The Cube Collector

Raging Swan had an open call recently, and I entered it. Unfortunately I missed a line in the guidelines that disqualified me, but I was told it was a very good encounter other than the one detail I overlooked. Here it is for your gaming pleasure.

The Ooze Collector (EL 8; XP 4,800)

The side trail in the mountains is rarely travelled and leads to an abandoned quarry tucked away far out of sight of the main mountain roads. Much of it has been eroded away and reclaimed, but a square pit remains. On the far side is a small hut, smoke curling from a small hole in the ceiling.

The quarry was abandoned before a great deal of stone was pulled out. There is still a single pit, but it is very well maintained and kept drained. The pit is twenty feet deep, roughly a hundred feet long and eighty wide. There are several large stone blocks still in the pit, each a different size and shape, arranged in a purposeful manner.

Vasu the Ooze Collector

Vasu, an alchemist who likes his oozes more than people, keeps his gelatinous cube pets in the pit. He is highly suspicious of others after being exiled for keeping dangerous pets. At least once a week he uses a combination of extracts and mutagens to gain the strength necessary to move even the largest boulders in the pit, arranging them for his own entertainment and not for any benefit to the cubes. The rest of the time he is out hunting and gathering for supplies.

Approaching and Negotiations

Vasu is always keeping an ear out for travellers, but is too preoccupied and has a -2 to his passive perception checks to notice approaching travellers. If he hears them before they are within sight he moves to the top of one of the stone piles inside the pit and waits to see what they will do. If they attack his pets he becomes hostile.

If they leave his pets alone or approach before he notices them he is unfriendly and must be made indifferent before he is willing to talk or trade. He is an alchemist and does has a few potions he can trade for supplies of equal value. If the party offers the collected remains or part of an ooze he becomes friendly to them


Vasu will drink his invisibility extract once on a stone pile, and will be too afraid to say anything. He uses vials the cubes can dissolve, allowing them to benefit from potions and extracts. He tosses one or two into each cube, favouring movement effects. He has also trained the cubes that food is in the same direction as loud noises like those created from bombs or thunderstones. If the party attacks his pets he shoots off an explosive missile with his crossbow, hoping to knock a couple of them into the pit (see The Edge below.) He allows the cubes to deal with the party at close range while he directs their attention with his bombs. If anyone moves too close he summons a garden ooze with his bottled ooze ability.

The cubes fight to the death, but Vasu attempts to flee once they defeated. If he is brought to 5 hp or less he surrenders and begs for his life.

Area Features

The area has several features of note:

The Edge: The edge of the pit is still dangerous and loose, and anyone standing on it has a chance of being knocked down if they take any damage from a bomb. After damage is applied they must make a DC 15 Reflex save or fall 20 feet to the pit floor below.

The Stone Piles: The stone piles in the pit only need a DC 5 Climb skill check to climb, but a few of them have been arranged to collapse if they are part of a bomb’s area of effect. When this happens anyone adjacent to a pile needs to succeed at a DC 12 Reflex save or take 1d6 points of damage.

Scaling the Encounter

To modify this encounter, apply the following changes:

                EL 7 (XP 3,200): Remove the advanced template from the gelatinous cube.

                EL 9 (XP 6,400): Double the number of gelatinous cubes.

Vasu                                      CR 5 (XP 1,600)

A mess of gnome stands before you, his purple hair matted with bits of mud and his clothing filthy with stone dust.

male gnome alchemist 6

CN small humaniod (gnome)

Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12, Sense Motive +1

Speed 20 ft., base speed 20 ft., other movement rates; Acrobatics +2 (-2 jumping), Climb +0, Escape Artist +2, Fly +2, Ride +2, Stealth +6, Swim +0

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10; CMD 15

Fort +6 (+4 vs. poison), Ref +8, Will +4;

hp 30 (6d8);

Defensive Training +4 Gain a dodge bonus to AC vs monsters of the Giant subtype.

Illusion Resistance +2 racial bonus to saves against illusions.

Mutagen (DC 16) (Su) Mutagen adds +4 to a physical & -2 to a mental attribute, and +2 nat. armor for 60 min.

Poison Resistance +4 (Ex) +4 to save vs. Poison.

Space 5 ft.; Base Atk +4; CMB +3

Melee dagger +4 (1d3)

Ranged +1 light crossbow (range 80 ft.) +8 (1d6+1/19-20)

Atk Options Bomb (9/day) (range 10 ft.) +8 (3d6+3 Fire)

Bottled Ooze The alchemist has learned how to preserve a sample of oozes in a sealed bottle, which he can prepare for use as an extract. When the alchemist activates the extract, he actually throws the bottle at a square within 30 feet, releasing the ooze, which reconstitutes and attacks the closest creature. The ooze is not under the alchemist’s control, but is otherwise treated as a summoned creature. The ooze remains for 1 round per caster level, and decays into powder when the duration expires. If the alchemist has the infusion discovery, another character can use the infused specimen. Creating a bottled ooze requires an extract with a level equal to the ooze’s CR (so a CR 4 gray ooze requires a 4th-level extract).

Explosive Missile Use bomb with ranged weapon.

Hatred +1 Gain a bonus to attack vs goblinoid/reptilian humanoids.

Mutagen (DC 16) (Su) Mutagen adds +4 to a physical & -2 to a mental attribute, and +2 nat. armor for 60 min.

Precise Bombs (3 squares) (Su) Whenever the alchemist throws a bomb, he can select a number of squares equal to his Intelligence modifier that are not affected by the splash damage from his bombs.

Spell-Like Abilities

1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 12), prestidigitation (DC 11), speak with animals

Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +9;)

2nd (4/day)—resist energy, invisibility, blur, vomit swarm

1st (5/day)—expeditious retreat, shield, bottled ooze (garden ooze), targeted bomb admixture, targeted bomb admixture

Combat Gear Potion of barkskin +2, Potion of cure light wounds (4), Potion of spider climb, Acid (5), Alchemist’s fire (3), Smokestick, Tanglefoot bag, Thunderstone (2);

Abilities Str 11, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 12

SQ fast poisoning, illusion resistance, mutagen, poison use, swift alchemy

Feats Brew Potion, Extra Discovery, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Throw Anything

Skills Craft (alchemy) +14 (+20 to create alchemical items,) Knowledge (arcana) +12, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Knowledge (nature) +12, Spellcraft +12, Survival +10, Use Magic Device +10

Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Gnome, Infernal, Sylvan

Gear as above plus +1 Light crossbow, Cloak of resistance +1, Alchemy crafting kit, Bandolier, Bandolier, Belt pouch, Explorer’s outfit, Portable alchemist’s lab, Tindertwig (5), 158 GP

Formula Book

2nd — Blur, Cure Moderate Wounds, Invisibility, Resist Energy, Restoration, Lesser, Spider Climb, Vomit Swarm

1st —Ant Haul, Blend, Bomber’s Eye, Cure Light Wounds, Disguise Self, Endure Elements, Expeditious Retreat, Identify, Longshot, Shield, Targeted Bomb, True Strike, Barkskin

Advanced Gelatinous Cube (2)       CR 4 (XP 1,200)

Bits of broken weapons, coins, and a partially digested skeleton are visible inside this quivering cube of slime.

N Large ooze

Init -4; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception -3

Speed 15 ft., base speed 15 ft.; Acrobatics -3 (-11 jump), Fly -5, Stealth -7

AC 8, touch 6, flat-footed 8; CMD 13 (can’t be tripped);

Immune electricity, ooze traits

Fort +11, Ref -2, Will -2;

hp 58 (4d8+40);

Space 10 ft., Reach 5 ft.; Base Atk +3; CMB +6

Melee slam +4 (1d6+3)

Engulf (DC 14) (Ex) Although it moves slowly, a gelatinous cube can simply engulf Large or smaller creatures in its path as a standard action. It cannot make a slam attack during a round in which it engulfs. The gelatinous cube merely has to move over the opponents, affecting as many as it can cover. Opponents can make attacks of opportunity against the cube, but if they do so they are not entitled to a saving throw. Those who do not attempt attacks of opportunity can attempt a DC 12 Reflex save to avoid being engulfed—on a success, they are pushed back or aside (opponent’s choice) as the cube moves forward. Engulfed creatures are subject to the cube’s paralysis and acid, gain the pinned condition, are in danger of suffocating, and are trapped within its body until they are no longer pinned. The save DC is Strength-based.

Paralysis (DC 22) (Ex) A gelatinous cube secretes an anesthetizing slime. A target hit by a cube’s melee or engulf attack must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds. The cube can automatically engulf a paralyzed opponent. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Transparent (Ex) Due to its lack of coloration, a gelatinous cube is difficult to discern. A DC 15 Perception check is required to notice a motionless gelatinous cube. Any creature that fails to notice a gelatinous cube and walks into it is automatically engulfed.

Abilities Str 14, Dex 5, Con 30, Int — , Wis 5, Cha 5,

SQ acid, engulf, paralysis, transparent

Languages None

 Note: Some formatting didn’t carry over very well. I tried to fix it, but there may be a couple strange things I missed.


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About TCHubler

Growing up, I have always had an active imagination and a desire to create fantasy worlds. When I was 12, I found my opportunity in a local game store when I bought one of the last AD&D box sets to ever be released. My brother and I took it home and soon I was sharing my new found hobby with friends. From there it has been journey of imagination and creation as I either ran a game or played one. Most of my games have completely self written, and by the time I became hooked on the Pathfinder RPG I was writing rules material for my games.

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