Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CAMELOT Trigger - The Outline

One of the great debates in writing is the outline. Should you have one? How detailed should it be? I started out as a No Outline guy. As time and experience wore on, I found it was more difficult to adhere to my college writing practices. Procrastinating and then writing 10 pages over a weekend works fine when you're a student, but when you're a Dayjobber, you can't just blow off work on Monday to recover.

My outlines aren't very formal. Often, I'll drop them straight in the doc and write around them, then delete the outline as I fill it in with actual text. I scribble additional notes in front of the main text block to not forget them.

CAMELOT Trigger has a lot of big ideas so I went with something a bit more formal to organize my thoughts. One of the important skills a writer has to learn is how to control the flow of inspiration intoo information. It's a big rush when the ideas come hard and fast but it's important to catch as many as possible to use when you have time to craft them.

One of the important goals is to make a setting where interesting things happen but let players determine the outcome. Situations that inspire plot hooks. Characters that feel real but can be beat up by the PCs. It can be very easy and tempting to write a setting where all the cool stuff has already happened. The setting also has to be easy for GMs to make their own.

The other important goal is to make this useful for people who want mecha but not the setting. I'm glad to see people respond positively to CAMELOT Trigger, but I know there are plenty of folks who want mecha rules to use for Gundam, Battletech, and the dozens of other Big Stompy Robot worlds that inspired me.

So, here's my first outline for CAMELOT Trigger. Not everything will make it in, and there's stuff I'm hoping others will suggest that's not on here yet. Drop me a line @robowieland on Twitter or in the comments below to tell me what parts of the outline you want to see expanded.

Mecha rules

  • Pick parts
  • Pick systems
  • Pick suites
  • Name tech 

Mecha builds/types

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Manowar
  • Vehicle
  • Combining

Mecha systems

  • Strategic (Overcome)
  • Tactical (Advantage)
  • Offensive (Attack)
  • Defensive (Defend)

Mecha suites

  • Focused (+4)
  • Wide (+3/+1, +2,+2)
  • Broad (+1/+1/+1/+1)
  • Variable (spend an FP to switch between Focused, Wide and Broad)

Rules variants

  • Salvage
  • Power Armor/scale discussion
  • Ammo
  • Alpha Strike
  • Ejection


  • History 
  • How Arthur won
  • Arthur’s friends
  • Arthur’s enemies
  • The current threat
  • The looming threat


  • Mercury - MerGN-A’s secret clone base
  • Venus - The Sisterhood
  • Earth - Hail to the High King
  • Mars - The Blood Red Sands
  • Asteroid Field - Brigands, Emergents and Legends
  • Jupiter - The Petty Titans
  • Saturn - The Saturnine Senate
  • Uranus - The Polaris Monastery
  • Neptune - The Emergent Knight
  • Sidebar - Et Tu, Pluto?


  • John Arthur - High King of Earth
  • Gwen the 4th - Regent of Venus
  • L4-NC3-L07 - Warlord of Mars
  • Dr. Vyvyan Locke - Mother of Artificial Intelligence
  • MerGN-A - The would be
  • MerGN series robots (MerGN-B through MerGN-L)


  • Armour
  • Blast
  • Chivalry
  • Clash (Bout?)
  • Coachman
  • Cunning
  • Daunt
  • Devotion
  • Household
  • Inquisition
  • Intrigue
  • Larceny
  • Lineage
  • Lore
  • Mark
  • Skulking
  • Smithy
  • Stoutness


Setting variants

  • I wanna be Arthur!
  • Siding with MerGN-A
  • Gender Flipping
  • Love, Camelot Style
  • A Knight’s Retinue
  • Defined By Your Passions
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic


  1. Looks pretty cool. I already have a number of things I wanna ask about, things that look familiar but I can see that there's a twist there, and things that intrigue me.

    Definitely keep that section on setting variants.

  2. Love the skill list. It's a perfect example of how to tailor FATE's basic elements to support the setting.

  3. Hopefully you got some hits from my blog, this is one of the most intriguing of the FATE Core mini settings. So I reposted parts of it to try to drum up some more support...