Home > roleplaying > Go read Zak’s Six Questions From The Iron Cobra – also, Gelatinous Cubes

Go read Zak’s Six Questions From The Iron Cobra – also, Gelatinous Cubes

Long ago dnd with porn stars did a survey of all the monsters with ideas for what to do with them. Go read it if you haven’t. Here’s a high point from the I monsters:

The imp… can provide six answers from Hell… That’s a whole adventure right there–a siege is coming, a sorceror wants to ask six questions that will allow him to prevail, the PCs are hired to find out as much as possible (they’re paid by the meme) about the battleground, the army, etc. and then to help the sorceror formulate six perfect questions.

…Or: the imp is about to return to the crooked tower with answers that–progressively–will annhilate all that the PCs hold dear. The imp brings back one answer a day, and each makes the enemy harder to defeat–can they defeat the sorceress before her imp returns with the fatal final answer?

…Or: The situation is dire. The imps answers are known, yet it is also known that three are lies and three are true, and the PCs are hired or otherwise obliged to sort out which is which

The Irish intellectual deer devourer’s pretty good too.

Over in G monsters, the ghoul and the gelatinous cube get no love. But that makes me think:

Gelatinous cubes were the first things that made me think about the procedural nature of DnD: it’s like a satire on the dungeon. It’s exactly 10 by 10 because that’s exactly what the standard dungeon corridor is, so it reveals the pasteboardiness of the standard, like one of those giant Japanese municipal mazes made out of a grid frame and panels which changes every week. It fits down that dungeon corridor absolutely, mathematically precisely. Nothing escapes it. So it can be a herding mechanism, if only you beef it up.

There’s something postmodern cool about that, as long as it’s all left as a suggestion.

Now, the ghouls on the other hand make their own tunnels. Which means they can pop up anywhere, like Hounds of Tindalos boiling out of the corner of your belt buckle or eyelid. Which makes them a different sort of threat from those that wait behind the door you’re listening at. If the gelatinous cube breaks the fourth wall by showing it to you, the ghoul puts it back by unexpectedly sliding out of it to steal your wounded.

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