Mimic: Dark Souls PTSD

Sometimes a chest is just a chest, but don’t bet on it.

X the Mystic’s 3rd rule of dungeons survival

After years of playing From Software games, just saying the word mimic is enough to increase my heartrate. So this should be fun.

Lore: When the Loot Swings Back

Shapeshifting predators, mimics often reside within dungeons in the form of chests or doors, as those are what most often lure in prey. They can change their skin to resemble wood, stone, or even metal, to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. When the trap is sprung, they secrete a vile adhesive to trap their victim. Not all mimics are hunters, however; some are intelligent enough to hold conversation, and these will let travelers pass without incident in exchange for information or food.

While not good for the basis of a quest, be it a mainline story or a sidequest, this can make for a fun encounter. You could go simple and just have the mimic lure in and attack the party. Or you could turn it into a fun little NPC to give the players a bit of advice partway through a dungeon. It ain’t much, but it’s fun!

Design: An Old Classic

Remember that monster book from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Yeah, it’s basically that, but it’s a chest.

I can’t decide if it’s kinda cute or absolutely horrifying, is that weird?

It isn’t the most original design of the lot. Mimics are a staple of fantasy, after all. What you see here is pretty much exactly what you expect. It’s like a cuter version of what you might find in one of the Dark Souls games.

What it lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in quality. I love how gross the creature looks, like its whole body is made of clay that it’s shaped into the form you see before you. You can even see the bottom of the chest lifting, hinting at some kind of feet to help this little bastard move and attack you. And the way its face melts the wooden disguise, all of it is just perfect.

Overall, this is a mid design. Not original, but certainly well-executed. Now it all boils down to…

Stats: Hungry Little Trap

Wow. This really is a Dark Souls monster!

The mimic itself isn’t particularly durable. Its immune to acid damage and you can’t knock it prone, sure. But its AC is fairly low and its HP is mid at best. Actually killing it won’t be all that hard.

Neither of its two attacks do all that much damage. The bite attack has a bit of added acid damage, but it still isn’t especially dangerous. Its Pseudopod attack, however, does have the added effect of Adhesive.

We’ll get to that in a bit. First, let’s talk about Shapechanger. This does exactly what you’d think for a mimic. Then there’s False Appearance, which makes it impossible to detect when its sitting still; not a useful ability during combat, but it can help it prepare an ambush. Finally, the Grappler ability gives it advantage on attack rolls targeted at enemies it has grappled.

Now, let’s talk about Adhesive. While in object form, the mimic sticks to anything it touches. Anyone who gets touched by this is grappled and have disadvantage on the escape roll. In order for this to activate, the target must be hit by the Pseudopod attack. Once they’re grappled, however, they are left extremely vulnerable to its bite attack.

This combination is fairly dangerous for an early game party. It’s fairly easy to escape, sure, but if you’re unlucky (like me) it could be devastating. Aside from that, however, the fight is your typical D&D slugfest: hit it ’till it dies.

Placement

For such a beloved monster, the mimic is fairly disappointing. Its lore makes for a fun little encounter, but nothing more. Its design is well-executed, if unoriginal. Its stats are fine, but far from exceptional. It is a mid-tier monster in every sense.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Mimic on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Sea Hag
  14. Lamia
  15. Bronze Dragons
  16. Brass Dragons
  17. Copper Dragons
  18. Gold Dragons
  19. Chuul
  20. Kuo-Toa
  21. Gibbering Mouther
  22. Kraken
  23. Intellect Devourer
  24. Chimera
  25. Death Knight
  26. Fomorian
  27. Bone Devil
  28. Dracolich
  29. Faerie Dragon
  30. Lich
  31. Magmin
  32. Kobold
  33. Kenku
  34. Hobgoblins
  35. Night Hag
  36. Green Hag
  37. Ankheg
  38. Hook Horror
  39. Storm Giant
  40. Hill Giant
  41. Empyrean
  42. Efreeti
  43. Grimlock
  44. Dao
  45. Cloud Giant
  46. Manticore
  47. Drow (all four of ’em)
  48. Shadow Demon
  49. Marilith
  50. Drider
  51. Aarackockra
  52. Azer
  53. Demilich
  54. Spectator
  55. Hydra
  56. Marid
  57. Harpy
  58. Werejackal
  59. Half-Dragon
  60. Cambion
  61. Fire Giant
  62. Animated Armor
  63. Banshee
  64. Basilisk
  65. Yochlol
  66. Bulette
  67. Cloaker
  68. Darkmantle
  69. Doppelganger
  70. Ghoul and Ghast
  71. Ettin
  72. Medusa
  73. Pit Fiend
  74. Erinyes
  75. Chain Devil
  76. Bearded Devil
  77. Barbed Devil
  78. Spined Devil
  79. Ice Devil
  80. Mimic <———————-
  81. Djinni
  82. Merrow
  83. Nalfeshnee
  84. Glabrezu
  85. Chasme
  86. Grell
  87. Barlgura
  88. Horned Devil
  89. Balor
  90. Shadow Dragon
  91. Werebear
  92. Lizardfolk
  93. Vrock
  94. Dretch
  95. Gnolls (all three)
  96. Goristro
  97. Hezrou
  98. Manes
  99. Frost Giant
  100. Weretiger
  101. Werewolf
  102. Duergar
  103. Quasit
  104. Dryad
  105. Flumph
  106. Goblin
  107. Wereboar
  108. Wererat
  109. Githyanki
  110. Planetar
  111. Imp
  112. Clay Golem
  113. Flameskull
  114. Displacer Beast
  115. Carrion Crawler
  116. Githzerai
  117. Grick
  118. Invisible Stalker
  119. Rug of Smothering
  120. Bugbear Chief
  121. Bugbear
  122. Flesh Golem
  123. Vine Blight
  124. Twig Blight
  125. Needle Blight
  126. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  127. Bullywug
  128. Hellhound
  129. Ettercap
  130. Gas Spore
  131. Cockatrice
  132. Lemure
  133. Homonculus
  134. Merfolk
  135. Solar
  136. Deva
  137. Gorgon
  138. Hippogriff
  139. Griffon
  140. Cyclops
  141. Centaur
  142. Ghost
  143. Fire Elemental
  144. Water Elemental
  145. Air Elemental
  146. Stone Giant
  147. Deep Gnome
  148. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  149. Iron Golem
  150. Stone Golem
  151. Earth Elemental
  152. Galeb Duhr
  153. Helmed Horror
  154. Flying Sword
  155. Crawling Claw
  156. Violet Fungus
  157. Shrieker
  158. Gargoyle

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