To Chance with Hell (Planescape)
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One of the oddest creatures a planewalker’s likely to ever run into on the planes, the modrons are the workers and caretakers of the plane of Mechanus. They represent the strictest form of law and order, and view the multiverse in an alien manner compared to most other races. Stability, structure, order: these are the modron principles, dictating everything about how they act, think, and function. But even in the perfection of Mechanus things go wrong every now and then. Once in a while a modron loses his place in the hierarchy of the modrons, turns from the order it has always known, and goes rogue.
No one is quite sure what causes a modron to go rogue, though it represents one of the greatest blasphemies in the eyes of the higher-ups in the modron hierarchy. Some say it occurs when a modron receives conflicting orders from its superiors, or when a modron realizes something is truly wrong with the order around it. Others believe the modron advances beyond its immediate peers, and thus becomes different from other modron of similar rank. There are even rumors that Primus, the near power-like leader of the modrons, purposefully infects some modrons with chaos in order to better understand that force. Though this is probably baseless, the truth remains unknown. While many of these rogues are hunted down by other modrons as threats to the modron order, a select few are allowed to leave modron society peacefully. Truly epitomizing lawfulness, modrons have developed a bureaucratic process even for this. Those approved are cast out from the modron hierarchy and are forever considered nonmodron.
Gameplay note: for the purposes of creating Modron Outcast characters, treat them exactly as Warforged.
Personality: Planewalkers often assert that modrons are incapable of emotion, and this isn’t far from the truth. Modron outcasts, however, have much more freedom to develop their own personality than their siblings have, and thus are able to learn about the feelings that other creatures take for granted.
Being somewhat naive in the ways of planar matters, modron outcasts tend to be extremely inquisitive, questioning the cause behind the simplest events, and pushing the most patient individual to their breaking point. Over time, the modron may unknowingly mimic emotions, particularly frustration as it experiences difficulty understanding the rationale of other races, but this marvelous discovery merely opens fascinating new avenues for the modron to explore.
Modrons do not recognize the concepts of “chance” or “luck”. Though the multiverse is alarmingly chaotic in the eyes of a modron, they believe that there is an order behind it all. Everything follows laws and regulations, even though they may not be obvious at first. The modron outcast need only learn these laws to find its place in the multiverse. While likely a life-long task, modrons have plenty of time, and they have a focus that no other creature can match.
Physical Description: All modrons are made of a fusion between metal and organic parts working together in perfect unison. While a modron’s shape is normally determined by its rank, shortly after leaving Mechanus the modron outcast loses its rank, including any abilities determined by it, and adopts a form similar to a quadrone. In this new form rogue modrons stand exactly 6 feet tall with a cube-like body, with each side 3 feet across. They have two thin 3-foot legs and two 3-foot arms, as well as a pair of small non-operational wings on their back, and a vaguely humanoid face on their front side. They can draw nourishment from nearly anything, and they sleep and breathe like normal creatures, though undoubtedly the exact process is different internally. All modrons are genderless and ageless, and every modron outcast looks exactly alike, making it confusing to tell them apart at times. Thankfully, there are very few modron outcasts traveling the multiverse.
Relations: Modron outcasts have a neutral, analytical approach to everyone they meet. They come from an alien society and world, and find the different outlooks held by other races both strange and fascinating. Their spark of self-awareness gives them a vague understanding of concepts such as greed, happiness, and self-preservation, but the ideas are still foreign to their way of thinking. They are neither submissive nor arrogant in their dealings, simply curious and straightforward. Over time the modron outcasts typically adapt to fit in their new environment. While most planewalkers cannot tell the difference between a modron and an outcast, all true modrons recognize the outcast as no longer part of the modron hierarchy and treat them as such.
Alignment: Modrons have no sense of mercy or compassion, but they are neither cruel nor vengeful. Their decisions are based on pure logic, not morality, and the modron outcast will normally do what seems most reasonable at the time. As it begins to understand matters of good and evil, the outcast’s alignment may shift as a result of its exploration of these new concepts. Though no longer part of the strict hierarchy of Mechanus, modron outcasts remain beings of pure law. They can never accept that there is not an order to everything, and will go to great lengths to impose their own law on the multiverse or rationalize explanations for apparent chaos.
Modron Outcast Lands: All modrons are originally born on Mechanus from the central energy pool in Regulus. After leaving the modron hierarchy, outcasts slowly lose any memory they had of their home or former life. Thus they know nothing of their previous rank or where they come from. Each must find its own purpose and place, for they are far too few to form their own society.
Belief: All modron outcasts have the universal belief that there is an order to everything. This defines their entire existence, and no one has ever been able to convince them otherwise (though many a Chaosman has tried). Most beliefs a modron outcast develops after leaving Mechanus arise from their quest to discover the laws governing the multiverse, or are adopted from their companions. They do not quite understand the role of deities or the devotion given to them, but a few pay lip service as a way of adapting to new cultures.
Language: Modron outcasts retain knowledge of Planar Trade and the Modron tongue after being exiled from Mechanus, but must pick up any additional languages on their own.
Names: Modron outcasts are normally named by those they meet upon first leaving Mechanus. The idea of names, like most concepts, is foreign to the modrons and requires some time for them to accept. These names can be nearly anything, though some outcasts take on a unit designation that they believe suits their position now or reflects their former life (normally arbitrarily).
Adventuring: Modron outcasts adventure as a way to learn about the multiverse and its inhabitants. To them everything is new and mysterious, and adventuring presents the most opportunity to obtain additional information. Modron outcasts never join any groups that do not have a clear hierarchy, even adventuring parties. They must have a firm idea of their function in the group, including who stands above and below them in authority. Though modrons are rarely innately brave or heroic, like everything else they may exhibit similar traits by modeling their actions after those of their companions.
Roleplaying a Modron Outcast: Cast away from the order of Mechanus, you now find yourself enveloped in new thoughts, sensations, and experiences. There is so much information that the multiverse can seem chaotic, but you can sense the order behind it all, even if you cannot see it. You hear its clockwork movement, the ticking and grinding of wheels as the multiverse moves. Chaos is an illusion; luck does not exist; there is a reason and purpose for everything. Every detail is important, each piece of information another part of this mysterious machine. Ask questions about everything; observe what happens and why; take every opportunity to learn more from those around you. They provide various insights into the nature of the multiverse, and unknowingly into the laws governing it.