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Lancer designers suspend work on planned sourcebooks, citing life changes and pandemic stressors

Massif Press plans to finish and release the books on their own time, instead.

Lancer RPG artwork
Image credit: Massif Press

The creative duo behind popular mecha tabletop RPG Lancer has suspended development on three books originally crowdfunded through its Kickstarter campaign. Field Guide to Harrison Armory, the Field Guide to the Aun Ecumene, and the second part of No Room for a Wallflower will not be produced “under Kickstarter obligations.”

Massif Press’ Tom “Abaddon” Parkinson-Morgan explained in an August 31st update that balancing work, family and COVID-19’s effects on tabletop publishing had delayed the initial timeline for Lancer’s post-release content to the point that he and co-creator Miguel Lopez felt the need for change.

He said that production on the three books, plus the nearly complete Field Guide to the Karrakin Trade Baronies, has been steady but hampered by the already stretched thin two-person studio. They considered many options, including upscaling the number of workers and simply continuing to publish periodic delay updates, but ultimately decided to confront back expectations head on.

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“The option we have chosen is to produce the Kickstarter content we have close to finishing, and canceling scheduled production on the rest,” Parkinson-Morgan wrote. “What this means is that after the KTB book comes out, we will effectively be finished with our production of Lancer content under Kickstarter obligations.”

“We are not stopping production on Lancer content, or even production on the books listed - we still plan to release them if possible. We would just prefer to work on these books at our own pace without the obligation that comes from Kickstarter goals. If and when we produce these books, we'll announce them as normal, and backers will still receive them for free,” he continued.”

The hope is that eliminating the larger sourcebook’s constantly moving goalposts frees up Massif Press to finish long-awaited additions, such as base building systems and onboarding material at a pace they feel is healthier and more creatively conducive in the long term. Backers who funded Lancer’s Kickstarter at the Iconic tiers will receive a full refund for the delayed books, which Parkinson-Morgan said should move forward through September. The Field Guide to the Karrakin Trade Baronies will release as planned.

Lancer gained immediate popularity during the Kickstarter campaign, generating $432,029 (£314,081) from over 9,000 individual backers. The system is a “mud-and-lasers” RPG that has become famous for its crunchy and rewarding tactical gameplay and a sourcebook chock full of Parkinson-Morgan’s illustrations - he helms the ongoing comic Kill Six Billion Demons.

Players pilot these mechs in service for - or simply paid by - the interplanetary Union, which wages an inexorable struggle against the forces weighing down on humanity’s powerless masses. Outside of battle, Lancer pilots navigate a hardscrabble collective of worlds in a fraught political system dominated by ancient war machines and those with the means - or the luck - to control them.

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