How can my PC confirm that the other PCs haven't been replaced by a shapechanger such as an incubus or doppelganger, and haven't been charmed/controlled in some way to work against the party?

One idea is have a password/code to check for shapechangers, but that only goes so far as if a PC is controlled but not replaced they would know the code.

Ideally answers would be methods a Bard could use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you count moonbeam dealing extra damage as a workable method? It arguably involves meta-gaming and I'm not sure how your table feels about that \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would prefer methods that don't involve damaging the character I'm trying to check, in case they aren't being controlled. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shay
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: How can characters/players identify that a polymorphed dragon is a dragon? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you know you aren't the one who has been replaced? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


You'd need to be of high enough level to cast these spells, but they should be all you need:

  1. True seeing. This spell gives you truesight which lets you see the true form of a shape changing creature.

  2. Identify. This spell can tell you what, if any, spells are in effect on a creature so any spell based charm or domination effects will become known to you.

  3. Detect Thoughts. This spell literally lets you know what thoughts are going through a creature's mind.

  4. Detect Magic. Identify can only ID actual spells, but this spell can tell you if any magical effect is active on the creature. If the target can't explain an active magic upon themselves then you have the right to be suspicious.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ zone of truth may also be an option \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will note that none of these options protect you against a Vampire's Charm. That is not a spell or transformation, nor does the victim know they are Charmed. At best, Detect Thoughts may pick up on positive thoughts towards something that should be an enemy. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty Good point. I'll add detect magic since the vampire's charm ability is magical. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would Detect Magic detect a magical effect being active on a shape changed creature? \$\endgroup\$
    – Shay
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 20:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nystul's can mask the charm so be wary of that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 20:50

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