Posted by : David Guyll January 27, 2011

Finally, an article that I can get behind.

My favorite campaign setting for 2nd Edition was Planescape, hands down. I loved the look and feel, and the fact that you could journey to exotic and alien worlds without having to be high-level. Sure, many were extremely hostile even if you were high level, but it opened up a lot of possibilities at the start of a campaign. Aside from the Nine Hells and Mount Celestia, there was a world that was like a sandwich (Bytopia, if I recall) and another that was a vast open space with metallic cubes crashing into eachother (along with storms of razor blades).

Still more bizarre however, was Mechanus: a space of gears and cogs constantly grinding and turning for an unknown purpose, though there were several theories, such that if they stopped that the Multiverse would end. In 2nd Edition, this place was inhabited by modrons, equally bizarre creatures whose lesser incarnations adopted the shapes of geometric solids, such as spheres and cubes. Others, well, didn't, such as the tridrone, which looked like a starfish with a one-eyed face on each arm, walking on five legs.

The article goes over some brief descriptions, such as that monodrones are spherical, and both duodrones and quadrones are like cubes, which in unfortunate because I think that a picture best delivers their alien appearance. There's a lot more than that, but it serves for the purpose of the article.

One thing that I like a lot about the new modrons is that they are pieced together from lesser ones. Before, each type had a specific number. When a ranking modron died, lesser forms were promoted and created as necessary to fill the gap, ensuring a static number of modrons Now, it seems that lesser ranking modrons combine in order to, ahem, transform into the next rank, and dissemble into lesser ranking modrons when killed: in combat, every modron except for a monodrone separates into others that keep the fight going.

I also like their new niche: searching for planar rifts and either protecting them or sealing them. In this way, they help create stability across the planes, which is a far cry more direct that whatever nebulous purpose they had before. Honestly? If there was one aside from maintaining Mechanus, I don't recall it. This seems as a fairly easy way to throw them at the players, especially if they are trying to find a way into the Shadowfell or Feywild.

The only thing the article is missing is a racial writeup for rogue modrons. How would you do it?

{ 6 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. RACIAL TRAITS
    Average Height: 6’
    Average Weight: 500 lbs.

    Abilty Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 6 squares
    Vision: Low-light

    Languages: Common & 1 other
    Skill Bonuses: +2 History, +2 Perception

    Odd Shape: Though considered humanoids, a
    modron has a very unusual body shape. They
    retain the normal magic item slots. However,
    when dealing with armor not made specifically for
    a modron, they cannot use it until after a short
    rest. The enchant item ritual can also form a suit
    of armor to a modron’s form.
    Construct: You have the construct keyword
    Fixed Initiative: Instead of roll the initiative checks
    you takes 10.
    Implacable: An enemy cannot enter the brickguard’s space by any means.
    Immortal Origin: You are native to the Astral Sea.
    So you are considered an immortal creature for
    the purpose of effects that relate to creature
    origin.
    Living Construct: As a living construct, you have
    the following traits:
    • +2 bonus to saving throws against ongoing
    damage
    • You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe, but this
    doesn’t make you immune to any effect
    • Rather than sleep, outcaste modrons spend 4
    hours refraining from strenuous activity. This has
    the effect of a 6-hour rest for you, but you remain
    entirely aware of your surroundings.
    • When you make a death saving throw, you may
    take the better of your die roll, or 10. You still die
    at the normal negative hit point total.
    Modron Shift Encounter; move action.
    Effect: The marcher ends any slowing or immobilizing effect on it and shifts up to 5 squares, ignoring difficult terrain.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Anonymous: interesting! if you and others agree that its balanced i would even dare to throw a nice pdf with feats and racial paragon paths and what not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok.
    This is the work I made for the planewalker 4e conversion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Anon: It needs a floating ability score modifier. I propose making Intelligence fixed, and being able to choose from either Constitution or Wisdom.

    Modrons are immortal animates, lacking either the construct or living construct keywords. Giving them the benefits of a living construct is fine, but note that living constructs don't gain a bonus against ongoing damage, or benefits on death saves.

    I like the idea of a modron being able to belong to several hierarchies, similar to how a shifter can choose from a longtooth or razorclaw: I think that players should choose from 2-3 racial traits (such as something similar to wall tactic and modron shift).

    Having implacable isn't too useful, as not many monsters can shift through non-enemy spaces.

    Modrons no longer had a fixed initiative by the time they were put into 3rd Edition, and I'd be loathe to reintroduce it again (especially since modrons in the article don't have it, either).

    Other benefits from modrons were: bonus against illusions, Listen and Spot bonus (Perception works, like you did), energy resistance (makes sense via a feat), a floating defense bonus could also work, and perhaps something with wings?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Update:

    I don' think the 2-3 racial traits could be good. Tiefling must be so but they aren't.
    Wisdom was a penalty in past. i don't know if the floating ability is a good idea for modron.
    Implacable is a good minor trait.It is good vs. phasing creatures.
    I agree with the living construct and for fixed initiative.
    I have updated the traits.
    ROUGE MODRON RACIAL TRAITS
    Average Height: 6’
    Average Weight: 500 lbs.

    Abilty Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 6 squares
    Vision: Low-light

    Languages: Common & 1 other
    Skill Bonuses: +2 History, +2 Perception

    Odd Shape: Though considered humanoids, a
    modron has a very unusual body shape. They
    retain the normal magic item slots. However,
    when dealing with armor not made specifically for
    a modron, they cannot use it until after a short
    rest. The enchant item ritual can also form a suit
    of armor to a modron’s form. You don’t need to
    eat, drink, or breathe, but this doesn’t make you
    immune to any effect.
    Immortal Origin: You are native to the Astral Sea.
    So you are considered an immortal creature for
    the purpose of effects that relate to creature
    origin.
    Implacable: An enemy cannot enter the modron’s
    space by any means.
    Unsleeping Watcher: Rather than sleep, outcaste
    modrons spend 4 hours refraining from strenuous
    activity. This has the effect of a 6-hour rest for
    you, but you remain entirely aware of your
    surroundings.
    Modron Resilience::+2 bonus to saving throws
    against ongoing damage and charme or fear
    effects.
    Modron Shift: You have Modron Shift power.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can you think of this version?


    RACIAL TRAITS
    Average Height: 6’
    Average Weight: 500 lbs.

    Abilty Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 6 squares
    Vision: Darkvision

    Languages: Common & 1 other
    Skill Bonuses: +2 History, +2 Perception

    Odd Shape: Though considered humanoids, a
    modron has a very unusual body shape. They
    retain the normal magic item slots. However,
    when dealing with armor not made specifically for
    a modron, they cannot use it until after a short
    rest. The enchant item ritual can also form a suit
    of armor to a modron’s form. You don’t need to
    eat, drink, or breathe, but this doesn’t make you
    immune to any effect.
    Immortal Origin: You are native to the Astral Sea.
    So you are considered an immortal creature for
    the purpose of effects that relate to creature
    origin.
    Implacable: An enemy cannot enter the modron’s
    space by any means.
    Unsleeping Watcher: Rather than sleep, outcaste
    modrons spend 4 hours refraining from strenuous
    activity. This has the effect of a 6-hour rest for
    you, but you remain entirely aware of your
    surroundings.
    Modron Resilience::+2 bonus to saving throws
    against ongoing damage and charme or fear
    effects.
    Mechanical Instincts : Once per encounter, you
    can use either theModron Shift power or the
    Precondition power.

    Modron Shift Modron Racial Power

    Encounter ✦ Special
    Move Action Personal
    Effect: You ends any slowing or immobilizing effect on
    it and shifts up to 5 squares, ignoring difficult terrain..

    Precondition Modron Racial Power
    The enemy behaves as expected and you retaliate as
    planned.
    Encounter ✦ Special
    Immediate Interrupt Personal
    Effect: a predefinite action has effect.
    Special: Choose a specific trigger and a specific action or an
    at-will power following the guidelines for readying an action.
    Once chosen, the trigger and effect cannot be changed.
    You gain an extra condition for each tier of play.
    This power may gain additional keywords depending on the
    chosen action or at-will power.

    ReplyDelete

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