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The 10 Freakiest Facts You Never Knew about Gelatinous Cubes

Written by Janna - Published on August 20, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

What can one truly say about gelatinous cubes?

I mean, they’re like Jello Jigglers from Hell. They’re also like the psycho-killers from really awful horror films that catch up to their fleeing victims without ever breaking into a run. Also, they’re cubes. And gelatinous.

In Kobold Quarterly #10, Jonathan McAnulty has plenty to say about these creepily ambulating horrors in his enlightening article, ‘On the Care & Keeping of Gelatinous Cubes’. I was shocked to learn that gelatinous cube breeding is something of an underground cult phenomenon. I mean, really, what are kids going to come up with next?

So sit back, take a break, and prepare to have your mind blown by the 10 freakiest facts you never knew about gelatinous cubes.

1. They have fanboys.

Much like there are strange societies of people who gather to roll polyhedral dice and fight over strange and arcane rules, there are groups of fantasy races (called “cubists”) who get way too excited about growing their own cubes. The cubes are, thankfully, asexual. But they can still be pruned and nurtured because…

2. They’re a little like bonsai trees.

That’s right. Cut off a little piece (or scoop up a little glop) and you can raise your own cube! Cubists have even learned how to force the cubes into nifty new forms by changing the shape of their living quarters. Kinda like bonsai kittens.

3. They have a healthy sheen and… firmness.

It’s easy to tell when your pet is under the weather. For example, sick dogs might have dull coats and dry noses. Sickly gelatinous cubes are dull and squishy. When they’re at their best, gelatinous cubes should have a firm, glossy surface that yields slightly to pressure.

4. They come in designer colors.

You can dye your cubes, and many cubists do exactly that. Of course, this begs the question… can you flavor them, too?! I think lime would be awesome, and one cube could produce a ton of Jell-O shots for all your drunken partying needs.

5. They engage in reverse mitosis.

When cubes get too big, they split into two. But when they run low on living space, they can reverse that decision and fuse back into one. That’s kind of like sending your kid off to college, only to have them return because their dorm room is too small. But parents are sentient, which makes it worse; cubes couldn’t care less.

6. Sometimes they glow in the dark.

Because dyeing a cube just isn’t enough for hardcore cubists, some of them have found ways to embed lights into their gel-like friends. One word: strobes. The dungeon’s gettin’ wild tonight!

7. They eat like a swarm of piranhas.

According to Jonathan, gelatinous cubes can consume a whole cow in about an hour. That reminds me of Gary Lawson (The Far Side) and his obsession with piranhas’ ability to skeletize a cow in the same amount of time. Only, instead of chowing down like a swarm of frenzied Chihuahua-fish, the cube simply dissolves its prey. That’s pretty sick. Could you watch while it was happening? I mean, the cube is sort of one big observation bay…

8. They can live underwater.

You see?! They are piranhas! Gelatinous cubes can stay underwater pretty much indefinitely, as long as they have a food supply. Like sharks and eels and jellyfish and dragon turtles weren’t enough; now you have to worry about nigh-invisible balls of digestion gumming your toes to death.

9. They are not necessarily cubical.

Sometimes gelatinous cubes are gelatinous globes. And sometimes they’re wee tiny cubelings, and other times they are great quivering behemoths of gross. Heck, put a Hat of Disguise on one and see what you come up with. (Go on, I’ll wait.)

10. They’re big DungeonMastering fans.

Seriously. I did not make this up.* We’re flattered, really, but the Twitter stalking HAS TO STOP!

So, did you learn something new about gelatinous cubes? I sure did. Be sure to check out Kobold Quarterly #10 to read Jonathan McAnulty’s article in its entirety.

(*I totally made this up.)

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Written by Janna

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Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

 

 Comments

17 Responses to “The 10 Freakiest Facts You Never Knew about Gelatinous Cubes”
  1. Yax says:

    “One cube could produce a ton of Jell-O shots for all your drunken partying needs.” I can’t believe I never thought of this.

  2. The Reaper says:

    Can they be breeded with sebaceans? If so, I will be happy…

  3. Yax says:

    What’s a Sebaccan?

  4. KT says:

    The FarScape name for ‘humans’.

  5. Dice_Girl says:

    While there are fans of Gelatinous Cubs out there. I just have to say that I know one Paldin who isn’t a terribly big fan. Try being a short dwarf stuck in a cub that your freinds still insist on killing. >_<
    But still very interesting but odd facts.

  6. Yax says:

    @KT: thanks!

    Y’know, gelatinous cubes are funny. It’s not really a glamorous monster, but I remember every single encounter in which I faced one of them. Old school classics never die.

  7. The Reaper says:

    @Yax Cmon, they are from Ziggarat beyond Time, the aliens bitchin’ about the rule of the Mad Architects…………

  8. Kolbold Minion says:

    In an old campain our friendly gnome bard had a bag of gelatinous gloop that he called slimey. He was an odd gnome…

  9. DandDGuy says:

    Gelatinous cubes are like an Open Lab, what other creature can you study while it is eating a cow. Could you also turn one into a disco Ball and hang it in a room with a dance floor.

  10. The Reaper says:

    @DandDGuy you can turn it into a disco ball if you can keep it solid enough

  11. Yax says:

    Wouldn’t they turn into disco cubes?

  12. Bard says:

    There are also means by which you may ride inside a gelatinous cube as your mount.

  13. sparhawk says:

    It would be heaps of fun to ride in a gelatinous cube… until your legs started dissolving

  14. Lorne Cloaky says:

    My last campaign that I DMed, one of the worlds the PCs had to fight through was a candy based world. Its like you take your standard dungeon setting then mix that willy wonka’s factory display room. I had the PCs fighting Monsterous M&Ms, Gummy Bears, Gummy worms, and… of course, a Strawberry Jello-atinous cube. This made for a very interesting battle, since I literally got my bad guys (mini’s) from the candy store. The PCs were allowed to eat the miniatures that they killed. That was a fun game!

  15. Funnynin says:

    “One cube could produce a ton of Jell-O shots for all your drunken partying needs.”
    perfect, then you can kill all your hosts from acid on the inside… >:D

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