Mind over Mimic

Written by ZeConster

(A D&D 5th Edition adventure for a party of level 3 - 5 characters)  

Introduction

As you wake, you find yourself in a tavern. That in itself is not unusual. Several things, however, are:
  • Aside from those at your table, who all look as if they just woke up themselves, there is no one in the room.
  • There are 3 doors next to each other against one wall, and no other doors.
  • You do not remember ever setting foot in this place.
Before you have a chance to ponder your situation, a cheerful voice comes from the ceiling. "Goooood morning, adventurers! Now that you've all woken up, I hope you're ready for the contest of your lifetime: Mind. Over. Mimiiic!"
  (Proficiency: Arcana: Those of you who know a thing or two about wizards feel a shiver down their spine as they realize what's going on: you've been kidnapped by the dreaded Game Master.)
     

The Scenario

The adventurers have been kidnapped by an evil wizard, and have no choice but to play his game if they wish to escape.    

The Goal

The Game Master's game is quite simple: find the objects in the rooms that are not Mimics, and obtain the 9 hero tokens (small metal coins with the Game Master's face printed on one side and the object itself on the other) hidden within.   Once all 9 hero tokens have been brought into the final room, the three contestants who gathered the most hero tokens will get to collect their prizes, and the party will be allowed to leave... or will they? *dramatic thunder*    

Hero Tokens and Mimics

Each room consists of a brief visual description, some details, and (with the exception of the prize room) a table with four categories of objects. For each group of objects, only one (roll a d6 beforehand for each category to determine which one) will be real; the rest are Mimics of the determined size.   There are two ways to obtain a hero token from inside a real object:  
  • Hold it and succeed at a DC 10 Intelligence (Investigation) check to figure out the mechanism to open it.
  • Succeed at a DC 10 (15 for the statues and pedestals) Strength check to smash the object to bits.
  Neither the Mimics nor the hero tokens are magical, and Detect Thoughts does not work on Mimics.   For the doors in the first two rooms rules are slightly different. Roll a d6: on a 1 or 2 the left door is real, on a 3 or 4 the middle door, on a 5 or 6 the right door. The other "doors" are Medium-sized Mimics. A real door will open to a magic portal which allows you to travel to the next room and back, while the Mimic doors will have nothing but wall behind them.   A stat block for the different Mimic sizes is included at the end.   NOTE: the Game Master has treated the floors and grass with a special antiadhesive; as a result, the Mimics are able to move around in their Object Form. They will still, however, stick to objects and each other.    

Mimic Behavior

The Mimics follow the game's rules:  
  • If someone touches them, they will enter combat.
  • If they are attacked, even from a distance, they will enter combat.
  • They enter combat immediately after whoever provoked them (same initiative value).
  • They will not help out other Mimics in combat if they themselves have not been provoked yet.
  • During combat they will attack the player closest to them (exception: door Mimics will attack whoever is closest to the real door, if possible).
  This means spellcasters and other ranged attackers have an advantage when it comes to combat; on the other hand, if you shoot an arrow at an object and it does not fight back, whoever's closest can try to nab the medal in it before you can!      

Rooms

The hero tokens are hidden in two of the rooms; the third room is used to deposit them.    

The Tavern

This room almost feels like a real tavern, except it's too clean and the furniture too sparse (you'd expect stools at the bar). Lights in the ceiling make the torches on the walls feel superfluous. Six unlabeled beer barrels with faucets stand against the wall behind the bar.
The tables aren't Mimics and don't contain hero tokens; the same goes for the chairs at the large table the players start at.   Note: since the Mimics are adhesive, you could flip the small tables (through a DC 10 Strength check) to determine which of the mugs are Mimics.  
 

The Garden

As you exit the portal, you find yourself in a sunlit garden. To your left is a fancy wooden table with six chairs that look almost like thrones, while in front of you tall - and meticulously maintained - hedges block your sight. To the left and right of the gap, glowing letters spell "HedgeMimic Maze of DOOM!".
  (Perception 15: As you focus on the hedges, you see they cut off unnaturally at about 15 feet up, the same height as the outer walls. It seems this place may have a ceiling after all.)
The table is too heavy to flip and does not contain a hero token. The teapot contains a hero token.   The hedge maze will make ranged attacks on the Mimics more difficult, but the hedges are nonmagical, so the players can prune or destroy them to clear a line of sight and effect, if they so wish (although the Game Master will loudly protest the vandalism).   The "sky" is actually an illusion cast on a ceiling of smooth stone, 15 feet up. As such, it is not possible to climb over the hedges.   As the pedestal and statue Mimics are separate entities, their Adhesive trait complicates things:  
  • It is not possible to use a Strength check to destroy a real statue or pedestal if it is attached to a Mimic; trying to do so will provoke the Mimic.
  • A provoked Mimic that has to chase a target will use their action to Polymorph back into its true form.
  • If a provoked Mimic that tries to chase a target is attached to another Mimic, it will only be able to move at half its speed during its turn. After its turn, the second Mimic will immediately join combat as well, and also use its action to Polymorph back into its true form.
  As an added touch of cruelty, the doorknob of the real door in this room is a Tiny Mimic. In addition to the usual Mimic behavior rules, the first person to touch this Mimic with their hand must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 6d6 poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.  
 

The Prize Room

You find yourself in a room with stone tiles. Pedestals with bowls are on both sides, with glowing names written on the walls above them, separated by iron fences with what looks like glass inbetween the iron. A large iron gate blocks the back half of the room.   At the back of the room, you see a large door with what appear to be six key holes in it, and nine glowing symbols above. The symbols appear to be icons of the objects you've encountered.
The iron fences and glass lining block line of effect (but not line of sight), and are immune to nonmagical damage. The iron gate's lock is magical.   The bowls will each have the name of a single contestant written above them; when a hero token is placed in a bowl, the token will vanish, and the corresponding symbol on the final door will change from red to green.   Once the ninth hero token is placed in a bowl, everyone not in the prize room will be instantly teleported to it, and the entrance portal will disappear. After that, the Game Master determines the top three contestants (ties are resolved in favor of whoever placed their final token first; 0 points means you get no prize), and the prize ceremony starts. What happens next depends on whether the players worked together to defeat the game, or competed to defeat each other.    

Competitive

As the ninth symbol on the door turns green, triumphant music plays. "Congratulations, contestants!" the Game Master shouts. "You have successfully completed this game, so put your weapons down - no more player-versus-player allowed! And now it's time for the best part: the prizes!"   With that, three large open chests appear in the last part of the room: bronze on the right, silver on the left, and gold in the middle.   (If only two contestants scored points: "But sadly, not enough of you scored points, and I shall not reward mediocrity." With a sudden flash of light, the bronze chest vanishes.)   (If a single contestant scored all 9 points: The silver and bronze chests vanish in a flash of light as quickly as they appeared, and the Game Master's voice turns mocking. "Really, dear winner? Couldn't share just a little with the other contestants? Shame on you. I'll be keeping the second- and third-place prizes.")   The gate blocking the back part of the room opens soundlessly. "Now then, time to get your just desserts."
The Game Master will allow the prize-winners to retrieve their prizes in order, last to first. The contents of the chests are as follows (each medal has the Game Master's face printed on it):
  • Bronze: 1000 silver coins and a bronze medal.
  • Silver: 500 electrum coins and a silver medal.
  • Gold: 1000 gold pieces, a gold medal, a keychain containing six magical keys, and a necklace with a crystal that glows an ominous red (the Amulet of Mimic Detection, as described in the sidebar).
The first time a contestant tries to rob another contestant or loot a chest that doesn't correspond to their rankings, they'll be targeted by a Magic Missile spell (level 1, attack bonus +10) and receive a verbal warning from the Game Master. All attempts after that will result in a Fireball (level 3, save DC 18).   Although the bronze and silver chests are regular chests, the gold chest is actually a Large Mimic, who will make a Bite attack against the winner the instant they step within range. All Perception checks during the first round of combat are made with disadvantage due to the Game Master's maniacal cackling distracting people.   Attacking the Mimic before it reveals itself will also result in it entering combat, although the Game Master will simply boo loudly at his failed deception.
  The door in the back has six magical locks, each of them corresponding to one of the magical keys. Opening it will reveal a portal that will transport anyone who steps into it back to where they were before the Game Master kidnapped them.    

Cooperative

As the ninth light on the door turns green, sad horn music plays. The Game Master's voice is filled with disgust. "Congratulations, you've beaten my contest. Hurray."   Three large open chests appear in the last part of the room: bronze on the right, silver on the left, and gold in the middle.   "Third place, second place, and first place. Keys to the exit are in the first-place chest. Oh, and that chest is also a Mimic."   The gate slams open, and the center chest sprouts teeth as eight red eyes appear in its lid.   The Game Master speaks one last time, menacingly. "KILL THEM."
The chests have the same contents as in the competitive scenario, but the Mimic chest will immediately attack the party: roll initiative normally. No punishment is given for trying to loot a chest you didn't earn.    

Secret ending

Casting Knock once on the gate and once on each of the six locks on the door in the back will also allow the contestants to escape, without having to finish the game. Although the Game Master will protest loudly, he will be secretly pleased: each escaped contestant will find a bag containing 1000 gold coins waiting for them at some point in the next week (one of the coins in each bag is actually a Tiny Mimic).

Playing the Game Master

The Game Master is a sadistic wizard, who kidnaps people to make them play cruel games.   In Mind over Mimic, he wants the contestants to turn on each other, only for the winner to have to beg the others to save them from the treasure chest Mimic. He will loudly cheer on betrayal and selfishness (if a successful Sleight of Hand check is made to steal a hero token from another player, but the result isn't 20 or higher, the Game Master will notice it and make a cryptic remark about it).   On the other hand, if the party works together, he will grow increasingly sullen, and reveal the final twist before the 'winner' can be attacked by the Mimic.  

No escape

The rooms are actually miniature dimensional planes: breaking through the floor, walls, or ceiling (all a foot thick) will reveal an empty void. The only way out is through the portal in the prize room.  

Initiative

Since the players will probably go in and out of combat, you should only roll for Initiative twice - at the start of the adventure, and once the chest Mimic fight begins. Until the prize ceremony, the Initiative order should remain fixed.  

Speeding things up

On average, the players will have to fight about 26 Mimics (and in the worst case, 46). If your players are slow to decide in combat, you can reduce the number of Mimics using the following methods:
  • The center doors in both rooms are actually paintings.
  • There are no statues or pedestals (or Mimics) in the dead ends in the hedge maze.
  • For the other object groups, two of the five Mimics (roll randomly) have already died of starvation (the Game Master forgot to feed them).
This will reduce the average number of Mimics to fight to about 16, and the maximum to 28.  

Amulet of Mimic Detection

Wondrous item, rare
The crystal in this amulet, normally a dull black, will glow if a Mimic is within 30 feet: green if within 30 feet, yellow if within 20 feet, red if within 10 feet. Only the closest Mimic counts for this.

Appendices

 

Mimic stat blocks

Show spoiler
Mimic
Tiny/Small/Medium/Large monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral
Armor Class: 14/13/12/13 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points: 7/27/58/102
Speed: 20/10/15/20 ft. (Tiny: climb 20 ft)
Strength: 11 (+0)/15 (+2)/17 (+3)/19 (+4)
Dexterity: 16 (+3)/14 (+2)/12 (+1)/12 (+1)
Constitution: 11 (+0)/13 (+1)/15 (+2)/17 (+3)
Intelligence: 6 (-2)
Wisdom: 12 (+1)
Charisma: 8 (-1)
Saving Throws: (Tiny: Dex +5)
Skills: Stealth +7/+6/+5/+5
Damage Immunities: acid
Condition Immunities: prone
Senses: darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
XP: 50/100/450/1100
Special Traits
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.
Adhesive (Object Form Only). The mimic adheres to anything that touches it. A Medium/Large/Huge/Gargantuan or smaller creature adhered to the mimic is also Grappled by it (escape DC 13/13/13/14). Ability Checks made to escape this grapple have disadvantage.
False appearance (Object Form Only). While the mimic remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary object.
Grappler. The mimic has advantage on Attack rolls against any creature Grappled by it.
Actions
Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +2/+4/+5/+6 to hit, reach 5/5/5/10 ft., one target. Hit 1d4 / 1d6+2 / 1d8+3 / 2d8+4 bludgeoning damage. If the mimic is in object form, the target is subjected to its Adhesive trait.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +2/+4/+5/+6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 1d4 / 1d6+2 / 1d8+3 / 2d8+4 plus 1d4/1d6/1d8/2d8 acid damage.
(Large: If the target is a Small or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or be swallowed by the mimic. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the mimic, and it takes 7 (2d6) acid damage at the start of each of the mimic’s turns.)
(Large: Fighting from Within. if the mimic takes 10 damage or more in a single turn from a creature inside of it, the mimic must succeed in a DC 21 Constitution saving throw. If it fails, it must regurgitate all swallowed creatures at the end of that turn. All regurgitated creatures fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the mimic. If the mimic dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse by using 20 ft of movement, exiting prone.)
 

Map: The Tavern

Mind over Mimic - The Tavern
 

Map: The Garden

Mind over Mimic - The Garden
 

Map: The Prize Room

Mind over Mimic - The Prize Room
  Maps made by ZeConster with Dungeon Alchemist.

Comments

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Sage RandoScorpio
RandoScorpio
12 Apr, 2022 21:54

This looks like a really fun adventure!! I like the idea of an escape room and the wizard seems like a fun NPC!

If you have the time, stop by The Ravmor River, my entry for May's waterways and river challenge. I love to hear feedback and see what others love or hate about what I've written. What do you want more of? Less of?
The Ravmor cuts through the dense Aristosa forest. Hiding terrifying monsters beneath its deep, fast currents, and ignoring forgotten legends could end the world around it.
Master frigid_lich_dnd
Frigid_Lich_DnD
15 Apr, 2022 18:05

Quite a fun adventure to lighten up the mood and have some diabolical fun with the players!

19 Apr, 2022 22:41

Mimic armies are scary. o,o I really like the details, such as the checks for realising more.

19 Apr, 2022 23:24

Mimics! What more can be said? Awesome!

Here is my River Challenge Darkwater River! Come vist my world Pangorio for exciting tales, world lore, and RPG adventures ! Hypnosium is my new world I will be trying to fill for Summer Camp ... perhaps even sooner if the muse sttrikes.
29 Apr, 2022 21:22

I love the idea of trying to pit the party against themselves - wouldn't mind to see the Game Master come up with some additional shenanigans halfway through the adventure to entice them some more. I'm not perfectly sure I get the picture, but it seems to me there would be quite a lot of mimic fights possibly - or is that not a concern here? I think it is a quite fun idea, well done.

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
30 Apr, 2022 16:05

It depends on the players, I think, but yes, on average, they'll have to fight 25 Mimics (7 of the 10 pedestal+statue Mimics, 1 of each door, 2.5 of the others, and the chest Mimic). However, the Tiny Mimics will go down with a single hit more often than not, and the Small Mimics can be ganged up on easily (and of course, at level 5 area spells can soften up a group in one go), so if the players work together, they should be able to end most fights with 0 or 1 enemy turns.   I should probably add a sidebar rule that Initiative is only rolled twice, though - once at the start, and once for the fight against the chest Mimic.

Am I my brother's keeper? No, I'm the centre-forward!
3 May, 2022 10:50

I have added guidelines for streamlining Initiative and reducing the number of Mimics to the sidebar - that should reduce the number of fights significantly.

Am I my brother's keeper? No, I'm the centre-forward!
Master Skaldiduna
Terye Stephens
30 Apr, 2022 19:33

Love the title! Fun with mimics. Now, this is something I would love to run. Visually appealing. Great job.

Fabled Legend Davina
Susanne Lamprecht
4 May, 2022 13:39

You got me right at the introduction! This is an amazing one-shot. It is well structured and easy to read through. Amazing job!

Check out WIRE, my class- and level-less d20 system here
Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
4 May, 2022 14:13

I like the mimic random location table and the simplified initiative - it can take 5 minutes to get everyone rolled sometimes lol! With this setup it just works to have an "Evil Wizard". I like the game show host vibe.

Lutra lived in the Unilynn until its end, then her son Ardelis brought her to Etonia. She knows the story behind their home, The One River.
4 May, 2022 21:25

This is fantastic! So much charm and lots of game-y elements to make things enjoyable for player and DM alike! The sidebar with your tips for speeding things up and optimally running the encounter is a great tool, impressive indeed :) I might just have to yoink that magic item for my games ;)