awhile back, in The Bizarre, I wrote about the strangest monster I’d ever come across, the creeping coins from Wizardry. Now Coyote has a post on equally-improbable critters that lurked in D&D.

It’s odd I hadn’t thought about them myself, especially as those he mentions also turned up in ZAngbandTK. ZTK has mimic types galore. Chest mimics, floor mimics, wall mimics, door mimics, even potion mimics. Even with that bunch, I think I missed a few, as it’s been some time since I played the game.

And well do I remember the killer floors from Ultima III. They gave me a hard time until I realized it was the very floors that were attacking.

On the other hand, I can’t recall any time from live gaming where the party ran into a chest mimic, a lurker above or below, a cloaker or a piercer. Possibly the DMs rightly regarded these as just a bit too much. I didn’t use any of them myself, either.

Fortunately, stuff like that doesn’t usually turn up in the typical RPG (outside of Rogue-likes, apparently). I don’t remember them in any of the D&D (or AD&D) based games. Or others (aside from U3).

I wouldn’t want to see them, either. Maybe as a one-time event; that could add a little spice to the game. But having a bunch of such critters, as Coyote rightly points out, would soon reduce the game to boredom. You’d have to creep along, a step at a time, never knowing if the next square, or the wall, or the door, would suddenly grow sharp teeth to munch you. Or the ceiling drop on your head to smother you.

The “DM’s Special” on Coyote’s blog