Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Computer Bugs And Viruses

In the world of the Mutant Future, illness and disease are common. Oh, but I'm not referring to the myriad of viruses and bacteria that humans and mutants are susceptible to. Bizarre mutated nanobots, corrupt programming codes, and strange metal-dissolving substances endanger the health and well-being of androids, synthetics, and replicants. If your robotic PCs start to think that they're untouchable by organic diseases and illnesses, see how they'll handle contracting one of the following Android Ailments:

  • Synthetic Stroke - A portion of the android's communication CPU shorts out. The android is unable to communicate clearly as the words it uses do not clearly convey its intent. One common trait is that it can only speak in numbers rather than words. ("What seems to be the problem?" "Five, twenty-six, thirteen!" "I don't understand." "TWELVE!")

  • Robo-Arthritis - The synthetic lube surrounding the android's joints begins to deteriorate. The android will begin having trouble walking and moving. If not corrected, joints may begin to seize up, rendering the android completely immobile. It is said that some robots suffering from advanced forms of this condition have gone insane when they've been unable to move for years while their AI remains active.

  • Asimov's Attack - The android's Asimov programming fails or becomes corrupted. Rather than following The Three Laws of Robotics, the android will begin doing the exact opposite of one of the laws at random intervals. It may attack a human without provocation. It may begin deliberately disobey direct commands. Or it may try to injure or destroy itself ("synthetic suicide"). This glitch should occur without warning. ("While discussing your next course of action, IG-88 whips out its laser pistol and - without saying a word - shoots you point-blank in the chest.")

  • Computer Memory Loss - The android's memory circuits are compromised. Roll 1d6 for the effect: 1. The android relives the same 10 minute time period over and over. 2. The android cannot remember anything that happened more than 1 hour ago. 3. The android remembers everything up until 1 hour ago. 4. The android cannot recall its identity or function, although it remembers everything and everyone else. 5. The android is aware of its own identity, but he treats everyone as if they were strangers. 6. The android reverts to its initial power-up state when he/she first went online. Everything that occurred in its "life" has been wiped clean.

  • Rust Leprosy - An aggressive microbot attacks the metal parts making up the android. If the 'bot has a metallic outer shell, jagged rusty holes will begin to appear and spread. If the android has a synthetic outer covering, the rot occurs from within, decaying its skeletal structure and circuitry. Once discovered, it could be too late to stop.

  • Gyroscopic Vertigo - The robot's internal gyroscopic sense of balance has failed. The android's DEX is halved until the gyroscope can be reset or replaced. The android should make constant saves vs. DEX to perform the simplest of tasks. Walking is difficult and anything requiring a degree of coordination is impossible.


  1. A cool and fertile concept :)

    Naturally my take was much sillier.

  2. Wicked (literally) idea.

    (Haha, my word verification was "ranter".)