Flexibility in Form for Mutant Future Androids

Derek Holland
Recently I got to thinking about how to use reskinning in Mutant Future to create a diverse array of characters, both player and non-player. One of the most useful in this regard are basic androids. They are robots, not imitations of  living things like synthetic androids or actual flesh like replicants. Unlike the other racial classes, androids have three mutations that are selected by the player. Not only is that amazing, it allows for characters such as:
 
 
Speed Buggy is possible with the application of Gigantism and Quickness. But that only creates a car that can hold two people with minimal gear. If the player really wants a better version of Speed Buggy, they will need to use the last mutation slot and add Increased Strength- that should be enough to allow the character to carry four people with gear or six with minimal gear. I know some of you are asking, "what about the robot's Strength score?" That is a good question, but as the character is giving up hands (and other manipulators), I am willing to allow even low Strength versions to carry one or four allies depending on which mutations are selected. And I would throw in his headlights for free because I don't see any reason to deny them.
 
I had an idea for a character that was a robotic zeppelin, which would require the plant mutation Flight, that escaped its cybernetic mice creators and it still trying to evade them. Again, to be able to carry allies the mutant will need Gigantism and Increased Strength. Otherwise adding Complete Wing Development might be a good idea (so the character isn't blown around by breezes), as is Chameleon Epidermis (so the character can hide and not be obvious to everyone within line of sight). Unlike the buggy, a zeppelin character should be able to join the other characters in ruin raiding, by deflating and folding up the gas sacks so the zeps can drag themselves around on the ground. It isn't fast, but it is enough to fit oneself through a human sized door.
 
 
Where Gigantism allows for possible vehicles, Dwarfism could be used for many other forms. Weapons, appliances (Brave Little Toaster?), spybots and combat drones, animal mimics, engineering bots and so many more.
 
 
To make a pistol or crawling guard bot character, Energy Ray is the obvious choice. If the player wishes and the GM allows, using two mutation slots would allow the character to replace Energy Ray with the stats of a laser pistol. However the player would have to chose- either take the one shot in three rounds limitation for Energy Ray or be limited by the number of power clips the character can find, steal or buy.
 
I have no idea what kinds of appliances or furniture the Ancients would use, so I am going to leave that up to the imgination of the players and GMs. I doubt ovens and washing machines will be recognizable, if they are used at all, within a couple centuries. Playing a chair or lamp could be fun, I guess. It all depends on which mutations and the creativity of the player in using them.
 
Spybots and combat drones have Chameleon Epidermis, unless the player does not want to invest in the mutation and thus the function is broken on their character. If they do want a super stealthy bot, there is the possibility of using two mutation slots and then applying the rules for Chameleon Epidermis to radar, Thermal Vision, Ultraviolet Vision and other mutation and artifact detection systems. Combine that with Quickness or Complete Wing Development and the character can usually escape when they are detected.
 
Animal synths (using the term from Wisdom from the Wastelands #15) would use the Aberrant Form  (natural weapon, xenomorphism) mutations as well as any other that mimic the species the robot is meant to hide among. Yes, obvious, but like the furniture it is the other mutations the player selects and how they use them that can make all the difference. Fans of the Beast Wars/Beast Machines versions of Transformers might find Metamorph highly useful, allowing for sapient robots that hide within plain sight.
 
Engineering bots must have Quick Mind or Tinkerer Affinity and should have Unique Sense to represent how they detect the materials they were programmed to work with. A gold jeweler bot would be very popular with those parties that are looking for the big score and quick advancement.
 
Hazmat bots should have Reflective Epidermis and a variant of the Greater Force Screen mutation, one that extends the immunity to others within 10 feet of the robot. This is farther than the standard mutation, but I would allow it as it fits the theme of a machine that is meant to save a lot of people.
 
 
But it isn't just the initial mutations that allow basic android variants to be flexible. There is also the possibility of grafting other parts on to them. And there does not have to be a drawback or other penalty incurred if the character obtained those parts (and the labor to install them) when adventuring or paying with loot they had obtained within an adventure. Where in D&D a character may earn a plot of land and some people to work it, in Mutant Future, one can earn an arm or wings to be grafted or welded onto the character.