Friday 31 August 2018

Welcome to The Mimic's Arms (An Inn That Will Make You Crazy)

Here's an idea for a module.

Scouts, roadwardens, travellers, or what have you report horrible shoggothy monsters attacking an isolated coaching inn, tearing it apart and slaughtering everybody within. They report a team of mighty heroes (bedecked in magic items and other loot) fighting the shoggothy monsters, and being defeated.

The PCs might go to investigate the ruins, perhaps to loot the fallen heroes.

Only there aren't ruins. The inn is intact, the people have no idea what you're talking about, what monsters? Everything is fine.
Except they aren't. Maybe the PCs have been here before, and the interior is different, the staff are gone and replaced with totally different people. Things seem off.
And then when you turn to leave, the door isn't there anymore.

So what's happened?

It's mimics. The staff are dopplegangers, the furniture is mimics, the windows have see-through mimics instead of glass. A flame-mimic burns cheerfully in the fireplace.

Once the PCs wise up it's a pretty simple dungeon to explore, full of lurking monsters in disguise. The frustrated cry of 'god dammit, not the stairs too!' should be heard at least once.

The loot you found? Small mimics. The 'heroes'? Those were dopplegangers, their fall was bait to encourage more heroes so the shapeshifters can steal their appearances too. Escape the inn, and guess what, your horses have been replaced. And those trees? Mimics.
On the other hand, the actual blob-monster they find is a stuffed trophy killed by the inn's founder in his adventuring days, and totally harmless.
Do not, under any circumstances, let the party split, for obvious reasons.

This should play out like a comedy of errors, a bizarre farce where nothing is as it seems. It should be totally ridiculous. 


  1. I like the idea of a mimic horse. Adventurers will go to way more prey than the mimic would naturally get waiting in a dungeon. And I love the idea of the party fighting goblins and looking around and half the goblins are gone and the horse’s stomach is bulging.

  2. This seems like an interesting concept, but wouldn't it get kind of annoying after a while? I guess it could work, but you would really have to sell the utter lunacy of the situation.

    1. >wouldn't it get kind of annoying after a while
      Seems like a small dungeon.

  3. Perhaps you could have one of the PCs actually be a Doppelganger. It might be arranged beforehand with one of the players who can play it straight and keep a secret. Or, you can go "Blade Runner" / "Total Recall" with it and have the PC be a Doppelganger who has gone "deep cover" and forgotten what they really are - at least until the other Doppelgangers reveal the truth.

  4. One of my favorite sessions involved some heavily foreshadowed Doppelganger intrigue. Before the session started, I took each player individually to another room and asked them if they'd like to play a Doppelganger for bonus XP this session, letting them know that I needed at least one more taker to make everything work and that I already had one. If they could make it through the session without getting revealed their character would gain a level.

    Play included a lot of innocuous notes to everyone to ratchet up the paranoia. Periodically taking players aside again as well. I used a lot of suspicious "hand signals" and asked "are you sure?" a lot more than usual. Party tension was at an all time high, but cooperation was necessary to accomplish some long-running goals.

    No one ended up taking me up on the offer.

    There were no Doppelgangers.

  5. I ran this exact concept about two years ago in my home campaign, except the entire inn was a mega-mimic filled with smaller mimics and one doppleganger bartender. Called it "The Wandering Monster", cause it could get up on spindly legs and chase after the party.

    The thing I didn't nail down great was the hook. Gotta be a spicy hook to get players to walk into a death trap.