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If I have a situation where an ooze, such as a Gelatinous Cube, is near a source of water, like a small pond or underground stream, is there source material somewhere that says whether the ooze floats or sinks? Is there any mention of their density — so whether they could travel over the body of water, possibly try to resist being carried away by it, or if they sink to the bottom?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure edition matter in how oozes and Gelatinous Cube work, but it might well matter in terms of what (if anything) is specified. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Nov 1 '17 at 19:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin I think that if folks are willing to commit the effort to compose an answer that describes across 5 or 10 editions whether or not a gelatinous cube floats, those folks should be allowed — heck, encouraged — to do so. (But, then again, I love crazy stuff like that that around here.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 1 '17 at 19:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this could go either way, regarding editions. If the asker is looking for lore on ooze/water relations in all of D&D's years of sources on monster lore, the “pan-edition” tag [dungeons-and-dragons] is the right choice. If the asker needs it to be mechanic-relevant to a specific edition, then using an edition-specific tag instead would improve it. My sense from the body of the question is the tags are currently fitting. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 1 '17 at 19:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie but if as OP states "I have a situation" means he is in a game situation and probably has a particular edition in mind. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Nov 1 '17 at 19:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin (The “if” that starts that sentence actually means that is not given in the question.) More importantly, that's not how our tagging for information-seeking questions works regarding editions (else our pan-edition D&D tag would be nearly useless). \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 1 '17 at 20:26
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Digging around, I can't find a definitive Monster Manual based answer here. But, there is a little piece from one of the published adventures for D&D 5E.

From Out of the Abyss (Spoilers, obviously)

Taking place in The Oozing Temple encounter, which is steadily flooding with water,

we get this little snippet:

Development: If Glabbagool is with the party, the intelligent gelatinous cube floats upward as the water rises and squeezes through a crack in the ceiling to escape the flooded temple and remain with the characters.

The only other possible answer I can give you is rooted in Science, which has a shaky relationship with a Fantasy world anyway.

In order to float, you must have a lower density than the stuff you are trying to float in. Average density is mass divided by volume. Of all things in D&D, a Gelatinous Cube is literally the easiest possible thing to compute the density of.

We know that an average gelatinous cube is 10 feet on a side...1,000 cubic feet. And, according to the 3.5E SRD, a Gelatinous Cube weighs 15,000 lbs. Divide that out, and that gives us a density of 15 pounds per cubic foot.

Convert to metric for comparison purposes and we get 240.277 kilograms per cubic meter.

Fresh Water has a density of 1,000 kilograms per cubic meter. (Salt Water is even more dense)

Thus, a Gelatinous Cube has a lower density than water. According to RL Science, it should float, and float pretty high in the water, too.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 3 '17 at 7:33

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