Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mutant Future A-B-C: A is for Android

Androids are the embodiment of living anachronisms (another ‘A’ word) so apt in the universe of the Mutant Future. Amidst the chaos and regression to primitivism in a once-fruitful wasteland walk the Androids who form a link to the forgotten wonders of a technological past. Androids in the different versions of existing Mutant Futures have come in all shapes and sizes, in varying dispositions and temperaments.

Some Androids take the role of healers or mentors, doing their share in rebuilding society. They can be found in enclaves of remaining civilization, no matter how strange this have evolved from its origins.

Rem, from the post-apocalyptic universe of Logan’s Run (the TV series) is one of these. Such Androids make great non-player characters, hopefully, on the side of the player characters. Their knowledge of the Ancients’ science and history goes far to give their allies an edge over the opposition.

On the other end of the spectrum are the killers, the destroyers and (most often) the baddies. The ubiquitous Terminator, of which several makes and models were made, is a prime example.

Nothing quite beats the effect of the glowing red eyes of the T-101. There’s something about the other-than-human malevolence contained in those artificial eyes…

Mimetic Polyalloy T-1000

The T-X

The T-101 could best be considered as the classic Basic Android in the Mutant Future rules as written. The subsequent T-1000 and T-X could be more advanced models in terms of sophistication and technology level. The shape- changing ability of the T-1000 and the T-X, and, to a lesser extent, their regenerative powers, are an example of how “mutations” granted to Androids during character generation can be characterized. In effect, they are not exactly mutations per se but more of design upgrades and functions.

Less well known but somewhat rather more disturbing is Box from Logan’s Run (the Movie). Others may argue that Box is more of a Cyborg but he would nonetheless make an excellent and colorful Android adversary for any group of Mutant Future adventurers. Imagine going up against a deranged yet highly creative ice sculptor with a penchant for watching his subjects copulate and then eviscerating them slowly. Box and its ilk are often found in extant pockets of technology which, tragically, have long ceased to function in the manner for which they were built. In the case of Box, our stainless steel friend spends his days in what appears to be an automated food synthesis factory wherein it is no longer clear if its finished products are still being consumed by its intended consumers.

Going even farther in time we have Androids who wander the waste as mercenaries and….assassins.

My personal favorite is Necron 99 from Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards.

The mutant wizard Blackwolf, Lord of the Land of Scorch made good use of Necron 99’s cold killing skills until it got zapped by Avatar, Blackwolf’s brother. Necron 99 ends up being ‘reprogrammed’ by Avatar and takes on the name of Peace (personally, I’d take the name Necron 99 to Peace any day).

There’s something about Necron 99’s beady yellow lidless eyes (much like the T-101's red ones). Here he is along with Blackwolf's mutant assassins.

Couple that with a very intimidating looking rifle and a quaint mutated two-legged horse and you’ve got the perfect synthetic wasteland warrior.

This excellent sketch by Undead Celt makes it look like Necron 99 is carrying a modified M-14!

The Mutant Future shows that Androids can go well with mutants, the remnant of technological enclaves and, of course, guns. Stuck in the low-tech present, they are a fleeting link to the vanished high-tech past.


  1. Thanks! Will run up to the other letters of the alphabet asap. I'm concentrating on finishing the last adventure's account. Ratsputin pulled a fast one in that game...

  2. the only one mutation that I know in mechanics being could be a virus or some kind of computer organism that can change the behavior and performance of the machine, maybe a program that can produce the same effect.