Talk:Doppelganger (starting race)

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Doppleganger appears to have a bug when combined with Flame or Ice mages. Attempting to #youpoly after level 7 will gain the prompt 'take your draconic form?' (or such). You can click 'y' and turn into the red/white dragon or 'n' and... not polymorph at all. That caused me quite some disappointment after many hours invested just now, but i'm not quite confident enough about the details to edit the main entry... if someone more knowledgeable might be willing to confirm via the code? ~Aerach

8 years later, I've encountered the same and I'm currently taking a look at it myself. This is the line where the code that governs racial self-poly for doppelgangers starts, and 1668 above handles role-based self-poly. My wager is the order of the code locks doppel Flame and Ice Mages out of the racial self-poly - whether or not it's intended behavior, I can't say. --Umbire the Phantom (talk) 02:44, 25 September 2021 (UTC)


I'm no expert in the ways of Nethack (yet), but this race seems to be a bit unfair. Even forgetting the incredibly useful ability to polymorph (without losing body armor no less) and Liquid Leap, the stats dominate those of other traditionally preferred caster classes (elves and gnomes), except for the nigh useless charisma. Sleep Resist is easily acquired and infravision, while very nice and impossible to obtain through other means, does not seem worth the hit in stats alone. Is there some non-obvious flaw that balances out this race? I guess the existence of the Tourist supports the thesis that Nethack isn't particularly concerned with game balance but the Doppelganger seems disgustingly overpowered to me.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, I guess it could be argued that one or two more points over 18 in a stat aren't all that amazing. Gnomes have enough Str+Con for max carry capacity so 18/** Str only +3 damage and +2 to-hit and a further +2 to-hit from 20 Dex. 20 Con is still +4 hp/level and Int+Wis/15 is presumably rounded off so even power regen doesn't improve (this is assuming that these calculations don't change for SLASH'EM). But +3 damage with +4 to-hit is probably better than infravision, not to mention all the polymorph malarkey, so tell me your thoughts on the power of this race and if I'm on the right track. DemonDoll 14:10, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Whilst I agree that the Doppelganger is over-powered, the reasoning for high stats becomes apparent in the middle game... Failed polymorphs. As a Doppelganger, polymorphing regularly is normal, and there is always a chance when polymorphing that it will result in feeling like a new Doppelganger, which modifies stats. So where a late game human usually enjoys all stats at 18 or so, a Doppelganger may have a couple of 20s, but 16s are not uncommon either. 03:08, April 2, 2010 (UTC)


Is it just me, or do these get intrinsic protection? 00:55, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

They do. So do monks, and they stack. If you aren't wearing any body armor (monks can wear robes, doppelgangers cannot), doppelgangers and lycanthopes get '1 + xp / 4' bonus points to AC. Monks get '2 + xp/2', capped at 11. -- Qazmlpok 01:25, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Maximum statistics

Near the top of the page is the doppelganger maximum statistics. But under "feeling like a new doppelganger", it talks about "old" and "new" maximums. How do these get changed? -Actual-nh (talk) 22:53, 22 September 2021 (UTC)

Because they're discussing current attributes, not racial maximums. --Umbire the Phantom (talk) 22:56, 22 September 2021 (UTC)

"if your strength was 15 (max 16), and your max strength went up to 18, your new strength would be 18 * 15/16" - I can understand referring to the maximum attribute the character has ever had as a "max", except for it changing. -Actual-nh (talk) 23:11, 22 September 2021 (UTC)
Attributes can be lowered through abuse, poison, etc. and can be restored to their previous peaks via restore ability. Polymorphing into your own race changes your attributes based on the current and peak stat for each one. --Umbire the Phantom (talk) 23:26, 22 September 2021 (UTC)