Today’s Kickstarter Highlight is Lancer by Massif Press!
I very infrequently preview and review RPGs, but every so often there’s one that grabs my attention. Lancer is one such RPG – not only because of its phenomenal theme, but also because of the personal nostalgia that it invokes. Lancer is a mud-and-lasers RPG in which players take the roles of mech pilots. It brings back fond memories of my days as an awkward teenager playing Big Eyes Small Mouth campaigns centered around a ragtag team of over-the-top sci fi mechs. Those days, the adventures I wrote and played always relied on the “epic things come in unassuming packages” motif, because, well, I was a scrawny, awkward, unassuming teenager who always dreamed big.
Lancer brings back a lot of the sci fi tropes that I loved as a teenager, but through a more modern lens. Of course, being ‘mud-and-lasers,’ there’s a heavy element of gritty military sci fi. In Lancer, the mechs are beat up, battleworn, and fully modular – able to adapt and endure as much as their plucky pilots. The future that Lancer imagines is a post-apocalypse, but one that has managed to flourish and thrive. Yes, humanity has exploded across the galaxy, and there’s plenty of greed, power abuse, and injustice to go around. Lancer’s is a dark and vast world, but there are still glimmers of hope that your team of pilots can defend – if you choose. I highly encourage anyone who wants a glimpse of the vivid setting to check out some of the worldbuilding material that’s available on Massif Press’s website. Even cooler, you can dowload a pre-release version of the game’s current core rulebook. I love it when creators share their content like this, because it not only builds trust, but it shows their passion for the game they’ve built and nurtured.
Gameplay-wise, Lancer is rules-light. It focuses more on the story by keeping the mechanics simple and focused on teamwork, creativity, and player choice. Everything about the mechs you pilot is highly customizable, and that core concept carries over into the rest of the game. Characters are classless, non-combat downtime is meant to be chock full of roleplaying, and your character is your character in this awesome world.
The book is huge, the world is epic, and the game looks outstanding. If you’re looking for a new RPG, swing by the Kickstarter page for Lancer and check it out. It’s abundantly clear this game is a labor of love, because every detail is so, so finely crafted. Put simply, 13 year-old me would have died to play this game.
Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky!