Mimics are hunters that hide in plain sight, indistinguishable from everyday objects. What are some safe ways to test if that chest is just a chest?
In Dungeons & Dragons, Mimics are crafty, shape-shifting creatures that take the form of inanimate objects to lure in their prey, often leaving no safe way to tell whether the chest in the corner is really a chest or a hungry mimic. Many an adventurer, blinded by greed, has rushed for a chest only to find their hands stuck by the mimic’s adhesive skin as eyes and teeth and pseudopodia sprouted from it to attack. While a mimic’s disguise is often foolproof and indistinguishable from its surroundings, there are safe ways to tell if the chest or cupboard is full of loot or full of teeth.
In order to safely tell whether an object is a mimic, Dungeons & Dragons adventurers must consider ways to have it reveal its true form without being within a dangerous range if it does so. Many tools like DnD‘s tarokka deck and weapons like a crossbow allow for gentle (or not so gentle) probing from long distance that would cause a mimic to reveal itself. Tempting it with food may also provide results. In rare cases, mimics have evolved far enough to hold simple conversations in Common or Undercommon, so simply asking “are you a mimic?” could potentially suffice, though this solution is highly unlikely to succeed.
How To Safely Scout Out A Mimic While Playing D&D
In order to safely ascertain whether a potential source of loot is actually a source of teeth, adventurers must find ways of getting it to reveal its true form without danger to themselves. Archers or polearm users in the group could use their weapons and take a shot at the potential mimic, proving why DnD‘s best weapons are hand crossbows and polearms. This does lead to the risk of the polearm user’s weapon getting caught by the mimic’s adhesive trap, meaning unless the weapon is thrown, archery is the best way to go. There is also the possibility of tempting it with food. Throwing a juicy slab of meat from the party’s rations in front of the suspected mimic may be enough for it to reveal itself to devour the tasty offering. This may also sate the mimic enough to not be a threat while the party explores around it.
In incredibly rare cases, mimics have learned to hold basic conversations in Common or Undercommon. When dealing with such an intelligent specimen, a carefully worded question or offer could be enough to ascertain whether a party is dealing with a mimic or not, which helps show why DnD‘s bards are so popular, as they are the masters of such wordplay. In the cases that a party comes across a talkative mimic, the best way to deal with it would be through bartering food for safe passage or a silver tongued bard or paladin convincing the mimic to let the party pass without incident. These mimics may also hold valuable intelligence about the surrounding area that could be bartered for as well, so if a party stumbles across a talkative mimic, they should definitely take the time to have a conversation.
Mimics are predatory, insatiably hungry, and often animalistic. Their danger comes from their ability to blend into any surrounding, and they should be treated as one of the greater threats any dungeon could hold and make it hard to believe that the DM is not out to get the players. As shown previously though, there are ways of safely sussing out a mimic and either destroying or bypassing one altogether. Any adventuring party delving into dangerous dungeons needs to keep their greed on a leash when confronted with full-looking treasure chest or wardrobe, as that wardrobe may be trying to keep its hunger in check until it’s too late for an unsuspecting Dungeons & Dragons adventurer.