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View Full Version : D&D biology, the life of a G-Cube



jseah
2010-03-25, 08:01 AM
It has come up in one of the games I'm running/about to run. The question of how a gelatinuous cube reproduces.

Given a normal one weighs 15k lbs, I thought that if I ruled that the max HD G-Cube weighs 30k lbs, then gaining 1 more HD above max would cause the cube to binary fission to two 15k lb cubes. Black pudding style.

This was part of an... interesting idea I had for a civilization that used the cubes in special Cube farms for trash disposal. They'll get new cubes every 15k lb pounds of trash they feed them.

Are there any other ideas? I was contemplating also making them do budding, like yeast.

EDIT: on a related note, I notice some of the more exotic animals, like Plant-types don't have any specified life cycle. Contributions on potentially useful creatures would be nice.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-03-25, 08:08 AM
It has come up in one of the games I'm running/about to run. The question of how a gelatinuous cube reproduces.

Given a normal one weighs 15k lbs, I thought that if I ruled that the max HD G-Cube weighs 30k lbs, then gaining 1 more HD above max would cause the cube to binary fission to two 15k lb cubes. Black pudding style.

This was part of an... interesting idea I had for a civilization that used the cubes in special Cube farms for trash disposal. They'll get new cubes every 15k lb pounds of trash they feed them.

Are there any other ideas? I was contemplating also making them do budding, like yeast.

EDIT: on a related note, I notice some of the more exotic animals, like Plant-types don't have any specified life cycle. Contributions on potentially useful creatures would be nice.

I always figured they where like sluggs. Kinda squish to gether then turn them selves inside out. and what not. I just figured there organs/ other messy stuff was clear so you couldn't see em.

bosssmiley
2010-03-25, 08:22 AM
Bladerdash! Everyone knows that gelcubes are seeded in dungeons by the progenitor of their race (the mighty and mysterious gelatinous hypercube).

Escheton
2010-03-25, 08:49 AM
http://rustyandco.com/comic/11/

Eldariel
2010-03-25, 08:52 AM
Bladerdash! Everyone knows that gelcubes are seeded in dungeons by the progenitor of their race (the mighty and mysterious gelatinous hypercube).

...the idea of four-dimensional Gelatinous Cubes grows infinitely more disturbing if we pretend the 4th dimension IS time. That...could cause issues.

jseah
2010-03-25, 08:59 AM
Read up on slugs. (wikied it at least)

Interesting. Hermaphrodite G-Cubes. Which attempt to bite off / dissolve each other's male parts to separate after mating. XD

Man, you sure can't beat nature for interesting ideas.

Escheton: Hilarious. ^^

EDIT: I wonder though, to control the cubes and prevent them from escaping easily with their transparency, I could get the civ to feed them a dye that colours the cube. Anyone know of a metal or stone-based dye?

ka_bna
2010-03-25, 09:18 AM
EDIT: I wonder though, to control the cubes and prevent them from escaping easily with their transparency, I could get the civ to feed them a dye that colours the cube. Anyone know of a metal or stone-based dye?
Don't rust monsters leave some tiny rusted scraps? Feed the left-overs of a rust monsters meal to the cube. Now you have a gelatinous rust cube!

About reproductions: maybe male cubes show off with fancy colours they devour? Like some exotic birds and ducks. Females will then have darker colours so they don't stand out while splotting baby cubes.

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-25, 09:27 AM
EDIT: I wonder though, to control the cubes and prevent them from escaping easily with their transparency, I could get the civ to feed them a dye that colours the cube. Anyone know of a metal or stone-based dye?

Yeah, see, a giant wobbling (clear) cube of jelly is probably a little on the stealthy side in some respects. But see, unlike late 90's computer games, RL has specular lighting so they'd be pretty visible anyway whenever there was any real kind of light source.

Given the way I've always seen them portrayed, I think suspending little identifying items, or metal name-tags would probably be the way to go as far as making them easier to spot in half-shadow etc.

Or just jam some kind of naturally glowing stones into them.

jseah
2010-03-25, 09:36 AM
Aha! Rust monsters! How could I forget?! That's the metal trash problem solved. Not sure how to get around to doing stone trash. (there will be rather alot of it if I can find a way to reliably get Wall of Stone without high level NPCs)

Point taken about jamming glowstones in cubes. We could have a continual flame wrapped in crystal glass (technically a processed rock).

Callos_DeTerran
2010-03-25, 09:38 AM
Read up on slugs. (wikied it at least)

Interesting. Hermaphrodite G-Cubes. Which attempt to bite off / dissolve each other's male parts to separate after mating. XD

Man, you sure can't beat nature for interesting ideas.

Escheton: Hilarious. ^^

EDIT: I wonder though, to control the cubes and prevent them from escaping easily with their transparency, I could get the civ to feed them a dye that colours the cube. Anyone know of a metal or stone-based dye?

Lead based paint. :smallbiggrin: Also has the by-product of making them anti-scry since...well...LEAD!

Last Laugh
2010-03-25, 09:45 AM
Anything with an Eternal Flame spell cast onto it and then shoved into the cube would work.
Now they can't hide.

Coplantor
2010-03-25, 09:56 AM
It has come up in one of the games I'm running/about to run. The question of how a gelatinuous cube reproduces.

Given a normal one weighs 15k lbs, I thought that if I ruled that the max HD G-Cube weighs 30k lbs, then gaining 1 more HD above max would cause the cube to binary fission to two 15k lb cubes. Black pudding style.

This was part of an... interesting idea I had for a civilization that used the cubes in special Cube farms for trash disposal. They'll get new cubes every 15k lb pounds of trash they feed them.

Are there any other ideas? I was contemplating also making them do budding, like yeast.

EDIT: on a related note, I notice some of the more exotic animals, like Plant-types don't have any specified life cycle. Contributions on potentially useful creatures would be nice.

I cannot contribute much, but here are my 2 cents.
Try to get the 2nd editon books, those had huge and detailed descriptions of the monsters. Since a lot of monsters are re used, you can get wonderful information about most of the classic monsters, it was more like an encyclopedia of monsters than game information. 3.5 has pretty arts and tables, but the descriptions are sometimes 3 lines long, 2nd edition had described their ecology, society, life cycle, etc...

If I find the 2nd edition information of the gelatinous cube I'll gladly send it to you.

jseah
2010-03-25, 10:41 AM
Aha, found a web entry about the 2E G-Cube. My, oh my, was the G-cube scary then. 5d4 rounds paralyze...

According to 2E, they bud. Like yeast. Well, then that's the question settled.

Coplantor
2010-03-25, 10:43 AM
Aha, found a web entry about the 2E G-Cube. My, oh my, was the G-cube scary then. 5d4 rounds paralyze...

According to 2E, they bud. Like yeast. Well, then that's the question settled.

Heh, good to know I was helpful

The Glyphstone
2010-03-25, 10:58 AM
The answer to this, like the answers to so many other questions you never wanted to know, can be found in the BoEF:

Love Life Of An Ooze:
1) One Ooze.
2) Idiot Hits Ooze.
3) Two Oozes.

:smallbiggrin:

Coplantor
2010-03-25, 11:02 AM
The answer to this, like the answers to so many other questions you never wanted to know, can be found in the BoEF:

Love Life Of An Ooze:
1) One Ooze.
2) Idiot Hits Ooze.
3) Two Oozes.

:smallbiggrin:

You cant say things like this on the internet! There's rule #34 in the internet!

Optimystik
2010-03-25, 11:05 AM
Isn't there a PrC/feat that can turn oozes? Your civ could employ those guys as cube-handlers.


http://rustyandco.com/comic/11/

"THAC0!"

jseah
2010-03-25, 11:21 AM
Isn't there a PrC/feat that can turn oozes? Your civ could employ those guys as cube-handlers.
They're not intelligent, just figure out what algorithm they use and pen them up. Whether it be follow left wall or move directly towards enemy preferring to go down first. XD

But more seriously, pitting them is easier. If you need to move them, simply box them up in a metal crate.

Hand_of_Vecna
2010-03-25, 11:28 AM
Wouldn't it be etter if they grew to 20 ft across and split into 8 normal cubes?

jseah
2010-03-25, 11:31 AM
Wouldn't it be etter if they grew to 20 ft across and split into 8 normal cubes?
But... but it's RAW that they bud! *damn it's 2e* Aw...

Oh well, I think I'll go with the "official" budding. Makes it more believable that I have actual restraints on my civ, than it becoming my pet magitech city #301.

Thajocoth
2010-03-25, 11:51 AM
What happens is that, once a month, a Gelatinous Cube leaves behind a small paper packet filled with powder. If a mage finds this packet, their natural curiosity causes them to boil water, add the packet to it, then add cool water, then leave the resulting mixture in a giant cube-shaped container in a cold place (usually a dungeon). Mere hours later, the cube breaks out of it's mold and squishes away to find some living things to eat.

krossbow
2010-03-25, 11:59 AM
I never could understand the biology of that thing anyways. The only way i could think of it to work would be a colony of single cell organisms; but in that situations, bludgeoning weapons shouldn't do much either.

JediSoth
2010-03-25, 12:03 PM
Aha! Rust monsters! How could I forget?! That's the metal trash problem solved. Not sure how to get around to doing stone trash. (there will be rather alot of it if I can find a way to reliably get Wall of Stone without high level NPCs)


Stone trash is easy: Xorn.

Iban
2010-03-25, 12:37 PM
I'm in favour of the 'gains weight continuously until critical mass then splits' idea.

It would make sence for me to have them go around eating things untill 30k lb or something, then split into many smaller G-cubes (weighing around 15k lb each, or roll a d4 or something (if it splits when the party is around etc...)). Then those new G-cubes go round eating things and the whole thing starts again :smallsmile:

Irreverent Fool
2010-03-25, 01:48 PM
EDIT: I wonder though, to control the cubes and prevent them from escaping easily with their transparency, I could get the civ to feed them a dye that colours the cube. Anyone know of a metal or stone-based dye?

Cobalt blue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt_blue) might work.

obnoxious
sig

Eldariel
2010-03-25, 02:12 PM
I never could understand the biology of that thing anyways. The only way i could think of it to work would be a colony of single cell organisms; but in that situations, bludgeoning weapons shouldn't do much either.

They're something like that, just infinitely more fragile for gamist purposes.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-03-25, 02:20 PM
the mighty and mysterious gelatinous hypercube.

Oh Shi-----http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/8-cell.gif

jseah
2010-03-25, 02:41 PM
Cobalt blue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt_blue) might work.
It might have been taken over continual flame for cost reasons but it's made by sintering at 1200*C. Not something achievable unless I abuse Wall of Fire to the hilt.

DabblerWizard
2010-03-25, 03:15 PM
If you consider these creatures fairly simplistic, it's not a bad idea to say they reproduce asexually. This could mean that they only undergo mitosis (somatic cell duplication), which doesn't require a sexual partner.

Alternately, they could be like some arthropods (e.g. worms) that are sequential hermaphrodites. If I remember correctly this means that some worms can alter their gender back and forth and essentially impregnate themselves, but this is a kind of sexual reproduction, which is only found in relatively complex creatures.

TheCountAlucard
2010-03-25, 03:54 PM
Alternately, they could be like some arthropods (e.g. worms) that are sequential hermaphrodites.Minor point here, but worms aren't arthropods.

jseah
2010-03-25, 04:04 PM
Alternately, they could be like some arthropods (e.g. worms) that are sequential hermaphrodites. If I remember correctly this means that some worms can alter their gender back and forth and essentially impregnate themselves, but this is a kind of sexual reproduction, which is only found in relatively complex creatures.
I did consider making them a bit like slugs, in the hermaphrodite bite-off-your-partner's-genitals type. For the lolz.

But then 2E had to come along and give them a budding mechanism. I'll take that, at least it's less work. Although it has been an interesting diversion from world-building.

Keld Denar
2010-03-25, 04:22 PM
There are lots of naturally occuring metal based pigments. Mostly oxides of various metals like Iron and Copper (Red and Green respectively, Christmas Cubes!) Calcium also produces an opaque white residue that can be used as a pigment.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where leaching of minerals like iron and copper oxides through porous sandstone rock has colored the stone.
http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/05/d7/d7/pictured-rocks-national.jpg

Anyway, everyone knows that you keep G Cubes at the bottom of pits. Its not like you have to entertain them....just toss down some trash every once in a while and they'll be fat and happy.

jseah
2010-03-25, 05:09 PM
Anyway, everyone knows that you keep G Cubes at the bottom of pits. Its not like you have to entertain them....just toss down some trash every once in a while and they'll be fat and happy.
Yeah, I was thinking of using calcium sulphate. Although I'm not sure if it can be made in large quantities cheaply.

They would be kept in pits during use. But you have to make a new trash disposal plant at SOME point. And it would be good to have a way to track what your cubes are doing when you're shoveling them out.

Plus, if you ever want new cubes, you need the space for them to expand in.

Keld Denar
2010-03-25, 05:24 PM
You could just rule that they are kinda like amporphous goldfish. Their size is proportional to the container they occupy. Then just specify that to reproduce, a G Cube needs 2 factors. Food, and space. Take away one or the other, and reproduction doesn't happen. That would allow a civilization to keep its cube population more or less constant.

Speaking of population. Do cubes age? Would one die of old age? How long would it take one to starve? Would it shirvel if starved?

jseah
2010-03-25, 05:33 PM
^ I would think that mindless creatures like that wouldn't care about the lack of space, they would just grow (given the food) to fill all available space or until they start crushing each other from above.

It would not be too surprising to see a poorly managed cube pit have baby cubes skittering around on the top of the giant parent cubes that occupy the entire bottom of the pit.


Speaking of population. Do cubes age? Would one die of old age? How long would it take one to starve? Would it shirvel if starved?
Age? I don't think so. One would think they're simple enough to regenerate any and all damage given time and food.

Starvation should also take quite some time. One could imagine nearby cubes eating each other during starvation (or the debris left behind by one dying from starvation) and solitary cubes would simply burn body mass to fuel biological functions. 15 000lbs of body mass is a lot to burn before you start losing critical functions. (of which there is exactly 2, move and make acid)

EDIT: Oh my, I can just imagine the looks on players' faces when they realize the plot hook is about a strange plague infecting the cubes in the city's waste disposal. XD
<Don't laugh, the problem is more serious than you think. What happens when we have nowhere to throw the trash?>

With that, I think I can shovel cinematic heroism right out the door now. And good riddance too.

DabblerWizard
2010-03-25, 08:05 PM
Minor point here, but worms aren't arthropods.

There are over 4,000 types of worms, and yes, some of them aren't arthropods, but earthworms and inch worms are both classified under phylum arthropoda. These worms, crabs, and insects, all have segmented body structures, for instance.

Something a little more on topic, you could create different species of G-Cube! Maybe that would be a total waste of time, but who said you can't mix biology and d&d?

Asbestos
2010-03-25, 11:25 PM
Dude, go with your junk-eating worms if you want. D&D Biology has annoyed me forever because so very many things just have 'asexual reproduction' tacked on to them. So boring compared to all the wackiness in nature.

krossbow
2010-03-25, 11:29 PM
I just realized we're trying to bring logic and reason into a game about magic and impossible acts;

I wonder what the cat girl death toll is up to by now.

mikej
2010-03-26, 03:53 AM
I tried to bring Biology into D&D with an debate over "Magebred" and species branching off into it's own set. This was in the scenario that the Magebred version was able to support an wild active population within the environment.

Needless to say, It didn't work out well.


druidís companion is completely typical for its kind

My argument was that if the Magebred version of whatever Animal wasn't able to breed with it's original stoke species then it would a different off-set of it's own. If a Magebred Wolf wasn't able to breed with an regular version than the formal would be variant seperate species. The large active population of one "Wild" Magebred creature would considered typical of it's kind and thus being to be selected as an Companion.

This didn't work since...
A: ECS said the Druids can't select Magebred stuff.
B: It's open to DM approval as the Eberron had no substantial scientific evidence to back up my claim.
C: If the DM did agree . . . then I should have just "Can I have a Magebred X? " in the first place.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-26, 04:14 AM
The best life cycle in D&D is obviously that of the Yellow Musk Creeper.

I saw Rule 34 on that before I actually read the Fiend Folio.

jseah
2010-03-26, 09:52 AM
I wonder what the cat girl death toll is up to by now.*casually stabs another*


Dude, go with your junk-eating worms if you want. D&D Biology has annoyed me forever because so very many things just have 'asexual reproduction' tacked on to them. So boring compared to all the wackiness in nature.
Hey, even those can be interesting.

Like the strange bacteria that makes a slug then a mushroom-like object before sporing to replicate. XD That was quite cool when I read about it. D&D just needs some spicing up.

That said, boring G-Cube budding can come in useful. Since buds are obviously smaller than the 15k lb parent, they are easier to transport to set up new trash pits.