The Short of It (aka: the TL;DR version)
Myself and four of my usual Anime Fate players got together to play Rob Wieland’s CAMELOT Trigger, with a scenario of my devising. Much fun was had as robots combined to defeat the Emergent threat.
The Setup (Pre-game)
My usual game fluctuates anywhere from 4 players to 7 players, so I needed to prepare more characters than I expected to need. I also readied two sets of characters: one set of combining Armour, and one set of independent Armours. With the exception of the Valkyrie and Vesper characters, I created male and female versions of each character, and let my players choose whatever pleased them.
The PDF which contains all the characters, generic combiner Armour, one set of Transforming (and combining) Armour, and a few blank sheets is here. The pages were printed two to a sheet, in Landscape. The results turned out way better than I had expected.
Game Time — Setting the Stage
Four players were in attendance. Going in, the players knew we were doing CAMELOT Trigger, and that it was described as “Arthurian Myth played out across the Solar System in Big Stompy Robots.” With that in mind, I asked them if they wanted to play as a team of combining Armour, or with individual Armours (although still a team.) While I had anticipated some division of opinion (and was planning to let it fall to Majority Rule,) the group unanimously selected the Combining Team.
I had originally planned to let the players look at the available options, and select from there. However, the players surprised me by asking me to assign characters instead. Left with the choice in my hands, I selected a varied, but potent team, which was designed to facilitate my intended plot with greater ease.
The final party selection (also known as Robyn Merriweather’s Band):
- The Green Knight, Robyn Merriweather (Leader and exiled Venusian Vesper)
- The Fae Knight, Nimrodel Pyn-Locke (sister of Vyvyan Locke)
- The Black Knight, Bruno Coate (ex-Emergent Black Knight, pretend Templar)
- The Red Knight, G4-W41-N (escaped Martian Slave)
The group familiarized themselves with their characters and the world, and we were off!
Prelude — Tournament at Avaluna
Robyn’s Band begins at Avaluna base, seeking to score off some of the Petty Titans attending the Tournament, while partaking where they could of the festivities. Nimrodel gets stuck being a diplomat, being recognized and called upon to serve for her family connections. Her escort is none other than Arthur’s Queen, Valerie Le Guin. She’s a grateful companion, and remembers Nimrodel’s sister fondly. At least until they’re joined by Arthur’s Right-Hand Knight, L4-NC3-L07, at which point the Fae Knight begins to feel like a third wheel.
Pyn-Locke’s sense of chivalry and justice is irked by the Queen’s disloyalty, and records the “obvious” flirting in order to (unsuccessfully) spread rumours, and bring the truth to Arthur’s attention.
In the meantime, Bruno and G4-W41-N are competing against each other in an Armour duel. In theory, the two should be equally matched, but the Black Knight is unwilling to harm his Red compatriot. Despite this, the Knights put on a brilliant show.
Unfortunately for Roybn, the show wasn’t enough to keep some attending Petty Titans from noticing her (and the reward posters,) and giving chase for the reward. In the course of her escape, the Green Knight literally runs in to her (former) Queen.
With formalities out of the way, the Queen offers the Band an out, offering a favour from the Realm in exchange for escorting a young Valkyrie to the site of her sister’s demise, where the Valkyrie is expected to retrieve the Armour, then launch the body into the Sun.
The Band learns only after accepting the Queen’s generous offer that Lyn Etti’s (see character sheets) sister fell in battle around the orbit of Mercury.
Act I — Mercury’s Hot Date
The band are reluctant to speak to MerLN within the Dragon Gate, but give the AI enough satisfaction that he leads them true.
Just as the Black Knight is warning his team about MerGN-A’s project around Mercury, the team is beset by a horde of the Emergent “Knights.”
Mer-GN-BK (Black Knight)
Failed (but surviving) bio-mechanical clones of Arthur who patrol the orbit of Mercury for MerGN-A in their (equally failed) “clones” of Calibur-N.
Head: MerGN Tactical Matrix (Fair Armour/Fair Mark)
Front: XGN Lancers (Fair Blast/Fair Cunning)
Back: MerGN Rift Hopper (+2 Defend vs Melee–Hop out of Melee range)
Arms: Blacksteel Broadsword (Fair Daunt/Fair Melee)
Legs: Self Repair (1/scene; 1 FP to reactivate a system)
After a few quick exchanges, Bruno manages to supply the team with a predictive tactical display based on his history among the Emergent. It performs to a standard seen only in ancient Epics, and allows the Band to handily eliminate the first wave of Emergent opposition.
With the enemy at bay, Lyn hops into her sister’s Armour, places the body within the shuttle she used to arrive, and launches it to the Sun.
The Knights offer a formal salute to the fallen Valkyrie, an act that is not lost on the younger one.
In the midst of the salute, Bruno manages to catch snippets of whispers from MerGN-A, regarding an imminent threat out by Pluto…
Except there are no Dragon Gates to Pluto.
Thankfully, the Fae Knight was able to emulate the Emergents’ Rift Hopper during the conflict. With some assistance and aid, she’s able to adapt the emulated Rift Hopper for longer range and greater mass. She doubts it could manage the full distance to Pluto, and isn’t willing to test the modified Hopper until they know the team will be able to arrive.
A quick consultation with their charts, and the characters become aware that Jupiter holds the closest Dragon Gate to their destination.
Act II — Onward to Pluto!
The journey is short, and the Band is very quiet while within the Dragon Gates. MerLN gets a recounting of the battle around Mercury from Robyn, but that’s about all.
When emerging from Jupiter’s Gate, they find three separate groups of Petty Titans waiting to capture Robyn. The Black Knight thinks quickly on his feet, convincing the Titans of his Templar Ursa Major cover, and that the Templars have sent him and his bodyguard (the Red Knight, G4-W41-N) to take her in. With a bit of persuasion (and a rather large set of red Armour closing in on them,) the Titans permit the group to pass.
Once clearing the viewing range of the Titans, Nimrodel feels ready to activate the modified Rift Hopper. Unfortunately, the Rift Hopper does not function as she expects, so while the rest of the Band arrives intact, the Fae Knight is left phasing in and out of reality. (This worked perfectly, since Nimrodel’s player was unable to stay for the final Act.)
Act III — Embattled at Pluto
While the Band regains their bearings, and come to grips with their distorted teammate, they notice enemies in the distance, closing fast. The Emergent will shortly be upon them.
Face and torso of a woman, body of a large bird. Mer-GN-A sends them out as a last-minute vanguard. Robyn’s Owl Armours are converted from this design.
Head: Sonic Disruptors (+2 to Create Advantages like “Sensor Distortion”)
Torso: Flight Control Systems (Fair Armour/Fair Devotion)
Left Wing: Baseline Stabilizers (Average Blast, Melee, Mark, Skulking)
Right Wing: Hyper-speed Actuators (+2 Melee when attacking a single opponent)
Claws: Vibroclaw Sheathing (May spend a fate point to force a single system to shut down on a successful melee attack.)
The Harpies focus on the the traitorous Black Knight, though he and his companions prove too hearty for them. The Emergent manage to rally a great sensor distortion field, but G4-W41-N remembers a frequency nullifier from his slave days which proves to neutralize that threat.
After taking out a fair number of the enemy, the Band watches the Harpies flee. Then, on the edge of their sensors, they see it…a partially constructed Medusa Moon!
MerGN-A takes a few hits, but it appears she only absorbs them. The Red Knight tries to confuse MerGN-A’s sensors while the rest attack, putting some static in place, while the rest of the team presses on. The Moon releases a swarm of vassals to aid itself, only to consume them to repair the minimal damage the team does.
Finding the opposition forces heavy, Robyn triggers the combination of the Armours into the Longbowman, and summons the Quantum Longbow.
The Longbowman tears into the Moon, tearing off one quadrant at a time with its energy arrows, until MerGN-A chooses to preserve as much of her work on the new Moon as she can, winking off the battlefield into parts unknown. Which leaves the Band tired but victorious!
Interlude — Quips and Quotes
“Brave, brave Knight Robyn!” — Sung by the players when Robyn runs from the Petty Titans in the preamble.
“Only You can prevent Bandit Lords.” — the Red Knight, who just happens to be led by a Bandit Lord.
“The perfect crystal lattice of the Negaton Focalization Crystal will be perfect to channel the spike in Negaton levels when the Rift Hopper is activated.” — the Fae Knight (in conjunction with the remaining players.)
“That’s no moon!” — You knew it had to happen with gamers and the Medusa Moon.
yin” — Written on the Noteboard to indicate which Zone the Green Knight was in. (The player or Robyn Merriweather was also named Robin–which was why I chose her for it.)
Aftermath — Decisions Made
I chose a more combative plot-line since this was intended as a stand-alone game. While I managed to touch on a number of different elements at the core of CAMELOT Trigger, I felt many of them were better suited to a longer-running campaign–especially the Arthurian Love Triangle. I selected the Medusa Moon as the final Antagonist for the drama–that thing is perfectly built for a large-scale, hard fought battle.
Aftermath — Room to Improve
While I got the impression everyone had fun, I noticed a few places where I might have done a better job of being the game master.
Characters: I ran out of time to provide my customary sheets for a character. These sheets usually provided not only the Aspects and relevant character information, but also include a brief biography and questions to get the player thinking about the character they’ve been assigned. This would smooth the game opening, and provide a bit more setting information for those unfamiliar with CAMELOT Trigger.
The Longbowman: After watching Robyn Merriweather in play, I’m going to change her stunt so that she needs to use all of her Free Invokes before the team can combine into the Longbowman. This will better emulate television’s giant combining robot genres.
Timing: It was a race to the finish, to see whether the players were going to be too tired to continue, or whether we were going to finish the conflict with MerGN-A’s Medusa Moon. I need to be more aware of time as it proceeds, and keep pushing the action to minimize my tendency to stretch things out.
In the end, my players reported they quite enjoyed the scenario (despite my foibles,) and similarly liked the setting: Rob Wieland’s CAMELOT Trigger. You’ll want to look for it in Fate Worlds: Worlds in Shadow, when it comes out at your Friendly Local Gaming Store!