ZEITGEIST [Spoilers] On duplicants


Duplicants pose a few tricky situations when it comes to PCs wanting to use them?

1. What exactly is stopping the PCs from picking up the duplicant technology in Islas dolas Focas and using it for themselves? Sure, Benedict Pemberton might dominate them, but there are ways around that, such as requisitioning a crown of Neverwinter in 4e.

2. What is stopping the PCs from reverse-engineering the duplicant technology in Islas dolas Focas, particularly if they tell Tinker Oddcog to research duplicant technology as their between-books technological breakthrough?

3. What is the relationship between duplicant technology and Alexander Grappa? Alexander's specialties of constructs, mind manipulation, and mind transference would seem to intersect with duplicants to a heavy degree.

4. What is stopping the PCs from, once gaining access to Alexander Grappa, having both him and Tinker Oddcog reverse-engineer the duplicant technology to enable top-notch infiltrations and impersonations?
Nothing's stopping them, except that while using duplicants they're torturing people's souls in the witchoil that forms the bond. And most duplicants are cheap pieces of tin that break readily. It'd be really expensive to make ones that are as strong as the PCs are naturally. And there's always a risk someone figures out how to hijack your signal or just punt you out of the body.

For infiltration, sure, they could be handy, but not much more useful than a Hat of Disguise. I guess it gives you an option to be a suicide bomber and live the tale. Have you seen Surrogates with Bruce Willis?

Grappa had nothing to do with duplicants, though.


Does that mean that the witchoil required for the duplicant technology must have souls inside, apart from a sliver of the soul of the linked person?

Does a duplicant body need to be all that powerful for PC usage? There are many PCs who are reliant solely on their mental ability scores in 4e, and they would not seem to need an especially sturdy body to do well enough. Would the many duplicant bodies that the PCs can salvage from book #5 suffice?

I thought that duplicants were shielded against all sorts of divinations and were generally undetectable, even by Brakken, hence why they would be superior to a mere hat of disguise.

Duplicants could, at the very least, serve as an incredibly versatile and reliable means of long-distance communications, no? Even the absolute weakest of the duplicants would be amazing for long-distance communications.

What would Alexander Grappa actually do if introduced to duplicant technology, in that case, when the PCs get back in touch with him?

Could duplicant technology be used to effectively give a loose soul (e.g. one trapped in witchoil, or Xambria's consciousness) a robotic body?

How much of a duplicant's appearance is actually illusory? Pardo's Metal Shell trait in 4e implies that the fur, at the very least, is illusory. Tinker would obviously need a dedicated, Small-sized duplicant endoskeleton, but surely, the endoskeletons necessary for a male gnoll and a female human could not possibly be the same? Would endoskeletons have to be tailored to rough body shapes? Are the clothes also illusory? Or perhaps duplicants work under a mix of polymorph and illusion effects?
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If your party is seeking ways of long-distance communication, look at sending stones. Lvl 11, 9k gold +4.5k per additional stone after initial pair, and can relay messages across the world. I think dublicants are much more expensive


Sending stones do not allow a society to have long-distance communications along with long-distance relationships, with effectively face-to-face conversations.

Just imagine a chat-room-style place where people leave duplicant bodies to occupy and teleconference with.
As I said, watch surrogates.

Also, if you don't want this stuff in your game, just disallow it. Come up with a reason. Pemberton has secret knowledge that they don't manage to replicate during the span of the campaign. Like, we figured out how to make nukes 70 years ago, but some folks still have a hard time doing it. It's okay if the PCs can't do everything.


Advancing research into long-distance communication and long-distance relationships does not seem that out-of-line for the campaign, does it?
Sure. I'm just not clear on whether you're asking these questions because you want to prevent the PCs from getting it, or because you're intrigued by the option and wanting to know how they can pull it off.


Let us say it should be a viable option to research, possibly through the technological breakthroughs, but not exactly something trivial to acquire.