View Full Version : Does anyone have a good Doppelganger/Changeling Race?

2013-07-31, 12:31 PM
Ok as far as Homebrew does anyone know if anyone has done a LA 0 or +1 Doppelganger or Changeling with their abilities maybe leveled out a bit.

I mean I know there is a Savage Species progression for Doppelganger but thats +8 total and Changeling is 0 but their change shape ability is limited and feels sort of like a half-template of the doppelganger.

I like the Doppelganger feel and I was planning on doing a NPC Doppelganger but the party is lvl 1-3 and I can't swing a lvl 8 running with them it would throw everything off.

the Doppelganger is gonna be a spy/bard style character who is very manipulative and steals secrets and the like. The shapeshifting and the social bonuses are a boon but that high LA is just crippling this idea. And I can't suspend the plan till later as they are dealing with the story aspect now or about too.

2013-07-31, 12:44 PM
Eberron (and the MM3) have Changelings, which are exactly what you're looking for. They get a few minor skill boosts and a non-illusionary Disguise Self ability at well.

2013-07-31, 12:48 PM
Eberron (and the MM3) have Changelings, which are exactly what you're looking for. They get a few minor skill boosts and a non-illusionary Disguise Self ability at well.

While I agree that Changelings are the best for what the OP seems to want, he specifically says he does not want to be a Changeling.

2013-07-31, 01:16 PM
does this help?

Changeling Paragorn (http://www.etherworld.com/ebg/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/Eberron%20Racial%20Paragons.pdf)

2013-07-31, 01:18 PM
or maybe this


2013-07-31, 03:20 PM
If none of them satisfy, there's always...

The Shifter (Eberron Player's Guide 18, MM3 pg 150, Races of Eberron pg 26+)

There's the Saurian Shifter (Dragon Magazine 328 pg 62), which gets dinosaur-like shifting shapes instead.

There's the Slyth (Underdark pg 17), but that has a +2 LA, but you may be able to savage-species that one.
If you're okay with homebrewing minor fixes, It gets an Alternate Form, which you could argue down to a minor change, and then remove its immunity to to polymorphing, and then take out one of its stat bonuses and call it good.

If you're willing to reach into 3.5 updates, the Hengeyokai (Oriental Adventures 10-11) was made into a non-LA race with its only update being its race change from shapeshifter to Humanoid (shapechanger). Specifically, the update is in Dragon magazine 318, page 34.

Finally, the small feline race of the Tibbit hails from the Dragon Magazine Compendium, with stats page 25.

2013-07-31, 04:00 PM
Alright, so it's gotta be a doppleganger, but can't be a changeling because somehow the flavor is wildly different? :smallconfused: There is a variant on how to approach the Doppleganger (http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Simplified_Races_(3.5e_Variant_Rule)#Doppelganger) , making it effectively non-LA, with a combat, passive and utility ability.

The Doppleganger Bloodline (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/bloodlines.htm) lets to take a single level hit and gives you a gradual-progression race with a bloodline and no LA, but has the alter self ability as 1/day at 8th level.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and state that Alter Self as a non-LA ability ain't gonna happen.

An alternative here is to take the Doppleganger class from Races of Destiny (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15609117&postcount=8) and proceed to make a kick-ass character story in line with the ECL of the other PCs.

2013-07-31, 04:09 PM
I know of the changeling but its ability seemed to be watered down and it says as the spell so couldn't it be dis-spelled?

also it has change shape once a day but is it till they change forms again?

2013-07-31, 07:28 PM
I know of the changeling but its ability seemed to be watered down and it says as the spell so couldn't it be dis-spelled?

A changelings' ability is a supernatural ability, abbreviated (Su). This means although it may operate like the spell, it cannot be dispelled like a spell. Someone please correct me if this is incorrect, but I don't even think Disjunction (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/magesDisjunction.htm) will dispel a Changeling's ability. Only True Seeing (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/trueSeeing.htm) can pierce such a transformation, and if the DM is throwing monsters around that have such abilities against a party of lvls 1-3, being seen for what you really are is the least of your problems.

also it has change shape once a day but is it till they change forms again?

Changelings get Minor Change Shape as an at-will ability that take a Full Round Action to perform. This means there is no limit to the number of times per day it can be used. I strongly recommend you look up. The non-LA Dopplegangers you see will have Alternate Form 1/day at level 8, if you're lucky.

Is your major beef with the Changeling that its ability to change forms isn't powerful enough? Just to be clear, even a Minor shape change, like that which changeling possesses, is a Transformation, not an Illusion. This means that the body changes, but not the possessions. The change is also permanent until willingly changed, and on top of all this, as frosting, you get a +10 Circumstance bonus to your Disguise checks.

2013-07-31, 07:42 PM
Ok it is possible I just misread the changelings info a bit.
Overall they seem find but the change shape seemed different as it had different writing then Doppelgangers.

Do they have any race substitution level things?

2013-07-31, 07:56 PM
Ok it is possible I just misread the changelings info a bit.
Overall they seem find but the change shape seemed different as it had different writing then Doppelgangers.

Do they have any race substitution level things?

Grab yourself a copy of Races of Eberron (RoE). It has the race itself as well as most of its class substitutions. It can Sup for Rogues (RoE 112), Wizard (RoE 113), Egoist (121), and you might wanna check here (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872054/Alternative_Class_Features_III) if you need more, but I think that's all of them. Edit: that's all of them that aren't homebrewed.

2013-07-31, 08:32 PM
Least its better then the PF version of changeling.
Sadly no PF version of Doppelganger or Changeling

2013-08-01, 05:09 AM
I disagree about both accounts in that they both exist (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedRaceGuide/uncommonRaces/changelings.html) in Pathfinder (http://paizo.com/prd/monsters/doppelganger.html).

2013-08-01, 08:29 AM
You are aware that the Pathfinder Changeling cannot shapeshift right? It is not the child of a Doppelganger and a human but instead a Hag and a Human and is 100% always female. They resemble nothing close to the 3.5 Eberron Changeling.

Realms of Chaos
2013-08-01, 10:11 AM
If you are looking for a not-watered-down doppelganger, it seems likely that what you are specifically after is the ability to use alter self (a pretty powerful 2nd level spell) at will. If that is indeed what you're after, I'm pretty sure that giving a powerful 2nd level spell at will isn't something you can do with +0 or even +1 Level Adjustment.

If it isn't alter self that you are after, I fail to see what is wrong with just reflavoring the changeling unless you can be a bit more specific about what you want here. :smallconfused:

2013-08-01, 11:07 AM
Ok you could with the Pathfinder Build a Race but that system is a little wonky at times.

The problem to me is common sense and the lack there of in the Races of Destiny Book and the Savages Species Book.

Doppelgangers are known for what, what is their racial gimmick? Shapeshifting right?

An ability that get at once per day (Which is fine) at lvl 3 (Not fine). They get Detect Thought at lvl 2, this is at will and very powerful I agree but its not what their known for.

Using the Races of Destiny book here is my issue. You somehow have to get your doppelganger to lvl 3 before they can use their races trademark abilities. So with just simple weapons, no armor and a +1 Natural Armor (so at best with a 20 in Dex you get 16 AC but odds are good at 11/14) now you have maybe if your constitution was at 20 and you got the +5 to HP you might have 13 but min 8.

Now as a HATED race people are more then likely gonna attack you on sight and yes a doppelganger in base form is clearly a monster race. So someone with a Greatsword or Greataxe could in theory 1 shot a lvl1 at least to 0 or maybe 1 if you have best and they hit crit damage. (1s12 for axe 2d6 for sword) at this point you might be able to hit them but odds are good they have between 12 and 18 AC much harder to hit someone in fairly decent armor and good Dex to boot.

Common sense says if the race is hated and they cannot disguise themselves for 3 levels odds are good they are gonna die. So basically early levels of a Doppelganger is run and hide and hope your own party doesn't decide to use your head to get some easy bounty money.

So even if it was once a day at lvl 1 it would at least make sense that's their gimmick.

2013-08-01, 11:48 AM
So if anyone can help me piece together a Doppelganger character (Even if it is a Lesser Doppelganger)
Using This (http://paizo.com/prd/monsters/doppelganger.html) and the Races of Destiny Doppelganger to piece one together.

It needs to be a lvl 3 character.

2013-08-01, 12:37 PM
Edit: Let me be clear here! The Changeling can absolutely be re-fluffed and be called a Lesser Doppelganger!

I'm really confused here. We've told you that Alter Self at will is too powerful for a 3rd-level character to have. Would you mind answering a few questions?
Please answer yes or no, You want to use a 3.5 book to make a Pathfinder race?
Yes or no, you don't want to use and re-flavor a race that has an ability that is almost exactly the same as Alter Self?
Would you quote me the sections of the Doppelganger's power that is not included in the Changeling's that you would like to have?
For the purpose of reference, the doppelganger's shape change (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#changeShape) is below
Change Shape
A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid), but retains most of its own physical qualities. A true seeing spell or ability reveals the creatureís natural form. A creature using change shape reverts to its natural form when killed, but separated body parts retain their shape. A creature cannot use change shape to take the form of a creature with a template. Changing shape results in the following changes to the creature:

The creature retains the type and subtype of its original form. It gains the size of its new form.
The creature loses the natural weapons and movement modes of its original form, as well as any extraordinary special attacks of its original form not derived from class levels (such as the barbarianís rage class feature).
The creature gains the natural weapons, movement modes, and extraordinary special attacks of its new form.
The creature retains all other special attacks and qualities of its original form, except for breath weapons and gaze attacks.
The creature retains the ability scores of its original form.
Except as described elsewhere, the creature retains all other game statistics of its original form, including (but not necessarily limited to) HD, hit points, skill ranks, feats, base attack bonus, and base save bonuses.
The creature retains any spellcasting ability it had in its original form, although it must be able to speak intelligibly to cast spells with verbal components and it must have humanlike hands to cast spells with somatic components.
The creature is effectively camouflaged as a creature of its new form, and gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks if it uses this ability to create a disguise.
Any gear worn or carried by the creature that canít be worn or carried in its new form instead falls to the ground in its space. If the creature changes size, any gear it wears or carries that can be worn or carried in its new form changes size to match the new size. (Nonhumanoid-shaped creatures canít wear armor designed for humanoid-shaped creatures, and viceversa.) Gear returns to normal size if dropped.
And here is the Changeling's power below
Minor Change Shape (Su): Changelings have the supernatural ability to alter their appearance as though using a disguise self spell that affects their bodies but not their possessions. This ability is not an illusory effect but a minor physical alteration of a changelingís facial features, skin color and texture, and size, within the limits described for the spell. A changeling can use this ability at will, and the alteration lasts until he changes shape again. A changeling reverts to his natural form when killed. A true seeing spell reveals his natural form. When using this ability to create a disguise, a changeling receives a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks. Using this ability is a full-round action.

How's this? I did find an unofficial conversion of the Eberron Changeling (http://pf-eberron.wikidot.com/races:changeling) into Pathfinder. I also found a CR 4 Pathfinder monster called the Faceless Stalker (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/additionalMonsters/facelessStalker.html#_faceless-stalker) that has the Change Shape ability as a 10-minute transformation that, once complete, is permanent. I think what Pathfinder is saying, good sir, is that it is far too powerful to have Alter Self / Perfect copy at a level lower than about 8.

2013-08-01, 12:48 PM
I was not talking about the Changeling. Mostly given there is a race called Changeling in PF so I didn't want to get anything confused.

Alter Self is a lvl 2 spell.. Bard in PF gets access to his first lvl 2 spell at lvl 4

But yes I am willing to use 3.5 in PF its compatible.
I already explained that I misread the Changeling and yes its ability is a good ability, again the mention of as a spell made me think it was an illusion and could be dispelled.

I am curious if it can be done a different way.
The link you provided is very good actually.

Also I get it is an amazingly powerful ability to have at an early level I am just saying common sense wise for the lore of the universe it makes no sense. Unless they stipulated all Doppelganger characters at lvl 1 are adolescences who have not yet developed and as they level they age to maturity but then what level are they adult 8?

I am a storyteller at heart and it is tough for me to wrap my mind around how a doppelganger can survive till it would hit lvl 3 when it cannot hide its monstrous humaniod nature.

Realms of Chaos
2013-08-01, 03:44 PM
Also I get it is an amazingly powerful ability to have at an early level I am just saying common sense wise for the lore of the universe it makes no sense. Unless they stipulated all Doppelganger characters at lvl 1 are adolescences who have not yet developed and as they level they age to maturity but then what level are they adult 8?

This, I think, has more to do with the faulty logic behind monstrous classes in the first place rather than any real problem with lore.

The idea behind monstrous classes, to my knowledge, is that players wanting to use a monstrous race can (with the excuse of youth) play a watered down version of that race that grows into their full powers. Insofar as making PCs and enemies use the same mechanics, this was an interesting idea.

As far as making sense within a campaign world, however, the logic behind monstrous classes breaks just about everything. The logic behind monstrous classes (saying that every full-grown monster acquired XP to gain there and would be playable as an ECL 1 version) means a good lot of things for your world. Namely, the logic suggests that nothing can be powerful in the start of its existence.

It makes odd sense for flesh golems to come into play fully crafted when level 1 flesh golems exist.
It is weird that ghouls create full-powered ghouls through ghoul fever while a level 1 ghoul remains a possibility.
Outsiders, despite being ageless and popping into existence from the belief of mortals, apparently can't do so as "adults" because level 1 lantern archons and astral devas exist.
Nothing can be higher than ECL 1 at birth. Ever. Otherwise, having a "young" one being a level 1 character doesn't make sense at all.

You know what, let's look at that last one in more detail. If every type of creature, through virtue of "youth", can be ECL 1, A team of 5 level 1 human experts must be able to handle a newly created ANYTHING!

Draconic wyrmling? The experts slay it.
How about hill giants or storm giants? The experts slay it.
Tarrasque somehow has a baby? The experts slay it.

The very concept of a dangerous newborn anything cannot exist alongside the premise that everything must have a version young enough to be ECL 1.

Further, there's the whole matter of age. If low levels represent youth and you age into your mature form as you age, things are all kinds of nuts. In an average campaign with 3.33 encounters for day and 13.33 encounter per level, you might somehow "age" 10 years in the space of a couple weeks. That ECL 1-3 doppelganger you're looking at, being half as "developed" as a full "adult" ECL 8 doppelganger, is the rough equivalent of a 7 year old among its breed (at least as far as talent is concerned, using the minimum adult age of 15 for human adulthood in the PHB for comparison).

personally, I don't think that ECL 1-3 doppelgangers make sense. I don't think monstrous classes as a concept make sense. There's a young template in pathfinder if I need a slightly weaker version of a thing but... ugh. Forcing a creature to be playable earlier than its suggested CR will always cause problems somewhere along the road, I fear.

2013-08-01, 04:09 PM
I agree to much of that but in Pathfinder for example its CR is 3.

2013-08-01, 05:49 PM
Unless they stipulated all Doppelganger characters at lvl 1 are adolescences who have not yet developed and as they level they age to maturity but then what level are they adult 8?

I think one idea to think about is that Doppelgangers born from Doppelgangers most likely still start out as a +4 LA race with no Racial Hit Dice and slowly progress. So their baseline is still higher than level 3.

I am a storyteller at heart and it is tough for me to wrap my mind around how a doppelganger can survive till it would hit lvl 3 when it cannot hide its monstrous humaniod nature.

Perhaps you could argue that as a Half-Doppelganger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppelganger_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)#Changelings) you could still take levels in Doppelganger?

If you accept the premise above, maybe I can appeal to you with a story?
"And that's the way we do it! Okay, so everyone, from the top..." Xestilophon did a mental sigh as he shifted weight from foot to foot and prepared himself to sing. He knew the words, it just seemed that he wasn't singing well enough. His third year at Bardic Academy, and he was still struggling with Seducting Music 105. He had such promise and hopes when he'd enrolled into the college, but somehow-- "Estil, pay attention please! We're on the next page" Llarwyn's firm rebuke brought his thoughts back only momentarily. <<If only I could read Llarwyn's thoughts, I could sing as well as her..>>

Xestilophon remembered the first night he asked his father to teach him how to be a Doppelganger like him. "You're half-Doppelganger, Estil, isn't that enough?" <<Nooo, dad, I wanna just like you!>> His father had always been patient about this, even when he was little "Well, Estil," he remembered his father explaining this to him when he was far too young to appreciate what he was talking about "You can't be just like me because THEN you wouldn't be YOU!!" His father had loved to tickle him as a way of trying to change the subject. When he was younger it had actually worked. It was only a few years later, though, that he had felt that chilling, heart-stopping truth.

Estil re-focused to the singing group as the song concluded and the class was dismissed. As he walked to his his next class, Magical Theory, he relaxed as the lecture began and he let his mind wander.

His family was at a town meeting. Specifically, his father was asked by two of his friends what in the world his wife was thinking about the Church construction. His mother was talking to HER friend on the other side of him, but when he heard his father relate exactly--word for word--what she had just said, Estil knew. He pressed his father, drawing it out into a long fight until finally he gave in. "I warn you, Estil, to read thoughts is to violate another's own mind. It has a terrible price on it. It makes you less than humanoid. It gives you incredible power, and the urge to use it is greater than you can imagine. Using it can also make others hate you."

"Estil? Estil, would you please give us the answer we're hoping to find?" He quickly reviewed the last moments of lecture in his head and gave an amused smile. <<The Key to Concentration is to clear your mind and Body of all distractions, and imagine yourself at peace as you...>> As he was answering the question, he could hear his father's gentle words and voice with the mental exercises he could never quite grasp.

"Let your mind spread out like you would both relaxing and stretching a muscle at the same time. Eventually, you will pick up your own thoughts, but you must not hold onto them! Let them pass you by, like the sight of a bobbing branch in a stream..." Estil stopped as he realized he'd stopped talking and had been concentrating, meditating. Mr. Vrykol cleared his throat, breaking his trance, and said, "Thank you Mr. Ophon for that demonstration. Very good. However..."

This time it would be different, thought Estil. This time... and he spread out his consciousness. <<What a wierdo>> %%...can't believe he just got excused for blanking out on us again%% ##...was excellent. I could see the flow of magic through him--## Estil's head shot up. All the hair on his skin stood straight up. He couldn't believe-- What he'd-- He stared at Mr. Vrykol, and spread out his consciousness again, and heard it again, clearer this time ##I wonder how Estil has such great promise but doesn't seem to Get is completely? How do I teach him?## Maybe it was the similarity of Mr. Vrykol's voice and his father's, maybe it was the right moment, but he'd done it. He tilted his head back and laughed. The stern-faced professor paused, asking "Anything you wish to share, Estil? Are you alright?"

For the first time in several years, the changeling smiled. <<Professor I'm feeling great. Never better. There's nothing more I'd like to share at this time, though>> :smallcool:

The crunch:
Half-Doppleganger (Changeling) Bard 1 / Doppleganger 2
Relevant stats:
Minor Change Shape (Su) as changeling
2d8 Hit Dice (1 from Bard, one from Doppleganger), +1 BAB,
+2 Con, immunity to Sleep and Charm effects, extra feat, +2 Wis, +1 Natural armor, detect thoughts.

Total effective Disguise checks should be at least +14 in other forms, and Detect Thoughts gives a +4 Bonus to Bluff Checks.

2013-08-01, 06:20 PM
What I am trying really to point out in these last few post is this.
Changeling from Races of Eberron has Change Shape at lvl 1 at will check Corvus's post for both descriptions (Makes common sense, it doesnt make them omfgbrokenbeyondallrepair)
Doppelganger from Races of Destiny doesn't get Change Shape till lvl 3 and thats one a day.

Does that make sense? The that pure blood Doppelganger cannot change shape even if it was a minor form of the ability while their half-blood offspring can at lvl 1?

Obviously the argument of "Well its too powerful it cannot be used till lvl 8" is moot if the lvl 1 Changeling has this ability even if its declared a minor form of it (Which reading it.. not much is different in fact the Doppelganger's form is just more detailed then the minor one and gives it a slightly broader range.

I asked originally if there was a build or what not. I don't mind if I had to take 8 levels of monster, my point was that a monster class known for its change shape abilities doesn't get it till lvl 3 of a monster class PC version.

How is it no one has thought of a altered template where at lvl 1 the doppelganger has a minor change shape ability useable either at will or once a day. At lvl 4 either gets Perfect Copy (If the progression is only going to 4 HD or whatever) or standard Change Shape as it currently gets at Lvl 3 normally (Again it would either be Twice a day or At Will depending on what the Minor form got. At lvl 8 if you're going the full progression gain Perfect Copy then.

Have the Mimic EX ability (Allows Proficiency in all weapons, armors, and shield) be a lvl 1 ability or maybe allow only Simple Weapon and Light Armor, then Martial and Medium, and then finally Exotic and Heavy Armor. Shields running along side their Armor sizes.

I had a problem with why this was designed so poorly not that it didn't make sense but IC a doppelganger who cannot shapeshift is not a Doppelganger its a corpse that has not died yet.

Even if someone gave a Doppelganger (They do come from societies) a ring with minor change shape applied to it. Giving them 1 free face a change shape that is always the same form would make some semblance of sense.