When a Bodytaker plant successfully produces a Podling based on the form & memories of an enveloped creature, does that Podling retain any of the creature's skills or other capabilities?
The result of the Bodytaker Plant's Entrapping Pod, reads:
If the target dies while enveloped, it immediately emerges from the pod as a living podling, wearing or carrying all of the original creature's equipment.
Their background info reads, in part:
These invasive organisms subvert whole societies by consuming individuals and replacing them with duplicates called podlings.
Meanwhile, the background info for a Podling says:
Podlings are near-perfect mimics of the creatures they replace. Despite having the knowledge of those they mimic, podlings frequently miss the nuances of interactions between sapient beings. These duplicates make excuses about their odd behavior, but those familiar with an individual replaced by a podling can often tell something's amiss. Roll on the Podling Behavior table to see what unusual habits a podling might demonstrate.
The Podling's statblock includes the following Trait:
Semblance of Life. The podling is a physical copy of a creature digested by a bodytaker plant. The podling has the digested creature's memories and behaves like that creature, but with occasional lapses. An observer familiar with the digested creature can recognize the discrepancies with a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Insight) check, or automatically if the podling does something in direct contradiction to the digested creature's established beliefs or behavior. The podling melts into a slurry when it dies, when the bodytaker plant that created it dies, or when the bodytaker plant dismisses it (no action required).
This would all seem to indicate that the Podling is at least a reasonably convincing duplicate, aside from some very specific mental lapses. However, neither the Bodytaker Plant's nor the Podling's statblock give any indication that the target's skills or other attributes are passed on to the Podling:
Not only is the Podling's form a Plant, but its movement speed is only 20ft with no mention of retaining any other movement (such as Flying or Swim speed). Neither does the Podling statblock say that Water Breathing or other essential survival traits are retained; this would make mimicking an aquatic or flying creature extremely ineffective (despite the Bodytaker Plant having a Swim speed).
Moreover, I find nothing to indicate that any learned skills, or Feats or class features, or attributes from the target's Background or Race or creature type, are endowed to the Podling.
Its only listed attack is Slam, with no mention of weapon proficiencies.
So, while a DC 20 Wisdom (Insight) check might theoretically be required for an observer familiar with the target creature to recognize the discrepancies, it seems far more likely that the Podling would be revealed "automatically" by its total inability to employ any of the target creature's signature capabilities (from flight, to attack types, to Lore/Arcana/Medicine/Tool checks).
Is there anything in Sage Advice or 5e rules or other canon (or even adventure module events), to indicate that a Podling is actually able to assume a target creature's role in its society / party? Or, is this creature basically a pale imitation, with no significant capabilities of the original it was intended to replace?
By my reading, I fear the Podlings may be pretty useless; I'd like to be wrong about that, but I'm looking for an answer based on Rules As Intended.