Doppelganger (3.5e Monster)

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Author: ThunderGod Cid (talk)
Date Created: July 16, 2011
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Size/Type: Medium Fey (Shapechanger)
Hit Dice: 6d6+12 (33 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 19 (+4 Dex, +5 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+7
Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d8+4)
Full Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d8+4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Body snatcher, shift, steal identity, thought diffusion
Special Qualities: Fey traits, hide in plain sight, immunity to sleep and charm effects
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 18, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 19
Skills: Bluff +12, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +12 (+13 acting), Intimidate +7, Listen +8, Sense Motive +6, Spot +8
Feats: Ability Focus (Body Snatcher), Adaptable Technique, Improved Initiative
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: Double standard
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: -

The best hunter is the one who has the trust of his prey right through the moment he kills them.

The lordling of the keep retracts his blade from his father's chest and wipes it clean. It is then that his physical features begin to change, his skin turning so translucent one may think he was made of glass. The creature now before you seems completely gender-neutral and possesses no distinctive features at all, appearing as a blank slate on which a human form would be sculpted. Were it not for the clothes it wore you could swear that the fat nobleman had never even appeared to be there in the first place.

Doppelgangers are feared humanoid shape shifters, notorious for being able to be anyone anywhere. They are extremely difficult to detect, and as a result of their imitative abilities can take on whatever shape suits their fancy in combat. While their normal shapechanging is impressive, their disguises are most effective when they have access to a particular subject they wish to impersonate.

Doppelgangers usually work singly, operating as assassins and thieves who can copy every intricacy of their target's being before walking in the front door and taking their life.


Doppelgangers can usually get by with liberal use of their basic shapeshifting abilities without having to resort to taking a particular being’s appearance. They tend to have preferred forms, but readily change shape to suit their present battle conditions. They also can mimic everything about a particular target, absorbing their memories and abilities by touch as though it were through osmosis. Rumors say that doppelgangers eat their target's faces to steal their features; as this is not strictly necessary, they likely do it to prevent identification of the corpse should it be discovered. Or maybe they just like the taste.

Doppelgangers may add their Dexterity modifer to attack and damage rolls instead of their Strength score whenever doing so is advantageous to them. In addition, dismissing any of the doppelganger’s shapeshifting abilities is a free action regardless of what action was used to assume the form.

Because the doppelganger is a shapechanger, it is not affected by polymorphing effects in the same fashion that other creatures are. If hit by a successful undesirable shapechanging effect, it may take an immediate action to resume its previous shape or its natural form. Doppelgangers are also immune to sleep and charm effects.

Body Snatcher (Ex): A doppelganger that hits a foe in melee may attempt to switch positions with the opponent as a free action, making them succeed on a Reflex save (DC 17 for a default doppelganger) or be forcibly moved. This DC is Dexterity-based.

Hide in Plain Sight: A doppelganger may use the Hide skill even while observed.

Shift (Ex): A doppelganger may change its physical form at will, replicating the effects on the alter self spell as a swift action with the following exceptions. The effects of this transformation are physical rather than illusory, last indefinitely, and as a result cannot be seen through or dispelled by effects that penetrate illusions. Nothing short of true seeing will reveal the doppelganger’s true form, but it won’t reverse the transformation.

Steal Identity (Ex): While its normal shape shifting abilities work for general infiltration, a doppelganger possesses the ability to take the identity of creatures with whom it makes physical contact. As a full-round action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the doppelganger may make a melee touch attack and, if it succeeds, turn into the creature touched. If the doppelganger is grappling someone whose identity it wishes to steal, it may steal the identity and transform as a free action when it wins a grapple check. The rules for this transformation are otherwise the same as its shift ability.

This transformation is complete in every possible way, replicating the subject’s race, ability scores, hit points, saving throws, class features, feats, skills, and generally everything else about them. These vital statistics and abilities supersede the doppelganger’s own, even if it is disadvantageous to do so. Normal doppelganger abilities (except for Body Snatcher) are considered inactive and unusable until it reverts the change. The doppelganger knows what the target knows, speaks how they speak, and for all intents and purposes is that target (except that its allegiances do not change) until it dismisses the effect or dies. Any magical effects register the doppelganger as its assumed identity, type, alignment, etc. Anything not part of the subject’s actual physical form (clothing and equipment, for example) is not copied. The doppelganger may steal any currently prepared spells, readied maneuvers, or limited usage abilities (including spontaneous spells) the character has remaining, but must use them by the end of the day or lose them. The doppelganger may not prepare spells or ready maneuvers that are copied by itself or gain additional uses of such abilities by resting.

A doppelganger can only replicate a creature with a Challenge Rating equal to or lower than its own. In the case of class levels, it is treated as that character when at a level equal to the doppelganger’s CR (normally 6). The creature whose identity is stolen must be organic and have once been alive, and if deceased must have perished within the last 24 hours for their identify to be taken. Other than that, the creature can be of any type, size, and shape.

Once a doppelganger has assumed a form once, it may take that guise again as a swift action instead of the normal full-round action and retains the ability to assume that form for the rest of its life. It does not, however, gain any of the target’s new memories, abilities, or knowledge that the target gained since it stole the identity. It can still gain newly acquired knowledge if it makes contact with the subject again and resteals their identify by taking another full-round action.

Thought Diffusion (Su): A doppelganger may read the thought patterns of creatures around it, functioning as a constant detect thoughts spell. This save is Charisma-based and has a DC of 17.

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ThunderGod Cid's Homebrew (372 Articles)
ThunderGod Cidv
AlignmentUsually neutral +
AuthorThunderGod Cid +
Challenge Rating6 +
EnvironmentAny +
Identifier3.5e Monster +
Level Adjustment- +
Rated ByAarnott + and Havvy +
RatingRating Pending +
SizeMedium +
SubtypeShapechanger +
TitleDoppelganger +
TypeFey +