Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Overpowering Onslaught Of -OIDS

The awesome Metamorphosis Alpha Deluxe Reprint Kickstarter got me mulling over something that's always niggled / interested / irritated / something'd me when it comes to post-apocalyptic RPGs:

Sentient, bipedal critters with names that end in "-oid".  These are a select group of mutants indeed, as most intelligent ani-men lack that particular suffix.

Grandpappy game of them all, Metamorphosis Alpha 1e, set the precedent with four beast-oids:  bearoids, cougaroids, hawkoids, and wolfoids.  Each had pretty wonky mutations and defects.

Later editions reduced the number of -oids to one, with Amazing Engine:  Metamorphosis Alpha To Omega [semi-officially 2e] going with hawkoids, and 4e using wolfoids.

[I don't have 3e, so no clue what's in it.]

Wolfoid, 4e.  That Jim Holloway really rocks a werewolf.

Gamma World toned it down, too, featuring only hawkoids throughout most of the line. They appeared in editions 2nd through 5th, then got renamed as "terrorbirds" for 6th...and only showed up on the cover of 7th's Legion Of Gold supplement, without being in the text proper [that I could find, anyway].

Hawkoid, 2e-4e
5e (Alternity version)
6e (d20 version)
7e (D&D 4e version)

Man.  It's hilarious that there's clearly a go-to "hawkoid style".

But the game that REALLY brings the -oids is Mutant Future, with 9 separate entries.

[There are technically 13 -oids in the bestiary, but 3 are mutated humans, and 1 is a they don't count for my purposes.]



I dunno if it was loving tribute, lack o' inspiration, sheer laziness, or some combo thereof, but MF brings the -oids like nothing before.  And they got fancied up in in the naming, going all Latin-y and such.

Sad to say, most are boring and lame, as their mutations lean towards the obvious.  Sure, they're mechanically accurate system-wise, but "real-world natural abilities" are less fun than "gonzo superpowers".

That's a flaw with Mutant Future monsters in general, actually.

Below is a list of -oids through the ages, with descriptions and changes between incarnations.  It's more for my reference than anything else, so thanks for humoring me.

All are intelligent, and possess manipulative paws.

Metamorphosis Alpha, 1e
  • Bearoid:  12' tall; mutations: mental control, precognition, telepathy, teleportation; defects:  no resistance to gas-attacks or paralysis
  • Cougaroid:  4-5' tall; immune to electricity, lasers, mental attacks, and paralysis; attraction odor, can't perceive robots [!]
  • Hawkoid:  4' tall; fear generation, force field, levitation; constant appetite
  • Wolfoid:  4' tall; immune to all energy attacks and contact poisons; radiation eyes, regeneration; no nerve endings

MA, 2e
  • Hawkoid:  duality [lets you do 2 distinct things at once], plus same 3 as above

MA, 4e
  • Wolfoid:  now 9' tall; immune to energy attacks and poisons; regenerates; loses radiation-vision and vulnerabilities

Gamma World, 2e & 3e
  • Hawkoid:  fear generation, force field, levitation

GW, 4e
  • Hawkoid:  duality makes a comeback, plus the same 3 above

GW, 5e
  • Hawkoid:  duality, fear generation, force field; loses levitation

GW, 6e
  • Hawkoid:  duality, levitation, force field; loses fear generation.  [Sheesh.  No clue why they screw with these dudes so much.]

Mutant Future, 1e & 2e
  • Accipitoid (hawk):  complete wing development, increased sight
  • Canisoid (dog):  control light waves, fragrance development, increased hearing
  • Castoroid (beaver):  teleport
  • Cockroachoid (like, duh):  immune to radiation, natural armor, metaconcert, sonic attack; males have 50% chance of additional 1d4 Mental Mutations
  • Pantheroid—Leoid (lion):  density alteration (others), empathy
  • Pantheroid—Tigrisoid (tiger):  damage turning, thermal vision, vampiric field
  • Scuirinoid (squirrel):  neural telepathy
  • Serpentoid (not even trying):  metamorph (into 8' snake), toxic weapon, thermal vision
  • Suidoid (pig):  aberrant form (4 arms, lashing tail), increased sense (taste)

I think I'll whip up some -oids of my own in upcoming posts.  I've avoided them thusfar, but now it sounds fun.

Blame Metamorphosis Alpha being on the brain.