Dungeons & Dragons Online

Doppelganger Mind Reading in Combat

Content of the article: "Doppelganger Mind Reading in Combat"

I'm getting back into RPGs for my family this summer, after having not played in twenty years. I'm taking them through are going through Lost Mines of Phandelver, and I was reviewing the upcoming "episodes" and noticed the doppelgangers.

I used doppelgangers before in the old days, and knew about their mind reading, but this time as I looked closer at the description of their abilities, I noticed something that I think could make them a little more interesting (especially since LMOP doesn't make use of their most famous abilities in its plot). I can't find this addressed elsewhere on the internet, but first, here's this famous special action for the creature:

Read Thoughts. The doppelganger magically reads the surface thoughts of one creature within 60 feet of it. <...> While the target is in range, the doppelganger can continue reading its thoughts, as long as the doppelganger’s concentration isn’t broken (as if concentrating on a spell). <...>

Now, under concentration in spellcasting:

Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn’t interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration: <...> Taking damage.<...>

It seems to me that a doppelganger could use this to its advantage in combat. All it has to do is take an action to turn on his read thoughts for a specific individual, then continue reading those thoughts while it's fighting. Wouldn't it have insight into what his opponent is doing during combat, and therefore have some sort of advantage? At least until it takes damage and loses concentration. It would know from reading those thoughts whether its opponent is going to feint, or change the angle of attack at the last minute, etc.

What are your thoughts on this? If I were to go with this, how would this be played in game terms: give the players disadvantage when attacking while the doppelganger is reading his/her thoughts (which would immediately tell the player that something's going on), or temporarily raise it's AC? Would the doppelganger also get a similar bonus advantage when it makes an attack, because it knows how it's opponent is going to defend itself?

Source: reddit.com

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