I've long had a project that I've tinkered with I refer to as King Arthur w/Giant Robots, which has been a post-apocalyptic retelling of the King Arthur mythology with giant robots. The tabletop gaming group has grown at my work, so I was thinking of putting the game together for real and doing a playtest at work. In doing so I sort of refactored the background of the game to be more... fantastic sci-fi post-apocalyptic than mutants and radiation post apocalyptic. What can I say, I like Borderlands.
King Arthur with Giant Robots PitchThe Empire Eternal retreated from the land of New Albion ten generations ago in the wake of diseases unknown, blights upon the land, and invasions from off-world by both the Saxons and Picts. No longer able to garrison the borders of the Empire with its legions and fleets, Emperor Constantine withdrew his forces from New Albion and other lands, leaving its people to fend for themselves. Only Uther Pendragon was able to stand against the invaders in his armour suit Caliburn, turning back the invaders so violently they would not return for a generation, but at the cost of his life. The time of peace his blood bought is coming to an end. The Saxons are returning to New Albion in force, and only scattered knights wielding the weapons of the Imperial Age stand in their path. Your village is home to such a knight and together you must step forward to defend your land, your people.
And on a distant hill the combat robot Caliburn waits sleeping for the next true ruler of New Albion to awaken it.
SummaryLast Knights of Camelot is a game about the survivors of an off world colony trying to survive in the face of alien environments, off world threats, and internal squabbles after the interstellar empire that founded the colony retracted its support generations ago. The players are the residents of a small settlement built among the ruins of terraforming equipment, industrial farms, and alien flora. The village is surviving but not quite prospering and is beset by threats which the players must deal with. The village’s strength is some manner of ancient war machine leftover from the height of the colony’s power. This war machine secures the village’s borders, gives it political clout in the region, and makes it far more important than one expect of a village its size. The players are the leaders of the village and have important roles in it, including operating and supporting the war machine.
InspirationsMovies: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds, Excalibur, Fury Road
Television: Vision of Escaflowne
Books: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds
Games: Pendragon, A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, Mutant, Battletech, Mekton
Gameplay is broken into three main types of play:
- Personal - Standard rpg play controlling your character through tense situations, social and physical conflicts, etc.
- Battle - Fielding the warmachine and other forces in a large scale battle. Each player will have some resource to bring to bear in these conflicts.
- Village - Between sessions and over any large stretches of in game time the players work to support and improve their village.
To that end I was thinking a 5E based system where the players worked there way through a succession of 5 level classes. The classes available would be limited by what classes they've already completed and how players have chosen to upgrade their village; building a barracks opens up more combat oriented options. The goal would not be to limit characters, but to encourage them to work on the village (there should never be a situation where a player cannot advance into a good class due to the group choosing to do something else with the village). So a character's progress may be Peasant/Militia Member/Soldier/Master Swordsman/Officer, or Scribe/Hedge Mage/Student Mage/Wizard/Archmage. Characters would level every session (maybe only for the first ten levels?) but each level would not be a huge increase in power. This obviously would require a lot of writing work, but I think it would work well for fixing some of the criticisms I have of 5E while keeping it familiar enough for people to still "get it."
The end result would hopefully be something like a sci-fi version of Beyond the Wall's hearth fantasy. Low power level (except when the giant robot comes out), focus on the community, etc. I;d probably set it up so the first quest chain the players ended up on was powering up the war machine in their village, establishing the importance of the village in the region.
TLDR: King Arthur with Giant Robots by way of 5E, Warhammer Fantasy, and Beyond the Wall.