What does your average modron know?

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bR41Nb0X
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What does your average modron know?

If one were to find themselves in conversation with a modron -- at least a quadrone, probably -- what can one expect them to know?

Although they may appear robotic and programmed, high enough ranks are seemingly able to deal with complex problems and new situations, capable of learning and communicating. Any particular modron's lifespan (even of lower orders) is indeterminate, though its state is static until there is a death in the population, necessitating the reordering and filling of roles. While their operations can be attributed to those of a hive-mind, giving no particular unit individuality of identity, one might surmise their memories survive in some fashion, even in the periodic reshuffling of their population. Do the memories stay a part of that unit as it ascends rank? Does it lose such memories should it find itself back at the bottom? Do the memories survive as a function of whatever rank and role they assume -- sort of like a software update or new access to a racial databank? Is it a doling out of memories and knowledge by Primus, as a locus of modron mind?

In the case of a modron going rogue, it has been the case that along with individuality, they are able to attain and retain their own knowledge and continue to learn. These rogues apparently aren't a part of the collective any longer, so their gains remain with the rogue. There is the suggestion that if that rogue modron should die, the operation of reabsorption and distribution occurs within the base modron population as normal. Assumedly, the knowledge gained by the rogue modron is also taken along with them, but any knowledge that one had of its own individuality or identity seems to be lost, or at least once again dissociated from any specific modron.

The importance of considering the knowledge of a rogue modron illustrates that a modron that hasn't gone rogue has the potential any other being has to know and experience and learn.

While in the collective, is it that any modron knows what it needs to, but is able to call upon the collective's knowledge when faced with a new particular circumstance?

Certainly, those capable of it are able to speak, understands the words being used, perhaps devoid of any personal connection to experience and context. Otherwise, do they merely "not know that they know" until the proper prompt comes their way?

I doubt the average modron has any interest in casual conversation. While they have a duty to order, it seems most would have little curiosity about it outside their purview. No individual modron seems motivated to impose order, but simply obey it.

Whenever one of the collective (not a rogue) has any business outside Mechanus, what would their activity or behavior be like? They might single-mindedly follow a goal, but if there is no conflict in its way or if any deadline is ambiguous enough, what might it do when presented with the opportunity to do anything else?

Palomides
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Querry Response

Interesting question:
I don't know about the higher orders as I think I have only had my PCs interact with monodrones and quadrones so far.
First off, I consider all modrons as perfect "receivers" of information able to remember and describe anything that they have experienced. E.g. can perfectly recall an overheard conversation, have the vocabulary to describe anything seen, etc.

For the two types of modrons I have used, I have treated them as primarily having only the "common knowledge" they need for their assigned task; but able to access/"download" more information as needed. But the difference, as I play them, is that the quadrones' assigned task is broader

To illustrate, consider a monodrone and a quadrone sent to two separate spots in Sigil to retrieve separate items.
A baruir pulling a cart ends up blocking the path of the monodrone. The monodrone will show no interest in interacting with the baruir or questioning what is in the wagon. It will first process alternatives to circumnavigate the obstacle and ONLY when it determines that there are no other routes, it will then access/"download" "basic social interactions" to request/demand that the baruir move. The monodrone will show no curiousity in anything except those activities that help it complete its current assignment

The quadrone encounters a similar obstacle when a Xaositect decides to block its path. The quadrone has multiple assignments: retrieve the widget AND gather information.
The quadrone scans the obstacle and determines that it is a member of the faction designated as Chaosmen.
The quadrone questions if the obstacle will cause an impedement to the accomplishment of the retrieval goal: low probability of significant delay
The quadrone will then evaluate if interaction with the obstacle will possibly generate data to fascilite future interactions with members of said faction: affirmative
Modron: Will subject allow self's passage [accessing social protocols], please?
Xaosman: How many Xaositects does it take to ignite a lantern?
Modron: [Unexpected result - accessing speech formats - match found: riddle - solution unknown] Insufficient data
Xaosman: How many? A blue fish [laughs and walks away]
Modron: [Stores "Blue fish" as response to cause Chaosmen to move]

I treat the monodrone as a high-functioning "robot". I treat the quadrone as having all the knowledge and ability to solve problems as an "average" person. In my example, the quadrone (like any person) would interact with people and things to gain more information about what is going on in the world. Only when these interactions lead to significant delays to its other goals or threats to its own existence would the quadrone stop.
I portray the quadrone the way that films and TV portray people on the autistic scale: intelligent but having difficulty understanding humor, sarcasm, emotions and especially randomness