Gelatinous cube

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Gelatinous cube
Characteristics
Alignment Neutral
Type Ooze
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
First appearance Monster Manual, 1st Edition (1977)

A gelatinous cube is a fictional monster from the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. It is described as a ten-foot cube of transparent gelatinous ooze, which is able to absorb organic matter.

Creative origins[edit]

The gelatinous cube is an invention of Gary Gygax, and first appeared in the Monster Manual (1977),[1] rather than being lifted from outside sources and adapted to a roleplaying setting, as were many mythological monsters like the minotaur and dryad.

Being a cube that is a perfect ten feet on each side, it is specifically and perfectly "adapted" to its native environment, the standard, 10-foot (3.0 m) by 10-foot (3.0 m) dungeon corridors which were ubiquitous in the earliest Dungeons & Dragons modules.

Publication history[edit]

The gelatinous cube first appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974),[2] and its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[3]

The gelatinous cube appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983). The gelatinous cube also appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).[4]

The gelatinous cube appeared in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual (1977).[5] The creature was further developed in Dragon #124 (August 1987).[6] Published first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventures which included gelatinous cubes as adversaries that the player characters encounter included "The Ruins of Andril", published in Dragon #81.[7]

The gelatinous cube appeared in second edition in Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[8] and the Monstrous Manual (1993) under the "ooze/slime/jelly" heading.[9]

The gelatinous cube appears in the third edition Monster Manual (2000), under the ooze entry,[10] and in the 3.5 revised Monster Manual (2003).[11]

The gelatinous cube appears in the fourth edition Monster Manual (2008), under the ooze entry.[12] The gelatinous cube also appears in the Monster Vault (2010), under the ooze entry.[13]

Other publishers[edit]

The gelatinous cube is fully detailed in Paizo Publishing's book Dungeon Denizens Revisited (2009), on pages 16–21.[14]

Ecology[edit]

A gelatinous cube looks like a transparent ooze of mindless, gelatinous matter in the shape of a cube. It slides through dungeon corridors, absorbing everything in its path, digesting everything organic and secreting non-digestible matter in its wake. Contact with its exterior can result in a paralyzing electric shock, after which the cube will proceed to slowly digest its stunned and helpless prey.

Reproduction is through a form of asexual 'budding', in which a smaller, stub cube is left behind in a side corridor to grow into a full-sized cube, although these stub cubes run the risk of being absorbed by their own parent on its next trip down the corridor.

Gelatinous cubes typically live underground.

Alignment[edit]

Gelatinous cubes, being mindless, are always neutral.[citation needed]

In other media[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Monster Manual
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson. Dungeons & Dragons (3-Volume Set) (TSR, 1974)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
  4. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  6. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Ecology of the Gelatinous Cube." Dragon Magazine #124 (TSR, 1987)
  7. ^ Melluish, Ian (January 1984). "The Ruins of Andril: An AD&D adventure for 4-8 characters, levels 8-11". Dragon (TSR) 8 (7): 41–56. 
  8. ^ Cook, David "Zeb", et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  9. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994)
  10. ^ Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  11. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  12. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  13. ^ Thompson, Rodney, Bonner Logan, and Sernett, Matthew. Monster Vault (Wizards of the Coast, 2010)
  14. ^ Clinton Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Nicolas Logue, Robert McCreary, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Sean K Reynolds, James L. Sutter, and Greg A. Vaughan. Dungeon Denizens Revisited (Paizo, 2009)