“Smarter than Marty, anyway. No offense to my brother, but if he can't solve a problem with his muscles, he's stumped. I read anything I can find. Most of the working machinery around the farm is my handiwork. I'm the one who got the bots running. The Brotherhood can't be all brawn and no brains, right?”
Colin and his family returned to Appalachia in 2103 and made their home at the former farm supply store. The family first secured the barn before later returning to begin restoring the location. Colin's father, George, was a cousin of the store's previous owner Lewis, who had died alongside his family during the Great War, and Colin's family claimed the farm supply store as the rightful inheritors. Colin repaired the construction Protectron and Mr. Handy which assist with work at the farm. According to his father, Colin loved books and would read anything he could get his hands on, like he was trying to suck the world in through words. Marty thinks of Colin as a nerd. Colin also mentions picking up his brother's chores, showing he is responsible.
Colin was not content with his life on the farm, and he expressed interest in joining the Brotherhood of Steel, believing he could help change the world with access to their technology. If recruited, Colin moves to Fort Atlas and begins training to become a scribe.
Field Testing: Marty and Colin are both looking to join the Brotherhood of Steel; however, their mother will only let the Vault Dweller take one of them. The Vault Dweller can choose through dialogue to have Colin join the Brotherhood of Steel and have him become a temporary companion for the rest of the quest when raiding the Orwell Orchards bomb shelter.
Effects of player's actions
If Colin is recruited during Field Testing, the player receives the Mind Over Matter weapon instead of the Farmhand for Marty. Colin then travels to Fort Atlas to await initiation in the lobby basement.
If Colin is recruited, he can be spoken to about the drastic decision Leila Rahmani made. Colin feels her choice was wrong. Instead of choosing between Rahmani and Daniel Shin, Colin says he will agree with whatever Odessa Valdez says. Despite this, he openly prefers the leadership of Rahmani over Shin, feeling she is the heart of the Brotherhood.
If Marty is recruited, Colin can be updated about his brother's progress. Colin mentions he is still unhappy about not being chosen, feeling he is wasting away his life at the farm, saying farming isn't what he wants out of life. However, he is thankful for the Vault Dweller for helping him realize that he needs to become more proactive and independent, taking matters into his own hands in order to live his life the way he wants to. He asks the Vault Dweller to pass on a message that he is not mad at Marty. Colin mentions he sort of misses the ruckus Marty made.
↑Vault Dweller: "How's the training going, Colin? They make you an initiate yet?" Colin Putnam: "No, still training. With everything that happened, it really put the brakes on the process. Nobody knew who to listen to, except Scribe Valdez." (Colin Putnam's dialogue)