The Mimic Key (Campaign idea)


A while back while playing Hearthstone, I was messing around with the Kobolds & Catacombs board and, out of habit, I activated the board's secret feature of revealing a key in the board's bottom-left corner that, when clicked, will turn the treasure chest in the top-right corner into a Mimic.

It gave me an idea. A paranoid mage wants to protect all of his secrets, so he creates a magical key that will turn anything you use it on into a mimic that is loyal to the key's bearer, and the mimic absorbs the properties of the container it was made from (i.e., an adamantine lockbox would make a mimic that's hard to injure with physical damage).

Unbeknownst to the mage, the absorption also applies to whatever is inside the container. So when he uses the key on the lockbox he keeps one of his spellbooks and various Intelligence-boosting items in, he inadvertently creates a highly intelligent mimic with knowledge of many of his spells. The mimic kills him in his sleep, takes the key for itself, and starts creating an army of mimics under its service.

I'm looking for suggestions on what could feasibly be turned into mimics using this key. Chests and doorways are obvious candidates, but that doesn't leave much variety. Or should I simply have the mimic king alter the key so that it can be used on any object?

I thought the created mimic was loyal to the key's possessor?

Grailknight wrote:
I thought the created mimic was loyal to the key's possessor?

They're supposed to be, yes, and the mage had tested the key several times before (on empty containers) with no apparent drawbacks. The thing is, a typical mimic only has 10 Intelligence, whereas the mage's killer ended up with a significantly higher Intelligence because of the items that were inside the container used to make it. Basically, its enhanced mind allowed it to think through the compulsion it was under and break free of the control.

If it were me, I'd just stick to containers. This still leaves A LOT of variety

1. Flasks: Diminutive sized mimics that have one use of whatever was inside of them. Alchemist's Fire for example allows the mimic to suddenly animate and spit a 1d6 fire blast, where as a flask of oil could literally light itself ablaze and grapple.

2. Barrels: Small sized mimics with wooden qualities - vulnerable to fire, buoyant, deliver +1 damage on Slam attacks. For extra fun, consider what a wizard would keep an entire BARREL of and go nuts.

3. Spell books: consider that a spell book is container in that it has a strap and a lock, and contains spells. These tiny-sized mimics aren't as intelligent or personally assertive as their king but they ARE able to access 1 or two of the spells within them as SLAs a couple times per day.

4. Pouches, bags, or backpacks: devourerers anyone?

There's a ton of different ideas here. The biggest thing to consider is: why? What is motivating the newly-sentient mimic king to make a wizard's lair full of mimic-kin? I mean obviously because they're all loyal to him, but what end is he going to put them to?

I ask b/c depending how long ago the Mimic King rose to power, you could have a whole campaign setting of truly frightening horrors. Imagine if the flask-mimics got out and were able to breed true after several generations. Now these insidious creatures have insinuated themselves into mortal society and act as the spies of the mimic king.

People everywhere are afraid of their own homes. Their front door might eat them, their covered cauldron over the fire might instead boil their loved ones and even the bottles in their cupboards might gnaw their faces off!

Then again, perhaps the king is brand new, but still established enough that some of his mimics are generals, capable of taking levels. If a dungeon door animated and suddenly the mimic was a monk 3 with Feral Combat Training and flurrying with Bite and Slam attacks, the fight just got a whole lot harder.

Those are some devious ideas ._.
I was considering having him come up with a way to turn suits of armor into mimics as well (highly-mobile Mimic Knights?) but I haven't come up with a feasible way to do that yet.

His end goal would be establishing himself as some kind of supreme overlord, likely out of spite that "a mere mortal" would dare use his kind as menial servants.

Give the king a failsafe: a keyhole built into the floor of his main chamber. That way, if things are going south he can animate the entire room (or even the entire dungeon!) as a colossal mimic!

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