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Okay, obligatory "I'm a very new DM and may have missed information available to me/this might be a stupid question".

Essentially, I want to know if it's possible to create a mimic, say via a ritual or other magic. I'm thinking of creating an antagonist/villain that is experimenting with creating more and more powerful mimics to infest cities, attack travellers, sneak in to places to kill political figures or whatever.

From what I've gathered, mimics are intelligent enough that they can in theory be tamed (albeit with difficulty) provided you can feed them so I'm not too worried about that. However, I haven't found an 'official' way that mimics reproduce or come into being. A lot of people have suggested something akin to mitosis provided a mimic eats enough to amass enough energy/power, but an 'origin' isn't fully established (from what I've found).

Again, I'm very new to the game - would it be possible to kill someone and imbue their soul in to an object? Are there ways to give items life or sentience?

I would greatly appreciate suggestions in regards to sacrifices this person would have to make to construct or cast such a spell, or if there's pre-existing spells that I can use as reference or modify to work with for this character :)

I don't mind homebrewing and mine and my players' attitude so far has been fun/story over rules, but I like being able to back it up with some numbers and proper notes, so I'd really appreciate some thoughts and feedback. Thank you!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! Are you planning to let the players learn the technique, or is it strictly NPC-only? \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Apr 25 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Szega NPC-only! I doubt my players would be interested in creating them (they're relatively ethical) at most I could see them wanting to tame any remaining non-hostile mimics :) \$\endgroup\$ – Elias Apr 25 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 25 at 21:25
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Have you considered farming them?

The Monster Manual (pg. 220) doesn't give us much to go on about where Mimics come from. That means it's largely up to us to decide! They are monstrosities which the Monster Manual describes like so (pg. 7):

Monstrosities are monsters in the strictest sense- frightening creatures that are not ordinary, not truly natural, and almost never benign. Some are the results of magical experimentation gone awry (such as owl bears), and others ,are the product-of terrible curses (including minotaurs and yuan-ti). They defy categorization, and in some sense serve as a catch-all category for creatures that don't fit into any other type.

So you have some options here since the category is pretty broad. If you decided that mimics are natural enough to reproduce, all you need is two to start creating more. As the DM, you have ability to decide the details of what that looks like - are they mammals or do they lay eggs? How many offspring do they have at once? etc.

They could also be the product of magical experimentation

The description of monstrosities also leaves the door open for magical experimentation, and again it's up to you as the DM to decide what that looks like. Is it magical or alchemical or both? What materials does it require?

Or they could be the product of a spell

True Polymorph would let a high level caster turn another creature into a Mimic. Maybe they are kidnapping folks from the local village to enact their plan. Although, do note that it can still be dispelled.

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True Polymorph, concentrate for one hour. Voila!

Creature into Creature.
If you turn a creature into another kind of creature, the new form can be any kind you choose whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target's (or its level, if the target doesn't have a challenge rating). The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality.

If the creature's level or CR is higher than or equal to a Mimic's, you can do this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome Scott. This Q&A site calls for supported answers. I added support to "show by doing" . Please review tour, How to Ask and How to Answer for guidance on how to best interact on this site. You initially got a down vote from someone (the most likely cause) because you did not provide support for your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 25 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 25 at 21:29
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I want to know if it's possible to create a mimic, say via a ritual or other magic.

The monster manual doesn't say how mimics are created. This means that, as the DM, you get to decide. If you want to create an adventure in which someone is creating mimics, you're totally free to do that.

(As Scott notes, it's possible for seventeenth-level wizards to create mimics using true polymorph. You probably don't want there to be any seventeenth-level wizards in your game, unless your player characters are high enough level to fight them. I recommend not using this approach.)

would it be possible to kill someone and imbue their soul in to an object?

There are a small number of items that will hold people's souls after they die.

One example is the ring of mind shielding: "If you die while wearing the ring, your soul enters it, unless it already houses a soul. You can remain in the ring or depart for the afterlife. As long as your soul is in the ring, you can telepathically communicate with any creature wearing it. A wearer can't prevent this telepathic Communication."

There's also the Blackstaff, from the Dragon Heist adventure. (See this related question).

But if you just mean: "is it possible to kill someone and use their soul to create a magic item?" then no, as far as I know there isn't. You'd have to homebrew it.

Are there ways to give items life or sentience?

Have you seen the rules for sentient magic items?

Unfortunately these rules are sort of vague about how these items are created. (see this related question) Basically, if you as DM allow the group to discover a formula for creating a sentient magic item, they can then use the formula to create sentient magic items. If you declare that an NPC has such a formula, that NPC can then create sentient magic items.

Magic item formulas can have any material requirements you want. If you wanted, you could declare that your homebrew sentient magic item formula required someone's soul.

This would be pretty evil, of course.

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