Last Updated on December 22, 2022
Oozes are gelatinous creatures that rarely have a fixed shape. They are mostly subterranean, dwelling in caves and dungeons and feeding on refuse, carrion, or creatures unlucky enough to get in their way. Black puddings and gelatinous cubes are among the most recognizable oozes.
Oozes’ lack of intelligence might lead some to think that the only tactics available are mindless roaming and seeking to consume anything in their path. However, what they lack in brains, they make up in other ways.
Taking cues from the natural world suggests some clever tactics. Jellyfish, for example, demonstrate a cohesive, almost hivemind-like symbiosis; they can sense their surroundings and gather together in groups. Use this to make attacks from multiple directions or unexpected angles.
A group of ochre jellies living deep underground might congeal together to into a supercolony for sustenance, survival, or as a method to make an unusual attack. and when that trick has been played, they can divide again in a surprise action, suddenly giving the party more targets to worry about.
One of the abilities shared by all oozes (except gelatinous cubes) is amorphous. The ability to move through a space down to 1 inch wide is a huge tactical advantage in a dungeon environment. Use this advantage to strike at characters from cracks in walls or under doors and around corners. It can also provide an excellent avenue of escape under a locked door or into a pile of loose rock.
If controlled by a devious opponent, oozes might travel the dungeon and work together, combining their advantages in clever ways. Placing an ooze vulnerable to heat and fire in an area covered in brown mold works due to their ability to cool their immediate surroundings and reduce heat. A gelatinous cube that has devoured a breakable container of green slime can be a nasty surprise just when the party thinks it has destroyed the cube. You can mix and match tactics for truly nasty threats.