RPG Adventure Hook – The Mimitation Game

  • Posted by
  • at

Crowleys-Wharf

This week: Mysterious dockside disappearances, murder most foul, and mimicry?

The moonlit docks were eerie enough without the knowledge that somewhere in the darkness, amidst the steady sound of the ebb and flow of the waters beneath, something sinister lurked. Three more “disappearances” had occurred within the last week. There was an air of menace in the fog that had drifted in off the coast. And then the darkness was full of knives.

This adventure is meant for characters of 6th-8th level. See below for details.

People have been disappearing from around the Orast docks, lately. There’s no pattern: beggars, dockworkers, even some of the Gulls–a notorious thieves’ guild–all have gone missing. The city watch is desperate for information, the Gulls are eager for revenge. The tension’s going to break, and soon. The PCs are asked to look into the disappearances, and unearth a number of secrets. But something waits for them in the dark, ancient and hungry…

dark wharf2

When the PCs are asked to look into the spate of disappearances at a local dock (whether at the behest of authorities, seedy underworld types, or just ordinary folk in need of someone who’ll go looking for something that’s gone missing). As they investigate, they learn that everyone is being affected by these. Guards have gone missing, thieves, workers, it doesn’t matter. Anyone is a potential victim.

All manner of shady dealings go down on the docks as the people try to figure out what the killer is. One disappearance seems suspicious–the second-in-command of the Gulls, the former king-of-thieves in this part of the world, has not been seen in days. Tracking down the missing thief leads the players down through the docks and on a merry chase where they are ambushed by would-be assassins, hoping to take advantage of the chaos.

But ultimately they track the missing Gull to a storehouse. There they find his remains. Inside a massive cargo container are crates and barrels and bones. The remains of the people who’ve gone missing. And there are the real culprits behind the disappearances–a colony of mimics who have been preying upon the docks.

After fighting off the mimics and finally ridding the town of this murderous menace, the PCs are rewarded, receiving thanks from the town, and in particular one of the cargo companies, who points out that they’d been waiting to move their merchandise until the docks were safe again. And now their ships, laden with cargo have left–if they look close it’s still in the harbor. But as the ship sails out of sight, the PCs will catch a glimpse of something that leaves them wondering…

Read on for more details, or skip below for all the stats you’ll need.


Disappearing Acts

Orast is a town that’s been hit hard of late. People have gone missing, and panic has begun to creep in at the edges of town. Not long ago, people started going missing. No one noticeable at first, a few beggars, or a dockworker, nothing worth brushing off as anything more than a run of bad luck.

And then the guards went missing and everyone thought it was the thieves. Then the thieves went missing and nobody knew what was happening. Notably, two members of the Gulls haven’t been seen in their usual haunts–two of the faces of the gangguild of thievesmerchants. With their disappearance, rumors have taken on a panicked life of their own–nobody knows what is going on. So the docks have been locked down. Ships aren’t leaving, trade is neither entering nor leaving.

docksstuff

As the PCs arrive in town (or perhaps they’re already there when this happens) they are, being adventurers of some note, asked to stick their noses into the matter. PC’s might be approached by one of the following:

  • A member of the town guard putting up a reward for information on one of their missing guardsmen, Antonia Devoras, who disappeared three nights ago.
  • A member of the Gulls, who might have reason to contact any roguish PCs might do so, requesting their help in figuring out why their people are missing.
  • Ragnar Vedik, local meddler/rising figure in the actual merchant’s guild might seek the PCs help in “bringing safety and solemnity back to our fair city.”

At which point they find themselves embroiled in the mystery.

Players who make a DC 14 Persuasion check will learn about the halt to shipping and that most of the disappearances have happened at the docks. And all have happened at night. Rumor has it that it was the Gulls, at first, but then two of their “friendly faces,” Edlin Alric, and Velmar the Vest–runners of the local illicit gambling/whatever ring–failed to show up for a big tournament that would’ve lined their pockets. Players will also learn that Antonia Devoras went missing on patrol–she’s one of the earliest disappearances. A local favorite around the docks. The one thing everyone knows is that the disappearances always seem to happen when people are alone.

Players who make a DC 13 Insight check will find no pattern to where the disappearances are happening. The attacks are at random. But they all are around the docks–and there are no bodies. So that means the remains are probably being disposed of or hidden.

Players who make a DC 17 Nature check will realize that the fact that no bodies have been found, and the isolated nature of the attacks seems to indicate some kind of predator. Perhaps it isn’t a killer–but a monster.

Players who make a DC 18 Insight or Persuasion check (or players who are friendly with the Gulls) will learn of another disappearance. The second-in-command of the Gulls, Arkos Treng has been missing as well–though he never ventured down to the docks. He used to run the Gulls, but lost his position as the city grew. He was once called the king of thieves around this city.

To the Storehouse

thief chase

Investigating the disappearances should lead the PCs down to the docks. Tracking the disappearances, or maybe the bizarre hunting pattern of the creature–or even just wandering around, they are attacked by thieves who are looking to take advantage of the chaos. Initially the gang might even seem to be the ones behind the disappearance. They emerge from the darkness/mist with their own murderous intention. They try and take out the PCs, but will retreat once two of their number have fallen.

The aftermath of the fight leads the PCs to a locked-down storehouse (one that’s under guard). This can be either because the assassins have lead them here in an attempt to hide, or more likely, they’ll find information about the storehouse on the dead bodies after the PCs have dismantled the ambush entirely. At any rate, the PCs find themselves at a storehouse belonging to a local mercantile company (an actual one) where goods are sitting, waiting to be used. And apparently, one where the assassins wished to flee to (a note one of them has mentions that it was a favorite of Arkos’).

Inside, they find shipping containers that have traveled the world. One is open. Inside, are the bones they’ve been looking for. Including the freshly (well relatively anyway) dead body of Arkos. If an assassin escaped, his corpse is in here as well. Bones litter the floor of this area–scattered about between a few of the large crates and mhyriad chests.

mimic normal

As the PCs approach, the crates animate and attack. The shipping container turns out to be a nest of mimics. Including two greater mimics (see below). Having been found out at last, they attempt to kill the PCs. But, assuming the PCs are victorious instead, they will clean out the mimic colony and recover valuable treasure from the remains contained within. Here are the bones, effects, and other items of the missing people.

The next day, they are hailed as heroes of the town. Ragnar Vedik presents them with a special reward of 2,500 gp, thanking them for helping reopen the port. He admits that he was sad it turned out some of his merchandise turned out to have been replaced with mimics–but, gesturing to a ship setting out to sea, he points out that he stands to make a fortune.

But as the ship disappears into the distance, safely outside of dimension door range, well past the docks–the PCs spy a familiar looking shipping container aboard. And for a moment…it has a mouth. A long pseudopod exudes for a moment. The very container they were fighting in was a mimic–an elder mimic. And it looms ominously as the ship disappears from view.

***

At this point, the adventure is over. But you better believe we’ve statted up the Elder Mimic so that you can use it as a recurring foil in your campaign. We recommend using it sparingly, maybe one night the PCs stay at an inn, stabling their horses. The next day, their horses–and the stable–are gone. The Elder Mimic strikes again.

And then no sign of it for months until the next time they lower their guard. The elder mimic is ancient, rumored to be one of the first ever created, it is patient, and it will take its time with its vengeance.


Greater Mimic

Large monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 105 (10d10 + 50)
Speed 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19(+4) 17(+3) 20(+5) 5(-3) 12(+1) 13(+1)

Saving Throws Str +7 Con +8, Wis +4
Skills Stealth +11
Damage immunities Acid
Condition immunities prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 6

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 Huge or smaller creature adhered to the mimic is also grappled by it (escape DC 13). 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

Multiattack. The greater mimic makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its pseudopod

Pseudopod. Melee weapon attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) bludgeoning damage. If the mimic is in object form, the target is subjected to its Adhesive trait.

Bite. Melee weapon attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage plus 12 (3d8) acid damage.


Elder Mimic

Gargantuan monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral

Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 225 (18d12 + 108)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
25(+7) 10(+5) 23(+6) 18(+4) 15(+2) 19(+4)

Saving Throws Str +9, Con +10, Wis +8, Cha +10
Skills Stealth +15
Damage immunities Acid
Condition immunities prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages
Challenge 15

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 Huge or smaller creature adhered to the mimic is also grappled by it (escape DC 13). 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

Multiattack. The greater mimic makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its pseudopods

Pseudopod. Melee weapon attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d10 + 7) bludgeoning damage. If the mimic is in object form, the target is subjected to its Adhesive trait.

Bite. Melee weapon attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d10 + 7) piercing damage plus 18 (6d8) acid damage.


Gang of Thieves

Recommended dosage: use 1 assassin, accompanied by 1 veteran, and 2 thugs per player.

~Happy Adventuring! And remember, nowhere is safe!

 

  • Andrew Jamieson

    What a great mission. Compact but with lots of potential for great encounters. Very cool.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Haha that is great! Reminds me of a campaign 20 odd years back where a statue was a mimic that had intelligence and wouldn’t lash out until it chose to. Waiting for someone to pry a jewel off it. Good times. I find it being a some what comical foil being perfect!

  • BClement

    Love this hook – The Elder Mimic will totally be making an appearance in my campaign!

  • euansmith

    That’s a fun idea.