THE MODRON COMPENDIUM
(A Hierarchy of Form)
By: R.M. Walker Originally Posted on Initiative or What?
INTRODUCTION Modrons first appeared on the scene during the heady days of the 1st Edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons®. They were tucked in behind the magmen of the Monster Manual II® and presented an entertaining planar alternative to the overused demons and devils. I'm not sure what their immediate appeal was. Perhaps it was their regimented organization, or the neat (if not a little uneven) power progression. Personally, I liked the idea of the "rogue" modron. In fact, I even designed an adventure regarding a rogue modron (and its subordinates) hunting for an artifact in a dwarven mine. Yeah, I like me some modrons. Well, I've cracked open the Adventure Tools™ and dipped into the energy pool on Nirvana to create some excellent modrons. Before I dive into those, I thought I'd give you some general information about modrons and how they're organized. Modrons are a highly organized and regimented society on Nirvana, a now nearly forgotten plane on the Astral Sea. Modrons are unaligned, but have been called "lawful" for lack of a better word to describe them. The caste like society of the modrons works well for them. Each modron has a specific task and does that task as efficiently as possible. Strangers to the modron home plane get the feeling that the society is working towards some arcane goal, but even scholars are at a loss to explain that goal. Modrons follow orders from their superiors without question. Occasionally, though, a modron will "break down" and "go rogue". Most of these "rogue units" are quickly found and returned to the energy pool central to Nirvana, but occasionally the smarter ones escape the plane and bring their underlings along to pursue strange and often dangerous tasks. Rogue modrons make a great foil for adventurers, and the great bureaucracy of modron society makes for a great role-playing opportunity for adventurers visiting the plane. In this compendium, I'll be covering my 4th Edition take on the long neglected modrons. Each post will cover a couple of different types of modrons. One additional note. With the introduction of "Minion" type creatures in the 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, I decided to create the lower types of Modrons (the Base Modrons) in two different forms. You'll see a "Minion" type and a "Standard" type. So without further ado...let's get on with... The March of the Modrons.
BASE MODRONS Monodrones
Monodrones appear as small spherical creatures with spindly legs. The vast legions of Monodrones are the single purpose labors and soldiers within the Greater Modron Hierarchy. A Monodrone Infantry Unit can understand and complete only one action at a time. A Monodrone Infantry Unit will continue to perform its given action unless its superior gives it another action. If for some reason a Monodrone Infantry Unit cannot perform its task, it will stand quietly until circumstances allow it to act.
One in twelve Monodrones lack the usual spindly legs and fly using a small set of leathery wings. Such creatures are the messengers of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. A Monodrone Messenger can understand and relay perfectly, a message of up to 48 words. The Monodrone Messenger has a simple bite attack, but will not use it unless defending itself or commanded to do so by a superior. If for some reason a Monodrone Messenger cannot relay its message, it will hover quietly nearby until command to do otherwise.
BASE MODRONS, Cont. Duodrones Appearing as strange walking rectangles (think a domino tile on legs), Duodrones serve a dual purpose as skirmishers and shock troopers within the Greater Modron Hierarchy. A Duodrone Skirmish Unit can often be found serving a Tridrone in a battle group. The Duodrone Skirmish Unit obeys its superior Modron commander without question. If for some reason a Duodrone Skirmish Unit cannot perform its task, it is capable of coming up with at least one alternative task that will help it complete the first task.
Appearing as strange walking rectangles (imagine a domino tile on legs), Duodrones serve a dual purpose as skirmishers and shock troopers within the Greater Modron Hierarchy. A Duodrone Shock Trooper can command up to 12 Monodrone Infantry Units. The Duodrone Shock Trooper obeys its superior Modron commander without question. If for some reason a Duodrone Shock Trooper cannot perform its task, it is capable of coming up with at least one alternative task that will help it complete the first task.
BASE MODRONS, Cont. Tridrones Appearing as three-sided pyramids on legs, Tridrones are the sentries and guardians of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Tridrone Sentry Units are often found in the service of Pentadrones acting as guards. Like other Base Modrons, a Tridrone Sentry Unit obeys its superior modron commander without question. If for some reason a Tridrone Sentry Unit cannot perform its task, it is capable of coming up with a multiple alternative task that can help it complete its original task.
Appearing as three-sided pyramids on legs, Tridrones are the sentries and guardians of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. While Tridrone Guardians are often found in the service of Pentadrones and higher level Modrons, a Tridrone Guardian is also capable of leading at least 144 lesser modrons (12 Duodrones and 132 Monodrones) into battle. Like other Base Modrons, a Tridrone Guardian obeys its superior Modron commander without question. If for some reason a Tridrone Guardian cannot perform its task, it is capable of coming up with at multiple alternative task that can help it complete its original task.
BASE MODRONS, Cont. Quadrones Whether equipped with extra arms or bat-like wings, Quadrones are adaptable and dangerous opponents on the battlefield. Quadrone Archery Units are the primary ranged artillery used by the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Being fairly sophisticated, Quadrone Archery Units can act on their own and adapt to changing situations easily and efficiently. Like other Base Modrons, a Quadrone Archery Unit obeys its superior modron commander without question.
Whether equipped with extra arms or bat-like wings, Quadrones are adaptable and dangerous opponents on the battlefield. Quadrone Snipers are powerful airborne artillery used by the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Being fairly sophisticated, Quadrone Snipers are often given command of units that perform especially dangerous missions. Like other Base Modrons, a Quadrone Sniper obeys its superior Modron commander without question.
BASE MODRONS, Cont.
Whether equipped with extra arms or bat-like wings, Quadrones are adaptable and dangerous opponents on the battlefield. Quadrone Reaver Units are heavy infantry, used by the Greater Modron Hierarchy to sew fear and hesitation in the enemy. Being fairly sophisticated, Quadrone Reaver Units can act on their own and adapt to changing situations easily and efficiently. Like other Base Modrons, a Quadrone Reaver Unit obeys its superior modron commander without question.
Whether equipped with extra arms or bat-like wings, Quadrones are adaptable and dangerous opponents on the battlefield. Quadrone Bladewalls used almost exclusively by the Greater Modron Hierarchy as a combination heavy infantry, terrain barrier, and land mine. Being fairly sophisticated, Quadrone Bladewalls are often given command of units that perform especially dangerous missions. Like other Base Modrons, a Quadrone Bladewall obeys its superior Modron commander without question.
BASE MODRONS, Cont. Pentadrones Appearing as five-armed starfish shaped creatures on stalk-like legs, Pentadrones serve as the law enforcement of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Smart and capable, Pentadone Compliance Units are the uniformed police officers of Nirvana. Pentadrone Compliance Units are frequently pressed into service as bodyguards for Hierarch Modrons. Otherwise, Pentadrone Compliance Units can be found floating above the ground, quietly observing those that pass underneath, in order to respond quickly when something is amiss and needs to be corrected.
Appearing as five-armed starfish shaped creatures on stalk-like legs, Pentadrones serve as the law enforcement of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Smart and capable, a Pentadone Constable is more than suited for crowd control, using their paralyzing gas when necessary to make sure the Modron populace remains calm in the face of danger. Normally found floating above the ground, quietly observing those that pass underneath, Pentadrone Constables can quickly determine when something is amiss and needs to be corrected. All lesser Modrons in the area automatically obey the requests of the Pentadrone Constable and do their best not to interfere with its tasks.
HIERARCH MODRONS In this section, we take a look at the Hierarch Modrons. These creatures (through countless trips to the energy pool) have advanced beyond ordinary worker (or base) modrons. These creatures are dangerous and superbly adapted to life on their plane of existence. Facing such creatures should be a challenge, so I've created each of them as Elites. In addition, each of the Hierarch Modrons is also considered a "Leader" type. Decatons Decatons are the healers and health inspectors of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. While they are the lowest level of officials in Modron society, they are charged with overseeing Modron health and well being. Decatons are occasionally found hovering over groups of Modrons to better observe their condition.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Nonatons Nonatons are the inspectors and justices of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Stalwart and determined, Nonatons work closely with Pentadrones to make sure Modron society is orderly and peaceful. Nonatons are charged with heading up investigations of planar incursions and keeping close tabs on visiting creatures from other planes. When battling foes, a Nonaton will use its nine powerful tentacles in a combination of attacks to better bring their foes to justice.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Octons Octons are the sector chiefs and minor governors of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Consummate bureaucrats, an Octon's major function is to make sure the various laws and rules of the land are implemented efficiently and precisely. Creatures upsetting the order in an Octon's sector are dealt with in an orderly fashion.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Septons Septons are the project overseers and inspectors of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Serving upper level Modrons directly, the Septon Hierarchs are charged with making sure construction plans and other public works projects are protected, safe, and functioning correctly as per orders. A Septon Hierarch will take immediate and decisive steps in order to protect a site or the information it carries from interlopers and invaders.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Hextons Hextons are the generals in command of the huge Modron armies fielded by the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Each Hexton Hierarch has complete mastery of the battlefield and immediate knowledge of its troops' actions and locations. When cornered, a Hexton Hierarch will use its Muster the Troops power in order to summon a force to protect it.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Quintons Quintons are the bureau chiefs and supreme record keepers of the Greater Modron Hierarchy. As a bureau chief, each Quinton Hierarch commands a tower containing the collected knowledge of the multiverse. In defense of this knowledge, each Quinton Hierarch can command a number of unusual powers. Only in desperation, will a Quinton Hierarch willfully destroy a bureau's records, however.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Quartons Quartons are the administrators of the regions and overseers of the bureau chiefs in the Greater Modron Hierarchy. Quarton Hierarchs are largely responsible for assigning Modron resources to the correct work project, library, or army. Formidable opponents, a Quarton Hierarch will not hesitate to summon aid if it feels it is in danger.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Tertians Due to their rarity and power, I created the Hierarch Modrons from here in as Solos. This increases their power considerably, as these creatures are considerably unique and should be extremely difficult to defeat. There are a total of nine Tertians that server the Greater Modron Hierarchy as judges and final arbitrators of dispute. The Tertian Hierarchs judge Modrons and non-Modrons for crimes, oversee Modron police forces, make determinations regarding rogue Modrons, and see to it that the rules of Primus the One are carried out. Although supremely powerful in their own right, two Tertians faithfully serve each Secundus Hierarch, while one serves Primus.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Secundi There are only four Secundi that serve the Greater Modron Hierarchy. These beings are the rulers of the four sectors of Nirvana and report directly to Primus the One. With nearly godlike powers, the Secundi (singular: Secundus) Hierarchs rule their domains and interact peacefully. The only occasion on which this peace is disturbed is in the event that something happens to Primus the One. Should something happen to Primus the One, the Secundi Hierarchs go to battle to determine who will be the next Primus.
HIERARCH MODRONS, Cont. Primus the One Primus (The One) is the ruler and god-like power that controls the Modron Hierarchy and the plane of Nirvana itself. While the being's origins are uncertain, it's probable that Primus was likely a Primordial before ascending to his current position as ruler of the Modrons. In the unlikely case that an Aspect of Primus (The One) is destroyed, a new one is created from a Secundus after a battle between the four decides which one is best suitable. During such chaotic times, the plane of Nirvana is virtually locked down in order to insure a logical progression.
Sample Heroic Modron Encounters:
Modron Scouting Party – Encounter Level 1 (550 XP) 12 Monodrone Infantry Units 01 Duodrone Shock Trooper
Modron Security Detachment – Encounter Level 5 (1,100 XP) 01 Tridrone Guardian 02 Duodrone Shock Troopers 24 Monodrone Infantry Units
Modron Riot Control Unit – Encounter Level 9 (2,200 XP) 01 Pentadrone Constable 02 Quadrone Snipers 06 Tridrone Guardians
Sample Paragon Modron Encounters
Decaton Rogue Excursion – Encounter Level 12 (3,600 XP) 01 Decaton Hierarch 02 Pentadrone Constables 06 Quadrone Bladewalls
Octon Ambassador’s Party – Encounter Level 17 (8,300 XP) 01 03 06 12 Octon Hierarch Decaton Hierarchs Pentadrone Constables Quadrone Reaver Units
Sample Epic Modron Encounters
Modron Interloper Trial – Encounter Level 25 (39,250 XP) 01 Tertian Hierarch 03 Nonaton Hierarchs 12 Pentadrone Constables
Sample Adventure Hooks Involving Modrons
1) An artificer is producing extremely complex clockwork mechanisms without any immediately apparent assistance. One of his mechanisms has run amok, injuring fellow townspeople. His secret? He gets help from a Duodrone that was lost in a planar accident. 2) Surface dwellers in a nearby town are disappearing! A rogue modron and its underlings have infiltrated an abandoned mine in order to dig for a magical ore. Combined with the souls of surface dwellers, the ore transforms them into slave-like Monodrones. The heroes are tasked with finding out what has happened to the townsfolk. 3) The heroes encounter a scouting party of modrons searching for a powerful artifact. Unfortunately, the artifact is the king’s son’s favorite toy (and seemingly innocuous). 4) A scholar as enlisted the aid of the heroes to search a library on Nirvana for the secret to a special machine. The heroes must negotiate the modron bureaucracy in order to get permission to use the library. 5) In a planar traveling accident, the heroes are thrown directly into the path of two Secundi armies, dueling for the right to be Primus the Prime. The opposing modrons seem to only want to fight each other, and all but ignore the heroes. That is, until one of the heroes becomes a tactical advantage for one side. 6) The heroes break a major taboo on Nirvana, the plane of the modrons. Arrested, they are brought to the court of a Tertian, where they must argue their case or be sent to the Energy Pool.
Thank you for perusing my treatise on all things Modron. Even if you don't immediately find any of the modrons I’ve created useful as is; perhaps they'll spur your own imagination in order for you to create your own.
Game excellently with one another.
R.M. Walker -- Member, Role-Playing Game Bloggers Network For further information, you can view my blog, "Initiative Or What?" at www.initorwhat.blogspot.com If you would like to leave me a comment, please do so at email@example.com
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