Sometimes it’s obvious. Would there really be a treasure chest in the middle of such an unremarkable room, just begging you to open it? Please. Other times it’s almost impossible to tell. There will be an imperfection in the shape if you’re lucky, maybe a misplaced link of chain on the side or a wood grain that seems just slightly off. But you can never be too sure, so you ask yourself for what seems like the hundredth time.
Is it a mimic?
These days we just want to know if a treasure chest is going to sprout teeth and swallow us whole, but more than 40 years ago, identifying a mimic was a much harder problem. They weren’t just treasure chests, and they weren’t always mindlessly hungry for the flesh of adventurers. Some could speak and even bargain. Others would attack anything on sight. Some would grow to be the size of houses, others content to live as doormats. Or walls, floors or clothes. Toilets.
Mimics have appeared in…