Modrons

Of all the creatures in the multiverse, none are so strange and confusing as are the modrons, children of the plane of Mechanus and beings of the most ultimate order. Caring not for the vagaries of good and evil, modrons exist in a world where the law - and only the law - matters. All else is irrelevant, and they pursue their quest for perfect organization with a frighteningly fanatical zeal.

The modrons themselves are odd clockwork creatures, a curious blend of flesh and gears that work to maintain their home on Mechanus and to spread the tenets of order throughout the multiverse. All in all, there are fifteen different varieties of modron (not counting rogue modrons, of course), but very few modrons are actually aware of this.

This is because modrons exist in a bizarre society that only allows them to comprehend modrons of a caste immediately above or below their own. For example, a tridrone can communicate with a duodrone and a quadrone, but not a monodrone or pentadrone. An odd mental screen prevents a modron from seeing those beings more than one step further evolved than themselves.

This causes a modron to perceive its superiors as the supreme source of law and order in all creation. This isn't a deification by any means. However, since modrons value order above all else, they will obey their superiors immediately, without question. The highest sources of order cannot be mistaken, now, can it? As far as modrons are concerned, they cannot.

Modrons remain aware of those more than one step below themselves, of course, but there is no use attempting to communicate with their lessers in any way, as they won't be able to discern what the more advanced modron is or, at any rate, what it is even saying. This strange caste society is what has formed and reinforced the pervasive modron chains of command.

And of course, the biggest bureaucracy in the multiverse, bar none.

While the modrons themselves work to maintain the entire plane of Mechanus (save where a deity or two expels them from its realm), they themselves hail from a powerful realm on Mechanus known as Regulus, a vast region built from 64 distinct gears that interlock to form a sort of turning, ever-moving pyramid comprised of continent-sized gears.

At the center of Regulus lies the tower of Primus, the One and the Prime, home of the singular leader of the modrons - and arguably the most powerful proponent of order in the multiverse. This cosmic being oversees a vast pool of energy from which all modrons are created, and where the energies of modrons return once they are destroyed.

All modrons are created from a communal pool of energy, you see. When a modron dies, its energies return to this pool, in order to a) allow for the promotion of a modron of lower status to replace it, and b) once this chain of promotion reaches back to the level of monodrone, to allow for the creation of an all new monodrone from seeming nothingness.

This is why some people surmise that when one looks at one modron, he or she is really looking at them all - modrons all share the same lawful energies. This belief is further strengthened by the modrons themselves, who never refer to themselves as 'I', only 'We'. They may be so orderly that they appear to share a group mind, an idea bolstered by the existence of the Infinity Web in Primus' tower.

This also fits the theory that modrons are descended from some form of insect intelligence, one that existed long, long ago, and was then shaped by the lawful nature of Mechanus into the modrons we know today. Regardless of their origins, however, modrons are definitely mysterious beings, and can be encountered almost anywhere - either in Mechanus or beyond.

Common Modron Characteristics

Base Modron Powers:

Agelessness (s): all modrons, regardless of rank or station, are ageless in nature. Instead of having the longevity power, which implies an eventual lifespan, modrons simply do not age whatsoever. In fact, if not slain by accident or design, a modron may effectively live on forever, adopting new and more versatile forms as it ascends the ladder of law.

Body Armor (s): both organic and inorganic in nature, all modrons have some manner of resistance to physical attacks. Essentially, base modrons should be treated as having intensity 4 (+1) protection from attacks of a conventional sort. Hierarch modrons may have additional defense against mundane damage, and those that do are noted in their descriptions.

Invulnerability to Emotion Control, Illusion, Mind Control, Paralysis / Sleep, and Vampirism (s): all modrons, even the lowly monodrone, are completely immune to these attack forms. As beings of ultimate order, they are able to shrug off such effects with ease - though they can readily perceive when such assaults are used (albeit unsuccessfully) against them.

Resistance to Acid, Cold, and Fire attacks (s): the modron physique is highly resistant, albeit not totally immune to, the effects of extreme cold, heat, and corrosives - this despite their partially metallic nature. They possess intensity 4 (+1) damage reduction against such attack forms, allowing them to maneuver in most hostile environs with relative ease - which comes in handy during the Modron March.

Hierarch Modron Powers (in addition to the above):

Clairsentience (w): the modron high-ups have unbelievably acute sensory apparatus, allowing them to sense anything within the plane they currently occupy. Distance isn't a factor, but simply knowing where to look / listen / taste / touch / smell is. This power functions for hierarch modrons at intensity 10, allowing them an unheard of awareness of their surroundings.

Dimensional Transit (i): an offshoot of the hierarch modron's ability to teleport, this supernatural power allows a modron to transport itself to another plane of existence altogether. However, this power only works at intensity 10, and has the risk of materializing the modron in solid matter unless it intimately knows the area it is traveling to. Thus, this power is normally used sparingly.

Force Field (i): hierarch modrons have the ability to form a specialized force field in their immediate vicinity, in either a hemispherical or spherical form. Either way, this force field acts as an intensity 10 barrier against any incoming damage - even magical attacks! However, a determined opponent can teleport through it with ease, but then, that's what a modron's other powers are for.

Mesmerism (w): though limited in scope, hierarch modrons can use this to great effect when confronted with non-modrons. Working at intensity 10, this power allows a hierarch to attempt an easy difficulty Mesmerism action (opposed by the target's Willpower score). If successful, this action allows a modron force its opponent to execute (or at least attempt) a one word command.

Resistance to Magic (s): modron hierarchs are resistant to magical powers, though each brand of modron has a different level of immunity to such abilities. For instance, the decaton has intensity 3 magic resistance; however, each rank of modron above decaton may add a +3 to this resistance's intensity. In other words, Primus is virtually immune to the stuff, having this power at intensity 30.

Telepathy (w): all of the modron hierarchs can stay in telepathic contact with each other at all times. However, the range with which they do so is somewhat limited, as is the exact intensity at which they can use this power. The intensity of this power begins at 2 for decatons, and increases by 2 for each additional modron hierarch detailed after that.

Teleportation (i): all hierarch modrons have the innate ability to teleport at will, transporting themselves to just about any place they know of within their current plane of existence. This essentially translates into intensity 20 teleportation, and modrons using this power have no chance whatsoever of materializing in a solid object - this supernatural power is that precise!

Equipment:

Modrons, if on a special mission of any sort, can be equipped with just about any type of device necessary to complete their mission. Modron hierarchs, however, are typically without armament whatsoever, in that they have more than enough 'built in' physical weaponry to deal with any opponent who would be stopped by a mere sword, spear, axe, or the like.

Common Modron Skills (Base Modrons)

Law (i): more than anything else, the modrons are ultimate masters of law, knowing their own clockwork plane in and out. They extend this basic knowledge of What Should Be to all aspects of existence, and should make any Intellect action based on the knowledge of orderly systems at one difficulty level lower than normal, using either Intellect or Willpower if regarding Mechanus, and with an autotrump concerning Regulus.

Repair / Tinkering (a): furthermore, in their capacity as the caretakers of Mechanus (as far as they are concerned, at least), modrons have a preternatural knowledge of mechanical systems. In addition to allowing them to keep the gears of their home plane running smoothly, this skill doubles as an effective first aid skill for modrons, letting them utilize basic medicinal skills on their brethren.

Common Modron Skills (Hierarch Modron talents, in addition to the above)

Leadership (w): knowing how to spread resources around and delegate tasks like no other beings alive, all hierarchs have this skill as a general matter of course. If they can pass an average difficulty Willpower action, these modrons can add a +1 to the action scores of anybody they lead. If the modron loses its ability to lead, however, this bonus turns into a -1 penalty.

Characteristics:

Perhaps the hardest planar race to comprehend save for the rilmani, the endless hordes of modrons act in confusing, often indecipherable ways. This is not actually the case, in that the bizarre caste system the modrons obey, as well as their unswerving love of order, causes them to behave as they do. They always act orderly, it's just that their specific order often seems unapparent to all but them.

Appearance:

Modrons are a strange curiosity in the multiverse, being a fantastic cyborg race. This is because their bodies are strange mixes of clockwork machinery and organic tissues. Most of their bodies are covered with gray metal, configured with geometric precision, but their faces are invariably fleshy. The non-humanoid varieties of modron all have a similarly vague, humanoid look to their faces.

Ecological Niche:

As the baatezu are to Baator, and the slaad are to Limbo, the clockwork race of modrons are the principal planar race of Mechanus. The embodiment of order unfettered by good or evil, the modrons work ceaselessly to keep their own plane functioning within the letter of the law and free of chaotic influences, whether they come from within or without.

Known Modron Forms

The following is a catalog of fifteen types of modron (and of course the modron rogue). It is unlikely that any more varieties of modron will come into existence, save under grave or highly chaotic circumstances, for the introduction of such would involve considerable upheaval in the modron hierarchy. So get used to these variations on a theme, for you're unlikely to ever discover more:

Base Modrons

Monodrones: these lowly servitors sit at the bottom of modron society. Non-sentient and barely intelligent, the endless throngs of monodrones are ultimately what keep the gears of Mechanus forever turning against the chaos of existence. Availability:

Monodrones (MSH Classic)

Monodrones (4C System)

Monodrones (Marvel Saga)

Duodrones: a minor evolutionary step above monodrones in capability and intellect, duodrones possess speech and limited problem solving abilities. More importantly, they work as intermediaries between tridones and the masses of monodrones. Availability:

Duodrones (MSH Classic)

Duodrones (4C System)

Duodrones (Marvel Saga)

Tridrones: the first variety of sentient modrons, tridrones are elite combatants. Capable of rapid assaults in any direction thanks to their curious anatomy, tridrones are particularly effective opponents for the enemies of law. Availability:

Tridrones (MSH Classic)

Tridrones (4C System)

Tridrones (Marvel Saga)

Quadrones: Mechanus' elite labor force and field officers, the clever quadrones can decide how to best accomplish the tasks assigned them by their pentadrone superiors, delegating smaller chunks of said tasks to tridrones as they see fit. Availability:

Quadrones (MSH Classic)

Quadrones (4C System)

Quadrones (Marvel Saga)

Pentadrones: the most intelligent and powerful base modrons, the bizarrely shaped pentadrones are the core level of law enforcement amongst their kind. They continually patrol Regulus in a constant search for rogues and troublemakers. Availability:

Pentadrones (MSH Classic)

Pentadrones (4C System)

Pentadrones (Marvel Saga)

Hierarch Modrons

Decatons: caring for all the base modrons, the one hundred decatons are the weakest hierarch modrons. Each of Regulus' 64 cogs and each of its 36 great armies are managed by a decaton, who also perform other duties as is needed. Availability:

Decatons (MSH Classic)

Decatons (4C System)

Decatons (Marvel Saga)

Nonatons: the eighty one nonatons primarily exist to enable the transfer of information up and down the modron hierarchy. They monitor the decatons below them, and work with the penatrones (albeit indirectly) to enforce the law. Availability:

Nonatons (MSH Classic)

Nonatons (4C System)

Nonatons (Marvel Saga)

Octons: there are always but sixty four octons extant, each of which rules one of Regulus' continent-sized cogs. This gives them considerable power, which they have no problem bringing to bear against the forces of disarray. Availability:

Octons (MSH Classic)

Octons (4C System)

Octons (Marvel Saga)

Septons: the forty nine septons primarily serve as messengers, relaying commands between hextons and octons. However, several septons also toil within the tower of Primus, where they perform special duties as assigned by the hextons. Availability:

Septons (MSH Classic)

Septons (4C System)

Septons (Marvel Saga)

Hextons: the thirty six hextons have one of Mechanus' great armies at their disposal, but that's not all. Sixteen of them oversee four octons each, while the rest serve in the towers of the tertians, the secundi, or Primus itself. Availability:

Hextons (MSH Classic)

Hextons (4C System)

Hextons (Marvel Saga)

Quintons: as are the hextons before them, the twenty five quintons are constantly busy. There is always one in the towers of the quartons and the secundi, relaying data back and forth in the modron hierarchy, and five within Primus' tower. Availability:

Quintons (MSH Classic)

Quintons (4C System)

Quintons (Marvel Saga)

Quartons: the sixteen quartons oversee the octons, if indirectly, in the management of their domains. This ties up most of their time, though one will occasionally assist in the transfer of data up and down the modron hierarchy. Availability:

Quartons (MSH Classic)

Quartons (4C System)

Quartons (Marvel Saga)

Tertians: incredibly powerful, the nine tertians are awesome beings. The final arbitrers of legal disuptes in Regulus, they're the equivalent of a modron 'supreme court'. They also pass final sentence on all captured rogue modrons. Availability:

Tertians (MSH Classic)

Tertians (4C System)

Tertians (Marvel Saga)

Secundus: the very existence of the four secundi is something few are aware of, as they only associate with the nine tertians below them - and Primus itself. Each secundi oversees four quartons (and thus, sixteen of Regulus' cogs). Availability:

Secundus (MSH Classic)

Secundus (4C System)

Secundus (Marvel Saga)

Primus: the One and the Prime, Primus is a singular, unique modron entity. Having no peer, Primus alone possesses individuality within the confines of Mechanus' ultimate law, and consistently strives to share it with the multiverse. Availability:

Primus (MSH Classic)

Primus (4C System)

Primus (Marvel Saga)

Outlier Modrons

Rogues: a nigh-perfect example of law, Mechanus is still subject to chaos. Usually introduced from without, this often results in a modron who manifests individual will, and eventually feels compelled to express it - at all costs! Availability:

Rogue Modrons (MSH Classic)

Rogue Modrons (4C System)

Rogue Modrons (Marvel Saga)

Extra Goodies:

Modrons (in general) Saga System 13 Text File Download

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