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Friday, July 15, 2011

Short Shameful Review: Gelatinous Cube

As it turns out, this one was the first, so it has a little intro paragraph to the series. This one's from June 9th, 2003, so it's the first D&D SSR I did; I did other SSRs, but they were for movies and other things and thus not related to this blog. Also, this one is actually shorter than the others.

So here's "Short Shameful Review: Gelatinous Cube". Edited, yadda yadda.

I've decided to do a series of reviews of the goofiest or strangest elements of various RPG settings, especially the D&D setting. I'm starting with Jake's favorite, the gelatinous cube!

This is, in case you don't know, a big block of jelly that cleans up corridors and redistributes loose treasure by defecating undigestible coins and magic swords. It's 10 foot on each side, which eerily enough means it perfectly fills the standard 10-foot high and 10-foot wide dungeon corridor. Jake thinks this is rather odd that a cube-shaped creature could evolve if dungeons have only been in existence for a few hundred or a few thousand years, but I think the cube is purely a utilitarian creature, probably made-to-order by some crossbreeding wizard or demented godling.

I read through Dragon Magazine #124's article on the gelatinous cube, which has this great quote: "Haptooth undid his sash and pulled his robe open." WIZARD PR0N! It also says, in the footnotes to the article, "Technitally speaking, the gelatinous cube is an immortal organism, since (unless destroyed by adventurers, starvation, or disaster) a cube never dies." Aside from the great possibilities in changing my nickname to TechniTally, this quote make me think of rousing pro-union anthems for dungeon delvers:

I dreamed I saw Joe Cube last night
Alive as you or me
Says I, But Joe, you're ten feet wide
I never died, says he
I never died, says he

In Greyhawk, Joe, says I to him
Him oozing towards my head
They burned you in the corridor
Says Joe, But I ain't dead
Says Joe, But I ain't dead

The dungeon party killed you, Joe
They torched you, Joe, says I
Takes more than flames to kill a cube
Says Joe, I didn't fry
Says Joe, I didn't fry

And standing there as tall as life
Digesting out my eyes
Joe says, What they forgot to kill
Went on to dungeonize
Went on to dungeonize

OK, enough of that. Cubes probably shouldn't exist, since you could have just one blob-like monster that would fulfill the dungeon cleanup niche without needing to be cubic, trapezoidal, or any such shape.

Unless you are talking about a GELATINOUS TIME-CUBE. or cube-on-a-ritz.

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