In the AD&D 2e book The Planewalker's Handbook, p. 76, it says this about Rogue Modrons (italic emphasis in the original, bold emphasis mine):

...most folks can't tell a rogue modron from a "normal" one just by listening to it talk about the multiverse. It still is an extremely ordered being, with law at the center of all of its thoughts and in-grained in the way it feels, acts, and reacts.


Rogue modrons stand exactly 6 feet tall, with cubelike bodies similar to those of quadrone modrons. The cubes are 3 feet on each face, adorned with two thin 3-foot-long legs, two 3-foot-long arms, and a pair of small, vestigial (nonoperational) wings on their backs. A vaguely anthropomorphic face can be found on the front cube face.

So, in short, even a rogue modron is "an extremely ordered being", which I take to mean "is always lawful" (probably lawful neutral, like "normal" modron), and they apparently always have "cubelike bodies" like a quadrone.

However, in the 5e adventure Out of the Abyss, p. 180, there's a chance to meet a rogue monodrone whose alignment is chaotic neutral:

A monodrone that doesn't want to rejoin its fellows is a rogue modron, made so by the chaotic energies suffusing the Underdark. This rogue monodrone gladly joins the party, saying "Down with Primus!" in its own language over and over. Its alignment is chaotic neutral, and it can only follow one simple task at a time.

So there seems to be a contradiction when comparing information between editions. Is there any further evidence to support that the restrictions placed on rogue modron from previous editions no longer applies to 5e?

Or in other words, can I really have a chaotic rogue monodrone as opposed to only being allowed a lawful rogue quadrone in 5e?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What kind of answer are you looking for beyond what you've already quoted, which is specifically written, and as such answered itself, in a 5e book? A lot of things have changed between AD&D 2e and 5e so I'm not really sure what you're expecting. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Dec 13 '18 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey What I'm looking for is if there's any further evidence to support what I've found, either in 5e or perhaps in editions between AD&D 2e and 5e. If the OotA quote I found really is the only authoritative piece of information to suggest that things might have changed since The Planewalker's Handbook, then I guess the answer will be "nope, your OotA quote is the only thing that suggests that it might have changed, so I guess it has changed", but if anyone knows more than that, that's what I'm hoping for as an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Dec 13 '18 at 9:43

Aside from what you've already quoted from Out of the Abyss, this is answered in the Monster Manual, pg.224:

Variant: Rogue Modrons

A rogue modron loses the Axiomatic Mind trait and can have any alignment other than lawful neutral.

So yes, a rogue modron can be of a chaotic alignment in 5e and the restrictions from previous editions are irrelevant.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "and [therefore] the restrictions from previous editions are irrelevant." I suppose that's it, then. Since the MM explicitly states that alignment can be anything, that implies that any other restrictions don't necessarily apply either. In other words, a rogue can look like any modron, not just a quadrone. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Dec 13 '18 at 9:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS I'm really struggling to understand your thinking with this. Why would the restrictions from previous editions be relevant or apply in another edition (especially when you're asking about such a big edition gap as between 2e and 5e)? They are essentially different games with different rules. The rules from 2e wouldn't apply to 5e so why would this? \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Dec 13 '18 at 10:01

The previous edition's lore on modrons can be ignored in 5e

This is largely just me explaining why Purple Monkey's answer has answered my question.

This started with me learning via some "internet rumours" on other forums that rogue modron are always quadrone. Since the rogue monodrone in Out of the Abyss will probably turn up in the next session or two of my own run of that adventure, I wanted to confirm that this information could be disregarded.

In an answer to an old question I'd asked ages ago about how modron go rogue, the answerer cited the AD&D 2e book The Planewalker's Handbook. Fast forward to now, and after learning these "internet rumours", I turned to this book that contained lore on modron to confirm these rumours. Once confirmed, I then asked this question.

However, since I had assumed that the 5e Monster Manual wouldn't have much to go on (because its lack of information about rogue modron is why I asked my old question in the first place), I didn't think to look there again to resolve this issue. However, Purple Monkey's answer then cited this from it:

A rogue modron loses the Axiomatic Mind trait and can have any alignment other than lawful neutral.

This both directly contradicts the old 2e book and also validates the information in OotA:

Its alignment is chaotic neutral, and it can only follow one simple task at a time.

Given that the two current 5e sources agree on this point, whilst disagreeing with the 2e book, it would stand to reason that the whole "monodrone vs. quadrone" thing is also a moot point; 2e's information has already been discounted by the alignment example, so when 5e's OotA says that you meet a rogue monodrone, it really does mean monodrone. The old 2e information about all rogue modron looking like quadrones doesn't apply.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Coming back to this months later, I realise that I was actually asking the wrong question; I was actually interested in lore, not conflicting rules between different editions. My real question was "if I ran this adventure converted to 2e, then the CN Monodrone couldn't exist as per the 2e rules; what's the in-universe lore justification for why a 5e party would meet a CN Monodrone, where the 2e party would instead meet a LN Quadrone?" to which the answer would probably be: "OotA was written with 5e rules in mind, so who cares what 2e might have said; the lore has changed since then..." \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Aug 22 at 12:11

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