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  • Doppelganger Limitations

    So, creating a character I kinda realized how crazy Doppelganger really is. For context I'm creating a Scion of Sun Wukong who happens to still be a high school student. I personally don't plan to abuse this to do anything to crazy unless it is for some gag stuff without any real consequence.

    Initially, I saw it as a way to safely skip classes for the character, and generally get up to mischief. Then I stopped to consider long term needs. For Scion it isn't unreasonable to expect characters to do some world traveling. I thought maybe doppelganger might work for that until I remembered the time limit. That then reminded me of the fact that a clone has all of the same stats as a the character including knacks, so a clone also has the Doppelganger knack. Which raises the question, could a clone reset the time limit on doppelganger by making a clone of itself? This further raises the question of all sorts of shenanigans. How many doppelgangers could one have, could the number really grow exponentially as each clone starts making more clones? Setting aside the numbers game for a moment there are other narrative issues. Leaving a clone behind to cover a characters daily life seems readily prone to being attacked a some point. For a Scion, avoiding violence seems almost unavoidable. So how much could a clone accomplish in a fight? Obviously, run away, and serve as a distraction, but could a clone block an opponent from passing by getting in close range and opposing disengage attempts? Could a clone make fake attacks and put an opponent on the defensive? It seems reasonable that a clone could push a button, but then could a clone push a button that fires a missile? If so that would be an attack, so could a clone make real attacks? Do any combat limitations even matter is the clone is fighting against trivial opponents? Basically all of this is the kinda stuff Sun Wukong would do, but there is game balance to consider, so that comes more an issue.

    Could I leave a clone behind to live my character's mundane life while off adventuring?
    Could a clone make a new clone using the doppelganger knack, which it obviously possesses?
    Could a clone effectively reset its own time limit by making a new clone to take its place?
    Could I take the time with my clones to make an exponentially growing army of clones?
    Could a clone participate in combat at all? Could it initiate combat? What if someone else initiated combat?
    Could clone participate in a chase scene?
    Could a clone block an enemy from passing by opposing disengage actions?
    Could a clone make fake attacks as a distraction?
    Could a clone make real attacks?
    Could a clone instead act as a leader commanding followers or other NPCs in combat?
    Do combat restriction even matter if the clone is up against trivial opponents?

    Feel free to discuss doppelganger and any other limitations and issues that would arise from it.

  • #2
    These rules are, I think, open to interpretation and you should discuss with your Game master.

    As a GM, I would rule that a doppelganger cannot use the doppelganger knack.

    I think I would provide this explanation to players: When a scion creates a doppelganger they infuse it with their own divine ichor. A doppelganger does not possess ichor - all its attributes are drawn from the scion who created it.

    Clones can take any combat actions, but when they are targeted by an attack (including blocking an attack aimed at someone else), they disappear.

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    • #3
      The biggest question is: What fits Scion? Raising an army of mirror images? That seems pretty Scion to me, although they'll mostly go poof as soon as they encounter an enemy. Having someone attack your double going to class while you're in Lagos fighting a hydra? That sounds like Scion to me. Using a doppleganger to push a button to launch a missile instead of doing it myself? That doesn't feel as Scion to me. Using a doppleganger to distract your opponent while you sneak over to the button and push it? That is Scion-worthy to me. Using dopplegangers to chase someone and herd them towards you? That's Scion. You have cool powers. Use them to do cool things.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Florin View Post
        The biggest question is: What fits Scion? Raising an army of mirror images? That seems pretty Scion to me, although they'll mostly go poof as soon as they encounter an enemy. Having someone attack your double going to class while you're in Lagos fighting a hydra? That sounds like Scion to me. Using a doppleganger to push a button to launch a missile instead of doing it myself? That doesn't feel as Scion to me. Using a doppleganger to distract your opponent while you sneak over to the button and push it? That is Scion-worthy to me. Using dopplegangers to chase someone and herd them towards you? That's Scion. You have cool powers. Use them to do cool things.
        Yes, these things are Sciony - but the game should be balanced between players. If one character can over the course of an hour create 100 full-powered clones of themselves, where does that leave the other characters? What can they do at a similarly cheap cost that shows off how great they are?

        In the name of balance, I think there needs to be a limit put on it, or else other players end up getting upset because their own perfectly good character is comparably insignificant.

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        • #5
          Let's see. They can create a small building in an instant, instantly teleport to someone you're protecting no matter how far the distance, make yourself and your protected person immune to environmental damage, bring someone back from the dead if it's been fewer than 3 minutes, cause injuries to people who lie to you, spend momentum to not acquire Bruised or Injured injury conditions if you're leading SG characters loyal to you, teleport to anywhere you can see, etc.

          Immortal knacks are powerful. I don't think Doppleganger is any more powerful than the most powerful Immortal Knack under the other Callings.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Florin View Post
            Let's see. They can create a small building in an instant, instantly teleport to someone you're protecting no matter how far the distance, make yourself and your protected person immune to environmental damage, bring someone back from the dead if it's been fewer than 3 minutes, cause injuries to people who lie to you, spend momentum to not acquire Bruised or Injured injury conditions if you're leading SG characters loyal to you, teleport to anywhere you can see, etc.

            Immortal knacks are powerful. I don't think Doppleganger is any more powerful than the most powerful Immortal Knack under the other Callings.
            Many Immortal knacks are powerful, true! But doppelganger used to make many copies of a character, also copies over all their knacks. Say your trickster also has the 'breath of life' knack from their Healer calling. Now there are 100 characters on the field who can all resurrect a person who died 3 minutes ago. The worn-torn doctor-soldier of the party who picked that knack as their unique, last resort special ability, then feels a bit useless.

            And, tbh, creating a small building instantly IS more underwhelming than 'there are now hundreds of me, all of whom can perform marvels'.

            I do think it would be a fun long-term deed to find a way to make an army of doppelgangers of yourself - but it shouldn't be 'I can just do that, the rules say so'.

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            • #7
              They can all do marvels, until you run out of Legend. So, only a few times. Creating a small building would be great for containing your dopplegangers or, if you have it thrust up from underneath, just wiping them out. And your 100 dopplegangers would not last long against someone a feat of Scale to attack all of them at once. It may seem powerful, but there are lots of ways around it. It's a Trickster knack. It's good for Trickster things. It's not going to do much against someone with Hurricane of Death as a title.

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              • #8
                The limitations are "is it fun for the game?"

                Balance because an issue when it cuts into fun. Creating 100 clones can be plenty fun for everybody, but it can also be used in ways that aren't so much fun for other players. A wise story teller recognizes this and works with these. The game isn't designed to hold up under intense mechanical stress, but work just fine so long as everyone is there to have fun and tell a good story.

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                • #9
                  Okay - so a shared legend pool is a good start to mitigate these issues.

                  But let's assume the trickster is not being attacked. They all have the heroic lover 'Not a Fighter' knack. Or they just aren't on the battlefield.

                  Say you decide to brute force research with your 100 doppelgangers. They each have 8 dice - not great, but not bad. But you get to roll 100 times - each of them is a separate character, not a follower and they are each working individually. With that many rolls, one of them is likely to hit 8 successes or more. Lets assign 10 of them to collate the results together so it's not just a chaos of opinions. The sage of the party, even with their specialties and bonuses stacked up is only rolling once, because they have only one character, not 100.

                  Or maybe we send 50 to assist with research while the other 50 are free to do anything else the player wants to achieve. The sage has to dedicate all their time to just one cause.

                  There are very few scenarios that having more characters of the same level as everyone else isn't better than having one character.

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                  • #10
                    They can't benefit from Teamwork. You could maybe get away with doing 100 projects individually, but you won't be able to put all of them on one project. You would then probably hit duration issues at that point.

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                    • #11
                      Shadow clone jutsu!



                      When the cat's a Stray, the mice will pray...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheStray7 View Post
                        Shadow clone jutsu!

                        See, I actually hate the mass combat clone thing. I'm only concerned about combat with clones so far as dealing with a clone being attacked. Clones are much more interesting as tools of mischief.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hark View Post

                          See, I actually hate the mass combat clone thing. I'm only concerned about combat with clones so far as dealing with a clone being attacked. Clones are much more interesting as tools of mischief.
                          Me too. If this were allowed (clones creating clones ad infinitum) every single combat scene (and possibly every single scene for that matter) would be an extreme grudge and I would ban that Knack after a single session unless it was made into some kind of one-shot ability costing Legend or something.

                          I have a player who has been really good at using his Doppelganger Knack, maximizing it at every turn and really squeezing tons of utility from it across an entire campaign, and even he did not think of letting clones create clones because it would be ridiculous.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post

                            Me too. If this were allowed (clones creating clones ad infinitum) every single combat scene (and possibly every single scene for that matter) would be an extreme grudge and I would ban that Knack after a single session unless it was made into some kind of one-shot ability costing Legend or something.

                            I have a player who has been really good at using his Doppelganger Knack, maximizing it at every turn and really squeezing tons of utility from it across an entire campaign, and even he did not think of letting clones create clones because it would be ridiculous.
                            I'm more expressing my general distaste for Naruto and his fighting style. I actually don't have problems with huge numbers of clones so long as it's narratively appropriate and fun for everyone involved.

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                            • #15
                              Keep in mind the infinite clones thing could get defeated by a single scion with the warrior knacks Army of One and They're Everywhere (of i remember the names right)


                              Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les L├ęgendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 3 year old daughter and a 2 years old son and now a beautiful new baby.

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