Monday, April 30, 2018

Modrons


Modrons were introduced to AD&D starting with the Monster Manual II, and quickly earned a reputation among some players as being, stupid, useless, or both stupid and useless.

Their creation was supposed to have been inspired by the novella Flatland, in which modrons would probably be classified as inhabitants of Spaceland.


I became interested in them only recently, after listening to the audiobook version of The Metal Monster by Abraham Merritt. In the story, a group of pulp era adventurers encounter an enclave of sentient metal beings in the Himalayas. The description of their city with marching ranks of metallic beings really evoked the imagery of modron society for me.

If I ever use modrons in a game, I plan on basing them after the Metal People from the novel. The three forms of the Metal People are sphere, cube, and pyramid (analogous to monodrone, tridrone, and quadrone).

The rulers of the Metal People are dubbed "The Metal Emperor" and "The Keeper of the Cones", and can be likened to heirarch modrons (although unlike heirarch modrons, they are just larger versions of the base forms).

The ability of these metallic beings to join together as a gigantic metal monster is a feature that I would add to the otherwise lackluster repertoire of modron special powers.


In any event, the D&D Miniatures Icons of the Realms line contains three modron figures - the Monodrone (Tomb of Annihilation #10), the Duodrone (Tomb of Annihilation #19), and the Quadrone (Monster Menagerie III #18).


In the Monster Manual II the monodrone is said to be small in size, and about 3½ feet [tall?]. The specifications are not clear, but if the stated size refers to the diameter of the body, it would be fairly close to 1/72 scale.


I decided to convert one of my monodrone figures by giving it the arms from a duodrone. It reminds me a bit of Atlas from Portal 2.


The original duodrones were rectangular in shape and stated to be 4½ feet long. The current duodrone is shaped like a barbell, and has a face that looks like the deckman robots from Battle Angel Alita.


I'm not a big fan of the duodrone in general, and cut the figure up to use as parts for conversions.


Quadrones are listed as being medium size, but typical illustrations show them being roughly similar in size to monodrones. This is also reflected by the size of the miniatures.


I took the duodrone that I cut up, and made it into a quadrone. The plastic that these miniatures are made of responds amazingly well to CA glue.


Based on canonical D&D art, I would say that these figures are too big for 1/72, and the monodrone is probably over-sized even for 28mm. It's not an issue for me though, since I am open to having modrons of different sizes, and will blend my modron backstory with that of the Metal People from The Metal Monster.


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