Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Race: Modron [ROUGH DRAFT]



Been cooking this one up for a while. Races take a long, long time, especially when they've got three subraces and a special background tacked on!

Modrons are one of my favorite races, right up there alongside kobolds, myconids, and sea elves. I love the idea of races that are inherent cultural outsiders with very little reference point in traditional, human society, but that still have a place in a world and its lore. They're fascinating and engaging to roleplay, and always require a good deal of thought and dedication. So, of course I went ahead and adapted them to 5e.

Modrons hail from the magical plane of Mechanus, a place of pure law and order made manifest in cities of machinery and churning gears. Forged by the god-being Primus, modrons tend to the hidden mechanisms of reality, and only occasionally do they go rogue and join adventuring parties around the multiverse.

What do they do? Why are modrons the coolest? I'm glad you asked.

FEATURES:

  • Race lore and statistics, for building and understanding your own modrons.
  • Optional rules for playing loyalist modrons that have you play as a hiveminded squad.
  • Three subraces of modron, including the spherical monodrones, two-part duodrones, and cubic quadrones!
  • The Rogue Modron background, because most other backgrounds just don't apply to modrons. 
CONCERNS:
  • I could really use a higher resolution image for the modron on the first page, but would you believe modron art is actually hard to find?
  • As always with races, I hope I got the racial ability math right. You can check my ability values, included at the end of this entry.
  • Flying is always a tricky thing to include, and I hope the balance on the quadrone's Wings works out. 
  • I'm hoping that the Rogue Modron background's Underlying Order feature isn't too hard to understand.
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Sometimes, it's fun just to crack open an old Planescape book to do research, but I'll be damned if Planescape wasn't way more 90's than I remember. 
RACIAL POINT ALLOTMENT (based on math values found here):
  • Modron (base)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 0.5 (Darkvision)
    • 1 (Natural Armor)
    • 1 (Living Construct)
    • -0.5 (Disintegration)
    • 0 (Size, Speed, Languages)
    • TOTAL: 3 points
  • Monodrone (subrace)
    • 3 (Modron)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 0.5 (Myopic Focus)
    • 0.5 (Tireless)
    • TOTAL: 5 points
  • Duodrone (subrace)
    • 3 (Modron)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 0.5 (Artisan of Mechanus)
    • 1 (Binary Calculations)
    • 0.5 (Tireless)
    • TOTAL: 6 points
  • Quadrone (subrace)
    • 3 (Modron)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 3 (Wings)
    • TOTAL: 7 points
Given that you want point values between 5-7 for a finished, balanced race, these seem to fall in the acceptable range, with the quadrone as a slightly higher outlier. 

2 comments:

  1. This looks so fun, but I have no idea what campaign I'd be able to play one in. Probably won't get to use them until I DM something. I love the background feature, very creative.

    Typos: In the Disintegrate feature, insuring -> ensuring. In the Monodrone lead, "to as" extra word. Didn't proof-read the introductory pages.

    Question: with the lawful modron group variant, how often is the background replacement initiative feature intended to be used? For major quest objectives only? Or several times a session by doing lawful things?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the typos! Always good to have mistakes to fix.

      >lawful modron group

      I intentionally left it vague and at the discretion of the DM, but I'd aim to award Inspiration approximately half as often as you would to other characters in a normal campaign. Given that your entire cluster of modrons would all gain a point of Inspiration at once, I feel like that's pretty fair.

      But yes, Inspiration can occur from any of the things you listed, as long as the thing would be relatively sizable enough to meet with Primus' approval.

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