Doppelganger is a term for any supernatural creature that imitates a specific preexisting being or object. They are classified as Static or Active, distinguished by whether or not their form is fixed at creation, and they also as one of three subcategories:
- Organic Doppelgangers copy living creatures. They occasionally copy parts from multiple targets, but if that form is their default they are classified as chimera.
- Mechanical Doppelgangers are any Eidolon that copies the form of a machine or tool. The most well known are probably the mischief spirits that pretend to be a hammer, nails, or other simple tool but vanish when their would be user looks away. They tend to be fairly simple to make artificially, and are some of the most useful Artificial Eidolons around, often employed as weapons, multitools, or both. There have been no known instances of a Static doppelganger of this type.
- Hybrid Doppelgangers are the most rare type, and may not form naturally. They display both mechanical and organic characteristics, and almost always take the form of androids. Occasionally, organic doppelgangers will develop into hybrids, but the equivalent has not been observed of initially mechanical doppelgangers.
Combat doppelganger is technically phrase for a Doppelganger with a combat focus. As such, they tend to be rapid shapeshifters capable of copying bodyparts or weapons as necessary, although it can technically refer to any Doppelganger created expressly for combat.
Besides use as multitools, Doppelgangers are often used as disposable pilots and infantry. While these inevitably less versatile or individually dangerous than trained combat mages, they are a formidable force if well enough equipped.
Doppelgangers can operate in several different ways. These are determined at creation, affect their abilities, and are listed as follows:
- Preprogrammed: The more complex type of artificial doppelganger, these are essentially complicated enchantments. Unlike the other types they cannot act in any way they are not programmed to, but they will often develop into a full Eidolon over time unless deployed in mass or remote controlled.
- Remote control: The simplest form of doppelganger. The controller must be unconscious for the control to be absolute, generally limiting this type’s use to bodydoubles. The most well known example is probably the Shadow Puppet spell.
- Engram: The second easiest type to create, these are based on their creator’s concept of a specific person, such as themselves. They will act like that idealised version of their target until they develop into full Eidolons. Depending on how extensive their creator’s mental image is and how far their situation gets from it said development can take anywhere from two days to ten years.
- Natural: A naturally occurring Eidolon that imitates the form of something in it’s environment. There are no known Static instances of this type.
- Seminatural: A doppelganger whose formation is actively, if perhaps not deliberately, encouraged. Nearly any android ends up as the base for one of these.
Charred Visage (Dark Nature)