If you want to skip my review and boost your way into Lancer
There are many great tabletop RPG’s out there besides Dungeons & Dragons and I like to try them out whenever possible. Many different tabletop RPG’s follow a niche category like space, heists, fantasy etc. Lancer is one such game and it focuses on mechs. Their take on the theme is that humanity has expanded into the stars and the tools of war now are mechs owned by corporations.
There are many different corporations all with mechs that specialize in certain weapons, abilities, or skills. In addition there are also pilot skills for encounters when you’re outside of your mech.
Note: as of writing this this game is still improving and balance and updates are being made to it constantly.
As of now the PDF is not the best organized and is slightly hard to read however it is written well in terms of easiness to understand. This is because they tried their best to make sure that they aren’t many rules left up for interpretation. That is one thing I appreciate about it the most. So many times I’ve played in games where the rules don’t make things clear and I’ve interpreted in one way and my DM interpreted another and we have a conflict. Now while there still are a few confusing areas they are doing their best to fix them.
A Cool New Action Economy and block
One of the most common action economy rule sets people run into is Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition action economy. This is where you have a move action, standard action, and a bonus action. Lancers action economy is slightly different whereas you have a move action and two quick actions or a full action.
Every mech is able to move as you’d expect with the last two that make it interesting. For a full action something you can do is fire a super heavy weapon or two weapons. A quick action can be anything from find one weapon to deploying drones to hacking another mech. There is a whole list of things you can do at a full action or using a quick action which gives you multiple options to fit your needs. The one thing that balances these actions is that you cannot take the same action twice in around. That means you can use the quick action to fire a weapon but cannot use the other quick action to fire a weapon.
One thing I also like is that there are a few ways to give yourself more actions or benefits to your turn. One of these is called protocols. Protocols have to be done before you do anything else and usually give you a benefit for an action you doing that turn. The next thing it is called overcharge. This lets you get another quick action that can be used for any quick action even one already used this round in exchange for heat. I really like the aesthetics of this where just like with the computer you overclock for more power but you also bring the risk of overheating.
Enough With The Rules And Action Economy Let’s Talk Mechs
There are many abilities to choose from when decide how to outfit your mech. These abilities are called licenses. Basically you get a license to use a company’s Mech blueprint. As you increase your licensed level with that particular mech you get more things that that license has to offer. Each license has items that follow a concept. This includes a specific frame designed around that concept. All frames have a system that’s unique only to them. Even though each license has a concept you can mix and match abilities to your hearts content. For example the Hydra is a mech that is based around drones. While there are other licenses that give you drones the Hydra frame gives you four unique drones only this license can use. You also gain a bonus to all other drones you have regardless of what license they come from.
The one thing I like about this game more than anything else is that if you take it licenses from many different companies to the point where you can’t get a signature framework they got you covered. The GMS is a framework everyone has access to and while other RPG’s I’ve seen don’t give generic unlocks power this frame can stand toe to toe with any other.
The Mechs From My Childhood Come To Life
I really like how a lot of inspiration came from mechs I’ve grown up with in my life. For example there are definitely some Gundam influences in this game and is very easy for you to make one. There are some hints of Tau influence . I could be wrong but I definitely get a Mech Warrior vibe from some of them. I really like this if you want to play a mechs of your own creation you could import your favorite from your fantasy setting of your choice.
Because of all the inspiration they used to make this game there is a Mech for everyone. Besides the support, control, damage of regular RPG’s you can hybridize yourself into ever you feel like. My first play through I played a Hydra who focused on support drones and weapons that could target my allies positively in my enemies negatively essentially making me support damage. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are multitudes of melee weapons, ranged weapons, drones, armor abilities; you want something chances are you can have it.
Comp/con Where Have You Been All Of My Life
Years ago I was playing 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons and a program came out for free where you could create your own character with all the rules your character needs right at your fingertips. Lancer has a program just like it and I am in love with it. Many of you may be thinking about D&D Beyond and it is similar. However when you create your pilot and your Mech on Comp/con the information you need is right there. Abilities, weapons, and gear you chose are all there next to those abilities, weapons, and gear. Is also available when selecting what you want. This makes it great when you’re selecting gear for your mech. For example if you’re looking for weapon and are not sure what stats it has on the list of weapons your Mech can use just click the weapon and the information shows up.
It also has a rule compendium to look up important information without needing to go to the whole book to find.
Final Thoughts On Lancer
This game is still new and therefore subject to change and to improve and certain areas. However that being said I really do enjoy this game. If you are looking for a tabletop RPG that focuses around mechs and that type of world I highly recommend you check them out the links to both the rulebook and to finance between Comp/con are right below this and at the top of the page.