Elite Opponents
Oozes
By Andy Collins

This column aims to provide DMs with interesting opponents to pit against the PCs in their campaigns. Building off of a simple base -- typically a standard monster from the Monster Manual -- each column uses the building blocks provided in the rulebooks to craft a variety of foes. Through the addition of class levels or templates, or even via simple HD advancement, the creatures presented in this column are transformed from run-of-the-mill opponents into memorable foes. Check out this column every month for a new batch of formidable enemies built from a different monster!

The Ooze: Slithering Death

This month, our base creature is the ooze, an amorphous creature that lives only to eat. Thanks to its adaptive qualities and its lack of any inhibitions regarding meals, an ooze can live almost anywhere. Thus, oozes of various kinds inhabit underground areas throughout the multiverse, scouring caverns, ruins, and dungeons in search of organic matter -- living or dead.

This article showcases four different templated oozes -- one based on each of the oozes from the Monster Manual. Though the templates give each one unusual qualities, these oozes are still killing machines at heart. Their challenge ratings range from 5 to 8, but they can easily be increased by adding more HD.

Regardless of its form, an ooze attacks any creature it encounters. It may lash out with pseudopods or simply engulf opponents with its body, which secretes a caustic substance that helps it catch or digest prey. All oozes share the extraordinary quality of blindsight and can ascertain prey by scent and vibration within 60 feet.

Axiomatic Gray Ooze

The first axiomatic gray oozes were bred by a wizard on Acheron, who used them as defenses against the various metal-based creatures that were plaguing him. Perhaps inevitably, a few of these oozes escaped and began multiplying across the dimensions. Unlike most oozes, axiomatic gray oozes often travel in groups of two to five, so that they can use their linked minds to ensnare prey more effectively.

An axiomatic gray ooze strikes like a snake, slamming opponents with its body. It uses its smite chaos special attack against the first foe it encounters.

Unlike its terrestrial cousins, the axiomatic gray ooze is a sentient creature. Thus, it loses the ooze's natural immunity to mind-affecting effects.

Axiomatic Gray Ooze: CR 5; Medium ooze; HD 3d10+18; hp 34; Init -1; Spd 10 ft.; AC 5, touch 5, flat-footed 5; Base Atk +2; Grp +3; Atk +3 melee (1d6+1 plus 1d6 acid, slam); Full Atk +3 melee (1d6+1 plus 1d6 acid, slam); SA acid, constrict 1d6+1 plus 1d6 acid, improved grab, smite chaos +3; SQ blindsight 60 ft., immunities (cold, fire), linked minds, ooze traits, resistances (cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, sonic 5), spell resistance 6, transparent; AL LN; SV Fort +6, Ref -4, Will -4; Str 12, Dex 1, Con 21, Int 3, Wis 1, Cha 1.

Skills and Feats: Climb +7, Jump -11; Improved Initiative, Toughness.

Acid (Ex): An axiomatic gray ooze secretes a digestive acid that quickly dissolves organic material and metal, but not stone. Any melee hit or constrict attack deals acid damage. Armor or clothing dissolves and becomes useless immediately unless it succeeds on a DC 16 Reflex save. A metal or wooden weapon that strikes an axiomatic gray ooze also dissolves immediately unless it succeeds on a DC 16 Reflex save. The save DCs are Constitution-based. The axiomatic gray ooze's acidic touch deals 16 points of damage per round to wooden or metal objects, but the ooze must remain in contact with the object for 1 full round to deal this damage.

Constrict (Ex): An axiomatic gray ooze deals 1d6+1 points of damage plus 1d6 points of acid damage with a successful grapple check. The opponent's clothing and armor each take a -4 penalty on Reflex saves against the acid.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an axiomatic gray ooze must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.

Smite Chaos (Su): Once per day, an axiomatic gray ooze can make a normal melee attack to deal 3 points of extra damage against a chaotic opponent.

Linked Minds (Ex): Axiomatic gray oozes within 300 feet of one another are in constant communication. If one is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in the group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No axiomatic gray ooze in the group is considered flanked unless they all are.

Ooze Traits: An axiomatic gray ooze is blind (blindsight 60 ft.) and immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. It is immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. It is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Transparent (Ex): An axiomatic gray ooze is hard to identify, even under ideal conditions, and it takes a DC 15 Spot check to notice one. Any creature that fails to notice an axiomatic gray ooze and walks into it is automatically hit with a melee attack for slam and acid damage.

Corrupted Gelatinous Cube

In deep, dark places where evil has tainted the land, the corrupting power of vileness can twist and reshape creatures. The corrupted gelatinous cube is an example of such a transformation, and the power it gains from this evil taint makes it even more threatening. Its symmetrical form becomes misshapen and rippled, though it remains coherent enough to fill dungeon corridors and transparent enough to fool unwary delvers.

Though it is an aberration, the corrupted gelatinous cube retains its ooze traits.

Corrupted Gelatinous Cube: CR 5; Huge aberration (augmented ooze); HD 4d10+40; hp 62; Init -5; Spd 15 ft.; AC 11, touch 3, flat-footed 11; Base Atk +3; Grp +13; Atk +3 melee (1d8+3 plus 1d6 acid plus 2 vile, slam); Atk +3 melee (1d8+3 plus 1d6 acid plus 2 vile, slam); Space/Reach 15 ft./10 ft.; SA acid, engulf, paralysis; SQ blindsight 60 ft., damage reduction 5/magic, disruptive attack, enhanced power, fast healing 2, immunities (acid, electricity), ooze traits, transparent; AL NE; SV Fort +11, Ref -4, Will -4; Str 14, Dex 1, Con 30, Int -, Wis 1, Cha 1.

Skills and Feats: Hide -13, Jump -7.

Acid (Ex): A corrupted gelatinous cube's acid does not harm metal or stone.

Engulf (Ex): Although it moves slowly, a corrupted gelatinous cube can simply mow down Large or smaller creatures as a standard action. It cannot make a slam attack during a round in which it engulfs. The corrupted gelatinous cube merely has to move over the opponents, affecting as many as it can cover. Opponents can make opportunity attacks against the cube, but if anyone who does is not entitled to a saving throw. A creature that does not attempt an attack of opportunity must succeed on a DC 19 Reflex save or be engulfed; on a success, it is pushed back or aside (opponent's choice) as the cube moves forward. Engulfed creatures are subject to the cube's paralysis and acid and are considered to be grappled and trapped within its body. The save DC is Strength-based and includes a +1 racial bonus and a +4 bonus for the cube's enhanced power.

Paralysis (Ex): A corrupted gelatinous cube secretes an anesthetizing slime. A target hit by a cube's melee or engulf attack must succeed on a DC 26 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds. The cube can automatically engulf a paralyzed opponent. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +4 bonus for the cube's enhanced power.

Disruptive Attack (Su): The corrupted gelatinous cube deals 2 additional points of vile damage (see Chapter 2 in the Book of Vile Darkness) when it touches uncorrupted, living, corporeal nonoutsiders.

Enhanced Power (Su): The save DC for each of the corrupted gelatinous cube's special attacks increases by +4 (already included in the statistics presented here).

Fast Healing (Ex): The corrupted gelatinous cube regains hit points at the rate of 2 per round.

Ooze Traits: A corrupted gelatinous cube is blind (blindsight 60 ft.) and immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. It is immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. It is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Transparent (Ex): Corrupted gelatinous cubes are hard to see, even under ideal conditions, and it takes a DC 15 Spot check to notice one. Any creature that fails to notice a cube and walks into it is automatically engulfed.

Fiendish Ochre Jelly

Over the millennia, Juiblex the Faceless Lord has experimented with breeding various semi-intelligent oozes to unleash upon his foes. The fiendish ochre jelly is one of the demon lord of slime's creations. It resembles a giant, dark yellow amoeba with veinlike threads of red running through its form.

When the fiendish ochre jelly detects a foe, it attempts to envelop and squeeze its prey. It uses its smite good special attack against the first foe it encounters.

Unlike its terrestrial cousins, the fiendish ochre jelly is a sentient creature. Thus, it loses the ooze's natural immunity to mind-affecting effects. Furthermore, a fiendish ochre jelly's slam attack is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Fiendish Ochre Jelly: CR 6; Large ooze (extraplanar); HD 6d10+36; hp 69; Init -5; Spd 10 ft., climb 10 ft.; AC 4, touch 4, flat-footed 4; Base Atk +4; Grp +10; Atk +5 melee (2d4+3 plus 1d4 acid, slam); Full Atk +5 melee (2d4+3 plus 1d4 acid, slam); Space/Reach 10 ft./5 ft.; SA acid, constrict 2d4+3 plus 2d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +6; SQ blindsight 60 ft., damage reduction 5/magic, ooze traits, resistances (cold 5, fire 5), spell resistance 11, split; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref -3, Will -3; Str 15, Dex 1, Con 22, Int 3, Wis 1, Cha 1.

Skills and Feats: Climb +10, Hide +2, Jump -10, Move Silently +0; Power Attack, Skill Focus (Hide), Stealthy.

Acid (Ex): A fiendish ochre jelly secretes a digestive acid that dissolves only flesh. Any melee hit or constrict attack deals acid damage.

Constrict (Ex): A fiendish ochre jelly deals 2d4+3 points of damage and 1d4 points of acid damage with a successful grapple check.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a fiendish ochre jelly must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.

Smite Good (Su): Once per day, the fiendish ochre jelly can make a normal melee attack to deal 6 points of extra damage against a good foe.

Ooze Traits: A fiendish ochre jelly is blind (blindsight 60 ft.) and immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. It is immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. It is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Split (Ex): Slashing and piercing weapons and electricity attacks deal no damage to a fiendish ochre jelly. Instead the creature splits into two identical jellies, each with half of the original's current hit points (round down). A fiendish ochre jelly with 10 or fewer hit points cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

Shadow Black Pudding

Shadow black puddings are denizens of the Plane of Shadow, but many have found their way onto the Material Plane over the eons. These creatures lurk in dim caverns, invisible to their prey.

Any creature that comes within range of a shadow black pudding's blindsight is subject to a charge attack. Though the victim is unlikely to see its attacker, the blob of glup is almost certainly audible when it slides across the floor.

Like its Material Plane cousins, the shadow black pudding attacks by grabbing and squeezing its prey. Such an attack inspires horror in anyone witnessing it, since it appears that the victim is being devoured by the shadows themselves.

Shadow Black Pudding: CR 8; Huge ooze; HD 10d10+60; hp 115; Init -5; Spd 30 ft., climb 20 ft.; AC 3, touch 3, flat-footed 3; Base Atk +7; Grp +18; Atk +8 melee (2d6+4 plus 2d6 acid, slam); Space/Reach 15 ft./10 ft.; SA acid, constrict 2d6+4 plus 2d6 acid, improved grab; SQ blindsight 60 ft., fast healing 2, luck bonus on saves (+2), ooze traits, resistance (cold 15), shadow blend, split; AL NE; SV Fort +11, Ref +0, Will +0; Str 17, Dex 1, Con 22, Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1.

Skills and Feats: Climb +11, Hide -13, Move Silently +1.

Acid (Ex): The shadow black pudding secretes a digestive acid that dissolves organic material and metal quickly but does not affect stone. Any melee hit or constrict attack deals acid damage, and the opponent's armor or clothing dissolves and becomes useless immediately unless it succeeds on a DC 21 Reflex save. A metal or wooden weapon that strikes a black pudding also dissolves immediately unless it succeeds on a DC 21 Reflex save. The save DCs are Constitution-based. The pudding's acidic touch deals 21 points of damage per round to wooden or metal objects, but the ooze must remain in contact with the object for 1 full round to deal this damage.

Constrict (Ex): A shadow black pudding deals 2d6+4 points of damage plus 2d6 points of acid damage with a successful grapple check. The opponent's clothing and armor each take a -4 penalty on Reflex saves against the acid.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a shadow black pudding must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.

Fast Healing (Ex): The shadow black pudding regains hit points at the rate of 2 per round.

Ooze Traits: A shadow black pudding is blind (blindsight 60 ft.) and immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. It is immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. It is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Shadow Blend (Su): In any conditions other than full daylight, a shadow black pudding can disappear into the shadows, giving it total concealment. Artificial illumination, even a light or continual flame spell, does not negate this ability. A daylight spell, however, will.

Split (Ex): Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage to a shadow black pudding. Instead, the creature splits into two identical puddings, each with half of the original's current hit points (round down). A pudding with 10 or fewer hit points cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

Skills: A shadow black pudding has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

About the Author

By day, Andy Collins works as a senior designer in the Roleplaying R&D department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His credits include the Player's Handbook v.3.5, the Draconomicon, and the upcoming Unearthed Arcana. By night, however, he fights crime as a masked vigilante. Or maybe not.


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