|“||This is Limbo, yet it rings of Mechanus||”|
Rubikon, more commonly referred to as the Modron Maze, is a part of Limbo given form by modrons from Mechanus. The Rubikon Testing Grounds were set up as an experiment to understand what attracts people to dungeons.
But when Modrons are around the stuff of Limbo for too long, they lose touch with the comforting serenity and certainty of Mechanus and go rogue. And the Rubikon project was not all that sane to begin with...
|“||"...I feel like I'm in a cuckoo clock...A cuckoo, cuckoo clock..."||”|
Accessing the maze Edit
To access the Maze, Use the Modron Cube after talking to the Modrons in the Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts about it. It can be bought from the Exotic items section of Vrischika's Curiosity Shop, and turns out to be a figurine, an articulated model of a Modron.
The "Talk to Item" option opens up a dialogue box, with options to manipulate the figure's extremities. Do so in this order:
- left knee
- left wing
- right wing
- right arm
The Modron figurine can be used again and again to gain access to the Maze thereafter; the whole procedure is simplified to one dialogue choice once the puzzle is first solved.
Any Portal Lens, once dropped as loot from the Evil Wizard Construct or other robot enemies, can teleport the party to various points in Sigil and the Rubikon maze start point, and the Modron figurine can bring them back to the Maze.
Control room Edit
Before the control room can be accessed, the robotic foes, Low Threat Constructs, are 500 XP each and die almost instantly. Once the 'dungeon' is set to Hard at the control room, the High Threat Constructs are 4,000 XP, and that's not nearly enough. Setting it to hard is the only way to find the Evil Wizard Construct and find Nordom
- Guides on the net are in some small but significant ways mistaken about the nature of the trigger that shuts off the possibility of getting the first upgrade for Nordom. There are only two things to be concerned about: as the guides say, sort of, getting the Evil Wizard Construct to confess that he killed the previous Director, which is crucial to get the second upgrade, and at some point, although it can be anytime, talking to Nordom without both Morte and Fall-from-Grace in the party at the same time, to get the first.
The short trip to the control room is nothing much; the maze is set to 16 square rooms, in a four-by-four square, in the initial Easy mode, with Low Threat Construct. Setting it to Normal makes it 36 square rooms in a six-by-six square, with tougher but still fairly easy Medium Threat Constructs worth 1,000 XP. Setting the maze to Hard makes it 61 rooms, eight-by-eight, a double room for the boss, and single-sized Nordom's Room, through an army of High Threat Constructs that can be defeated in reasonable time and attack slowly, but hit as hard as the 8,000 XP Larval Worms in Undersigil. Every time the maze difficulty is reset in the Engineering room, the doorways on each side of the rooms are opened or closed, making a maze with a different configuration. The entrance room past the unresponsive "Greeting" Modron is always one of the lower, southern row of eight rooms.
Making a map of the maze is very helpful. It is recommended to save often here. The foes are tough, and the player may prefer to find Nordom before the Wizard Construct. Unless the party encounters the Wizard Construct and asks the Wizard about the fate of the previous Rubikon project Director, it is possible to miss upgrades. This information is required in order to convince Nordom that The Nameless One is the new director, after which he gains focus and confidence. This information can be obtained either before or after recruiting Nordom.
Both Nordom's Room and the boss lair will Autosave going out of the room into the maze, just as the Modron Foyer between the Maze and the Control Room does. 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. There is no easy 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. To otherwise leave the maze, TNO must navigate back to the control room, and ask the Modron in charge about Rubikon's other capabilities, to which the Modron will offer access to a portal lens.
The enemies may respawn every time the party leaves Rubikon, until the Wizard Construct is defeated. Or the enemies may not respawn, but the layout of the maze may be altered instead. Killing the Evil Wizard Construct may stop the enemies from respawning (evidence exists), and the maze from altering when the party teleports out (untested). Killing all the Constructs outside of the boss room also seems to stop respawning, but triggers maze reconfiguration instead.
The player may prefer to encounter Nordom before they encounter the boss enemy, or save before going into the boss' lair. 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 Nordom's Room is also always the same layout.
Medium Threat Constructs may attack without dialogue.
Nordom and the Maze Edit
- See Nordom#Upgrades
The player cannot get the first upgrade of +1 Int and Con while both Morte and Fall-from-Grace are in the party; however, Reform the party with one of them out of the party at any time, to get this upgrade. Furthermore, if they are there and the "Mechanus is a source of energy?" dialogue option is chosen, Nordom accepts The Nameless One as Director, which skips past the second upgrade to the third and subsequent upgrades without having to talk to the Evil Wizard Construct. Once the EWC has told TNO he killed the previous Director, this second upgrade can be obtained, retroactively as it were.
- See Crossbow bolts
The loot ranges wildly in value. The 'Bag of Coins', 'A Goody!', 'A Magic Item!' and 'A Clue!' named items drop only in the Maze and sell for zero copper. Normal Copper jewellery drops in Easy and Normal mode; Silver on Hard. Portal Lens sell for up to 3,600 Copper commons and the Rod of Modron Might 2,000. Check everything that drops, and eventually the good stuff will drop.
If anything, the drop rate for Nordom's Lens gear is best on Easy mode, and the drop rate for Portal Lens is better on Normal mode. There does not seem to be a lot of difference in the drop rate, anyway.
Medium Threat Constructs spawned when the Modron Maze is on Normal mode are the best source of crossbow bolts found as random loot, and a good source of loot in general; they are easy to kill, but still drop the Portal Lenses, Rod of Modron Might and other high-value items at about the same rate as on Hard mode. The Copper rings, bracelets, and earrings they drop are trivial in comparison. The higher value of the Silver accessories that the High Threat Constructs drop was apparently balanced by the game creators by a great reduction in the amount of bolts.
It should be noted, although it is not necessarily recommended, that combat with the High Threat Construct or other robot enemies can be avoided altogether by retreating or running past them, and their scripted dialogue only occurs once (untested: if the party teleports out of the Maze, the enemy dialogue may reset). With TNO in thief class, he can be equipped with the Spider Bracelet, from the Lower Ward market, to absorb 25% of normal attacks. The party should always teleport out of the maze rather than backtracking any significant distance, as no additional enemies will respawn, since they did not die. For the same reason, the party can teleport out to rest and regain Grace's spells. Right clicking before the dialogue box appears should be the aim, not least because it is easier to map the area with the game paused (make sure that the 'Lock on Character' button is not set); spread the party out to lure the enemies away from the runner who goes to the next exit, while Fall-from-Grace is set to heal any damage incurred in the previous room. In rooms with three robots, if the furthest robot is getting in the way too much, use Dak'kon's spells or Ignus' attack to attract its attention. The ingame Options Screen button > Game Play Options button > Autopause Options button gives some helpful settings for any time, such as pausing when a target is killed, as characters do not automatically acquire new targets, but also ones that suit the 'fleeing' mode and would not normally be used, such as "Character Attacked", which enables the player to know when a character has been targeted, and hopefully deduce which enemies are targeting them.
If fighting through, it is recommended to come prepared for a tough or at least time-consuming journey. A score or two of Blood Charms can be consumed on the way to Nordom, if Fall-from-Grace is not in the party, and twice that to get to the Evil Wizard Construct as well. This would cost 1,440-2,880 Copper commons. Bringing more Charms than that is recommended.
The party will have to backtrack to the room with the single Modron at the beginning of the maze to Rest.
- The weaker 2,000 XP Trelon enemies in Undersigil can be killed for their loot; resting in the Civic Festhall to regain Grace's healing spells makes it a financial gain even when the harder 8,000 XP Larval Worm enemies that drop no loot are encountered. Or kill the Black Abishai back in the Hive for faster (real life time), better XP but much poorer loot.
External Links Edit
- Dan Simpson's FAQ
- Enemy pictures including the Low and High Threat Constructs
- Modron Maze RPG Classics -Shrines
- Construct quotes and backup url
- ↑ oracle dot wizards dot com put that together with this next part: /scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0011c&L=planescape-l&P=3069 Planescape L-Archives
|Mortuary Area (Mortuary | Gathering Dust Bar | Mausoleum) • Northwestern Area • Marketplace Area • Smoldering Corpse Area (Smoldering Corpse Bar | Fell's Tattoo Parlor) • Alley of Dangerous Angles • Ragpicker's Square|
|Under the Hive|
|Trash Warrens • Buried Village (Pharod's Court) • Weeping Stone Catacombs • Dead Nations • Warrens of Thought • Drowned Nations • Tomb of the Nameless One|
|Tenement of Thugs • Alley of Lingering Sighs • Lower Ward (Great Foundry | Bones of the Night) • Clerk's Ward (Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts | Civic Festhall) • Undersigil|
|Player's Maze • Modron Maze • Black-Barbed Maze|
|Outlands and Hells|
|Outer Curst (Traitor's Gate Tavern) • Inner Curst • Curst Underground • Curst Prison • Outlands • Baator (Pillar of Skulls) • Curst Gone • Curst in Carceri • Curst Administration|
|Fortress of Regrets|
|Fortress Entrance • Fortress Main Hall • Trial of Impulse • Maze of Reflections • Fortress Roof|