And now, for the Geometry portion of the test…
The Modron are a species of creature from the outer plane of existence known as Mechanus. This is a Plane made entirely of massive gears that twist and spin in perfect mathematic synchronization. It is a land entirely of law, and that shows in the children of this land, the Modron.
Created by a mechanical diety named Primus, the Modron come in all shapes and sizes. They look very similar to one another, though they are quite different. Each has a name that describes it’s ranking and shape.
Monodrones are spherical, with small metal wings. They can do one thing at a time, and are the lowest of the low for the Modron hierarchy. The Duodrones are box-like, and can do two things at once. They order around the Monodrones. This goes on and on, with the Modron being able to handle an amount of orders and multitask up to the number of sides they’re shaped after.
The Modron hierarchy connects all the way up to Primus granting all Modron a rank above them that they must follow the orders of. These instructions are the only ones they will ever listen to. Illusions, Enchantments, and other forms of magical suggestion simply do not work on a Modron. They have Axiomatic Minds that allow them to always stick to their purpose, no matter what affects them. Their anti-magic bodies don’t stop there, because they also have Truesight up to 120 ft., which means that they can see through all magic, darkness, and even into the Ethereal plane!
Each Modron looks a bit different, but all invoke the same discomforting curiosity.
The style of a Modron is that of a clockwork and steampunk frame, surrounding small bits of human-like flesh with oddly bulging eyes, lips, and ears. These parts are equally adorable and horrifying, and in general are the only things that can humanize the mechanical critters. They have thin and spindly mechanical limbs that look more like metal bones than actual legs or arms. There are many Modron with multiple faces, upper or lower bodies, and limbs. Some even have feathery wings.
A Modron smells an awful lot like a car: fresh leather, new plastic, and oily metal. The older Modron smell more like an old car, with hints of the places it’s been, and the things its seen. Perhaps it’s run through mud, or on the bottom of an ocean? It would smell like fish and mud.
Modron flesh tastes like burning rubber smells. If you could chew the metal parts, they would taste oddly like tin foil, leaving electrical feelings in your teeth.
A Modron’s limbs feel like grabbing somebody with thin bones, hollow and oddly angled. A Modron’s face feels like a thin slice of leather or rubber wrapped tightly around a flat surface, like the stools at a diner. They’re light to pick up, but get heavier as they go higher in rank. It wouldn’t be hard to huck one across a room, or out a window.
A Modron talking sounds like a typewriter at work, with horrifying human-like noises thrown in for good measure. Hisses of steam and the crankings of ratchets add to the oddity.
The Modron are always found in the Regulas quadrant of Mechanus. This area is made up of 64 massive gears that are split into four quadrants each ruled by a type of Modron directly under Primus. Those quadrants are split up, and those are split up, so on and so forth. The exact sectors and quadrants are many.
Mechanus is full of metal, shining and well-kept in its glory. The noises of the plane range from light ticking of small mechanisms to loud bells, whistles, and ratcheting. The Modron work hard to keep the place in perfect working order and are assisted by ancient lawful magic that keeps the entire place in motion.
The Modron are also seen in other planes, notably our own plane, every 289 years. This is after 17 cycles on Mechanus and is called The Great Modron March. The march is when 10,000 Modron pass through the planes of existence, gathering as much information for Primus as possible. In the process they would be crashing through various civilizations that really don’t want them there, and incidentally causing all sorts of chaos.
Modron only fight if attacked or ordered to attack. They truly are just used for research and scouting. If it’s a rogue Modron however, that’s an entirely different story. They have no Axiomatic Mind, and are not beholden to orders. They are cursed with sentience and have the pains and discomforts of realizing who you are and what your purpose is in the universe. Naturally, this frustrates them, so they are much more likely to attack.
When a Modron fights, they do so with a one-track mind, based on orders from their superiors. They do not become afraid, and will not back down. They cannot be persuaded or intimidated, and will fight with spears, fists, swords, and bows, with all the strategy of a child throwing rocks at a passing car. If they were ordered to fire arrows, they will, even if it does not work. They do not think for themselves.
When a Modron is killed, it will disintegrate completely, leaving behind any weaponry or armor. It is rare for a Modron to wear armor, but not for a Modron to use weapons. Some Modron even carry bags or containers with various items for research. Perhaps fighting a group of Modron will yield odd bits and bobs from across the planes of existence, such curiosities as rings that let you walk on water, potions that regenerate health, and brushes made specifically for ones own hair.
The Modron are odd, charming, and seriously fun to throw at a party who has no damn clue what is going on! The March can be canonically whenever you wish it to be, and can start an entire extra-planar campaign, or just drop in to any normal campaign for a bit of crazy fun. Low magic, high magic, or even a modern day setting can equally experience the Modron March and be just as confused and terrified as the others.
These denizens of Mechanus are always a good time, and some of the most iconic D&D monsters to ever grace the books.
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Image Sources: Wizards of the Coast
Roll a D20 to see what the Modron are researching!