|Rule System||Shadow of the Demon Lord derivative|
|No. of Players||2+|
|Session Time||10+ minutes|
|Authors||Miguel Lopez and Tom Parkinson-Morgan|
- For the mounted unit and/or their primary weapon of choice, see: Lance
- For the Imperial Knight pattern, look up Cerastus Knight Lancer
"You dig giant robots!
We dig giant robots!
CHICKS dig giant robots!"
Lancer is an RPG about customizing, upgrading (and sometimes destroying) your very own mech from scratch. The player starts with a pilot, with a set of skills, stats, and talents, and a mech, composed of a CORE, which provides the base ratings of your mech ranging from HP to how good you are at aiming your massive underside cannon, and a SHELL, which is the external hardware covering the core. This can be anything from armor, weapons, and different sorts of fun systems (including a memetic virus that leaves those who see it stunned with brain damage or a gun dubbed Omnigun that is a "... piece of experimental hardware so advanced that it does not classify as any weapon...").
TL;DR: Humanity fucked itself, slept it off for about five millennia, then woke up, punched itself, and decided to form a hegemony called Union. They discovered godlike AIs on Mars and had them crunch the numbers on the best way for humanity to not fuck itself over again. 3000 years later, they thought a tech-god AI called RA unto existence, who promptly fucked off with Deimos. Picking up the pieces left behind, humans harnessed blinkgates, galactic wi-fi, and AIs. 1500 years after that, humanity discovered the first sentient alien life. Union tried to peacefully contact them, and they got cholera and everything was fucked up. So Harrison Armory invented a whole new type of war fighting technology for the sole purpose of stomping on these bugs. And thus was the birth of the mech.
The core system is pretty basic; 1d20 versus a target number (10 for skill checks, and a defensive stat for attacks) with up to 3d6 (taking only the highest) as Accuracy and Difficulty penalties granted by talents, circumstances, etc. The pilot side of the game is lightweight storygame-y stuff, while the mech side is 4E-like tactical combat on a grid.
As you level up, you can improve the pilot or lancer core or you could buy licenses so you can buy better gear and frames.