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    Canonfire :: View topic - Doppleganger Shapeshifting
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition
    Doppleganger Shapeshifting
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:25 pm  
    Doppleganger Shapeshifting

    Is this an ability that can be detected by magic?

    The write-up says nothing that it is a spell-like ability, so my DM and I are debating if it can be 'detected' by a spell or not.

    -Lanthorn
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 28, 2011
    Posts: 39
    From: Alberta

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    Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:21 pm  

    I think that it is more of a natural effect than a magical one.
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:05 pm  

    Yasir wrote:
    I think that it is more of a natural effect than a magical one.


    That indeed is the centerpiece of the argument. Thusly, natural effects, even if they are 'fantastic', perhaps fall outside the ability of detection (at least "magical detection"). Likely a spell such as "True Seeing" or some other equally potent magic is needed to detect a shape-shifted doppleganger.

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3776
    From: So. Cal

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    Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:13 am  

    It is correct to think of a doppleganger's shapechanging ability as being similar to a chameleon or cuttlefish changing color to blend in. It isn't a magical effect, so detect magic and similar spells will reveal nothing. True seeing is very broad in what it reveals, including "...changed...things...", so a true seeing spell will reveal the true appearance of a doppleganger. As to lesser magics, a know alignment spell may give a clue that a doppleganger is false, if the alignment of the persona the doppleganger has adopted is known. If a doppleganger has also formed items as part of its new form, such as clothing (because it didn't have time to do otherwise), one can always say "Take off your boot.", which it would not be able to do. Wink
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 27, 2005
    Posts: 59
    From: Winnipeg Canada

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    Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:15 am  

    I'd say this is a natural ability that can't be caught by Detect Magic.

    As others have said, there are other ways of finding it out though.
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2440
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:07 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    If a doppleganger has also formed items as part of its new form, such as clothing (because it didn't have time to do otherwise), one can always say "Take off your boot.", which it would not be able to do. Wink


    Exclamation BRILLIANT!

    Now I just gotta find the bloody thing...my DM and I still have to resolve another issue about shape-shifting and scrying, which I may address in another thread.

    The ESP idea occurred to me as well. The only spell offhand I can think of available to most mages (of a middle level) that may be able to detect a shifted doppleganger is the "Locate Creature" spell listed in the Tome of Magic.

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
    Posts: 290
    From: The Pomarj

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    Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:40 pm  

    I agree with the others about it being natural, like the aforementioned chameleon's ability to change color, which the doppleganger must have as part of the shapeshifting I imagine.

    Now, the ESP ability you mentioned. It could be psionic, if it's not magical.

    Dragon, issue 80 I believe, has that article on dopplegangers. Have you had an opportunity to look at that? Not sure if that will provide any help though.
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:47 am  

    I don't think I have Dragon Magazine #80.

    Also wondering if the doppleganger's ESP ability can be detected magically...

    Thoughts on that?

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
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    From: The Pomarj

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    Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:02 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:

    Also wondering if the doppleganger's ESP ability can be detected magically...

    Thoughts on that?

    -Lanthorn



    I do think an ability like ESP probably should be detectable. However, a simple Detect Magic seems too easy. If a 1st level spell can detect them "without even trying", the way Detect Magic can do, the doppleganger is effectively hamstrung in any community with a spellcaster. (Hey. Why is Roderick the baker showing up as magical?)

    Maybe I'm a bit stuck on the idea of their ability being psionic in nature.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:25 pm  

    I prefer it to be a psionic ability too, as a detect magic spell will not detect psionic effects, as psionic effects are non-magical. Dopplegangers are supposed to be insidiously difficult to detect/expose, not able to be revealed using the most rudimentary of spells that nearly every single spellcaster has access to at the start.
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:28 pm  

    Fair enough. I wish the writers/creators made it a bit more clear in the descriptions, especially in later source guide editions.

    thanks to all,

    -Lanthorn
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