Modron Variants for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition – Part 1

In this article on modrons, there are five new variants for you to use freely (just not commercially) in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Those are:

  • Decatons
  • Nonatons
  • Octons
  • Septons
  • Hextons

Who are the modrons?

Originally appearing in second edition Dungeons & Dragons, modrons are beings of absolute law that adhere to a hive-like hierarchy on the Plane known as the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus.

At the bottom of the hierarchy are the base modrons: monodrones, duodrones, tridrones, quadrones, and penadrones. These are the day-to-day modrons, those that perform the basic tasks give to them by the upper hierarchy.

Above the base modrons are the hierarch modrons, the managers and lords of Mechanus. The hierarch modrons are decatons, nonatons, octons, septons, hextons, quintons, quartons, tertians, secundus, and Primus, supreme ruler of the modrons. These 385 modrons run the show.

Design Notes

To be honest, I didn’t know much about the modrons until I started researching for this post. They seemed like goofy little robots that lived on the odd, clockwork realm of Mechanus. Also, Keith Amman isn’t a huge fan of modrons, but he did put together a pretty interesting article on modron tactics which I read earlier this year.

Having learned a bit more about them, I think they’re kinda awesome. If you’ve ever been a part of one my campaigns, you know I love the kitschy aspects of Dungeons & Dragons.

Going back through the editions, I discovered that they have a fairly vivid history. The 2nd edition Planescape box set went as far as detailing Mechanus and how it functioned. If you’re a big fan of D&D lore, I recommend picking it up.

That’s where I discovered the hierarch modrons who are like the bosses of the five modrons detailed in the Monster Manual. It took a little digging, but it turns out that 9 of the hierarch modrons were outlined in a supplement for the third edition Manual of the Planes book. The only hierarch modron that didn’t get stats was Primus.

I suppose his name is mud.

If you get that joke, you’re probably as old as I am.

Anyways, statting up the hierarch modrons was simply a matter of converting third edition stats to fifth edition and using the base modrons from the Monster Manual as reference points.

I wanted to keep the hit points nice and neat, so I kept the Con at 12 for each of them. If this seems odd, don’t worry, it’s not unusual. You can learn more about how Constitution scales in fifth edition by reading the article I wrote on the subject.

Also, I nerfed their challenge ratings so they scale neatly just like the five in the Monster Manual. That means decatons get CR 3, nonatons are CR 4, and so on. When I get around to making Primus, he’ll be the only one that breaks that mold.

Get it? Only one?

Modron joke.

5 Modron Variants for Dungeons & Dragons 5e

You are free to use these modrons in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Just not commercially! And the art isn’t mine. It’s borrowed!

Decaton

The decatons are the lowest order of officials found in modron society. They oversee the base modrons’ physical welfare and serve as the voice of the greater powers to the working class. One decaton is assigned to each of the realm’s sixty-four sectors and reports directly to the sector nonaton.

Each sector decaton has a personal staff consisting of 5 pentadrones, 16 quadrones, 81 tridrones, 256 duodrones, and 1,728 monodrones, all reporting to their respective superiors in this chain of command. Each of the remaining thirty-six decatons serves on the staff of one of the modron armies.

Nonaton

These cylindrical modrons act as commissars and chief inspectors for the modron realm. One nonaton is stationed in each of the sixty-four sectors of Regulus to oversee the actions of the decaton assigned there.

These nonatons report to their respective octon governors. Eight monitor the loyalties of the thirty-six decatons in the armies, and the remaining nine carry the orders of the octons to underlings throughout the realm. When required, any nonaton may also serve as additional personal staff for an octon.

Nonatons usually head the teams that investigate rogue modron reports and handle small-party invasions from other planes. In the latter case, they attempt to determine the invaders’ intentions, then act accordingly.

Octon

Each octon governs one of the sixty-four sectors of Regulus and can request aid from the regional army as needed. The lesser modrons of each cogwheel are wards of the octons, who guard their sectors quite rigidly and see that regulations are obeyed, routine is observed, and reports are correct. When required, these same octons may leave their sectors to serve the septons directly.

Each octon has a personal staff of one nonaton, who in turn commands one decaton, who controls a staff of base modrons as noted in its description (above). These forces maintain and guard the sector towers where the octons live. When required, an octon can command one or more additional nonatons into service as personal staff.

Septon

Septons maintain order and see that all regulations are obeyed. They travel from place to place in Regulus, inspecting structures, examining work and records, and transferring information from outlying areas to the towers of the quartons, secundi, and Primus itself.

In addition to these duties, one septon directly serves each hexton, and others may also be attached to a hexton’s staff as needed. When a septon requires a personal guard, it can command one or more octons to accompany it on its travels.

Hexton

Each hexton serves as the general of one of the thirty-six modron armies. One of these armies is attached to each of the sixteen sectors, two serve each of the four secundi, three serve the tertians, and the remaining nine are at the disposal of Primus itself. (Of course, the hextons are unaware of the existence of the hierarchs whom their armies ultimately serve.) Some of the hexton generals also have additional tasks—for example, one serves on the personal staff of each of the twentyfive quintons. Hextons undoubtedly handle additional duties as well, though no one has ever logged all of their posts.

There is a 75% chance that any hexton is accompanied by a personal guard consisting of one septon, two octons, three nonatons, five decatons, and twenty-five pentadrones, all fanatic in their dedication.

 

decaton

Decaton

Large construct, lawful neutral


Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 65 (10d10 + 10)

Speed 30 ft., fly 10 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 12 (+1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 14 (+2)


Skills Perception +5

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 15

Languages Celestial, Modron, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Axiomatic Mind. The decaton can’t be compelled to act in a manner contrary to its nature or its instructions.

Disintegration. If the decaton dies, its body disintegrates into dust, leaving behind its weapons and anything else it was carrying.

Innate Spellcasting. The decaton’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: command
3/day each: clairvoyance, cure wounds, dimension door, lesser restoration
1/day each: teleport, wall of force

Magic Resistance. The decaton has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The decaton makes four tentacle attacks.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

 

nonaton

Nonaton

Large construct, lawful neutral


Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 71 (11d10 + 11)

Speed 40 ft.


Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 16 (+3), Con 12 (+1), Int 13 (+1), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 15 (+2)


Skills Perception +5

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 15

Languages Celestial, Modron, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)


Axiomatic Mind. The nonaton can’t be compelled to act in a manner contrary to its nature or its instructions.

Disintegration. If the nonaton dies, its body disintegrates into dust, leaving behind its weapons and anything else it was carrying.

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The modron’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: command, detect evil and good, detect thoughts, mirror image, web, zone of truth
3/day each: dimension door
1/day each: power word stun, slow, teleport, wall of force

Magic Resistances. The nonaton has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The modron makes four tentacle attacks.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

 

octon

Octon

Large construct, lawful neutral


Armor Class 18 (natural armor)

Hit Points 78 (12d10 + 12)

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 14 (+2), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 16 (+3)


Saves Con +4, Wis +5

Skills Perception +7

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Damage Immunities psychic

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Auran, Celestial, Modron, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)


Axiomatic Mind. The octon can’t be compelled to act in a manner contrary to its nature or its instructions.

Disintegration. If the octon dies, its body disintegrates into dust, leaving behind its weapons and anything else it was carrying.

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The modron’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: command, detect evil and good
3/day each: clairvoyancedimension door, water walk
1/day each: haste, telekinesisteleport, wall of force

Magic Resistances. The octon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The modron makes four tentacle attacks.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

 

septon

Septon

Medium construct, lawful neutral


Armor Class 18 (natural armor)

Hit Points 71 (13d8 + 13)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 15 (+2), Wis (+2), Cha 16 (+3)


Saves Con +4, Wis +5

Skills Perception +7

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Damage Immunities psychic

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Auran, Celestial, Modron, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


Axiomatic Mind. The septon can’t be compelled to act in a manner contrary to its nature or its instructions.

Disintegration. If the septon dies, its body disintegrates into dust, leaving behind its weapons and anything else it was carrying.

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The septon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: command, detect evil and good
3/day each: clairvoyancedimension door
1/day each: teleport, wall of force

Magic Resistances. The septon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Seven Senses. The septon is constantly under the effect of the detect magic and detect thoughts spells. The septon can suppress this ability at will. If the effect is dispelled, the septon can reactivate it as a free action.

Spellcasting. The septon is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). The septon has the following sorcerer spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): light, presdigitation, shocking grasp
1st level (4 slots): comprehend languagesmagic missile, shield
2nd level (3 slots): levitate, web
3rd level (2 slots): lightning bolt


Actions

Multiattack. The modron makes three claw attacks.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) slashing damage.

 

hexton-modron

Hexton

Large construct, lawful neutral


Armor Class 19 (natural armor)

Hit Points 91 (14d10 + 14)

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.


Abilities Str 16 (+3), Dex 16 (+3), Con 12 (+1), Int 16 (+3), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 17 (+3)


Saves Con +4, Wis +6

Skills Perception +9

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Damage Immunities psychic

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 19

Languages Auran, Celestial, Infernal, Modron, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)


Axiomatic Mind. The septon can’t be compelled to act in a manner contrary to its nature or its instructions.

Disintegration. If the septon dies, its body disintegrates into dust, leaving behind its weapons and anything else it was carrying.

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The septon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: command
3/day each: clairvoyancedimension door
1/day each: teleport, wall of force

Magic Resistance. The hexton has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The modron makes two slam attacks and two claw attacks.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

 

Thanks for reading!

Next up, I’ll be tackling the next four modrons of the hierarchy: quitons, quartons, tertians, and secundus.

See you then!

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