Monday, January 11, 2010

The Doppelganger Mirror

I was reading through the Swords & Wizardry rulebook and an idea popped into my head. I'm not sure what trigger the idea, but here it is. The Doppelganger Mirror is a nasty little item to spice up a campaign. Even the destruction of it is going to cause problems for a long time. Enjoy.

The Doppelganger Mirror is made of a high quality, polished glass. It is framed within a large oval silver steel frame. The frame is sculpted in a sea theme with waves adorning the edges and clam shells at each corner. It weighs 100 pounds and is meant to lean against a wall for support. It looks to be of elven craftsmanship, but its weight and thick frame suggest it is only elven influenced.

The mirror reflects a depth to objects and people that regular mirrors are incapable of doing. The mirror is able to see around things. When a person stands before the mirror and desires something that object or thing will appear in the reflection.

If the player concentrates on the object the surface of the mirror will begin to ripple. At this time the player can reach through the mirror's surface. If a player chooses to do this he must make a saving throw vs. spell or be imprisoned within the mirror. The doppelganger of the player is now free to move through the real world. This doppelganger has gleaned most of the surface knowledge from the person, but does not know the background or secrets. It will use its ability to read minds to find more information. A character can resist this with a successful saving throw.

The doppelganger will provide substance for the imprisoned player by bringing drinks and food within the range of the mirror's reflection. It is in the doppelganger's best interest to keep the prisoner alive. If the player dies then it dies. The player can interact with the objects that are reflected in the mirror and use them as they normally would. However, magical properties cannot be transferred through the mirror. A +3 sword would be a regular sword within the mirror.

Once the mirror has taken someone it reverts to a normal mirror until that person dies. Only the doppelganger can see the prisoner. To all others it is just a fancy mirror.

Only a magical weapon or object can shatter the mirror. Smashing the mirror will instantly kill both the imprisoned and the doppelganger. The magical explosion will tear through the fabric of reality making the affected area weak, allowing outer world creatures to enter.


  1. Now when you use the term doppelganger here, do you refer to the standard D&D monster? I get the impression that the sort of doubles that come from the mirror are another thing entirely.

  2. On problem I always have with magic mirrors is PC's are WAAAY too cautious of them. Or in this case, perhaps not enough :P

    I like the caveat where the replacement has to stay near the mirror to feed "themself"

  3. @GB> What I consider them is a dedicated doppelganger. To keep things simple they have pretty much the same powers as a normal one, but must keep its host alive for it to survive.

    @Zz> Yeah I want the players to be catious especially around this mirror, but that temptation of obtaining that item will cause at least one in a group to take a chance.

  4. Nice. Like the idea of the mirror enforcing the dependency so that the monster must keep it's victim alive while it looks like you...

    Variant: The mirror is home to an incorporeal undead and the mirror switches your souls (as the 1E/2E magic jar spell). The undead gets a living body but you die in the mirror, it is pulled back into the mirror and your dead body is left.

    Turning doesn't work on the living but some kind of exorcism ritual or dispelling of evil might...

  5. @Satyre> Eww, I like your variant. That would be very interesting.