Beyond Chests: 12 Surprising Forms Taken by Mimics

In the endless labyrinth of the world’s dungeons, adventurers are always on the lookout for their next haul of treasure. From glistening gems to ancient artifacts, these underground vaults hold a wealth of rewards for those brave enough to venture within. But as any seasoned traveler knows, not all that glitters is gold. Among the most deceptive – and surprising – dangers that lurk in the shadowy corridors are Mimics, creatures adept at blending in with their surroundings.

Mimics are the ultimate deceivers of the fantasy world. Notorious for their shape-shifting abilities, they can transform into any object that unsuspecting adventurers might find alluring. The standard mimic, disguised as a chest or door, is a staple of the dungeon crawling experience. But these chameleons of the monster realm are not limited to these forms alone, and the variety of their transformations can be truly astonishing.

Venturing into a dungeon, your heart pounding with anticipation, you set your eyes on a seemingly innocuous object. A suit of armor, a chalice on an altar, a cozy chair by a fireplace. Your hands reach out to touch it…only to realize you’ve fallen into a mimic’s trap. With the ability to mimic virtually any inanimate object, these creatures have surprised adventurers with some truly unexpected transformations.

Imagine finding an ornate mirror in a crypt, a perfectly carved statue in an ancient temple, or a beautiful painting in a haunted mansion. As an adventurer, these could be signs of a vast treasure just around the corner. Or it could be a Mimic, ready to spring a deadly trap. Beyond the classic chests and doors, here are some of the most surprising forms ever taken by these elusive creatures.

The Candelabra Mimic

The Candelabra Mimic, also known as the Luminary Lurker, has puzzled many a dungeon explorer. Imagine walking into a dimly lit chamber, the flickering light of a golden candelabra casting dancing shadows across the room. It seems like an ordinary item, something you wouldn’t give a second thought to. Yet, just as you pass by, it springs to life, lunging at you with its newly formed appendages.

The deviousness of this mimic lies in its ability to provide the illusion of safety. Its soft, warm glow can easily convince a weary adventurer that they have stumbled into a safe haven. But the moment they let their guard down, the Luminary Lurker strikes. This ingenious disguise allows the creature to feed off unsuspecting victims, illuminating the true perils of the dungeon.

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The Book Mimic

Often found lurking in the dusty corners of ancient libraries and wizards’ studies, the Book Mimic is the bane of the scholarly adventurer. Known colloquially as the Tome Terror, it masquerades as an ancient grimoire filled with arcane knowledge. The promise of hidden secrets and powerful spells is more than enough to entice the curious scholar or wizard.

Once touched, however, the Tome Terror reveals its true form. The ‘pages’ transform into sharp teeth, and the ‘cover’ becomes a gaping maw, ready to devour the unfortunate soul who dared to disturb it. The Book Mimic’s uncanny ability to blend into its surroundings makes it a deadly surprise for those seeking wisdom in the dungeon’s depths. It serves as a chilling reminder that in the world of dungeons, even knowledge can be a trap.

The Potion Mimic

The Potion Mimic, or the Draught Doppelganger as some like to call it, presents a tantalizing promise of healing and rejuvenation. In the depths of the dungeon, a shimmering vial filled with a mysterious liquid can be a beacon of hope for a battered adventurer. Yet, when they reach out to claim their prize, they find themselves grappling with a creature that is anything but beneficial.

This ingenious mimic, capable of replicating the glow of even the rarest elixirs, lures its prey by preying on their desperation. Once in hand, the Draught Doppelganger reveals its true form, a writhing, biting creature intent on consuming its holder. This mimic is a cruel reminder that not all that glitters in the dungeon depths is a boon.

The Statue Mimic

Among the many marvels one might encounter in a dungeon, few are as awe-inspiring and as terrifying as the Statue Mimic, or as it’s ominously called, the Stonework Stalker. It stands silent and still, easily mistaken for a beautiful piece of ancient art or a tribute to a forgotten deity. But approach too close, and the statue comes to life, revealing a monstrous form beneath its stony facade.

The Stonework Stalker is a master of deception, holding its pose for what seems like an eternity, waiting patiently for a victim to come within reach. Then, with a speed belying its stone-like appearance, it strikes. This mimic serves as a stark reminder that in the dungeon, beauty can be deadly.

The Doorway Mimic

The Doorway Mimic, or Portal Predator, is the ultimate surprise for a dungeon explorer. What looks like a simple passageway to another room is actually a waiting predator. It’s an especially insidious mimic, as the concept of safety often lies just beyond the door.

The Portal Predator is content to wait, appearing as a simple wooden door, or even an elaborate gate. Once an adventurer attempts to pass through, the mimic’s true form is revealed, its gaping maw closing in around the unsuspecting individual. It’s a stark reminder that in a dungeon, every step forward could potentially be a step into the belly of a beast.

The Scroll Mimic

Lost knowledge and ancient spells beckon the unsuspecting with the Scroll Mimic, also known as the Papyrus Predator. Unfurled and inviting, the scroll seems to be an invaluable find, waiting to imbue the reader with arcane powers or forgotten wisdom. However, upon touch, the creature springs to life, its paper-thin form transforming into a dangerous adversary.

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The Papyrus Predator thrives on the curiosity and ambition that drive adventurers into the dungeon depths. Its disguise is so perfectly crafted that many victims don’t realize their mistake until they are ensnared in the mimic’s deceptive grip. The existence of the Scroll Mimic is a cautionary tale about the allure of forbidden knowledge.

The Campfire Mimic

Few things bring comfort in the chilling environment of a dungeon quite like a warm, crackling fire. Yet, the Campfire Mimic, often referred to as the Hearth Haunter, turns this symbol of respite into a nightmare. At first glance, it’s merely a welcoming spot to rest and rejuvenate, but as weary adventurers draw near, they find themselves facing a fiery foe.

The Hearth Haunter’s flames are not for warmth but are instead part of the creature’s deadly arsenal. With a sudden roar, the comforting fire morphs into a horrific beast, scorching everything within reach. The Campfire Mimic’s existence is a chilling reminder that danger can lie even within the moments of rest and comfort in a dungeon.

The Coin Mimic

Glittering gold or shiny silver usually signifies a well-earned reward for dungeon explorers. Yet, the Coin Mimic, otherwise known as the Treasure Trickster, transforms this joyous discovery into a sudden, terrifying encounter. A seemingly ordinary pile of coins suddenly turns into a slithering, biting beast, catching adventurers off guard.

The Treasure Trickster embodies the very essence of greed and the dangers it can pose. It patiently waits, blending perfectly amongst real treasures, until a hapless victim reaches out to claim their prize. Then, it reveals its deadly nature. The Coin Mimic serves as a stark warning that not every treasure is as it seems.

The Pot Mimic

Among the ordinary clutter of a dungeon, a simple pot might not seem like an unusual disguise for a Mimic. However, the Pot Mimic, also known as the Ceramic Terror, turns this mundane object into an unexpected threat. Initially appearing as just another piece of dungeon decor, this Mimic erupts into a ferocious creature when an adventurer gets too close.

The Ceramic Terror capitalizes on the habitual behavior of adventurers who often break pots in search of hidden items. Its sudden transformation from a seemingly harmless object to a dangerous opponent is a startling reminder that no corner of the dungeon is truly safe.

The Chandelier Mimic

The Chandelier Mimic, often called the Dangling Deceiver, provides a shocking surprise from above. Appearing as an ornate piece of lighting hanging innocently from the ceiling, this Mimic waits until adventurers walk beneath it to reveal its true, threatening form.

This Dangling Deceiver capitalizes on the vertical aspect of the environment that adventurers often overlook. Its position allows it to drop onto unsuspecting victims, taking them by surprise. The Chandelier Mimic reminds adventurers that danger can come from any direction – even from above.

The Statuary Mimic

In a world filled with magical constructs and animated objects, the Statuary Mimic, or the Stony Stalker, gives adventurers another reason to be cautious around beautifully crafted stone figures. At first, it appears as a perfectly still statue, often fitting seamlessly with the decor of a castle or palace-themed dungeon.

However, when approached, the Stony Stalker comes to life, catching explorers off guard as it sheds its rock-like exterior to reveal a powerful adversary underneath. The Statuary Mimic is a frightening reminder of the magic and mayhem that can lurk within seemingly innocuous works of art.

The Book Mimic

For the literate adventurer, the Book Mimic or Tome Trickster is a cruel perversion of a beloved object. An enticing book title might draw in an unwary explorer, promising knowledge, spells, or exciting tales. Instead, the book transforms into a ferocious beast, its pages becoming teeth in a gaping maw.

The Tome Trickster is an insidious reminder that even a pursuit of knowledge can have deadly consequences in a dungeon. Whether tucked into a library or seemingly dropped by a previous explorer, the Book Mimic underlines that even seemingly mundane items can hold deadly surprises in the world of dungeons and dragons.


The existence of Mimics underscores a fundamental truth of adventuring: danger is often where we least expect it. As adventurers delve into the dungeon’s depth, they must always be on their guard, knowing that any object could hide a deadly predator. These crafty creatures defy expectations, constantly reminding adventurers that the world is full of magic, surprises, and danger.

Mimics are an ingenious concept, a testament to the creativity and imagination that pervades the realm of fantasy gaming. They continue to surprise and frighten players, adding an unexpected twist to the conventional dungeon-crawling experience. Their unpredictability serves as an ever-present reminder that the world of D&D is full of surprises, and that even the most mundane objects can transform into memorable encounters.

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In the end, perhaps the greatest lesson that Mimics teach us is about complacency. They remind us that, even in a fantasy world, things are not always as they seem. The most common objects can become the most deadly, and a seemingly innocent room can quickly turn into a battle for survival.

So, the next time you decide to rest on that comfortable-looking chair in an eerily quiet room, think again. It might just have teeth. In the world of D&D, the best advice might just be this: Trust nothing. Not even the floor you’re standing on. After all, who knows what form a Mimic will take next?

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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