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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

[HIVE MIND PROBE] Can You 'Replace' A PC Without The Player's Knowledge?

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Daisy stumbles upon a room of Daisy duplicates...

A question for the gaming hive mind...

Inspired by the recent story arc in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., but also drawing upon such classic horror movies as The Thing and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, have you ever run a game where one - or more - of the player-characters was revealed to be not who the player thought he was?

I'm imagining, say, a long-running campaign where, at some point unbeknownst to the player, her character was somehow 'replaced' by her exact duplicate (e.g. a Life Model Decoy android, a shapechanging monster, a supernatural doppelgänger etc)

As gamesmaster you would have the player's character running off enacting her nefarious schemes when out of sight of the other player-characters, but also without the player of the 'replaced' character knowing.

It's one thing to replace an NPC, but would you have the chutzpah to pull this stunt on a player-character? Perhaps even turning them into the campaign's Big Bad?

Can this plot twist even work in a roleplaying game? Have you ever done this sort of thing at your table? Is it acceptable to pull this kind of revelation without the player's consent? How did your players react? Did they feel somehow cheated or were they blown away by your bravado? Would it have the same effect on your group if you colluded with the player of the 'replaced' character beforehand?

A variation on this theme would be a player-character cursed with lycanthropy (or a similar Jekyll & Hyde condition), where the character turns into a monster either when she is asleep or has black-outs.

For me, this is slightly different as it is still the PC committing atrocities, but she just doesn't remember.

With the 'replacement' scenario - the PC is actually out of the picture, and once his duplicate has been unmasked, the rest of the group will need to go and rescue her!

The Thing - the famous 'blood test' scene to reveal who isn't human...

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