This modron seems to be subtly different from the others you have seen. It carries a pair of crossbows in its four arms, and it seems to be taking an active interest in your behavior.
Nodrom's altered function is responsible for his Chaotic Neutral alignment. He has "gone rogue" after being exposed to the raw elemental chaos of Limbo, wherein the Modron construct of the Rubikon Dungeon Project floats: the Modron Maze. While separated from the Modron hive mind, he remains a mechanical thinker, using few verbs and many colons and equals signs. While often referred to as "he", Nordom is genderless. He chose his name after The Nameless One inadvertently referred to him as a "backwards Modron." He attacks with a pair of 'gear spirits' in the form of crossbows, making him one of only two in-game characters able to attack from a distance.
Nordom is a very confused creature, unused to his new individuality; he is as pleased to receive a new personal name as he is to be commanded to obey. He is not entirely certain what happened to him to split him away from Mechanus, but being given a role in The Nameless One's party comforts him and gives him focus, whether because he is used to being part of a hierarchy, or because he needs to be around the individuals he now feels himself to be.
Fall-from-Grace has advice on Nordom, based on her knowledge of Modron society. This gives some small insight to the player into the dialogue trees with Nordom that allow him to upgrade.
Recruiting Nordom Edit
Nordom is sort of a secret character, as his location is hidden behind several layers of independent actions unlinked by game hints. He can only be found by buying the Metallic Cube from the exotic items section of the Curiosity Shop. It turns out to be a Modron Cube, an articulated figurine in the shape of a Modron. Even then, The Nameless One can do nothing with the Cube directly, but must speak either with the Modrons in the Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts or ask Yvana, the owner of Art and Curio Galleria to learn that the Cube is a portal, and then solve an elimination puzzle, manipulating the figurine's extremities through dialogue choices, whereupon the party is teleported to the maze of the Modron Cube, which is notoriously hard to navigate.
Modron Maze Edit
- Main article: Modron Maze
It is recommended to come prepared for a very long dungeon crawl in the Modron Maze; a score or two of Blood Charms at least can be used up getting to Nordom if Fall-from-Grace is not in the party, and twice that to get to the Evil Wizard Construct as well (1,440-2,880 Copper commons). The party will have to return to the room at the beginning of the maze to Rest.
The Hard version of the maze is 61 square rooms, the two-square boss room, and Nordom's Room, in an eight-by-eight square; everytime the maze difficulty is reset in the control room, the doorways on each side of the rooms are opened or closed, making a maze with a different configuration. There is no way out of the maze without a Portal Lens, and unless the party is lucky enough to find one as loot, they must make it to the Wizard Construct and defeat it; it always drops one.
The enemies respawn every time the party leaves Rubikon, until the Wizard Construct is defeated. The Portal Lens will teleport the party back and forth between various points in Sigil and the Rubikon maze start point.
It is recommended to save often in the Modron Maze. The foes are tough, and the player may prefer to find Nordom before the Wizard Construct. If the player encounters the Wizard first, they miss Nordom's first upgrade. Conversely, unless they encounter the Wizard Construct and ask the Wizard about the fate of the previous Rubikon project Director, they miss Nordom's second through eighth upgrades.
Like Dak'kon and Morte, Nordom can be have his attributes increased through dialogue. With the right attributes, the Nameless One can reprogram Nordom making him more powerful, not to mention less troubled. He has no experience with humanoid social cues, so he often misses the point of jokes or barbs by other party members. Under proper direction from The Nameless One, who he believes to be the equivalent of his Mechanus superiors, he can modify his body to become stronger, stealthier, and/or smarter.
- See Modron Maze
After all upgrades: AC -3, Str 16, Int 18, Wis 8, Dex 20, Con 19, Chr 8. Without the thief upgrade, 18 Strength and 18 Dex. Per AD&D rules, the DEX is better. STR does not modify crossbows for to hit rolls or damage.
Nordom's upgraded hardened metal casing with an AC of -3 is much more than need be expected of a party member that attacks from a distance. His AC is better than the nimble and hard-to-hit Annah before adding accessories, although a couple of -2 AC Stinger Earrings, or one and the Punch Daggers of Zar'anun, is all she needs to best his protection. He can also use rings.
- Guides on the net are in some small but significant ways mistaken about the nature of the triggers that control the access to upgrades for Nordom. The Evil Wizard Construct must confess to killing the previous Director, but only to get the second upgrade. Players can miss the first upgrade, not because it is gone forever, but because they do not know how to get it. All of the upgrades can be done in any order, and TNO can talk to Nordom about the Director at any time. Sooner the better, in fact.
It will not be possible to get the first upgrade of +1 Int and Con while both Morte and Fall-from-Grace are in the party, as Nordom's introspective analysis does not lead to TNO's insightful question, "Do think your separation from the Source is what caused your perspective shift from that quieter, broader 'one' to the smaller, louder 'one?'". The "Mechanus energy" dialogue option leads directly to an acceptance of The Nameless One as Director, even if the Director's existence has not been directly discussed. But rather than being a fatal error that prevents the first upgrade, as guides state, this actually has the benefit of skipping the second upgrade temporarily to get to the third and subsequent upgrades, and the Evil Wizard Construct can be made to confess to get the second upgrade later.
1. If either Morte or Grace are out of the party, ask Nordom about Rubikon; listen, but interrupt to ask about Mechanus. Once he mentions The Source, you can listen, or ask him a new question: "how are you doing?" This will lead to TNO proposing that his separation from the Source has caused him to become smaller and louder, and upgrades him +1 Int and Con and gains 36,000 XP for the party. It will not be possible to affirm TNO as the new director. The player can teleport out of the Maze, and remove either Morte or Grace, and talk to Nordom again, and get this conversation and upgrade.
- If both Morte and Grace are in the party, however, asking Nordom how he is doing will not lead to TNO's insightful question. Moreover, if the player has mistakenly asked, "Mechanus is a source of energy?" with Morte and Grace in the party, and gotten the "Status updated: Creative Director now re-affirmed in hierarchy" message, then the player should revert to a previous save, as this may lock off the #1 upgrade permanently (testing in progress).
- The conversation in more detail is as follows: "I'm curious, Nordom, how did you end up on Rubikon?" > #1 > #2 "Hold on, Nordom, what's the plane of Mechanus?" > talk about something else > "Uh, Nordom, how are you doing?"
Grace and Morte being in the party is not a fatal flaw, and the player is encouraged to explore the conversation tree; two options will still lead to asking Nordom about Mechanus and then Energy, but then Nordom gives the same reply as if The Nameless One has just proposed that he is the new Director, although that subject has not yet come up. - "Status updated: Creative Director now reaffirmed in hierarchy" - No XP or upgrade is given for this, but it does not prevent getting the XP and upgrade later, and opens up the third and subsequent upgrades.
- The Grace+Morte conversation will proceed as usual, and then past competing explanations by Grace and Morte about the nature of Mechanus, until finally, the "Mechanus is a source of energy?" question is reached. Here, instead of Nordom's stuttering displaying the depth of his discomfort about separation from the Source "...link sev'v'v'vered", he will "reaffirm" TNO as the new Director.
- The #3 option ("Nordom, what *are* Modrons?" > #1 > #1 > #2 > #1 > #2 > #3) and then leaving or completing the conversation with Morte (or some other slight variations that contradict Morte or potentially change alignment), will also lead to the Mechanus query, and then "source of energy?" and "Creative Director" are reached through Morte and Grace's explanations again.
There is one critical path that must be taken: Guides are correct in saying that #2 cannot be completed without speaking to the Evil Wizard Construct about the death of the previous Rubikon Project Director. This information convinces Nordom that The Nameless One is the new director, after which he gains focus and confidence.
2. Give Nordom a new Creative Director. This can be done partially or completely.
- Partially allows the other upgrades to proceed, but does not give an attributes bonus or XP...for now. With Morte and Grace in the party, ask about Rubikon, interrupt Nordom to ask about Mechanus, and when Grace and Morte have finished with their opposing interpretations of Mechanus, ask if Mechanus is a source of energy. This actually has an advantage, creating access to the third and successive upgrades before talking to the Evil Wizard Construct
- To induct TNO fully and officially into the role of Creative Director, you must ask the Evil Wizard Construct what he did with the previous director; this can be done before or after obtaining Nordom. Ask again how Nordom came to be at Rubikon, only this time ask about the Field Test, and tell him that the previous Director is dead; he is crestfallen, but immediately cheers up even more if told that The Nameless One is the new Director. He gets +1 Int and Dex and again, 36,000 XP
Once TNO has ascertained that he can order Nordom to do anything, look for the sensible options, which are all dependent on TNO's current class and attributes:
3. As a Fighter class with 17 or better Str, order him to Improve Immediately, Soldier! (well, the Director is Lawful) and he gets -2 Int, +1 to Dex and Con, and a decreased chance of being hit (-3 AC), and another 36,000 XP
4. As a Mage class with 17 or better Int, tell him to do a "memory dump"; he gains +2 Int; the party gains 36K XP, and an unidentified Clockwork Junk, which looks just like the other three Junk also dispensed, but when identified turns out to be the scroll of Twisted Gear of Enoll Eva, a level 5 mage spell which doubles subsequent damage. Do not feel bad about asking Dak'kon to switch TNO's class in the middle of battle to get TNO to use this on himself; the game does not feel bad about interrupting battle to display dialogue, even if it is the 17th time Grace has asked if Annah was born in the Hive
5. The equivalent Thief upgrade (Dex requirement) is not unequivocally a good idea, as it removes the chance of getting +1 to hit and damage that his ultimate upgrade would give him, due to 18 Str. But if the player does not plan on using Nordom, there is always the 36K XP. -2 Str, +2 Dex
6. Chr of 17 or higher gives the option to will Nordom to give himself another reduction to the chance of being hit (-2 AC), +2 Str, +1 Con, and +1 Luck"; the party gets 60K XP
- "You go through your motivational speech, then get this option: "Come on, Nordom... Strength. Speed. Power. Focus." However, due to a bug, there may be 2 of these to choose from, one gives a larger bonus than the other. If you see 2 at the same time, choose the BOTTOM one." - Dan Simpson's FAQ.
- Ask about Integrity Evaluation, which reveals that Nordom can detect the presence of portals in a ten foot radius (in practice, more like half that), which basically offers no advantage other than a message appearing ONCE
- Ask about Wayward Item Recovery, and he will dispense the contents of the lost and found section of his cubelike body: 333 Copper, Junk, Stinger Earring, Gold Bracelet, Glass Eye, Fanged Mirror. Talk to him again about this subject with Int greater than 15, and Item Identification will come up; he will dispense a Magnifying Lens ocular, which aids Lore skill.
- Ask about Error Extermination and better weapons
- With Int equal to or greater than 16, TNO is supposed to be able to suggest bolt ammunition that is more accurate or more vicious to gain 10 Winged Bolts or Bolts of Wincing, respectively, "Vicious" adding one to TNO's Evil counter. Neither of these work. Perhaps it is only, equal to 16, or even lower, or perhaps TNO cannot be Good and still choose this option. Int can be lowered with lowering Int with the Spider Bracelet and/or Tattoo of Ravel's Kiss. Good, well...
- With Int of 18 or it is possible to ask about bolts with a pyramidal head that splits into three and Nordom will dispense 10 Rule-of-Three Bolts
There is no way out of the maze without a Portal Lens, and unless the party is lucky enough to find one as loot, they must make it to the Wizard Construct and defeat it; it always drops one, along with a Mechanus' Cannon scroll.
The dungeon enemies may respawn if the team teleports out of the maze (still not fully tested). It appears as though, once every last High Threat Construct outside of the boss room has been killed, no new ones will spawn, but instead the maze will reconfigure, when the party teleports out and back in. The team cannot be reformed while in the maze. This gives a few options. The player can kill all the enemies with a full party of six, leave, and navigate a new configuration, with Nordom's room and the boss room still in the same locations. Or fight through the enemies with a full party of six until they find Nordom, and then, with the benefit of any map they might have made for themselves, fight through the enemies on the path to Nordom with five team members. Or bring only five team members to start with (someone must be, or have been, booted from the party if both Fall-from-Grace and Ignus have joined)
The player may prefer to encounter Nordom before they encounter the boss enemy. The most straightforward way to do this is to save before going through any and all north doors (top right in isometric view) because that is the only kind of entrance that fits with the Evil Wizard's room, and always go through any west (left) doors, because that is the only kind of entrance that fits with Nordom's Room.
The player can always rest in the Modron Foyer room, between the Control Room and the maze proper, and regain spells, particularly Fall-from-Grace's heal spells, which save on healing items.
Unlike all the other Modrons in the game, who have a pair of arms, a pair of legs, and a pair of wings as their limbs, Nordom has chosen to replace his wings with a second set of arms; he can both aim and reload a pair of crossbows at a time (on the equipment screen, he has only one). If the player has not armed Nordom with special crossbow bolts, the gear spirits can create an infinite number of ordinary bolts for Nordom to fire at his enemies.
Lens ocular gear (aiming devices Nodrom wears in the same slot as other characters do Earrings) and crossbow bolt ammunition drop in the Modron Maze Nordom is the only companion in the game with Missile weapon proficiency who can use crossbow bolts. His crossbows never change, so bolts and his Lens gear are the only way outside of affecting his Str, to affect his damage. Damage of all bolts is calculated with Missile weapon proficiency. There is a wide array of lenses and crossbow bolts, each with many different abilities, allowing tactical variation against different types of opponents.
- Main article: Nordom/Conversation
Nordom, like all the other party members, can have quirky conversations about various topics with the Nameless One.
There is experience and alignment adjustments to be gained through these conversations, although Nordom doesn't have a morale rating, unlike some companions.
Animation and voice files Edit
- Main article: Nordom/Banter
In addition to unique fighting moves, each character has their own running animation, 'breathing' animation, and intermittent 'fidget' animation.
All characters have at least one 'selection' response, and at least one 'command confirmation' response. Most have a 'critical miss' comment, and a 'critical hit' comment. They have an appeal when they are at very low HP, less than 15%.
After a period of no activity by the player with mouse or keyboard, characters will randomly speak 'bored' pronouncements. They will occasionally speak dialogue expressing their mood or sentiments, particularly in relation to other companions, or a particular location. And they will engage in conversations with certain of their fellow party members.
- 'Fidget' animation: Nordom's torso twists to the right and lifts his rear set of arms up as if emphasizing a point
|Annah | Dak'kon | Fall-from-Grace | Ignus | Morte | Nordom | Vhailor|