10 Things to Find in a Gelatinous Cube

Quintessential dungeon scavengers, gelatinous cubes engulf all in their path. Untold numbers of neophyte adventurers have met their doom in the depths of a gelatinous cube. Sometimes their death leaves behind treasure for luckier, or more skilled, adventurers to retrieve.



Gelatinous cubes secrete powerful acid that destroys most of what they swallow. However, some things, typically those made of stone or metal, can survive a gelatinous cube’s acid, and canny adventurers often search such slain beasts for treasure. Use this table, to populate a gelatinous cube with objects of minor interest:

  1. This cube contains a yellowed and pitted skeleton yet wearing a suit of battered chainmail.
  2. Soft shards of a spear’s shaft hang suspended in the cube along with a long slender steel spear tip. The spear tip is surprisingly clean—as if it had recently been polished—but the spear shaft disintegrates if touched.
  3. Shards of wood and scraps of rapidly deteriorating leather and cloth wrapped around the stark white, brittle bones of some unfortunate hint that the cube’s consumed its last meal was not too long ago.
  4. A jumble of small chunks of rubble and shards of rock fill the lower portion of the cube.
  5. Silver and gold coins glimmer in the party’s light. Suspended in the cube, they must be dug out individually. Each coin must be cleaned thoroughly or the acid on the coin’s surface slowly burns through whatever is used to store the coins.
  6. A skull and a jumble of bones fill the gelatinous cube. The bones are old and disintegrate if touched, leaving a yellow stain on the investigating character’s hands.
  7. A hooded lantern cleaned to shining brilliance by the cube’s acidic excretions hangs suspended in its body. Its oil has long since intermingled with the cube’s body giving it a slightly mottled appearance.
  8. A handful of silver and gold coins hang suspended in roughly the middle of the cube. As the cube moves about, the coins undulate and move about the cube’s body like a glittering, segmented snake.
  9. A half-dozen arrow heads float within the cube’s body. One glows brightly (it is enchanted with a continual flame spell) which makes it virtually impossible for the cube to ambush—or creep up on—its prey.
  10. This cube has consumed many unfortunates in its hunting. Some of the remains of its victims including a crude battle-axe of orcish artifice, three small short swords and an even dozen sling bullets yet resist its acidic excretions. All are in excellent condition. Of their previous owners, there is no sign.

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This article will appear in the upcoming GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things compilation releasing in 2016. You can read more about the book, here and check out loads of similar lists here.

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12 thoughts on “10 Things to Find in a Gelatinous Cube

  1. Don’t forget though that when you ‘kill’ a Cube, that it’s ‘body’ comes apart due to its ‘life force’ not being in effect anymore so it basically falls apart and goes all over the place. Of course it’s acidity from its ‘body’ is still there of course and so anything in the way of the splashing or how ever you want it to come apart still has to make a saving of some kind versus acid……I’ve gotten some mean looks from PC’s when they’ve ‘killed’ a CUBE and they don’t seem to take that into account:)

    • Players can be swines!

      I once had a room full of spider webs which contained some cocoons of previous explorers. The party burnt the webs–seemingly sensible–and the various bodies fell to the floor…breaking the potions they yet had about their persons…


      How my players laughed and laughed and laughed…