25
\$\begingroup\$

Last time when our party encountered a gelatinous cube, we wondered how they reproduce. We instinctively agreed that they reproduce like amoeba - by mitosis or cell division.

However, I'm curious:
Is there a canonical D&D reference to how gelatinous cubes reproduce?

I'm very interested if there is a reference in an early D&D edition, and especially more interested if there are different methods proposed between editions, if any. Answers from Pathfinder are also welcome, since they stem from D&D, too.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The comments to this answer get into some non-canon, humorous answers to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 12 '19 at 2:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Which came first, the gelatinous cube, or the gelatinous cube? \$\endgroup\$ – CGCampbell Nov 12 '19 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ You'll need a mummy cube, a daddy cube and a Barry White CD \$\endgroup\$ – Valorum Nov 12 '19 at 21:26
46
\$\begingroup\$

The Forgotten Realms wiki page on gelatinous cubes has the information you are looking for in the "Ecology" section:

Gelatinous cubes reproduced asexually by either dividing themselves into two smaller cubes of equal sizes6 or via budding. In the second case, a smaller, rubbery cube was excreted into a side corridor or on a pile of refuse, and left to fend for itself until it grew into a full-sized cube. These smaller cubes were not cared for and ran the risk of being absorbed by their own parents on their next trip down the corridor.1 Surviving young cubes then rapidly grew to adult sizes.6

When two gelatinous cubes met, they could temporarily fuse into a larger form that acted like a single creature. They could remain in that fused form for up to a few days before splitting and going their separate ways.6

  1. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), pp. 278–279. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  1. Ed Greenwood (August 1987). “The Ecology of the Gelatinous Cube”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #124 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 56–57.
| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mathematically speaking, how do you divide a cube into two smaller equally sized cubes? \$\endgroup\$ – CJ Dennis Nov 13 '19 at 1:41
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @CJDennis two sections of equal area of any shape, which then reform into the default cube shape, given that both cubes are gelatinous. You're right though - for at least a few moments they aren't going to be cubes. \$\endgroup\$ – Shadow Nov 13 '19 at 2:54
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Shadow I actually imagine them stretching along one axis, and splitting when they're close to double the length as compared to the width and height. The width and height would decrease slightly as the length increases. The volume inside would redistribute. \$\endgroup\$ – CJ Dennis Nov 13 '19 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CJDennis - Take cube 2 from the centre of cube 1, removing 50% of the mass but maintaining correct ratios for both cubes. …. …. …. wait, this comment started as a joke but the more I think about it the more it actually makes sense... I have to follow up on this somewhere... (EDIT - actually, this is probably what is meant by budding) \$\endgroup\$ – RyanfaeScotland Nov 13 '19 at 17:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @CJ Dennis - i think the cube is not meant as a shape but as creature name (cell divides into two equally sized cells) \$\endgroup\$ – Derte Trdelnik Nov 15 '19 at 7:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.