Dungeons & Delvers: A Boatload of Mimics

I have a lot of adventure ideas, but I don't talk about them because I want to surprise my players. I even try to keep them a secret from Melissa when I can, but sometimes I get so excited I can't help myself. I'd been thinking on Escape From the Flesh Catacombs for awhile, but I didn't say anything until I actually ran a playtest, and the only reason I talked about it then was because I knew I wouldn't be running it for either of my regular groups anytime soon.

I'm only talking about this adventure idea because I'm actually running it right now for the Tuesday gang. I haven't thought of a good title for now, so I'm just going to call it A Boatload of Mimics. The idea is that the party is in a port city when a ship slowly drifts towards the docks. It's completely abandoned, but is otherwise in perfect condition. It stops just before crashing into the docks, and aside from gentle rocking remains in place, as if waiting for something.

When investigated there are perhaps some skeletal remains, clothes, and some personal items. There's also crates and barrels with some food and various trade goods: metal ingots, salt, spices, silk, and so on. Stuff you'd expect to find on a typical ship, mundane but useful and/or potentially valuable stuff; the main main thing are all the treasure chests brimming with gold, gems, jewelry, and art objects (maybe even a magic item or two).

Typically I figure the watch will show up, investigate the ship, and find nothing obviously bad. There's no identifying marks on any of the containers, goods, or ship, so they'll start unloading it all, and wait for the local lord or governing body to figure out what to do with it all.

Thing is, the chests, crates, barrels, and so on are all mimics, and this is all part of their plan: people take them and store them in the city, they wait until nightfall, and then proceed to venture forth and kill and devour the inhabitants. They also dissolve and absorb various objects: it both supplements their diet and is necessary for them to understand how to properly alter their bodies to accurately mimic that substance (so they can only accurately mimic wood by eating wood).

They kill and eat until sunrise, after which they become more dormant. Some will continue to move about during the day, but most play it safe: they don't want to give away their cover. Usually the townsfolk think the treasure is cursed and don't really concern themselves as to where the unadorned, unremarkable chests went. Of course by then the mimics are probably pretending to be something else: a bed, door, section of wall, random crate in a random alley, a ladder, etc.

Some link together and form a small building, or an attachment or other floor of a building. If enough find each other they can fill up the interior of a house.

Mimics can't maintain their shape, color, or texture while mobile, but only the parts that are moving revert. So, a mimic disguised as a crate can slowly creep about like a snail: the upper part will still look and feel like a crate, but the bottom part will appear pale and fleshy until it stops moving.

Some mimics are clever: they slice off the heads of a human, carefully hollow out the torso and limbs using acidic tendrils, and then crawl inside, controlling it like a gruesome skin-puppet. They use their body to replace the head, transforming exposed mass into a low hood or visored helm in case there isn't one handy. This helps them move about in plain sight so they can scout or possibly lure prey into an ambush, at least until the body begins to decay and fall apart.

When night falls they do it all again.

To make matters worse, the ship is also a mimic. A really big mimic. Kind of like a wolf spider that carries her young on her back. While everyone is panicking, she sinks beneath the waves, moving about beneath the docks, along the shore, maybe slips into the sewers if the city has that sort of thing. Her children bring her food, she gets bigger, maybe generates more mimics, and after they've eaten their fill, the townsfolk have fled, or begin to mount a defense, they regroup and vanish in search of another port.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

After months of doing other things, we turned our attention to and released The Warden. It's based on the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons class of the same name, but judging by the responses we did an excellent job converting it over.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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