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. Thousands of 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.
To open up new avenues for play, be sure to join our fan-run Discord server, and to download a free copy of Comp/Con, Lancer's companion character-builder and compendium app.
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.
|Tags||Character Customization, mecha, Mechs, Sci-fi, Space, Tabletop|
|Average session||A few hours|
|Mentions||itch.io Recommends: tabletop and jam gam..., Looking for a new Tabletop RPG to play?...|
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 UpdateJul 01, 2020
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Any word on a re-print for a physical version or another kickstarter campaign? Alternatively have you considered DriveThru, given there is a clear demand for Lancer.
Failing that is it possible to get authorisation to take this to a printers if you buy the pdf?
Any news about the hardcover new print?
Just got this book and all the settings and supplements. It's not enough I need more Lancer, it's so damn good!
Any tools included to play solo? Or solo friendly?
Hey, this would be a great question to ask in the (un)official Lancer discord: https://discord.gg/lancer
The folks over there are great, and there are a ton of resources they've got listed for supplements to play.
Hey, uh, what is an lcp file, and what do I do with it?
You get down with the clown.
You put it into COMP//CON, or Foundry, for mech and pilot info. It's how you build pilots/mechs/NPC's out with the books you own.
Are there any plans to make physical copies of Lancer available? I've heard they were available at one point, if only as surplus from the Kickstarter campaign, but I haven't been able to find any other info about them.
Massif tweeted out recently that they're looking at getting more physical copies. But there's no real timeframe on it as of yet. https://twitter.com/Lancer_RPG/status/1614675569588801537?s=20
Good to know! Thank you for the heads-up.
Hey i got the book with https://app.playrole.com/games/ but i didn't get the Comp/con with it is that right?
Comp/con is a website on the internet
Yeah you're right, I apologise for this message. I've made it while I had no way to communicate with the staff due to a shadow-like ban. It has been sorted out thankfully and have just forgot I wrote this message. I'll delete it since it doesn't reflect who I am anymore along with getting a thirdparty for no reason involved.
I would like to know if there is any kind of licensing for another language. We are a small publisher here in Brazil and we are interested in launching Lancer in Portuguese.
I'm waiting for a contact, you can send me a return by email: email@example.com
hey so i have this question, i adquired the lancer pdf in late pledge, and i paid 30 usd for it, and is just the pdf , whats the difference between this 25 usd and the premium pdf i have?
do you not get a license for the pdf when you buy the physical book?
Sadly, it doesn't seem like it.
I made a video review of this game on YouTube. Check it out:
Hello, I was wondering if there is a way to get a hard copy of the game. Thank you for your time.
It looks like they started selling a physical copy, perhaps fairly recently; it's available from Massif's online store. https://massif.netlify.app/shop
Yep, that site launched March 25: https://twitter.com/Lancer_RPG/status/1375101296823439360
I'm loving the book and finally have someone interested in playing it! My question is: in the section talking about non-human intelligences, when you mention the Egregori in the footnotes you mention that there is an expansion coming that will dive deeper into this topic called No Room for a Wallflower. I noticed it's not available in the store yet, is there any info you can give us on when it'll be coming out?
It's out now!
Act 1 is now out, here: https://massif-press.itch.io/no-room-for-a-wallflower-act-1
It's the first part of a 2(?)-act campaign.
Hey there was an update for Comp/Con that changed the Long Rim program stuff, where do I go to get the update?
The official discord has a dedicated comp/con channel with faqs. https://discord.gg/DmRRQFAccf Remember to backup often.
If you're using the webapp the content manager is on the home screen or in the top right context menu marked by three dots. It should be under directory.
I bought a copy for someone that I found out already had it. Is there a way I can get a refund?
It looks like all refunds on itch.io would have to go through itch.io's support regardless: https://itch.io/docs/legal/terms#9-refunds
You can contact support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, I'll give that a try.
Can we expect a physical version at any point?
As of March 25, they've launched a site where you can buy a physical copy of the core book here: https://massif.netlify.app/shop
Apparently, this game was in the Racial Justice bundle, but I can't download it, only buy. Is it just me ?
Go into the bundle directly and click download on the game.
That's due to how the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality was structured - there's an absurd number of products in it, so rather than automatically showing them all as owned automatically, you have to manually click "claim" on them from the bundle page first for that to happen (I think).
Best. Game. EVER.
This is truly comparable to playing with mind LEGO's!
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?
Probably cleaning up some of the text in the description on itch.io?
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.
According to the company in the KS (@lancer_rpg on twitter) they did have surplus copies, and watch their twitter for information as they figure out how to make them available.
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
If you like Tom's art style, you should also check out Tom's webcomic, "Kill Six Billion Demons": https://killsixbilliondemons.com/
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?
The webapp is here: https://compcon.app/
You just go there and click "Content Manager", then click "Install Content" and import the .lcp file.
Thanks. I got it working in my browser.
Glad to hear it!
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 $8000 pack, DEFINITELY a steal. Hopefully this will refresh things at my tabletop sessions
Why is there no Character sheets available anywhere? Aside from an app which may be useful if you play online but is terribly inpractical if you play on around a table. So is there anyway to get printable character sheets (preferably in pdf format)?
Hope this helps
There is a printable PDF available in compcon
There's also a character sheet PDF released an hour ago on both the free and paid versions of the Core Book product pages :)
This game offers an interesting blend of narrative mechanics and a very detailed (yet simple) mech subsystem. It also comes with a vastly helpful GM section and a ton of lore and background for folx who like this sort of things. In short, the game is a little too full for my taste but it succeeds in what it sets out to do, while being presented in a beautiful layout with gorgeous illustrations!
An amazing TTRPG. Great scifi setting, cool mechanics, and the art...
I haven't read much of Kill 6 Billion Demons, the webcomic by the same artist, but holy crap is the art of these mechs making me want to do so.
Well worth 25$ (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