Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Beware the Doppelgänger

In certain dark corners of the world, unwary travelers may meet normal-seeming folk who are anything but. These creatures are humanoid shape-shifters, able to read the surface thoughts of any creature within 500', and fit their shape to meet the expectations or needs of those they encounter. Doppelgängers seek to join groups, where they can pick off and consume group members one by one, assuming the identities of those they consume to further sow confusion.

Doppelgängers are naturally about human-sized, and can form themselves into the likeness of any humanoid from 4 feet to 8 feet tall. When imitating another creature, their bodies form to appear like the equipment and weapons of the imitated being. Should they lay down a piece of equipment, fire a missile created from itself, or be disarmed, the lost item collapses into a pile of fetid gray goo within 1d3 rounds. The doppelgänger can reabsorb this goo without harm to itself, as much as seven days from when it was shed. Similarly, a slain doppelgänger retains its chosen form for 1d3 rounds before shifting back to its base humanoid form.

A doppelgänger may change its form, and/or create a weapon as part of a move. One of the creature's favorite tricks is to attack a being, imitating them so their companions cannot track which target is friend or foe. Doppelgänger imitation is 90% accurate, which, combined with their ability to read minds, makes them hard to detect. If a doppelgänger engages in melee with a foe it is imitating, attacks against the doppelgänger have a 40% chance of targeting the imitated character. 

Although these creatures are most often solitary, groups of up to 3d4 have been known to cooperate with each other when hunting. When an adventurer goes off on their own, or an adventuring party splits, it is never certain that what returns is the same as what left.

Doppelgänger: Init -1; Atk created weapon +4 melee (1d12); AC 15; HD 4d8; MV 40’; Act 1d20; SP infravision 60', ESP, imitate, shed goo, form weapons, immune to sleep and charm spells and effects; SV Fort +8, Ref +12, Will +7; AL C.

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