The other week I posed a question asking gamers if they had ever been involved in a scenario where a player-character had been replaced by an "evil clone"/Life Model Decoy/etc without the player's knowledge?
Due to the quirks of current social media, the question got a lot of interest in the form of "plus ones" (on Googleplus) and "likes" (on Facebook), but only a handful of answers.
In the GooglePlus Villains & Vigilantes community Patric Rogers explaind that he hadn't used this comic book trope because:
"...players get twitchy about things like that. For understandable reasons players like to control their own characters, and would feel sandbagged with "Hey! Turns out you're a clone and you've been playing a fake of yourself these last six sessions and the real you has no memory or experience points from those last six sessions!"This was echoed by Theron Bretz in Facebook's Villains & Vigilantes Forum, who said: "I'd be very hesitant to do something like this without the player's knowledge. It's a potential minefield."
However, he added that had played in a game where "one of the PCs was replaced by a 'mirror universe' version of himself, but the player was in on it (though only he and the GM knew). It was great."
Larry Mikulich shared a story from a campaign where his character had been replaced by an "Adaptoid android" while his actual PC was locked up in an underground base for six months of gametime.
Again, as with Theron's anecdote, Larry said:
"The GM let me in on it from the word 'go'. It was just a good subplot. Early 20-something heroes, my character developed feelings for another PC. I laid the groundwork early on with romance and stuff so when the GM switched my character out with an android doppelganger it was even cooler...because the android made out with the PC."The question remains, whether you have experienced this sub-plot or simply entertained the idea, would it work in your campaign? How important is 'trust' before you pulled such a plot twist on the group? How would you feel if your GM pulled this stunt on you?