A Sense of Immersion: Mimics

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Image credit goes to the 5e Monster Manual, unknown artist.

If you’ve ever played an RPG before, It’s incredibly likely you’ve run into a Mimic, whether you knew it or not.

Origins of Mimicry
The Mimic is an absolute classic D&D monster, and has been around since the beginning of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons way back in the 1977 Monster Manual.  It was a bane of players then, and it’s a bane of players now. The Mimic is a mysterious purple critter with glue-secreting skin that allows it to stick to anyone who decides to touch it. This, coupled with its ability to shapechange into any object it likes. Doors, pillars, treasure chests, trash cans, bookshelves, beds, coffins, and even unlit chandeliers can be Mimics!

The trademark Mimic transformation is that of a treasure chest. This means that greedy adventurers and thieves can be caught and eaten fairly easily, as it’s impossible to tell if a treasure chest is a Mimic ahead of time just by looking at it. But what if the Mimic is just carrying around her babies inside her? The sword, the helmet, and the book are all Mimics! Mimics also cannot digest anything that isn’t organic, so a Mimic could eat a hero and have their stuff left over in its chest form as enticing bait for the next group of fools.

Before
A Mimic is indistinguishable from other normal items while it is completely still. This leads its prey to it. This is a tactic often used by carnivorous fly traps in our world. Look enticing; sit still; eat whatever touches you.

Picture a torch-lit room with beautiful wood furniture, velvet drapes over the mantle, and a golden chandelier. In the middle of the room is a chest. While it looks solid wood and metal, the chest that lies before you is enticingly placed with a slight opening in the lid showing the gold inside it. You grab your ten-foot pole, because you’ve run into this sort of thing before, and lightly prod the box. You feel a heavy thunk on the other end, and you and the rogue exchange a confused look. It certainly sounds real! You prod the carpet underneath, you prod the chairs nearby, and you prod all the furniture in the room. Your caution turns to glee, and you rush forward to grab what lies inside.

During
In your urgency and greed, you completely forgot about the chandelier. It wasn’t at the forefront of your mind, but why would a torch-lit room need a chandelier?

Suddenly you hear the Rogue scream and you turn around as the chandelier drops on her. She’s trying to stab it, but her arms and legs and hair are all caught up in the gunky adhesive skin of the Mimic. You pull an axe and chop downwards, but it just sticks deep into the Mimic’s flesh with a schluck noise and stays there. You go to kick it but your leg sinks into its flesh too. The feeling is not unlike that of bread dough, but stickier.

The Mimic smashes you across the face with its long chain, and you blink back the bright colors and spots in your vision. The awful acidic smell is burning your nostrils and you find yourself about to pass out, until the Rogue slips out from under the Mimic and hacks it away from you.

After
Your stomach flips and you turn as the chandelier quickly melts into a purplish creature with beady amber-colored eyes and a large toothy maw, that is now dead on the floor and oozing violet blood. You and the Rogue exchange a look and begin to prod every single object in the room again with your 10ft pole.


The Mimic is far less extravagant and dramatic than any other monster I’ve discussed on here, but it is chock full of set-ups and interesting battles. Having your purse try to bite your hand off or the local fountain eat all the children who hop in for a quick dip can leads to some seriously fun and bizarre plot-hooks that all DMs will appreciate.

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Go ahead and roll a D20 to see what the Mimic is this time!

1: It’s in the middle of changing! The party walks in as the Mimic walks through the room in its normal naked purple form!

2: A large keg.

3: A painting of a chest.

4: A cute dog statue.

5: A large book of erotic fiction.

6: A bell.

7: A second doorknocker.

8: A weirdly-placed gravestone.

9: A large silver platter.

10: The handrail of a fancy staircase.

11: The towel in the bathroom.

12: The toilet in the bathroom.

13: A small fancy gazebo.

14: A gorgeous and comfortable-looking chair.

15: The trashbin. It won’t attack, it eats enough.

16: Your boot, while you weren’t looking.

17: A gorgeous helmet.

18: A fake vorpal sword.

19: A large sack shaped like a human child.

20: A bookshelf that grabs you and forces you to read to it.


Here’s another little goody for you all! Keep in mind that this is not playtested and is merely a fun little thing I whipped up. Check with your DMs before playing!

The Mimic Monster Class (5e) 

Note: You must take a Monster class in lieu of a character race, and may not multiclass until you have completed said Monster Class. 

1st Level
Monster Class Details
Hit Dice- 1d8 per Mimic level
Hit Points at 1st level– 8 + your Constitution Modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels- 1d8 (or 5) + your Con modifier per Mimic level after 1st
Ability Score Improvement- +2 Strength, +1 Constitution
Alignment- Neutral
Size- Medium
Speed- 15ft
Languages- Common, Undercommon
Senses- Darkvision 60ft.
Skill Proficiencies- Pick two from Stealth, Survival, Perception and Performance.

Class Features
Natural Armor- The Mimic receives +1 to its AC.
Shapechanger- The Mimic can use its action to polymorph into an object or back into its true, amorphous form. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies. The Mimic can only polymorph into an object that is considered medium size or smaller. Examples include but are not limited to: a chest, a door, a sword, a barrel, a coffin, a vase, a table, a chandelier, or a book.
Bite- Melee Weapon Attack, Range: 5ft, Damage: 1d8 + Strength Modifier (Piercing).

2nd level
Class Features
Condition Immunity– The Mimic cannot be knocked Prone.
False Appearance (Object Form Only)- While the mimic remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary object.
Pseudopod– Melee Weapon Attack, Range: 5ft, Damage: 1d8 + Strength (Bludgeoning). 

3rd Level
Class Features
Damage Immunity- The Mimic is immune to all forms of Acid Damage.
Adhesive (Object Form Only)- The Mimic adheres to anything that touches it. One Huge or smaller creature adhered to The Mimic is also grappled by it (escape DC = 10 + Strength Modifier). Ability checks made to escape this grapple have disadvantage.
Attack Upgrades- Bite attacks now also deal an extra 1d8 Acid damage, and Pseudopod attacks while in object form subject the target to Adhesive.

 

I've been a huge fan of RPGs for the longest time now. Dungeons & Dragons has become my favorite hobby, and connected me with all sorts of people all over the world. I hope I can make your experience with the game just as good, if not better, than mine!

3 thoughts on “A Sense of Immersion: Mimics

  1. Ah, the mimic. For when you want your players to be afraid of everything, forever. Frankly, having players say “I prod (insert item here) with my 10 ft pole” gets a bit old.

    Like

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