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Is an Ooze or something with Ooze traits a living creature for the purposes of things like Vampiric Touch?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 19 down vote accepted

If we look at the entry in the SRD we see:

An ooze is an amorphous or mutable creature, usually mindless.

So it is, unequivocally, a creature.

As for living, the entry doesn't say that they aren't, unlike construct:

Since it was never alive, a construct cannot be raised or resurrected.

or undead:

Undead are once-living creatures

And an Ooze does fulfill the major requirements of most definitions of life:

Oozes eat and breathe

(I'll assume they reproduce, it just doesn't often come up in game except for the varieties that split when you deal them enough damage)

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3  
I am interested in the reproductive strategy of the Oozes... care to detail ? :D –  Stefano Borini Nov 7 '10 at 16:59
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@Stefano Borini: o O 8 oo ;) –  user660 Nov 7 '10 at 20:16
    
@Baelnorn : this was great. Best ASCII art ever :D –  Stefano Borini Nov 7 '10 at 20:26
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@StefanoBorini The Book of Erotic Fantasy isn't good for much, but it does have this gem: "The Love Life of an Ooze: 1) One ooze. 2) Idiot hits ooze with a sword. 3) Two oozes. :)" –  KRyan Jan 29 '13 at 21:25

If we look up the Ooze ( http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ooze.htm ) itself, we find that: "Oozes are amorphous creatures that live only to eat." So the answer, if we take even description as word for word canon, is most likely "yes". :)

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All creatures with a constitution score are considered to be living as per the WOTC D&D Glossary and Monster Manual III.

So it seems that as an ooze has a constitution score, it is therefore alive.

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Check the creature's Type in the glossary of the Monster Manual. Undead and constructs share the following trait:

  • Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain.

If the creature's type does not have this trait, then the creature can be affected. The MM glossary entry for the Ooze type (p. 312-313) shows that they do not have this trait. They are, however, immune to certain other affects: poison, sleep, paralysis, polymorph, stunning, and mind-affecting effects (and blinding, since they have blindsight).

I would classify Vampiric Touch as an energy drain, for this purpose, though the spell description isn't that specific.

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1  
Energy drain has a really specific definition in game terms (that which gives negative levels), and vampiric touch clearly doesn't enter into that. Stuff like enervation or, heh, energy drain are energy drain effects. –  KRyan Nov 25 at 21:01

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