Green slime (Dungeons & Dragons)
|First appearance||the original Dungeons & Dragons set (1974)|
In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, green slime is an ooze, a category of monster. It is more akin to a plant than an animal. It is a horrible, fetid growth, resembling a bright green, sticky, wet moss which grows on the walls and ceilings of caves, sewers, dungeons, mines, and the like.
The description of various "genera" and "species" of corrosive mineral oozes encountered by unwary miners underground, that can eat unnoticed through skin and flesh to the bone, date back at least to the works of Georg Agricola. Some of these might have been inspired by cavers' contacts with peculiar lifeforms in caves with a high hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid content which are even more corrosive than the environments they inhabit, such as the "snottites", "red goo", and "green slime" encountered in the real-world Cueva de Villa Luz.
The conception of green slime as an invasive life form that overgrows its victims, as depicted in Dungeons & Dragons, also has roots in science fiction, such as the 1968 film The Green Slime, and horror such as William Hope Hodgson's short story "The Voice In The Night".
The green slime first appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons set (1974).
The green slime appeared in the D&D Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983) and Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).
The green slime appeared in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual (1977).
The green slime appeared in the third edition Dungeon Master's Guide (2000) as a dungeon hazard, and again in the 3.5 revised Dungeon Master's Guide (2003).
Green slime appeared in the fifth edition Dungeon Master's Guide as a dungeon hazard.
Characteristics and habits
The green slime is notably different from other oozes. Being a growth, it is fixed to one place and cannot move or attack. For the most part, it is forced to feed off of vegetable, organic or metallic substances in an underground wall. If it grows on a ceiling, however, it can sense if someone passes below, and drops onto them. Living creatures touched by a green slime eventually turn into green slime themselves. Green slime is vulnerable to light, heat, frost, and cure disease spells.
Green slimes are mindless and cannot speak. As such, they are regarded as neutral in alignment.
A green slime will regrow if even the tiniest residue remains, and can germinate to form a full-sized ooze again years later. In the Dungeons & Dragons universe, huge colonies of green slime exist deep beneath the earth.
- Georg Agricola. De Natura Fossilium. pp. 214–215. Search this book on
- Herbert Clark Hoover (commentary). De Re Metallica. p. 114. Search this book on
- "Project: Cueva de Villa Luz (Cueva de las Sardinas)".
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
- Cook, Monte, Skip Williams, and Jonathan Tweet. Dungeon Master's Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (game designer) and James Wyatt. Dungeon Master's Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)
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