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Mimics: The most fun, mischievous monsters in the manual

Content of the article: "Mimics: The most fun, mischievous monsters in the manual"

TLDR: Mimics are fun once they've been steadily introduced, and here are some ideas I seen or had for how they can be used.

In my first campaign, I never used Mimics. I was worried the players would see them as cheap tricks and "gotchas". When I started my second campaign, I decided I was going to make the most of them. I felt the best way to use them was to show them that mimics exist early on, and then start mixing them up. I'll explain how I eased them into my Mimic-filled nightmare realm, in case you need some inspiration as well.

The first one was a classic. A treasure chest randomly found in a room in a goblin den. One player unflinchingly went to open it, only to find his hand stuck. A fight of course ensued, and they survived, albeit quite shaken and haggard. Since they were only level 2, I toned down its HP a little bit. Now they know that mimics exist, and they can be dangerous. They were a little wary of chests from here on.

The next one, I gave an extremely clear hint about but deflected attention away afterwards. A ladder stood at the end of an underpass, with thick, sticky liquid coming from that end of the passage starting at the ladder's base. As they approached to investigate, I mentioned they heard some goblins and gave them broken words ("boss…loud book…"). Distracted by the sounds, one went to climb the ladder. Again, hand stuck, ladder is mimic, Mimic runs away leaving the others stuck in the pit to panic.

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At this point, they're now paranoid of everything. They enter a room and stab a dagger into the table, testing if it's a mimic. They question every chest and most inanimate objects. However, the rest of the dungeon is clear of mimics, and they finish their mission. Next up, they take a side quest, exploring some dungeon ruins. They find a chest in a room, and a ten foot pole next to it. Afraid of the chest (which is real and contains only a pink dagger), they take the pole and prod at it. Alas! The pole was in fact the mimic the whole time! I was in tears as they were going on about the clear mimic infestation while one waved their new pole-appendage around the room. At this point they can handle them fairly well, so they're more like inconvenient surprises than true threats.

While I first afraid they'd feel like cheap tricks, now to me a mimic feels more appropriate than a typical trap. While traps can be literally anywhere, requiring constant, often unnecessary investigation rolls on doors and hallways, mimics are generally more conspicuous as it's usually an animate object that you must point out. Beyond that, they are not Save-or-Suck scenarios, unlike a poison dart trap or a knockout gas canister. You can be more creative with Mimics, making them bridges or even all the coins in a chest, and not fear that the party will be insta-killed because of one bad save. Even if you are the victim, you only lose movement, nothing else, no loss of agency such as a 1min paralysis, poison, or stun. Finally, they enhance RP, encouraging investigation without boiling it down to just an Inv roll every minute.

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If you've never used a mimic, I suggest you try it. They're best early on, since they're quite weak without adjustments. However, they could be used at higher levels if you incorporate them into fights, making them look like enticing weapons such as ballistae, adding quite a shocking surprise to the middle of what should've been an easily won troll fight. Make them sentient doors with broken Common abilities. Make them the sign on the door that reads "this door is not a mimic". Make them the bed in a nice safe-room. Make them the healing potion they find right after a big fight. There are endless possibilities and they can be thrown in wherever you can imagine.

Source: reddit.com

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