl with secretive corpro-state agents, and relativistic paladins cross thermal lances with causality-breaking, unknowable beings. Lancer's galaxy is one where utopia exists, but is under threat, and the struggle is not yet entirely won; the revolution is not yet done.
In Lancer, players adopt the roles of mechanized chassis pilots - mech pilots - comrades together in a galaxy of danger and hope. Some groups will fight to rectify the crimes of previous administrations; others will fight for their nation, pieces in a greater game of hegemony. Others will carry the banner of a corpro-state or mercenary company, working to advance private interests while lining their pockets. Others still will fight for groups acting in opposition to those in power - for the underground, for the forgotten, agents of entropy and agents of yet more radical revolutions.
Lancer offers deep, modular mech customization, a wide range of player backgrounds and hooks to prompt storytelling, and a system and setting with room for any narrative you and your group want to tell. It’s best with a group of 3-5 players, and can be used to run a one-shot session or persistent campaign.
Included with the PDF of the Lancer Core Book are the following:
- Full, original art from some of the best illustrators working in indie comics, concept design, product design, and character design today.
- Full, deep setting information, GM toolkit, and back-end information to help you plan out your own Lancer narrative.
- Essentially limitless amounts of possible gear combinations to outfit your pilot's chassis.
Lancer is a project by Massif Press, an indie publisher run by Tom Parkinson Morgan, author of Kill Six Billion Demons, and Miguel Lopez. Massif is based out of Atlanta, GA, and Portland, OR. For the latest Lancer news, be sure to follow Massif Press on Twitter.
Sample art and layout credits (in order, top to bottom)
- Tom Parkinson Morgan and Minerva McJanda
- Olympia Sweetman and Minerva McJanda
- Payton Gee
- Conner Fawcett
Nowhere to go but up, pilots.
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $25 USD. You will get access to the following files:
- 7/1 Update84 days ago
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Best. Game. EVER.
Why does the itch.io "More information" box say this product was "updated" 4 days ago (September 7th), even though the downloads page doesn't show any of the included files having been updated since 53 days ago?
Hi, I bought the pdf and it is amazing. Is there a physical book I can also buy? Would love to have it in my collection :)
Yes, I would also like to get a print version.
I got this on a bundle on itch.io and i can't find the lancer npc data for comp/con. Any clue where it is or how can i download it?
For the paid/premium version of the core book (which I believe is what was included in the itch.io Racial Justice and Equality bundle), the NPC data is listed alongside the other downloads.
Hi, I just got a physical copy of the main book (bought on backerkit), how can I enable the npc feature in Comp Con? Thank you!
Are you asking about how to put it into Comp/Con or where to find the file?
If it's the latter: For the paid/premium version of the core book, the NPC data is listed alongside the other downloads.
If you don't have the material associated with your itch.io account: I believe that if you got it on BackerKit, you should have received an email with a link to an itch.io page where you could download/access it from.
Is there a difference between the corebook presented here, and the free version?
The core book has all of the information for game runners, with NPC character sheets, advice and rules for running cmpaigns, and extra information about the game's setting to help tell the story.
To play, you'll need the GM to have this book, but the players only need the free book to learn how to play, build their character, and learn enough about the setting to enjoy the game
In addition to what Gaeel said, purchasing this version also gives you the .lcp files for the NPC mechs for use in COMP/CON. And it appears that mech token images have been recently added to the downloads here too :)
Absolutely loving this game. Plenty of lore to sink into. An aggressive progression system that encourages some risk taking. Easy to prep for, and with the comp/con app, easy to run.
What a huge, ambitious project this is, and how successful in many ways! For an experienced group looking to bring a combat-centric mech RPG to the tabletop, you'd have trouble doing better. The love and care that went into the design of the world lore, the mech systems, technology, and more is obvious and there are vast pages full of details. Much of it is brilliant, and at times poetic.
However, I specifically recommend this to an "experienced" group for the same reason: it is, in many ways, an embarrassment of riches. To take in the full scope of the worldbuilding (which is an admirably unique setting and worldview!), the mech systems, and more requires a considerable undertaking. I personally have read the book essentially cover to cover twice now, and still don't feel "fluent" in it. There are a number of not-entirely-intuitive systems (in some cases just vocabulary choices) which make it seem mechanically a bit more complex than I think it actually is. At 400+ pages, I can see why the writers would want to trim wherever necessary, but this is a book that is crying for examples of gameplay, and sorely lacking them.
By a similar token, for all the scope and grandeur of the setting, there's not nearly enough material, IMO, on a more approachably human scale. I get a great picture of galactic politics, technologies, etc -- and almost none of what it's like to really live in this world (or many worlds). In a sense, I can see this is by design: the creators have left the door open to tell whatever stories you'd like under the big umbrella. But there are some fundamental questions I found myself asking again and again. What is it actually like to live in a post-scarcity world? What sorts of people exist? What motivates them/agitates them? Who thinks they actually live in utopia, who does not? You will find many oblique hints to such questions, but not a lot of solid answers. Personally, as a GM or a player, I want more firmament to stand on, especially as many of the concepts are foreign by design. More concrete adventure and character hooks would be an improvement.
As far as characters go, it's also extremely systems-light in roleplaying, at least when characters are not in their mechs. I don't have a fundamental objection to that, except that Lancer's particular approach is so light that it would seem to make mechanically distinct characters challenging to create. For example, at starting levels, a given character will be at most 10% better at a specialized task than anyone else, and mostly lacking other key traits, talents, or attributes that might make them stand out. I don't think this is a problem, if you have a group of gifted roleplayers. People who are more systems-oriented in their thinking might have problems standing out as each character, stat-wise, essentially is the same as any other! This starts to change as characters gain levels, but not by leaps and bounds -- and personality is still expressed almost exclusively via mechs.
That said, I'd gladly take this labor of love, full of beautiful prose and art to match, over many of the half-baked RPGs that seem to have proliferated everywhere these days. I'll admit I haven't gotten to any of the supplements yet, and they may well solve a number of the problems mentioned above. I would unhesitatingly recommend this game, with reservations, if that makes any sense!
(but man, would I really love a hardcover copy!)
you art style remindes me of all the cool cartoons when i was younger. niiiiice
I'm on mac and when I try to open the Lancer NPC data file it says I need an app for that, anyone know what app I need for that?
You need the COMP/CON app, available either as a download or in web browser at compcon.app
AH! I see, thanks!
how does this work? Are thee instructions that I’m not seeing?
Ran my first Lancer game a few days ago online with the group I usually play with in person, and it translated extremely well to online play. Comp/Con is a beautiful and unique tool for players that is both intuitive and responsive, and the encounter builder/mission runner accompanies it really well. By the end of the session, most of the players had set up their webcams with cockpit backdrops because they were that into the game. With two weeks of prep and a 15-20 minute brief for a group of veteran role players, we were ready to go. It's a great system, a great world, and I really look forward to more from the world of Lancer in the future.
P.S. The Long Rim is also a great setting!
When I downloaded the core book via Itch.io, it actually download only the NPC JSON data. Is there a way to fix this?
Click on the gear next to the Open/Install button and choose the pdf instead of the JSON data
I could have used this PDF over three years ago when I was doing a mecha game if it existed (it didn't when I ran the campaign). The art is stunning (inspiring imagination for players/GMs), and the PDF is structured professionally where I can find the segments easily. As a GM, this is a must have when first looking through a big rule book. I am beyond pleased and something I did not expect coming out of the that bundle.
This art is art beautiful, literally any one of these could be used as a background for my device, especially the field one which is on this page.
I was looking through this and I noticed how much detail has been put into everything, I don’t usually play TTRPGs but judging by this I’m going to give it a go.
Honestly, great job.
got it for $5 as part of a 1000+ item $8000 pack, DEFINITELY a steal. Hopefully this will refresh things at my tabletop sessions
Why is there no Character sheets available anywhere? Aside from an app which may be useful if you play online but is terribly inpractical if you play on around a table. So is there anyway to get printable character sheets (preferably in pdf format)?
There is a printable PDF available in compcon
There's also a character sheet PDF released an hour ago on both the free and paid versions of the Core Book product pages :)
This game offers an interesting blend of narrative mechanics and a very detailed (yet simple) mech subsystem. It also comes with a vastly helpful GM section and a ton of lore and background for folx who like this sort of things. In short, the game is a little too full for my taste but it succeeds in what it sets out to do, while being presented in a beautiful layout with gorgeous illustrations!
An amazing TTRPG. Great scifi setting, cool mechanics, and the art...
I haven't read much of Kill 6 Billion Demons, the webcomic by the same artist, but holy crap is the art of these mechs making me want to do so.
Well worth 25$ (that's a steal), and right now it's in the Black Equality Bundle for 5$, along with over a thousand other games already!? DO NOT PASS UP ON THIS!
If you're looking for a TTRPG with good narrative mechanics and tense mech fights, an amazing setting to explore, to build and customize your own machine - definitely give this a whirl!
I've never played a TTRPG before or even tried to learn one, but this gundam ass shit is making me want to
possibly the best ttrpg ever made. absolutely check it out
@massif_press I backed the game at the Omninet level and have downloaded my copy however at the time I didn’t have an itch account. Now I have one I’d like to associate my Lancer purchase with my itch account. Thanks
Hello. I wondered what is the difference between the free Book and the charged one ?
The free book basically contains all the player-facing content - the intro and first 4 chapters (character creation info, missions and downtime, mech combat rules, and the compendium of all the talents and mechs/systems).
The premium PDF contains all that, plus chapters 5 and 6: the GM's toolkit chapter (including NPC mech info and templates) and the lore chapter.
Hi did the kick starter for PDF and physical files and was wondering how to get access to the Compcon files?
I wasn't a backer, but I believe you should have gotten an email with a link to a download page on itch.io?
Hey not sure where is the best place to ask this but I purchased two physical copies of the book one for me and one for my GM. Now that we're using Compcon more I'm wondering how I make sure that his compcon has all the unlocked stuff that mines does. Is that allowed do we need to purchase another license?
Is there any way to get a printed version?
I would like to see a printed version as well, mostly because it's easier for me to handle and share these days.
Just got an email that there was an update to the core book yesterday. Do they keep change notes between PDF versions somewhere? I've searched twitter, reddit and itch.io without finding anything.
There's no official changelog, but there's a community-maintained one here (it's pinned in the Discord): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j3eWRrvBhkN3y01ycox8xnAOxR9EZX0BLkGtaotvIhs/...
You can see the changes made in the 1/8 version. According to others, the latest update today (2/2) just corrects typos, fixes font issues, etc. - no real rules changes. This is the version being sent to the printers for those that backed the Kickstarter at the hard-copy level ($60 and above).
Is the PDF print-ready? Because I like to have a hard copy on hand for in-person games, and I kind of want to know if I'll have to mess with it to get it printed and bound properly.
Ostensibly, it is now. There's a community-maintained changelog here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j3eWRrvBhkN3y01ycox8xnAOxR9EZX0BLkGtaotvIhs/...
You can see the changes made in previous updates. According to others, the update today (2/2) just corrects typos, fixes font issues, etc. - no real rules changes. This is the version being sent to the printers for those that backed the Kickstarter at the hard-copy level ($60 and above).
Another question, I was looking at the COMP/CON program and noticed there are some frames not listed under their manufacturers in the book (Lich, Kobold, Zheng, Atlas) are these in supplements or am I just overlooking them somewhere?
Just go to the itch.io page of massif press and they're there as pdfs
What the other person said. Each of those (collectively the "Long Rim Mechs") also just got updated on itch.io, though, and Comp/Con hasn't yet been updated to account for those changes.
Okay so I have only gotten free stuff on itch before: how does 'ownership' work for something like this? I know that might seem odd to ask but I want to buy this for my boyfriend for XMAS so he can have access to the GM info and if I buy it on my itch account, will it be locked to me? Do I get a code that I can just give to him so he can access it instead? Want to be sure I dont violate any sort of DRM; hope Im articulating my concern properly.
If you select "buy" there's an option to buy it as a gift, so you'd be able to enter his email.
To expand on what KevinBates said, gift purchases on itch.io are explained here: https://itch.io/updates/you-can-now-purchase-games-as-gifts-on-itchio
And this page explains what you'll see when you buy it, what he'll see when he gets the purchase email, and what the benefit of creating an account is (it's not required because purchases are associated with email addresses, but doing so lets you organize all your purchases in one spot): https://itch.io/docs/creators/how-buying-works
So is there a difference between the 1e and backer books? I saw that thee 1e has a way bigger file size, but the table of contents looks to have the same numbers and everything
Assume you mean the books with full art and all the pages, the one with the larger file size is uncompressed and has a lot more fixes. Basically if you want the most up to date version, use the one you've downloaded of here
Hi, love the book so far. A few questions though. What is bonus damage supposed to be? I'm not clear on what it is exactly. Is bonus damage a number after 1d6+? Or is it a completely different dice value after a slash? I would also like to know if(and when) the pdf gets updated so I can get the latest version if possible.
Bonus damage is simply anything called as such. For example, Overpower Caliber from GMS allows you to deal bonus damage. If something is not labeled as bonus damage, then it is not bonus damage.
If you have any other questions or just want to hang out, feel free to check out the community Discord server if you haven't already! https://discordapp.com/invite/lancer
hey how do i get in contact? I didn't realise the book was priced in USD which is my fault but if a refund is possible it would really help.
I was a backer , choosing the the core rulebook PDF as reward.
How can I get a digital copy, please?
I wasn't a backer, but I believe you should have gotten an email with a link to the download page.
EDIT: I think there might be some delays in processing on BackerKit's end, so you may need to be patient.
To those asking about a physical release: they did have preorders for both this premium digital PDF and the hardcover book available via backerkit earlier, so I assume/hope the hardcover book will also be purchasable in some fashion in the future.
Any way we can pre-order the hard copy as well?
Is a printed version going to be available?
Is a printed version going to be available?