What is a Doppelganger in Pathfinder 2e? In their natural forms, doppelgangers are humanoid creatures with flesh of indeterminate color and features that lack fine details, as if unfinished. As masters of mimicry, they use their abilities to impersonate others in devious ways, often infiltrating settlements and residing within them for years without being detected.
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Doppelgangers are incredibly secretive, with some nearing outright paranoia. They choose their targets carefully and go to great lengths not to reveal their intentions before their plans come to fruition. Doppelgangers usually infiltrate communities in order to gain some manner of wealth or power, and assume the guises of other (usually influential) persons to allow the creatures they’re impersonating to take the fall for any negative consequences that may result from their actions.
Though most are not evil, doppelgangers are manipulative and self-serving. As they don’t have their own society and aren’t monolithic in their motivations, an individual doppelganger has its own unique interests and impulses, though many are over-indulgent. Some doppelgangers enjoy the thrill of subtlety, while others favor grander schemes, such as manipulating a nation’s political infrastructure. Others seek to exploit merchant guilds to gain immense wealth, while others use their shape-changing ability to destroy relationships between close friends or families.
Doppelgangers are careful and patient creatures. They are willing to slowly construct elaborate schemes that may require extended periods of time—even decades—to yield results.
Doppelgangers often work alone, as they don’t trust potential cohorts not to ruin their plans. There are rare times when doppelgangers might reveal secrets to high-ranking individuals to ensure a successful infiltration. When they do work with others, it’s because they’ve taken the shape of a target group’s leader, unbeknownst to the organization’s members.
Doppelgangers can grow in power by learning skills and abilities, and often make excellent rogues, spellcasters, or fighters. A doppelganger that has class abilities can often effectively infiltrate and plague an adventuring group as a powerful antagonist—but using a doppelganger like this in your game should be handled with care (see the Infiltrating a Party sidebar above for more information).
Table of Contents
The Festival’s Phantom
During the Harvest’s End festival, the town’s mayor is seen stealing offerings meant for the gods. The next day, the real mayor pleads his innocence, fearing divine retribution. As the town teeters on the edge of chaos, adventurers are tasked with identifying the doppelganger and ensuring the festival’s sanctity.
The Miner’s Mirage
In the mining town of Stonehold, miners are in uproar as their foreman seemingly sells their precious gems at a fraction of their value. However, some miners claim the foreman is still deep in the mines during these sales. Suspecting a doppelganger’s involvement, adventurers are hired to delve into the mines and unearth the truth.
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The Dueling Diplomats
On the eve of a crucial peace treaty signing, Ambassador Thalos is seen making secret deals that could ignite war. However, another Thalos is found bound and gagged in his chambers. Adventurers must quickly discern the real diplomat from the doppelganger to prevent a diplomatic disaster.
The Inn’s Illusion
Guests at the Twilight Tavern are bewildered as they receive mixed services, from warm welcomes to outright hostility. The innkeeper swears he’s being framed for the poor treatment. When patrons witness two identical innkeepers arguing in the kitchen, it’s clear a doppelganger is meddling in the inn’s affairs. Adventurers are sought to resolve the duality and save the inn’s reputation.
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The Masquerade’s Mystery
At the grand annual masquerade ball, attendees are shocked to encounter multiple versions of themselves. As masks fall and confusion reigns, it’s clear that doppelgangers have infiltrated the event. The adventurers must navigate the ball’s intrigue to unmask the imposters and ensure the safety of the guests.
The Bard’s Stolen Voice
The city’s beloved bard, Elandrin, is accused of spreading seditious songs against the crown. However, Elandrin swears he’s innocent. Rumors suggest a doppelganger bard is using his form to spread dissent. Adventurers are hired to uncover the truth and restore Elandrin’s tarnished reputation.
The Library of Lies
In the Great Library, scholars are puzzled as revered texts change overnight, filled with falsehoods and altered histories. Witnesses claim to see the head librarian tampering with the scrolls, but she denies such actions. The adventurers must determine if a doppelganger is rewriting history for a nefarious purpose.
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About the Author:
Dwight Scull has been playing tabletop role-playing games (starting with Dungeons and Dragons 3.5) back in 2001. He started being a dungeon master around 2005.
He loves to play many different types of TTRPGs, including Pathfinder, GURPS, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension (and other White Wolf Games), Nights Black Agents, and others.
Fan of mysteries, light horror, co-op board games, true crime, sci-fi, and fantasy.
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