Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

What is LANCER?


LANCER (which I'll probably stop writing in all caps from here on) is a roleplaying game of tactical mech combat in the far future by Tom Parkinson-Morgan (writer and illustrator of Kill 6 Billion Demons) and Miguel Lopez. Players take on the role of mech pilots doing mech pilot things. It's giant robots with guns and swords, you know how this works.

The default setting takes place in the distant future where humanity nearly went extinct, crawled back out of the wreckage, then discovered the records left behind by their predecessors. The current generation of humans, discovering that they weren't in fact the first civilization to arise on earth and in fact that humanity had very nearly ceased to exist, decided that the best way to ensure that nothing like that could ever happen again was to aggressively expand and colonize as much of the universe as possible, so that the human race would never again be in danger of dying out. This sprawling bureaucratic hegemony is Union (not The Union, just Union) whose values are the propagation of the human race across the stars and a generally decent standard of living given that sophisticated 3D printers allow for the quick and easy manufacture of material goods, meaning that core Union worlds exist in a state of quasi post-scarcity.

Of course what Union wants to guarantee and what they can actually guarantee are two different things. Settled space is big and while Union tries to maintain a nominal presence on all settled worlds there's still a vast gulf of difference between a prosperous and technologically advanced core world and a freshly settled planet out on the fringes of space. There are slave states, pirates, tyrants and despots, revolutions, religious conflicts, and good old fashioned wars over territory, resources, and ideology, which is where all those mechs come in handy. In addition to these myriad dangers there are even bigger threats looming over Union, such as the Aun Ecumene, a divergent offshoot of humanity on a holy crusade against Union, as well as the specter of RA, a staggeringly powerful godlike AI with inscrutable motives whose self-actuated birth led to the creation of paracausal technology, such as the faster-than-light blinkgates which make interstellar travel far more convenient, the omninet which links Union's worlds together economically and culturally, and sophisticated if not quite godlike AI systems (the polite term is Non-Human Persons, or NHPs) far in advance of anything human programmers were capable of creating up to that point, among other things.

Thematically Lancer's mechs borrow heavy inspiration from Titanfall. They aren't necessarily hyper anime mecha blasting around the battlefield at mach 5 (though you can make fast, flying mechs) nor are they the lumbering piles of shoeboxes you see in Battletech (though there are big stompy options for people who like that too). Mechs come in a variety of styles, with various stat modifiers and built-in core systems, and you're then invited to equip them with whatever weapons and miscellaneous equipment you have access to via the license system. Since major manufacturing is printer-based, you don't buy mechs with money because there's no need. Instead you collect licenses from various corporations and collectives as you rise in renown, which give you permission to print off various pieces of equipment as you see fit. Mechs aren't cherished heirlooms handed down from one generation to the next. Your mech get blown up? Hey, that sucks, head back to base and print a new one. Between missions you're free to reconfigure your mech however you like. A lot of times you won't even take your mech with you if you travel from one planet to the next to save on space, simply printing out a new one when you arrive at your destination.

The various license providers you'll have access to in the core rulebook, informally referred to as The Big Five, are:

General Massive Systems or GMS. If Amazon sold mechs and wound up getting nationalized, they'd be GMS. Effectively the official supplier of all sorts of things to Union, GMS is available to every pilot from the word go, and consequently their gear tends to be plain and functional and not much else. In game terms, GMS is the basic equipment list everyone has access to for when you just need a regular assault rifle.
These guys don't have any art yet! So sad.

IPS-Northstar. IPS-N fuckin hates pirates so goddamn much. A corporation specializing in shipping and spacelane security, IPS-N's mechs trend towards the chunky and tough, with a lot of aggressive close-quarters options for boarding and counter-boarding operations. If you want chainaxes, giant spike cannons, weaponized drills, and 40K-style bolters, these guys (and gals) are for you. Great for people who like playing Terran in Starcraft.


Smith-Shimano Corpro. These guys are the Lambourgini manufacturers of the mech world. Full of flashy tech, nimble frames, and custom leather seats, SSC mechs are perfect for the guy who insists he has to play a ninja in every single game or just someone who really likes being a smug douchebag. Railguns, monoswords, missiles, and cloaking devices all all things you're likely to find on offer within SSC's licenses. They're also really big into Gattaca-style eugenics.


Horus. Horus is a decentralized collective of hackers and techno-weirdos who may or may not worship RA. They aren't a corporation, and the licenses they give out tend to be awarded based on meeting their obscure criteria, given for reasons known only to themselves. Horus pilots are the most likely to unironically refer to themselves as "cyberpunks." In game terms Horus licenses are typically focused around electronic warfare, hacking, drones, and other weird, esoteric warfare technologies.


Harrison Armory. An imperialistic corporation-state that used to license their stuff out through GMS before realizing hey, wait a minute, we can go into business for ourselves. Thematically HA isn't as focused as the other corps, but what you find within its licenses are a strong emphasis on directed energy weapons along with the biggest focus on paracausal technology courtesy of the HA Think Tank which comes up with crazy poo poo like stasis fields, phasing ammunition, and blinkspace guns. They're also the only corporation to have a mech designed specifically for committing planetary genocide, so that's fun too.


What's the system like?

Mechanically Lancer is a mashup between Shadow of the Demon Lord, 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, and a splash of Apocalypse World. The basic resolution mechanic is a 1d20 check against a target number, generally a TN of 10 unless it's an attack of some sort in which case it's against the target's defense. Any roll of 20+ (not a natural 20, just any roll which adds up to 20 or more) is a critical success. Instead of floating modifiers you have Accuracy and Difficulty which are just boons and banes from Shadow of the Demon Lord where each point of Accuracy lets you roll 1d6, then you take the highest Accuracy die rolled and use that as a bonus, while Difficulty works the same way in reverse, and Accuracy and Difficulty dice cancel each other out 1 for 1.

Combat is reminiscent of 4E D&D in that it heavily involves tactical movement, area effect attacks, and has a similar action economy and encounter pacing through periodic rests to use Repairs (aka healing surges) to top off between fights. There are no encounter or daily abilities outside of Core Powers which are your Titanfall-esque special abilities like shooting a giant fuckin laser beam that melts whatever it touches or launching a missile barrage that hits literally every enemy on the map. Otherwise any equipment which is limited operates off limited charges which get replenished whenever you take a full rest, aka go back to base. Roles don't exist but for those familiar with 4E it's not tremendously difficult to create mechs which get you somewhere in the ballpark. Enemy NPCs come in a variety of archetypes to which you pick options from a list of archetype-specific upgrades to customize them, so you could give your Assault NPCs underbarrel grenade launchers or high-velocity ammunition, or your Sniper might get a grappling hook or specialized ammo loads. Templates can also be applied to NPCs, turning them into easily killable Grunts or making them tougher by giving them a template like Veteran or Elite which makes them tougher to kill and grants them additional template-specific abilities.

Adding onto this are Talents, which are abilities that your pilot acquires as opposed to your mech. These can give you even more flexibility and ways to enhance your personal combat style whether you just want to go and wrestle with people or if you like being the guy handing out bonuses to your squadmates, or maybe you just want to shoot someone in the face better. Some talents will always be kind of obvious choices depending on what sort of build you're going for (are you planning on using rifles? Then you're probably going to take Crack Shot), but each talent tree is only three options deep and you get about 18 of them over the course of play which means there's plenty of room to dabble and branch out even after you've picked up the stuff that's centrally important to your character concept. Everything can be respecced so there's no dumb "plan your build out 15 levels in advance" bullshit.

Pilot-tier mechanics have gotten much more robust since the early iterations, now pilots have an actual list of skills to choose from, pilot gear including a variety of weapons, armor, and technical equipment, and new to the latest version is mechanically systemized downtime which is where the dollop of Apocalypse World flavor comes in.

I love giant robots, and also all those other things you said! Where can I get this game?

Right now Lancer is still in open beta playtesting mode, and lucky for you the latest version of the rules has just been released today! You can download it for free here.

Since this thread is probably going to fall off a cliff of inactivity after a dozen posts, where can I go to talk about this insanely cool game with other people?

There's an extremely active Lancer Discord channel which can be found here. It has channels for rules questions and feedback, homebrew design, lore discussions, LFG organization, and general chat.

There's also a Lancer Subreddit here that pretty much nobody uses now that the Discord channel exists but hey, you do you.

Here's the official Lancer Twitter. Yeah yeah, Twitter sucks, but Miguel posts a bunch of microfiction vignettes that are worth reading and this is also where you can find official updates, new art posts, and other assorted things worth keeping tabs on.

Also Patreons! If you want to drop the creators a bit of cash for their hard work you can do so. Miguel's Patreon is brand spanking new and Tom's is here.

Kai Tave fucked around with this message at 00:26 on Aug 30, 2018

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

People reserve the second post in a thread for stuff all the time and I have no idea what for, but who am I to go against tradition?

sponszi
Dec 15, 2013


My group is really enjoying LANCER, 1.7 has some pretty big changes. Am I reading it correctly that the GMC drone systems are just normal weapons that target systems defense now?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

sponszi posted:

My group is really enjoying LANCER, 1.7 has some pretty big changes. Am I reading it correctly that the GMC drone systems are just normal weapons that target systems defense now?

All drones have been changed along those lines, yeah. Drones are weapons and take weapon mounts, and they target e-defense.

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


Man the Drake looks perfect, but so does the Sherman, but also the Balor.

I need to ditch my 5e group and play good games again.

Springfield Fatts
May 24, 2010


Pillbug

Oh cool, I was just reading through this. Seems really neat, though it leans heavily into the technobabble which made my eyes glaze over at times. There were some neat things like the Five Voices or an AI making a goddamn moon disappear. I've only just got my group into SotDL so this one will be an easy transition down the road. Curiously for people who are running this system, what are your breakdowns of Pilot vs. Mech/Hardsuit encounters in games? We used to play SW Edge of the Empire and that game had a very hard delineation between PC combat and spaceship combat and I was wondering how organically the two could be merged in a single game in Lancer.

sponszi
Dec 15, 2013


Kai Tave posted:

All drones have been changed along those lines, yeah. Drones are weapons and take weapon mounts, and they target e-defense.

They seem quite bad now, but maybe I'm just mourning the loss of my 6 autogun Pegasus build

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

sponszi posted:

They seem quite bad now, but maybe I'm just mourning the loss of my 6 autogun Pegasus build

Autoguns were extremely broken before yeah. The Autogun isn't really a drone by 1.7 standards now, it's a weapon which can fire on its own as an end-of-round action regardless of what else you did during your turn. It doesn't require any sort of lock on to do so or anything, and it also has a fairly substantial range compared to a lot of other weapons now.

King of Solomon
Oct 23, 2008

S S


Based on what I'm seeing, their only real rules for pilot play is in the pilot vs mech space and for some downtime rules. Have any of you guys experimented with pure pilot vs pilot play? Like, say, you're actually exploring an infiltration into some enemy facility, no room for your mecha, the only thing you've got is your pilot and whatever pilot-scale weapons they can carry?

I feel like that's an important thing to have available to a mech game, and I'm not sure I've actually seen any exploration of it. Maybe I'm just missing some blatantly obvious thing, though.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

King of Solomon posted:

Based on what I'm seeing, their only real rules for pilot play is in the pilot vs mech space and for some downtime rules. Have any of you guys experimented with pure pilot vs pilot play? Like, say, you're actually exploring an infiltration into some enemy facility, no room for your mecha, the only thing you've got is your pilot and whatever pilot-scale weapons they can carry?

I feel like that's an important thing to have available to a mech game, and I'm not sure I've actually seen any exploration of it. Maybe I'm just missing some blatantly obvious thing, though.

I think pilot vs. pilot play might be more feasible now that pilot rules have expanded beyond the bare bones they used to be, but admittedly 1.7 literally just dropped today so everyone's still kind of scrambling to take it all in so who knows. I don't know that Lancer is ever going to be set up to really do a lot of non-mech action though.

King of Solomon
Oct 23, 2008

S S


Kai Tave posted:

I think pilot vs. pilot play might be more feasible now that pilot rules have expanded beyond the bare bones they used to be, but admittedly 1.7 literally just dropped today so everyone's still kind of scrambling to take it all in so who knows. I don't know that Lancer is ever going to be set up to really do a lot of non-mech action though.

Yeah, I'm not expecting anything super in-depth; it's a game about the mecha, after all, and that should be the primary way it's played.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




The rules for that are on p. 40-43. You're not going to get near as much depth as full mech combat, but you at least get differentiation from the brand-based pilot gear.

King of Solomon
Oct 23, 2008

S S


Tricky posted:

The rules for that are on p. 40-43. You're not going to get near as much depth as full mech combat, but you at least get differentiation from the brand-based pilot gear.

This is perfect, actually. Man, this game looks great.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

King of Solomon posted:

This is perfect, actually. Man, this game looks great.

Also now that I've skipped ahead some it looks like the NPC chapter now has a whole section on building infantry-scale opponents beyond just squads, so that's new. It looks like Tom really went all-in on this. You might honestly be able to run full dismounted sessions now, though I have no idea how well it'll play out in practice yet.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib



Another day, another piece of new artwork. Originally Tom hadn't planned on doing all the mech art himself but apparently that's changed, for the better in my opinion since I appreciate the unified style.

TwingeCrag
Feb 6, 2007

I got a Phd in Badassery


This system is phenomenal. I am a bit confused on how license levels work though. Do you pick a specific mech tree, ie: You gain levels in the IPS-N-Drake OR do you gain them in a specific manufacturer like SSC?

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




TwingeCrag posted:

This system is phenomenal. I am a bit confused on how license levels work though. Do you pick a specific mech tree, ie: You gain levels in the IPS-N-Drake OR do you gain them in a specific manufacturer like SSC?

You gain them in the Drake. There's also a manufacturer-level progression, where you gain access to specialized CORE bonuses as you invest a specific number of license points into any of the manufacturer's mechs.

TwingeCrag
Feb 6, 2007

I got a Phd in Badassery


Tricky posted:

You gain them in the Drake. There's also a manufacturer-level progression, where you gain access to specialized CORE bonuses as you invest a specific number of license points into any of the manufacturer's mechs.

This is cool. So many opportunities to mix parts and bits after a few licenses but there are still tons of different ways to progress. That is really important to me in a mech game.

King of Solomon
Oct 23, 2008

S S


That Raleigh art is great. I love the sort of spaghetti western character look and the warhammer.

I kinda want to decouple pilot and mech progression, is there any value in that idea? I like the idea of using glue optional rule to buy licenses, but don't like that it keeps pilot progression tied to the license.

akulanization
Dec 21, 2013



TwingeCrag posted:

This system is phenomenal. I am a bit confused on how license levels work though. Do you pick a specific mech tree, ie: You gain levels in the IPS-N-Drake OR do you gain them in a specific manufacturer like SSC?

The system is the best it has been, but still basically unplayable RAW. High end high tier enemies can have roughly 80-180 EHP and most weapons deal 2-6 damage on an average hit. Basically you canít be happy getting the same stuff at 3rd level and 15th. Tiers need to not exist or effect the players too without a serious overhaul of the advancement system.

But the game probably works pretty well to level 6ish.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

akulanization posted:

The system is the best it has been, but still basically unplayable RAW. High end high tier enemies can have roughly 80-180 EHP and most weapons deal 2-6 damage on an average hit. Basically you canít be happy getting the same stuff at 3rd level and 15th. Tiers need to not exist or effect the players too without a serious overhaul of the advancement system.

But the game probably works pretty well to level 6ish.

There's a feedback document being put together by people posting on the Discord channel and I actually just added some commentary to this effect. NPC hitpoint scaling is still the same as it was in 1.6 where PCs would regularly gain additional weapon mounts as they leveled up, which was basically the game's form of damage scaling. This got rolled back in 1.7 because it was bogging the game down with a lot of rolling, except NPCs have retained the same degree of HP scaling.

TwingeCrag
Feb 6, 2007

I got a Phd in Badassery


The stopgap solution is just as a GM not add that extra HP onto the enemy. And be careful with armor values

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

TwingeCrag posted:

The stopgap solution is just as a GM not add that extra HP onto the enemy. And be careful with armor values

Another suggestion which I've proposed (along with looking at NPC hitpoint scaling) is to consider giving PCs some form of damage scaling, such as adding +X/Y/Z to aux/main/heavy+superheavy weapons at Tier II and Tier III.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Doubleposting but Word of Tom is that he's going to take a crack at doing a typo/errata pass this weekend which includes looking at NPCs some, I'll drop a link as soon as something becomes available.

TwingeCrag
Feb 6, 2007

I got a Phd in Badassery


This game is great, although as i tried to put together a pick up game with pubbies, one of them publicly melted down on discord... which was pretty unfortunate.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

TwingeCrag posted:

This game is great, although as i tried to put together a pick up game with pubbies, one of them publicly melted down on discord... which was pretty unfortunate.

Are you talking about the dude who's constantly bitching up a storm about how successive drafts have "broken his builds" and took to the feedback channel to drag his GM for various reasons until another person involved in the game stopped by to go "actually what happened is this" or is this someone else?

TwingeCrag
Feb 6, 2007

I got a Phd in Badassery


Kai Tave posted:

Are you talking about the dude who's constantly bitching up a storm about how successive drafts have "broken his builds" and took to the feedback channel to drag his GM for various reasons until another person involved in the game stopped by to go "actually what happened is this" or is this someone else?

Same guy. I'm Shikami in the discord

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

TwingeCrag posted:

Same guy. I'm Shikami in the discord

You have my sincerest condolences, that dude sucks.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Have they said what the final distribution method for this game will be?

Really the reason Iím asking is because Iíd like to get Broken Worlds without signing up for Patreon for the sole purpose of getting Broken Worlds.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

DalaranJ posted:

Have they said what the final distribution method for this game will be?

Really the reason Iím asking is because Iíd like to get Broken Worlds without signing up for Patreon for the sole purpose of getting Broken Worlds.

Tom's said that once the game is actually finished in terms of rules that his plan is to do a Kickstarter to raise money for layout and art and then do a pdf/PoD release through Drivethru. There won't be an actual hardcopy print run or anything as he doesn't want to deal with the hassles involved.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

So remember when I said Harrison Armory had a mech for the purpose of committing planetary genocide?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Another day, another mech. This time from SSC:

sponszi
Dec 15, 2013


There's some more changes coming soon right? My group is kinda waiting to the dust to settle from 1.7 before converting 1.6 characters. also where is the pegasus art abaddon. what are you hiding.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

sponszi posted:

There's some more changes coming soon right? My group is kinda waiting to the dust to settle from 1.7 before converting 1.6 characters. also where is the pegasus art abaddon. what are you hiding.

Like most revisions, what was originally supposed to simply be a quick numbers pass has evolved into a more substantial overhaul so yes, more changes are coming but I have no real timetable at this point. What I know is that among other things:

1). SP values are being adjusted across the board. All mechs are getting a slight bump in default SP and a number of systems are having SP costs adjusted downwards, for example grenades will only be 1 SP (and maybe mines as well). According to Tom, the Goblin will no longer have more SP than any other mech in the game.

2). Tangential to the Goblin, part of what's going into the new revision is a number of systems are being looked at and evaluated, and either replaced with more interesting versions or shuffled around to other mechs. The Goblin was noted as being a sort of "walled garden" of hacking stuff so some of its kit is being spread out while it's getting new things in their place. The Goblin is receiving its very own gun called the Autopod, the Swallowtail's Adaptive Paint is giving way to a light machinegun which can ignore LoS, the Drake is getting a concussion missile system to knock people around, etc.

3). Target Lock is getting changed. In 1.7, with the removal of Focus and the change in how drones work, Target Lock was basically left kind of vestigial, being a full action to apply a minor bonus if you managed to succeed on the check, and enemies could easily shed it for less action than you used to apply it. Instead Target Locking is moving to a quick action and instead of a +1 Accuracy for everyone it's now a +2 Accuracy for the first person to use it, so it's akin to an X-Wing Minis target lock. Also a new talent tree for spotting targets is being added, along with a new talent tree for Launcher-type weapons.

4). NPCs didn't get much of a pass in 1.7 but they'll be getting one in what's being worked on. The gist is that NPCs will have more hitpoints at Tier I but gain comparatively less as Tiers increase, to go along with the fact that weapon mounts no longer steadily accumulate as they did in previous versions of the game.

5). The Iskander's active ability is going to no longer affect friendlies in the area, and it's gaining a new benefit to its passive to allow it to deploy an entire stack of mines at once instead of one at a time.

6). General numbers tweaks and bugfixes.

Blisster
Mar 10, 2010

What you are listening to are musicians performing psychedelic music under the influence of a mind altering chemical called...

I really hope I can run this soon, it seems really cool. Plus the artwork is awesome!

Been playing nothing but 5e lately so something totally different in setting wouls be nice. My group loves mecha too.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Holy fuckin poo poo the new edition is out, 1.7.5 is up for download.

Impermanent
Apr 1, 2010








the discord invite is broken can you update it please

TwingeCrag
Feb 6, 2007

I got a Phd in Badassery


Big fan of these changes. I can't wait to get my full first session in!

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Impermanent posted:

the discord invite is broken can you update it please

poo poo, I guess I didn't set it to never expire. Here, try this and I'll also update the OP with it.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Impermanent
Apr 1, 2010








Kai Tave posted:

poo poo, I guess I didn't set it to never expire. Here, try this and I'll also update the OP with it.

Thanks a bunch, this game looks real interesting :)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply