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Monster Vault Preview: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . the mimic

Monster Vault Preview: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . the mimic

As the creators of the Creature Codex and the Tome of Beasts series, we wanted to give the same love and care for the earliest 5E monsters that we gave to our other monsters. To accomplish that, we noted a few key points we wanted for each monster:

  • Clear Identity. For each creature, we worked to answer, “What makes this creature special? How is it thematically different from other creatures of its type, terrain, or niche?”
  • Unique Features. In clarifying identity, we set ourselves up for better creating unique features. We worked to answer, “What mechanics make this creature different from other creatures? How can we fold its identity into its game mechanics?”
  • Streamlined Statistics. The most obvious change to monsters in Monster Vault comes in our streamlining of the stat block, making a monster’s statistics and features easier to parse at-a-glance. The stat block presented here should give you an idea of some of the changes we made. Compare them to the creature you’ve been using from other source!

Today’s example creature is the mimic, a shapeshifting ambush predator that frequently hides as mundane, inanimate objects.

With a creature this iconic, we wanted to keep any additions subtle and fun. My favorite part of these additions is that we made the mimic very taste focused, allowing for some interesting encounters with mimics who might prefer the metallic tang from munching on an armored fighter or who might prefer the downy fluff of biting into a feline beastkin. To add to their already great repertoire of abilities, we gave them a new reaction that allows them to protect themselves against attacks by moving grappled creatures between themselves and their attackers. We hope this makes combat with the mimic more dynamic and fun and forces players to think tactically.


A hateful crimson eye opens on the surface of the otherwise innocuous barrel. Then another eye opens, and another still. With startling speed, the barrel becomes a pseudopod-wielding horror, its toothy maw opening wide.

Shapeshifting Ambusher. The dungeon delver’s bane, a mimic is a stealthy predator that transforms itself into an inanimate object, perfectly copying the appearance of wood or stone. It typically poses as furniture, doors, stairs, and the like. In its natural form, it resembles an amorphous blob with flesh-like protrusions resembling objects it previously copied.

Deceptive Hunters. While not terribly intelligent, mimics are uncanny predators. They lurk in well trafficked areas of dungeons, wildernesses, or urban environments, assuming shapes intended to lure prey. They then use their sticky adhesive skin to trap their next meal.

Taste Focused. Mimics are supremely patient, but they are obsessed with consuming prey to relish the taste, not necessarily to sate hunger. The taste buds of a mimic’s tongue are extremely sensitive, and they gather a great deal of information with every bite.

Mimic             CR 2

Medium Monstrosity (Shapechanger)
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 58
Speed 20 ft.
Perception 11             Stealth 13
Vulnerable cold
Resistant grappled | Monstrosity Resilience
Immune acid | prone
Senses keensense 60 ft.


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.

Monstrosity Resilience. The mimic is resistant to exhaustion and to the frightened condition.


Multiattack. The mimic makes two Pseudopod attacks. If it is grappling a creature, it can replace one attack with a Bite attack.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one grappled creature. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage.

Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage. If the mimic is in object form, the target is subjected to its Adhesive trait.


Change Shape. The mimic transforms into a Large or smaller object or back into its true, amorphous form, which is a Monstrosity. 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.


Prey Shield. When a creature the mimic can see hits it with an attack while it is grappling a creature, the mimic can roll the grappled creature in front of the blow, forcing the grappled creature to take the damage instead.

The Tales of the Valiant roleplaying game comes ever closer! Over 400 classic monsters from 5E history (and some surprises)!
Want to see how else Kobold Press does monsters? Try Tome of Beasts 1 for a giant pile of monsters that are
completely compatible with 5E and the Tales of the Valiant game!

1 thought on “Monster Vault Preview: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . the mimic”

  1. I really like what you did here. You gave a mimic a natural form that ties it roughly to the slime family, but then give its classic appearance as just one option amongst many in its ambush predator arsenal. While that idea has popped up here and there, especially in homebrews, it’s nice to see it canonized. The mimic is such a classic dungeon monster that keeping it as one-trick gag monster was insulting to it.

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