Oozes have been in the game since the beginning, and as you can see in this post the first 4e Monster Manual already featured a bunch of them. As I say there, far more adventurers lost their lives to an ooze than to one of the game’s titular dragons.

Here in the MM2 we get a few more oozes, some of which would go on to feature in the Monster Vault. All of the oozes here have the Blind and Ooze keywords, which make them immune to gaze attacks and particularly adept at squeezing through small spaces. They also have BLindsight 10 and Tremorsense 10.

Abolethic Skum

Copyright 2009 Wizards of the Coast.

As we saw way back in the Aboleth post, Aboleths can turn mortals into servitors, a process which turns their skin into a layer of transparent slime. Sometimes, though, this process goes awry and the victim’s form loses all physical integrity. The resulting watery blobs full of organs are known as “skum”.

Abolethic skums are barely sentient, but some memory of what they were remains with them. This tangles up with residual fear and shame at what they have become, so they tend to attack anyone who resembles their old form.

Skum are Level 18 Minion Brutes with the Aquatic keyword in addition to the default ones. They emit a Psychic Dissonance aura (1) that inflicts Vulnerable 5 Psychic to every creature inside. They have Resist 20 Acid and crawl around at Speed 2, but can swim at Speed 8.

Their slams target Fortitude and do a flat 16 acid damage, which is in line with Monster Vault math. And their Aqueous Form trait makes them invisible while in water.

Despite being described as failed experiments, a skum’s stats make it complement its aboleth masters very well. If your PCs go into underwater Underdark adventure (double the under for half the price!) make sure to place a psychic aboleth in a room packed full of invisible skum. See how long it takes for your PCs to figure out why they’re taking extra damage from the aboleth and dissolving.

Black Pudding

These also appear in the Monster Vault, so we covered them in this post. The MM2 version was their 4e debut, and it’s mostly identical (math fixes aside). The only difference is that they lack the powerful melt attack and instead have a Mercurial Body trait which allows them to ignore difficult terrain and opportunity attacks when moving.

Gray Ooze

Gray Oozes are another D&D classic. They’re about as runny as green slimes, but more mobile, which means they have always been depicted as active monsters. Their brand of slime is particularly good at dissolving bones, and they feed on the resulting bone slurry.

Mechanically, they’re Level 2 Skirmishers with 43 HP. Their stench acts as an aura (2) that inflicts a -2 attack penalty on creatues inside. They have 5 acid resistance, crawl with a Speed of 5, and climb with Speed 3.

Their basic attack is named Bone Melt, targetting fortitude and dealing some acid damage. Each hit also inflicts a cumulative -2 penalty to Fortitude, making further hits likely. A successful save clears the entire penalty. They can also shift 2 squares as a minor action, making them quite mobile.

Green Slime

Another monster that appeared in the Monster Vault, the two versions are more or less identical. The MV one is a bit simpler to use, though, so prefer that one if you have the book.

Sample Encounters and Final Impressions

Oozes aren’t smart enough to understand the concept of alliances, but they’re everywhere in the world of D&D. You don’t need any complex excuses to add an ooze or three to any underground encounter.

Our example encounters for these entry are:

  • Level 4: 2 green slimes and 2 gray oozes lounging around a lone ankheg’s lair.

  • Level 8: 2 black puddings and a darkmantle enveloper in accidental cooperation.

  • Level 19: An aboleth overseer and two lashers with an entourage of 10 skum. This is that packed room I told you about.