Kobold Press

Collection of Curiosities: Inside That Gelatinous Cube

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoYour stalwart adventurers might have faced down a gelatinous cube or two in their heroic lifetimes. If not, or if you want to throw another one at them, here are some interesting things to place inside that classic monster. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

d12. Curiosity

  1. The halfling skeleton inside has a beaked mask floating near its skull, plus what must have been a bronze metallic cloak.
  2. You’re not sure how a flock of geese got inside this particular cube, but clearly one of them was the goose that laid the golden egg—there’s also a golden egg within this cube.
  3. There are so many stirges in this cube that it’s blackened with them. That must have been quite the feast for the cube.
  4. Enough place settings for a 12-person meal are floating around inside the cube. The china is delicate and rimmed with gold.
  5. A collection of eye patches swirls around inside the cube. And is that a peg leg? And a hook?
  6. A bronze whirligig happily whirls away within the cube, churning it up a bit on the inside.
  7. Someone put a bunch of metallic letters inside the cube. To what purpose? And is that a holy symbol for the rather evil and nasty god of secrets? [Use the cube to craft a word puzzle.]
  8. Around fifty keys of different sizes, shapes, and metals float within the cube.
  9. A vial of shimmering liquid floats within the cube. A metal note proclaims “DRINK ME!!!” within it. Whether the note means to drink the vial or the cube is up to you.
  10. An open decanter of endless water is causing the cube to weep water.
  11. Apparently a glitter fairy exploded inside the cube. It’s festive and sparkly. All it needs is a dancing lights array to create quite the light show.
  12. Someone put about twenty wind-up toys in the cube—recently. They’re wound up and trying to march through the cube.

8 Replies to "Collection of Curiosities: Inside That Gelatinous Cube"

Tim Baker

June 25, 2014 at 12:53pm

These are great!

Gary Green

June 25, 2014 at 1:01pm

Fantastic article Miranda!

Lewis Crown

June 26, 2014 at 1:48am

Lists like this need to be longer, because I always want more of a good thing.

Jerry Phelps

June 26, 2014 at 9:12am

I like items that tell a possible story and these do! Makes me want to bring in a gelatinous cube at my first opportunity. Never thought of placing an adventure or quest starter in a gelatinous cube. This should prove interesting. Thanks!

Perhaps a list of unusual places to place the hook for an adventure or quest?

Pete von Bleichert

June 27, 2014 at 4:43pm

The Gelatinous Cube…it reminds me of day’s-of-old…old friends, old editions, I.e.-the good old days before endless rules seemed to consume fun; before ‘the latest hot-ness’ tried to portend the original and supplant technicality/crunch over enjoyment. As much as I admire those that can regurgitate rules like a preacher speaking verse, the Cube portends the day when things were simple, when we could worship at home (not at the multi-million $ shrine), and could realize the opportunity presented by that which had been slid over over by a slimy mass; absorbed; taken, and carried-forth for the next unfortunate to encounter.
The Gelatinous Cube is a classic. Does Miranda do it justice here? Eh…perhaps (and, perhaps not). However, its mere mention is worthy…a reminder of why we delve this confined 10’X10′ world; why we do what we do: donning leather and plate, memorizing spells, swinging blades and such, all to survive; for that is the ultimate goal of life. And, certainly, Miranda hits on a classic opponent to such a pure goal; perhaps THE most classic. For that is her genius: to remind me of that simple drawing of a translucent cube with half an adventurer digested to bone within; the other half: still feeling and sensing…with treasures that make us stick around instead of turning the next corner. My chapeau is off to this Horner, for she has taken a beloved, hated, reviled, respected opponent, and made it interesting, added a spice that makes me want to include it in my next meat-grinder. After all, what could be more comforting than a monster that encompasses the basic form of all gaming: the cube/the six-sided die…
There is a strange shimmering in the 10’x10′ corridor…a skeleton seems to float midair, and coins, gems, and a weapon seem to levitate as well. My character rushes towards this bounty…and, then, encountering a strange mass, squishing into it, tries to retreat…Strangely, he is stuck, retarded. Flesh begins to melt and actions are slowed.
We all roll a d12–worn and rounded–and refer to this List-by-Horner–and pay reverence…for she has brought depth and breadth to a simple 3D shape…no easy task…

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