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Lance: Classless 'tempered' fantasy RPG - seeking feedback


Hello! I'm ArronRiley / Jesse Brown, and am seeking feedback for my RPG system Lance. Below is an outline of features as a primer, and links and downloads to check the system out. I need any and all feedback! I am aware there are certainly issues with wording, explanations, layout, and a million other things, I desperately need feedback to improve these things. After a while you go blind to issues, and need fresh eyes! Your feedback is infinitely appreciated.

Quick Links
Site (Downloads for System and Character sheet PDF's)

Google Doc (easy navigation with document outline)

System PDF's attached below, please visit site for character sheet download (file size too big, sorry!)


--- Quote ---“Whence swords met sorcery, out on the plain

Where boots did trudge through, muddied from rain

A desperate last stand, our swords did gleam nigh

The crack of wicked sorcery, we watched ourselves die”

--- End quote ---

Lance is a passion project that I want to take the next step with. I am one man, and cannot test every corner on my own. I humbly submit this for inspection, and ask that you provide any feedback you may be able to offer. I can only offer my greatest thanks. If you like something, please take it / modify it / make it your own, and share it with me!

Lance is a classless RPG system designed to evoke a ‘tempered’ fantasy setting. Your character is part of a ‘Lance’, a group of mercenaries for hire. Your work is dirty, dangerous, and garners little good will, but is a needed service and is well rewarded. Lance takes inspiration from an array of other systems like Knave, Five Torches Deep, and more.

Genre terms are… restrictive, and Lance is not strictly ‘hard fantasy’, so I wanted a term that was one step before that. Tempered fantasy is a mix of low magic, grimdark, and sword and sorcery. The world and rules within are realistic to a degree, magic is rare and dangerous, and kingdoms and political factions fan the flames of war. In a tempered fantasy world gods and great evils do not explicitly exist, mankind is the focus. You are not automatically the hero, and death comes quickly and suddenly.

Why classless?
I’ve come to realize that classes ultimately feel restrictive. Having to dance around the rules or make suboptimal choices so a wizard can even -hold- a sword is a disservice. The image of Gandalf with sword and staff is the quintessential wizard, and no one can take that away. Also, in a world of mercenaries and monsters, you better damn well know how to hold a sword. There’s no excuse.

D20 Base
Lance uses a d20 for most rolls. The system will be very familiar to anyone who has played D&D.

Compacted Design
No stat should feel like a ‘dump’ stat, all are equally useful for every character. Every point in an ability or skill corresponds to a +1 to relevant bonuses. No need to figure out what your actual bonus is if you have a 15 Strength. Skills have been compressed into categories, and each point in the category gives a bonus to all skills in that category. Max level is 10.

Perk System
Every level your character can select a new passive or active perk, giving you new options in combat, and interesting choices to make for your character. There are no limitations on who can take what perk, so mix and match and create your character.

Weapon proficiency
Invest in your character’s skill with types of weapons, which will influence their ability to hit enemies and defend themselves.

Deadly combat
Combat is deadly, characters have low HP, and damage is high. Critical and Savage hits further increase damage. If your character is to survive they should pick their battles. Armor has requirements to use, but provides damage reduction.

Recovery System
Managing HP is crucial, your character won’t just wake up at full strength after an 8 hour nap in the middle of the dungeon.

Terrifying Magic
Magic is dangerous, and extremely powerful. Spells are only acquired through spell books or magic items. Casting magic requires mana, but is not guaranteed, there is a chance for spells to backfire. You can attempt to cast spells when out of mana or cast spells above your level, but at great risk. There are currently 130 spells.

Roll your start
Your character rolls stats and appearance, and starts with a rolled amount of silver with which to purchase equipment and tools.

And more!
Expanded and reworked weapons and armor
New weapon properties

What’s next?
First and foremost is to improve and revise system and character sheet. After that, I have several other projects all tied to Lance that I am working on, and eventually would like to share, like a campaign setting and one shot dungeons I have build for use with Lance.

There are several play test groups on Facebook that I have found. I also have found interested parties from other posts on author sites for my game in development.  Your concept looks very interesting and well thought out. I would also suggest local colleges/highschools, and libraries as possible places to find playtesters many of which have gamers guilds or groups. This also serves as a way to put your game in the hands of potential players that are hopefully more inclined to tell others about your game and provide word of mouth advertising. You need to use multiple different search terms like TtRPG, board games, tabletop roleplaying games, once you start joining enough groups Facebook will suggest similar. There are also a few dedicated to game designers that don't usually show up initially.
I wish you the best of luck with your project and hope it becomes a successful one.
Sir Paradox

Thanks for the suggestions and well wishes! I definitely would like to spread this to other sites and places to get as many eyes on it as possible, I'll look into what you said. Cheers!

You are very welcome.


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