For a while now I’ve had some ideas for morphs that I’ve just not been doing anything with. I haven’t the time or the skill to properly stat them up, even with the morph generator in Transhuman - I tried for one and ended up with it costing less than a baseline version!
So here, for your perusal and usage, are a few concept morphs with some of the inspiration behind them. Keep in mind a lot of these can simply be done as variants, I like to think of them as “Local Flavor”. :)
I like the idea of swarmanoids,but I’m less sure they’re put to as many uses as they could be.
Piranhanoid : I’ve mentioned this one before on another thread. Early on I wanted to make an aquatic swarm but couldn’t think of a decent reason to do so. There wasn’t a job undersea that couldn’t be done better by a larger single morph. After Transhuman came out with the “Diamond Jaws” augmentation did it click - a security morph based on a school of piranha! That would be useful for driving off unfriendly (or TOO friendly) wildlife and skeletonizing any trespassers! Besides the required Pressure Adaptation and other mods for undersea living i think Eelware would be common. I’ve toyed with a flight movement system - for B-movie greatness- but there aren’t that many habs with gas atmospheres where this morph would be found.
Nanovore : Reading somewhere about how long it would take to sweep a room for nanotech , i thought that a swarm would be able to spread itself out to more efficiently cover the space to be cleared.A bit of the idea came from a scientists account of seeing Ladybugs eating aphids I also really liked the idea of pitched battles at a completely different scale, with microbots trundling in like AT-ATs to wipe out the nanobots. To that end the Nanovore would have nanoscopic vision and fractal digits and possibly injectors to act as a spray weapon. Medichines or a guardian nanoswarm would be likely to prevent infection.
Paparazzi : Okay, this is just a bit obvious. A media swarm useful for being a supermobile cameraman capable of following a subject anywhere they go (good for that professional parkour video, or Cops-style documentary) . Sure, some may be used for keeping tabs on a metaceleb or hyperelite without their knowledge. But...what’cha gonna do? Sensory enhancements and high speed mobility systems are a must.
Shuriken : Admittedly I don’t know if this one would work, but it sounds cool so here it is. a combat swarm designed to attack its target by sacrificing points of Durability for damage. Built in blades(claws?) and rocket motors turn the microbots into a storm of whirling death...maybe! :)
Also, this... WARNING! TVTropes link detected!... http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SynchronizedSwarming should be a skill available to swarmanoids, it would be fun!
Zero-Cost Morphs :
I thought it was odd that biomorphs and infomorphs have free options but synthmorphs and pods don’t.
Inflatomorph : I had been struggling to think of a synth that would rate being so cheap that a case was a better option. Then the trailer for Big Hero 6 came out and when I saw Baymax ...well...a good idea is a good idea! Then I remembered a much older precedent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQbj9uvYL8I . As it turns out Baymax has an endoskeletal frame and the inflatable shell is for psychological comfort. For the morph itself, it would be made of smart fabric with the required sensors and power supply distributed throughout. Humanoid shapes would predominate, for ease of integration into most settings, but really any biomorph shape could be manufactured. Most could simply pump in ambient atmosphere to maintain proper shape but, like the Thanksgiving Day balloons of old, a lower density gas or liquid could be used to provide a neutral buoyancy. This option has proven popular with uplifted cetaceans and rumors often swirl of a secretly funded full scale floating whale morph!
Mechanically, my thoughts are that this is a pretty weak morph SOM-wise, probably in the teens or twenty max. To make it zero cost I thought that sacrificing the inherent synthmorph armor would be a good exchange. It should be noted that I’m not terribly fond of Inflatomorph as a name. Ballute was my initial choice but as that references a specific portmanteau of Balloon and Parachute it wouldn’t do.
Scaffold : The idea for this came from thinking about the “Body for Every Mind” doctrine on Titan. The lack of metals for synthmorphs means biomorphs dominate production and the facilities run 24/7 to keep up with demand. So it stands to reason that someone would take advantage of the fact that human bodies don’t really -need- to have all the organs that they do http://www.livescience.com/27896-pope-one-lung-organs-you-can-live-without.html . The result would be a small sized pod built around a 3d printed skeleton, probably with a reduced number of fingers and toes, of very generic appearance. If I’m being unforgiving I give it a oddly shaped head to reflect that since there’s no brain theres no need for a full cranium! The reduced organ count would make its wound threshhold lower and increase the chances of a critical hit. More insidiously, there could be social penalties even in Titanian society for persons occupying an obviously inferior morph.
I know that as a group neo-cetaceans got a lot of options to start with,but I’ve liked whales since I was a kid so I made a few more!
Surya variants : A thread on RPG.net asked what surya do and that got me thinking. The baseline surya is modeled after a sperm whale and in keeping with their advanced sensory organs I thought they could act as Solar storm watchers, using entangled communications to get word out in advance of a major outburst. After that it seems reasonable that solarian society would want to be as independent as possible, thus the Rorqual suryas were created.
Rorqual A : modeled on a Blue whale form, this surya uses its magnetic fields to funnel solar wind into its mouth where the plasma is cooled and processed into fuel for local fusion reactors. Occasionally these surya are also used as transport for material and morphs not adapted to the coronal lifestyle.
Rorqual B : These Humpback whale designed surya are some of the most dynamic fliers of the corona. Purposed with the acquisition of non-solar material as it falls into the Sun they must respond quickly to any opportunity that presents itself. Frequently hunting in pods and using teamwork with formation flying to maximize the yield of any comet or asteroid they come upon.Some specialize in flare riding - seeking exotic material or even some antimatter. Many have backup rocket systems just in case a stray flare carries them too far from Sol.
Airwhale : Cetaceans evolved to live in water. As only a few locations match those conditions neo-cetaceans have found themselves at a disadvantage too often for their liking. To even the field while still retaining a sense of oneself several neo-cetacean groups commissioned the Airwhale morph. Borrowing even more heavily from bat genetics that neo-avians, Airwhale is designed to operate comfortably in low and microgravity environments. With long, webbed forelimbs featuring an independent thumb and forefinger bumping around a hab is a thing of the past. Wide tail flukes move enough air for regular propulsion while seal-like back flippers allow better movement in higher gravity locations. The head is extensively remodeled to accommodate a more bat-like echolocation system and binocular vision. The deliberate retention of the “dolphin smile” along with the large mobile ears makes the morph surprisingly disarming to many transhumans, a trait those sleeved into it take advantage of!
Nix / Nixie : This one is relatively recent. As part of the development of morphs specifically for Titanian wilds exemplified by the Hulder and Ariel morphs,some neo-cetaceans were eager to swim in natural lakes and rivers like their forebears. This cryo-dolphin design takes its cues from the several species of dolphin that lived in the rivers of old earth. The most notable diference being the placement of fractal digits along the typically long beak to gather carbonaceous compounds.
Mahogany Albatross : Functionally this serves the same purpose as the Cloud Skate. It’s a large avian biomorph adapted to live in the skies of Neptune. Designed to stay aloft almost permanently, it has long narrow wings like its namesake, prehensile feet, and circadian regulation to stay awake until it reaches an aerostat. Built for neo-avians who want to soar in the endless blue instead of the relatively confined space of Mahogany. There’s some speculation of trying the morph out on Titan as well.
Synthmorphs: I only have a few ideas outside the swarmanoids detailed above. And one of those is more for laughs than anything serious :)
Eelanoid : Pretty easy to figure out- its a slitheroid adapted to aquatic environments.
Reamer : A stripped down “civilian” marketed version of the Reaper. Popular amongst alpha-type executives who want to get the intimidation of the original without losing the luxury appointments!
“ I’d love to spend the weekend with you sweetie , but Boss Killbot says we’re pulling extra shifts!” - soon to be former employee overheard on Progress
Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!