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A doppelgänger does not have the Regeneration special quality. It does have Change Shape (alter self).

Regeneration clearly lets a creature regrow a missing body part, like a hand.

What happens when a doppelgänger in one shape (say, an elf) has a right hand cut off as punishment for stealing, then slinks out of sight and changes shape into a human?

Is the doppelgänger in human form still missing the right hand?

If a hand has to be missing, can the doppelgänger take the form of a human missing its left hand? Hide or disguise the wound to a degree?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ An alternative question that has answers that may be useful. Also, while not contextually similar, a similar effect is addressed by this question. And, man, am I, like, the only GM that doesn't randomly dismember folks? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 9 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't randomly dismember folks. One of my players used to, though :/ \$\endgroup\$ – CasualViking Jun 10 at 8:08
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The Change Shape feature is a Supernatural effect that imitates Polymorph spells.

Because of this, you will generally take the form of a fully formed creature with the new type. A GM could easily rule otherwise. Notably,

While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. ... While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed.

Clearly this doesn't specifically call out the case of missing parts, but it does imply that your original form does not matter (even when taking a similar form).

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The doppelgänger cannot regrow a hand

But when it Shapechanges it has the same number of hands as the “humanoid it has seen”.

If the particular human it has seen had 2 hands the doppelgänger will have 2 hands. If it turns back into the elf it will also have 2 hands because that’s how many it had when the doppelgänger saw it. The doppelgänger in its natural form - who knows. Cutting off limbs is firmly in home brew territory so you’ll have to work that out when you work out the rest.

As an aside, the doppelgänger’s Shapechange ability is completely unrelated to the Polymorph spell. The word “polymorph” is just being used in its normal sense and not as a reference to the spell.

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