Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Taxonomy of Jellies, Oozes, and Slimes (Snobs)

How to Distinguish a Snob

There has been much recent discussion of on the differences between, even the basic definitions of, the jelly, the ooze, and the slime. Despite the confusion, past descriptions of such entities give us a fairly easy way of classifying them. However, we first need a term that will refer to the collective name. For terms of this discussion, I will be using the word Snob, named after the vile, perverse, and equally spineless Dr. Bery Snob Chilly. Dr. Bery Snob Chilly served as a spokesperson the Snob alchemy, biomancy, sanitation, and even food supply industries. However, this may have served as a smokescreen for the many crimes against humanity Dr. Chilly used Snobs for in private. Fortunately, his activities have recently come to public attention, and he has been captured. However, this is a topic for another discussion.

Basic Criteria for Snobs
The first step in identifying a Snob is to determine if the entity is really a snob. Here are some rough criteria,
1.       Liquid or semi-liquid in nature (thus ruling out mosses and most fungi)
2.       Largely without complex, discernable, functioning anatomies (ruling out things like ooze mephits and other gooey beings that nonetheless are solid and/or have more developed anatomies )
3.       Not necessarily associated with an elemental plane (ruling out water elements and the like)
4.       Some capability of response to external stimuli (even if it’s dropping on somebody’s head)

If the potential Snob is a real Snob, then we can begin the classification process proper.  We have a checklist for each classification that must be gone through in the following order.
1.       Slime
2.       Jelly
3.       Ooze

Do not proceed to a later check list until you have determined the Snob fails to meet the criteria of the current classification you are examining. (Don’t continue to Jelly until you’ve determined the Snob is not a slime, and don’t continue onto ooze until you have determined the Snob is not a slime nor a jelly.)

The following entries provide names, examples, general characteristics (not taxonomy criteria), and finally the criteria proper.

 (Example: green slime, olive slime, flareater)

With the green slime being the prototypical example, slimes are usually parasitic and immobile. Save for dropping from ceilings, they are largely passive entities that must wait for on the wary or the foolish to get near.  Certain artificially altered slimes (example: the flareater) may be able to act and move f their own volition.
Criteria for slimes:
At least three of the below:
1.       Related to green slime
2.       Has some strange interaction with green slime
3.       Strange interaction with light
4.       Explicitly described as dropping down from ceiling as an attack
5.       Is a hazard more than a monster (immovable, can only drop from the ceiling, attach to the unobservant who step in it, or are delivered as a weapon by another creature)
6.       Multiplies by infection
7.       Resistant or immune to most attacks
8.       Can be killed via remove disease

(Examples: gelatinous cube, mustard jelly, stun jelly, slithering tracker, ochre jelly)

Jellies are generally known for having (relatively) more stable shapes but still moving of their own volition. If it jiggles when you poke it, it’s probably a jelly.
Criteria for Jellies:
Mandatory: not slime
And at least three of the following characteristics
1.       More of a stable shape (e.g. Cube, or any of those wobbly fancy colored jello, or assuming the shape of the pray as it digests it like a snake)
2.       Less fluidity (e.g. Unable to seep through closed doors)
3.       Transparent
4.       Amoeboid
5.       Some sort of movement impairment (stunning, slowing, enveloping)
6.       Related to ochre jelly

A Dragonian Blue Jelly, often erroneously referred to translated as "slime" by those untrained in Snob taxonomy. Note that the organs which seem to be eyes are not. Rather, they are designed to emit light, not receive it. In particular, hypnotic light! So whatever you do, don't look at the whites of its "eyes"!

(Examples: Crystal ooze, gray ooze)

Oozes are a general catch all term for what doesn’t fit above.  They tend to be the most mobile, being able to seep through cracks and so on while also having the ability for self-propulsion.
Criteria for oozes:
All below are mandatory for oozes, which may be considered a catch all for everything else

1.        Not belonging to either of the above types
2.    Still a Snob