We recently spoke with Tomas Härenstam, who is the lead designer of Mutant: Mechatron – a supplement for the table top roleplaying game ‘Mutant: Year Zero.’ Modsipohius Entertainment publishes the game, which is designed by the Swedish company Free League Publishing and licensed by Paradox Entertainment.
What is the premise to the supplement?
‘Mutant: Mechatron’ starts in a huge facility hidden underneath the ocean, where an army of robots continues to carry out the final orders of humanity. Waiting for the humans to return, they work tirelessly in decaying factories. But now, decades after the humans left, something has changed. Some robots have started to express their own free will. Will these self-aware robots save the Collective - or lead it to its final downfall? ‘Mutant: Mechatron’ explores the origins of the robots and introduces them into the Mutant universe.
What do the robots add to the setting, in your opinion?
The robots are the quirkiest of all creatures of the Mutant universe. They really bring something different to the table, and allow for wondrous and sometimes philosophical stories about what it means to be alive and have a free will. From a game design perspective, ‘Mutant: Mechatron’ literally lets you build your character from parts, which is a really cool feature.
Who are the creative team members behind the game?
It's me Tomas Härenstam (lead designer), Thomas Johansson (setting and campaign writer),
Christian Granath (graphic designer), Danny Morison (interior art) and Simon Stålenhag (cover art).
When did production start and what was the inspiration?
Plans for ‘Mutant: Mechatron’ existed back when we designed ‘Mutant: Year Zero’ (released in
2014). Strong sources of inspiration for me were the classic ‘I, Robot’ short story collection by Asimov,
‘Blade Runner,’ and later, the ‘Westworld’ tv series.
What is next for the 'Mutant: Year Zero' setting?
‘Mutant: Mechatron’ is part 3 of the ‘Mutant: Year Zero’ quadrilogy. Part 2 was ‘Genlab Alpha’ about the mutant animals, and part 4 is ‘Mutant: Elysium,’ exploring the origins of the non-mutant humans, some of which have survived the apocalypse in underground cities called enclaves. ‘Mutant: Elysium’ is slated for a 2019 release.
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