The Dopplegangers

The duplication potential in this Vestitas hex encounter honestly has us a little worried about balance, so we’re considering having both killing and imprisoning the doppleganger cause their copied equipment to be dragged back into the reflection with them in the final version for the .pdf.

Summary: A crystal cavern spawns dopplegangers of those who enter. These dopplegangers have a bottomless envy of their originals, and seek to kill them and take their place. Trapped on the other side of the crystal is Alaric – the real Alaric. The one in Imberkavitas is a fake (and has been since the game’s start).

Hook: The cavern’s interior is a reflective crystal, creating a hall of mirrors effect. All Awareness and Ballistic Skill tests within the cavern take a -10 penalty due to the confusing reflections. If the strangeness of the cavern on its own isn’t enough to prompt exploration, an Ordinary(+10) Psyniscience test reveals that the place is seriously psychically charged.

Exploration: One of the party’s reflections in the crystalline walls is actually their doppleganger. This can be detected with a Very Hard(-30) Awareness test to notice that the reflection’s movements don’t quite match or a Challenging(+0) Psyniscience test to notice that one of the reflections has a presence in the Warp. The dopplegangers will stay hidden until a character is alone. Then they will spring their trap.

Due to the intensely reflective nature of the cavern, there’s no way Alaric can fail to detect the party as they enter, and he will cry for help, shouting that he’s trapped, that he’s Alaric, and that his evil twin has taken his place in Imberkavitas. Alaric’s shouts echo around the cavern, making him difficult to locate. The characters must make a Challenging(+0) Navigate (Surface) test to keep themselves oriented as they head deeper into the crystal labyrinth. Anyone who fails is following their friends’ reflections and not their actual friends, and will become isolated, whereupon their doppleganger will attack. Party members who succeed find Alaric, who will explain what’s happened, and how his evil twin emerged from the reflections in the crystals.

Confrontation: Dopplegangers are perfect matches for the player characters they are a doppleganger of, with the exact same characteristics, talents, and gear, with two exceptions: Dopplegangers do not have Fate points and dopplegangers do not suffer the disorientation penalty to Awareness and Ballistic Skill while in the crystal cavern. The dopplegangers’ desire is to kill their original in order to take their place and live their life. They don’t want a life similar to the original’s, they want to be the original, with the exact same job, relationships, and place in society, and they certainly don’t want the original around to make it clear that the doppleganger is a duplicate. Dopplegangers have a starting Disposition of 5 towards their original, and no amount of success on interaction checks will shake a doppleganger from their ultimate goal, however they may be persuaded to forestall it in order to achieve some goal. Dopplegangers love to accomplish things that their original wants to do, but has been unable to. They consider themselves the “real” version of the character and are eager to prove that they’re better at living the character’s life than the original character is. With good social skills, a character might use this to their advantage to arrange a temporary alliance with their doppleganger.

A doppleganger’s personality and Disposition towards those other than the original depend on the original’s relationship with those others. Starting Disposition may be as high as 75 for a trusted friend or as low as 25 for someone the original considers suspicious. Dopplegangers are eager to take up their original’s role in the party. If they’ve killed their original (or think they’ve killed their original but haven’t, as might be the case if the original burns Fate), they’ll tell other party members they got lost and will do their best to assume their new role, right down to helping any other party members who get ambushed to kill their own dopplegangers.

If lost party members successfully survive their doppleganger’s ambush without killing the doppleganger (depending on the temperament of the copied character, the doppleganger might flee immediately if their surprise attack doesn’t immediately kill their target, for example), the doppleganger will try to meet up with the party first and convince them that they are the original and the original is the doppleganger. They have all the memories of the original, and they roll Deceive checks to convince others that they are the original at a +20 bonus. A Routine(+20) Psyniscience check will reveal that the doppleganger is far more Warp-y than the original. Apply a -10 penalty to this check for each rank of psy rating the original has. On the other hand, anyone with Psyniscience trained at all can immediately tell that a blank’s doppleganger isn’t the real thing, and untrained uses of the skill get a +10 bonus to detecting them. If several dopplegangers do end up getting found out, they might form an alliance to kill the entire party and take their place.

It is impossible for either a doppleganger or their original to leave the crystal cavern so long as they’re both on the real side of the crystal. An incapacitated character can be trapped on the other side of the crystal with a quick ritual. Knowing this ritual requires a Challenging(-10) Forbidden Lore (Heresy) test. The dopplegangers know it automatically, but if the originals don’t have Forbidden Lore (Heresy) trained, they will be reluctant to share the information with non-dopplegangers, because it sets them apart from their original. A successful Disposition check will convince them to give up the ritual only if everyone swears to forget who told them about it (this isn’t a reasonable request, of course, but if the original was friends with the person asking and they promise to forget, the doppleganger will give in). Alaric can also tell characters about the ritual required. He doesn’t have it memorized, since he only saw it used once, when his doppleganger trapped him, but he knows it exists and what it does and his general description gives a +10 bonus to the Lore test to work it out. Rescuing Alaric from the reflection requires the ritual, but he can speak to the characters just fine from the other side. If the characters don’t find the ritual, any doppleganger (but not any real person) killed in the crystal cavern will be drawn back into the crystal automatically. Since Alaric’s doppleganger has already left the cavern, he can leave freely if someone gets him out of the reflection.

Rewards: The crystal cavern itself can be used as a useful prison. Anyone brought here will produce a doppleganger, and if the characters’ dopplegangers are dead, they won’t have to worry about ambushes. This can be used to replace NPCs with dopplegangers, who can be blackmailed with the truth about what they are. Dopplegangers are extremely unstable when it comes to threats to their view of themselves as the more worthy, more true version of whoever they’re a copy of, so these alliances will probably break down eventually. Every time a character attempts to pressure a doppleganger into doing something by threatening to reveal them, they test Disposition, and on a failure, the doppleganger will attempt to make sure the blackmailer takes their secret to their grave (no matter how doomed their attack is, the doppleganger simply goes berserk).

If Alaric is rescued, he will immediately head to Imberkavitas to confront him and destroy him. Alaric’s starting Disposition here is 35 just like his doppleganger’s in Imberkavitas, but if the players help Alaric escape the crystal cavern, he automatically gains +20 Disposition and (unless players get rid of him before he confronts and replaces his doppleganger) 1d10 Influence, and if they help him defeat his doppleganger in Imberkavitas, he gains another +20 Disposition and the characters gain another +1d10 Influence. If the players leave a freed Alaric to his own devices, he will deal with his doppleganger in 1d10 days. Alaric will occasionally wonder if he is actually the doppleganger, what with how he crawled out of the cavern, killed his hated double, and took the double’s place, all without (barring the insistence of a character who makes a successful Disposition check) telling anyone else that there had even been a confrontation. Alaric is not actually the doppleganger and nothing in particular will come of his occasional worries that he might be. Either way, he won.

Everything a character wears, wields, or carries is duplicated in their doppleganger. If the doppleganger is killed, everything they brought with them through the reflection gets pulled back in, but if they are merely subdued and then the ritual is used to shove them back into the reflection, select items can be stripped off of the doppleganger in order to keep the duplicate. Artifacts, daemon weapons, and the like will be powerless replicas, but anything that doesn’t rely on the Warp for its power will function exactly as the original did, so this is a good way to duplicate best quality power swords or the like. Once imprisoned by a ritual, dopplegangers retain whatever they wore, wielded, and carried when imprisoned, so this trick can’t be repeated – unless, of course, you bring someone new in, and have them carry whatever it is you want to duplicate.


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