Is the Doppelganger overpowered?

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Specifically, the Change Shape ability?

The Doppelganger in 4.0 is way better than the Changeling from Eberron of 3.5 (which, based off the artwork, is what they were going for). 3.5 Changeling's only got a +10 Bluff and only let you adjust your height by half a foot up or down. Now it's a +20 Bluff and you can mimic any Medium humanoid creature.

In the new skill system, a +10 would be huge; a +20 is insane. Seriously, take a look at the Insight skill for say, Orcus. Oh wait, he doesn't have it. How about Doresain, Orcus's right-hand man? Only a +24 Insight. The highest Insight I could find on a monster was the Runescribed Dracolich, a 29th level Solo Controller, and he only had a +25. I'm assuming that's the bonus he gets on a standard skill check, as I've barely read over the MM yet; if it's his total skill, he will fail against a 1st level Doppelganger with Skill Training (Bluff) and a 16 Charisma 75% of the time. Even if that's just his bonus, that same dopp, as a 29th level character who's boosted his Charisma at every level, will have a 50% chance of fooling him. Hell, he can disguise himself as Doresain and fool Orcus all of the time.

Is there something I'm missing here? I know 4e is more centered around the combat aspect of the game, but this seems to almost break social encounters. Obviously, not having certain information (passwords, cultural knowledge, the ability to speak the targets language) limits this ability, but it still seems ridiculously overpowered to me.
Um, I don't have my books, but isn't the bluff bonus situational? It's not for everything you do.
In the new skill system, a +10 would be huge; a +20 is insane. Seriously, take a look at the Insight skill for say, Orcus. Oh wait, he doesn't have it. How about Doresain, Orcus's right-hand man? Only a +24 Insight. The highest Insight I could find on a monster was the Runescribed Dracolich, a 29th level Solo Controller, and he only had a +25. I'm assuming that's the bonus he gets on a standard skill check, as I've barely read over the MM yet; if it's his total skill, he will fail against a 1st level Doppelganger with Skill Training (Bluff) and a 16 Charisma 75% of the time. Even if that's just his bonus, that same dopp, as a 29th level character who's boosted his Charisma at every level, will have a 50% chance of fooling him. Hell, he can disguise himself as Doresain and fool Orcus all of the time.

Is there something I'm missing here? I know 4e is more centered around the combat aspect of the game, but this seems to almost break social encounters. Obviously, not having certain information (passwords, cultural knowledge, the ability to speak the targets language) limits this ability, but it still seems ridiculously overpowered to me.

Since the phrase "The creature must have seen the individual it is
imitating" is pretty vague, its up to DM interpretation

If the DM requires the Doppelganger to have to go infiltrate the organization/facility etc in order to study the target extensively, that itself is very difficult

Its more powerful when the target is a public figure, but the DM could argue it doesn't work to study the target in public life to impersonate her/him in private life
Um, I don't have my books, but isn't the bluff bonus situational? It's not for everything you do.

It's only on imitating a specific person. However, I just realized that this makes it more powerful, because the default assumption is that if you imitate a random orc in a orc village, no one suspects a thing.

Also, I made a mistake in my comparison; 3.5 Changeling gave a +10 to Disguise, not Bluff. You actually had to make two checks in a lot of cases, as opposed to the one check needed in 4e.

Since the phrase "The creature must have seen the individual it is imitating" is pretty vague, its up to DM interpretation

If the DM requires the Doppelganger to have to go infiltrate the organization/facility etc in order to study the target extensively, that itself is very difficult

Its more powerful when the target is a public figure, but the DM could argue it doesn't work to study the target in public life to impersonate her/him in private life

I can't say I see anything vague about the wording. If they've seen the individual, they can imitate that person. If it said "The creature must have seen and studied the individual it is imitating", it would give far more wiggle room.
The doppelganger is really good in a game where the ability to reliably disguise yourself as someone else is useful. However, that's a rather situational ability, and most of the situations it's useful in don't make for good games unless all the PCs are doppelgangers or otherwise uber-disguise-monsters.
...unless all the PCs are doppelgangers ...

Now that would be a fun party.

The problem with dopplegangers is they have weak racial traits.
Now that would be a fun party.

The problem with dopplegangers is they have weak racial traits.

Not for feylocks
Not for feylocks

Unless you expect to get a bunch of mileage out of the disguise ability, tieflings are better.
Unless you expect to get a bunch of mileage out of the disguise ability, tieflings are better.

Agreed, but I was pointing out viable classes for dopplegangers, not viable races for feylocks
Were did you get this again?

Changlings
*+2 INT +2 CHA
*6 Square Speed
*Normal Vision
*Speeks ONLY Common
*+2 Bluff, +2 Insight
*Change shape at-will ability

so, how does that +2 stand agiants you +20? I think you really looked at doppelgangers, have you.
Were did you get this again?

Changlings
*+2 INT +2 CHA
*6 Square Speed
*Normal Vision
*Speeks ONLY Common
*+2 Bluff, +2 Insight
*Change shape at-will ability

so, how does that +2 stand agiants you +20? I think you really looked at doppelgangers, have you.

Check again, there must be some mistake... lol, dude try looking at the change shape description.
Oh, he means if I SEEN a person and tranceform into that? I see now, but thats only for his form. He stillhas to speek the language and all that of the bluff for apperence wont change the fact that he doesnt know the other stuff.

I do see it as a bit overpowered, but you honostly have to think about it, what commoner has the chance to go up to the king/lord and look at him, then tranceform into him? You'ed have to do alot of bluffing to get that high.
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=993917

Tak Tambor, master of disguise, redux?
Oh, he means if I SEEN a person and tranceform into that? I see now, but thats only for his form. He stillhas to speek the language and all that of the bluff for apperence wont change the fact that he doesnt know the other stuff.

Same skill check, and this applies.

I do see it as a bit overpowered, but you honostly have to think about it, what commoner has the chance to go up to the king/lord and look at him, then tranceform into him? You'ed have to do alot of bluffing to get that high.

No, you'd just have to see the king waving from a balcony. Or passing by in a carriage.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Now that would be a fun party.

The problem with dopplegangers is they have weak racial traits.

Actually, you can create a totally viable PC party of doppelgangers:
Defender: Charisma Paladin. Perfectly good defender.
Leader: Warlord (either type). Not the best leader, but not the worst.
Striker: Feypact Warlock
Controller: Wizard

Fitting in fifth character is a little hard, unless you allow the Dex/Cha doppelganger.
Actually, you can create a totally viable PC party of doppelgangers:
Defender: Charisma Paladin. Perfectly good defender.
Leader: Warlord (either type). Not the best leader, but not the worst.
Striker: Feypact Warlock
Controller: Wizard

Fitting in fifth character is a little hard, unless you allow the Dex/Cha doppelganger.

Why not a Swordmage? Not the best, but you do get a +2 INT, and takeing a feat to get bluff isn't to hard [looks at multiclass.]

@tsuyoshikentsu: Also, if you do do that, and the king passes when you look like him, wouldn't that be bad? They why you wouldneed to go up to his room and tie him up or somthing. Also, I know how the streets are, not the best place to look like the king.
It is relatively imbalanced and I'm surprised that it gives a +20 and not a +10, which I think should be changed in the errata. However, it is extremely situational and unless your whole team is doppelgangers it would be not that useful.

I think a Bugbear is more overpowered. +2 STR and +2 DEX (two stats with different defenses), a free encounter sneak attack that improves with level, and can use weapons 1 size larger? COME ON!
It is relatively imbalanced and I'm surprised that it gives a +20 and not a +10, which I think should be changed in the errata. However, it is extremely situational and unless your whole team is doppelgangers it would be not that useful.

I think a Bugbear is more overpowered. +2 STR and +2 DEX (two stats with different defenses), a free encounter sneak attack that improves with level, and can use weapons 1 size larger? COME ON!

Doppelganger is almost as bad. +2 INT and +2 CHA (two stats with different defenses), a At-will change that can easily let you escape from the town guard, and a +20 to Bluff checks for changing?

I just thought of somthing too. If in fact you gain a +20 if you tranceform into someone else you saw, what if you make your own image, not trying to imitate someone else, do you still gain the +20? or does that only work if your trying to imitate someone.
@tsuyoshikentsu: Also, if you do do that, and the king passes when you look like him, wouldn't that be bad? They why you wouldneed to go up to his room and tie him up or somthing. Also, I know how the streets are, not the best place to look like the king.

Here's how it goes:

1) See king.
2) Go somewhere safe/private.
3) Turn into king.
4) ???
5) Profit!
Dont forget #6

6) Then the real king walks in and you get sent to jail by his body guards, lossing any and all monsy you got.
I just thought of somthing too. If in fact you gain a +20 if you tranceform into someone else you saw, what if you make your own image, not trying to imitate someone else, do you still gain the +20? or does that only work if your trying to imitate someone.

It's a +20 bonus to your bluff (disguise) check, not a +20 bonus to bluff in general. There's no need to disguise yourself as yourself.

In any case, the doppelganger ability is quite strong for a solo character. In a team-oriented game, it's very hard to use.
Dont forget #6

6) Then the real king walks in and you get sent to jail by his body guards, lossing any and all monsy you got.

Or you order his guards to arrest him. Serious confusion there. You also have a much higher bluff modifier, so chances are you'll win that encounter.
It's a +20 bonus to your bluff (disguise) check, not a +20 bonus to bluff in general. There's no need to disguise yourself as yourself.

I mean if you want to look like an Elf, not THE Elf, but A elf, do you gain the +20 just for looking at and elf, even if you not tranceforming into them, just there race?

~EDIT~
Two things going on at once sorry

Then they ask you somthing only the king would know, and you have no idea what it is, then what?
Then they ask you somthing only the king would know, and you have no idea what it is, then what?

If only the king knows, how do they know the answer?
The Doppelganger wasn't really designed to be balanced for a PC. It's ability is really powerful, but rather situational. I think if you had a doppelganger character, it would shine in a limited number of RP situations, but I doubt they'd be common enough to break the game.

If I were designing it for a PC race, I'd probably reduce the frequency of the change shape (per encounter as a standard action would be plenty for what a doppelganger's supposed to do, and the players would be a lot less tempted to try using it tactically) and maybe it's bonus, from +20 to +10.
If only the king knows, how do they know the answer?

.... good point, Let me put it like what I ment to say it. I am sorry for the confusion.

There is somthing the royal family and the royal guard knows, that no other person outside the link could posibly know without a death penalty. Now, they ask you something like "Ok, on what happened on Day X 1000 years ago?" You dont know the answer, so you get locked in jail, and most likely killed because there is a hint of somthing that happened they dont want to get to the public.
Dont forget #6

6) Then the real king walks in and ...

possible 7)
...you get sent to jail by his body guards, lossing any and all monsy you got.

Hollywood loves this one.
Didn't Lindsey Lohan act all cute and evil, in one ?!

Twins movies, Captain Kirk, etc ...


Doppelganger is good for Lich.
How do you know it's a Lich ??

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

There is somthing the royal family and the royal guard knows, that no other person outside the link could posibly know without a death penalty. Now, they ask you something like "Ok, on what happened on Day X 1000 years ago?" You dont know the answer, so you get locked in jail, and most likely killed because there is a hint of somthing that happened they dont want to get to the public.

That would be the DM screwing you. I mean, seriously, name me one real-world example of this.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
.... good point, Let me put it like what I ment to say it. I am sorry for the confusion.

There is somthing the royal family and the royal guard knows, that no other person outside the link could posibly know without a death penalty. Now, they ask you something like "Ok, on what happened on Day X 1000 years ago?" You dont know the answer, so you get locked in jail, and most likely killed because there is a hint of somthing that happened they dont want to get to the public.

I think Bluff is designed to deal with this sort of thing. It will depend on your roll. Maybe you'll fail, and that's a gamble you made when you impersonated the king.

Side note: I'm actually playing a Doppelganger Feylock. It's a blast, spreading trickery and mayhem (though less mayhem and more trickery). I haven't gotten the feel of how powerful he is yet (he is sort of optimal), but the fun factor is high.

EDIT: Tsuyoshikentsu (I'm proud of being able to spell his name) made another point which I feel is fairly good.
EDIT: Tsuyoshikentsu (I'm proud of being able to spell his name) made another point which I feel is fairly good.

Rite of passage in some parts of the blagotubes. And your point is valiad as well.

Is anyone else thinking that a Doppelganger Warlock Intimidomancer/Bluffifier would be a damn fine build?
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
There is somthing the royal family and the royal guard knows, that no other person outside the link could posibly know without a death penalty. Now, they ask you something like "Ok, on what happened on Day X 1000 years ago?" You dont know the answer, so you get locked in jail, and most likely killed because there is a hint of somthing that happened they dont want to get to the public.

Your point is an example of a phenomenon I am entirely too familiar with: the DM considers himself the players' enemy. You come up with something awesome, he just has to come up with a way to screw you over for it. Seriously, you talk as though the inevitable consequence of imitating the king is coming across the real king. Think about every movie you've seen where a character impersonates another(think Mission: Impossible). The real version is nowhere to be seen, and why? Because the character was smart and did his impersonation when he knew he could get away with it!

Tsuyo is right, examples like this are mainly examples of the DM deciding he doesn't like what you just did, and instead of telling you so he decides to screw you over(cross-reference, see "signs you have a bad DM")
Rite of passage in some parts of the blagotubes. And your point is valiad as well.

Is anyone else thinking that a Doppelganger Warlock Intimidomancer/Bluffifier would be a damn fine build?

That or a Swordmage coming out.
Rite of passage in some parts of the blagotubes.

You mean I'm no longer a mere boy?!
And your point is valiad as well.

Thank you.
Is anyone else thinking that a Doppelganger Warlock Intimidomancer/Bluffifier would be a damn fine build?

Depends on whether it brings the lulz.
Your point is an example of a phenomenon I am entirely too familiar with: the DM considers himself the players' enemy. You come up with something awesome, he just has to come up with a way to screw you over for it. Seriously, you talk as though the inevitable consequence of imitating the king is coming across the real king. Think about every movie you've seen where a character impersonates another(think Mission: Impossible). The real version is nowhere to be seen, and why? Because the character was smart and did his impersonation when he knew he could get away with it!

Tsuyo is right, examples like this are mainly examples of the DM deciding he doesn't like what you just did, and instead of telling you so he decides to screw you over(cross-reference, see "signs you have a bad DM")

I agree the DM should not try to foil all of the players plans just because he doesn't like them. However, I also think he should make things realistically challenging. In a world where magic (and creatures like doppelgangers) absolutely exist, I would expect every reasonable kingdom to have some sort of security measures to prevent their leader from being replaced. Passwords, code phrases, and secret security protocols are common in the real world and should be found in a fantasy world (especially one with shape changers) as well.

That is not to say a PC doppelganger couldn't impersonate the king. The have a high intelligence and charisma making them well suited to get just this information. However, I think taking the king's place should be a challenging (but doable) scenario.
I agree the DM should not try to foil all of the players plans just because he doesn't like them. However, I also think he should make things realistically challenging. In a world where magic (and creatures like doppelgangers) absolutely exist, I would expect every reasonable kingdom to have some sort of security measures to prevent their leader from being replaced. Passwords, code phrases, and secret security protocols are common in the real world and should be found in a fantasy world (especially one with shape changers) as well.

That is not to say a PC doppelganger couldn't impersonate the king. The have a high intelligence and charisma making them well suited to get just this information. However, I think taking the king's place should be a challenging (but doable) scenario.

Lol, you could guess? [d20+WIS+INT Luck Roll] and a 25+ gets it right, and they dont know what to do, sence there is 2 kings.....
I think a Bugbear is more overpowered. +2 STR and +2 DEX (two stats with different defenses), a free encounter sneak attack that improves with level, and can use weapons 1 size larger? COME ON!

You have to look to find races that don't have "two stats with different defenses". Bug bear is strong, but more of because Str and Dex are both very important stats for the majority of classes released so far.

That would be the DM screwing you. I mean, seriously, name me one real-world example of this.

I really really hate that I'm using this as the example, but in Harry Potter 6 and 7, when shapechanging potion and mind control is all around, they frequently enough ask their own friends to prove who they really are by giving some piece of personal information that only they would know.
I really really hate that I'm using this as the example, but in Harry Potter 6 and 7, when shapechanging potion and mind control is all around, they frequently enough ask their own friends to prove who they really are by giving some piece of personal information that only they would know.

The point where you lost me was when Harry Potter became the real world.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
The point where you lost me was when Harry Potter became the real world.

wait, wait, wait, are you saying DnD is real?

~Pownders for a moment then Dawns his Anti-Magic Armor and Grabs his Evil Slying Blade~ I must stand tall aganst the evil forces that are trying to destroy this world!!

~Is taken away to the nut house because of this.~
I really really hate that I'm using this as the example, but in Harry Potter 6 and 7, when shapechanging potion and mind control is all around, they frequently enough ask their own friends to prove who they really are by giving some piece of personal information that only they would know.

They're not "all around". There aren't even mind control effects. It's just that one particular race can shapechange. Exactly how common are dopplegangers?
The point where you lost me was when Harry Potter became the real world.

I have to go with Renizar on this one. When you introduce magical elements into a setting, you have to adapt what people do.

And if you really need a real world example still: we password protect all our systems all the time. Asking people questions to prove who they are is the origin of the entire password tradition.
Example [Not my Real Information so thoughs Hackers, dont even try]

For my Gmail email, I have forgoten my passward some times, and I change it every couple months. When I do forget the passward or im ready to change it, they ask me some questions like.

"Whats you Mothers Maiden Name?"

Because thats what i Told it to ask me if I asked for my PW.

Then I type in something like

"Jessica"

and then it lets me change my passward.

Also, you gatta think, DnD isn't real, so why would we have to come up with a real world thing for it? I mean come on, there is no such thing as Magic or Trolls or Elfs in the real world [maybe in your's but not mine.]

And Lokathor, thanks for the advise on this, would have never thought of the computer thing.