The Cat Box
The cat box is a species of mimic that has adapted its hunting strategy to take advantage of a humanoid’s weakness for cute and vulnerable creatures. Instead of waiting patiently for prey to happen upon it by chance, it actively draws prey to it by mimicking the sound and appearance of an abandoned box of kittens. When a creature opens the box, instead of a litter of kittens, they find a monstrously-sized cat’s head at the end of an unnaturally long neck. Its mouth is big enough to wrap around an adult humanoid’s body, and, once it does so, it pulls its prey wholely into the box, which is larger on the inside than its outward appearance would suggest.
The holes in the sides of the box are for its dozen-or-so cat-like arms. Staring into a hole prior to opening the box is one way of identifying this creature, as no matter how much light is shined into a hole it depicts only an inky darkness.
When hunting a cat box, under no circumstances should a party attempt to surround it, as its cat-like arms strike in all directions at once. Unlike classic mimics, a cat box is extraordinarily speedy, and can easily rush down prey or escape pursuers. Since it can swallow only one prey at a time, it is possible for someone to save a swallowed creature by opening the box, reaching into the darkness of its interior body, and extracting the swallowed creature from within. But time will be short, as its corrosive stomach acids will quickly kill within a few rounds.
However, if one has access to resurrection magic, then it may be worthwhile to track down a cat box long after it has killed its prey, as after its initial burst of corrosive stomach acid it will secrete a less acidic acid in order to slowly and steadily digest its prey over the course of the next several days. During the digestion process, the cat box will periodically regurgitate any materials harmful to it, such as metal. On some occasions, cat boxes have been successfully tracked down and killed by following its trail of regurgitated items.
Cat Box (Mimic)
Medium monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 38 (7d8+7)
Speed 40 ft.
|13 (+2)||15 (+2)||12 (+1)||5 (-3)||12 (+1)||13 (+1)|
Skills Deception +5
Damage Immunities Acid
Condition Immunities Prone
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
False Appearance (Object Form Only): While the cat box remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary cardboard box.
False Voice (Object Form Only): While the cat box remains motionless, its voice is indistinguishable from an ordinary kitten’s.
Trickster’s Quarry: A creature who attempts to open the box while unaware of the true nature of the cat box becomes surprised until the end of their next turn.
Scratch Fever. The cat box makes a scratch attack against each creature of its choice within 5 feet of it.
Scratch. +5 to hit: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8+2) slashing damage.
Bite and Swallow. Melee Weapon Attack:* +5 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 8 (2d4+3) piercing damage, and the target is grappled and restrained. When the grapple ends, a creature is no longer restrained. On a subsequent turn, the cat box can as an action attempt to pull a grappled medium-sized or smaller creature into its box. The creature must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or else be pulled into the box. While inside the box, a creature is blinded, incapacitated, and restrained, and takes 7 (2d6) acid damage at the start of each of its turns. At the start of each of its turns, a creature can make a DC 13 Strength saving throw, freeing itself on a success and landing in an adjacent empty space.
Art: Cat Box by /u/Doodlehound93
Statblock by /u/Leuku
Post Source Inspiration
Cat Box artwork was commissioned for Mage Hand Press. I have no affiliation with Mage Hand Press.