Guidance – Playing 101: Beginner’s Guide to Dual Identity

Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be talking about the vigilante’s dual identity.

Welcome back to Intriguing April!

The vigilante class is the star of Ultimate Intrigue, and today we’re going to talk about its iconic ability: dual identity. Let’s not dally; here we go!

Dual Identity Breakdown

Dual identity allows a vigilante to have two separate identities; a mild-mannered social identity and a ruthless vigilante identity. Vigilantes get bonuses to Disguise themselves as one identity over the other, and the change is so thorough that the vigilante actually changes how he thinks mentally. As a result, divination effects can’t locate a vigilante if he’s not in the identity you’re looking for; for instance, if you’re looking for Alric, the Galtan nobleman, the spell will fizzle and fail while he’s masquerading as the Red Raven unless the caster knows that the two individuals are one and the same.

Identity Crisis

Most people look at dual identity and see it as a, “I’m Batman,” or whatever, but there are many different ways to roleplay it. Below are several:

  • Bruce Wayne: This the “Batman” vigilante. Basically, you keep your identities split in the super hero sense, ducking out of sight whenever you need to change. This works well enough for enemies, but for your PCs, you probably want a “Justice League,” type thing where your friends know your actual identity. Its just a LOT easier that way.
  • Dexter Morgan: Yeah, I did a Dexter Build, but the vigilante is SO much better at it then my build was. Mostly because you can be an ordinary lab technician by day, and a serial killer at night. Basically, this is the “Evil Inverse” of the Bruce Wayne; you pretend to be a normal, law-abiding citizen most of the time and let down your maniacal hair in your vigilante identity.
  • Indiana Jones: So, this isn’t to say that Indy is necessary a vigilante, how he acts in the movies could totally be adapted to one. In the movies, “Dr. Jones” is his social identity. Everyone knows him as the Doctor, they talk to him like a respected professional. Maybe they’ve heard stories, but they can’t be true, right? Dr. Jones is such a mild-mannered scholar that he couldn’t be a crazy action hero. Except when he dons his hat, grabs his whip, and becomes Indy. Indy totally is an action hero! That’s his vigilante identity.
  • Tony Stark: One of the nice things about dual identity is that if people know your true identity, it doesn’t matter too much; you can get scryed on and people know what you’ve done, the same as anyone else in your party. Keeping your identity a secret is great if you have something to protect, but if you’re like Tony Stark and you don’t, who cares?
  • Don Quixote: My buddy Justin has an avenger from the playtest who uses amnesia as his “transformation.” Basically, as his social identity, he forgets about his abilities as an avenger and vice versa. It’s a very roleplaying-heavy way to play the class that will no doubt lead to some unoptimized choices, but it could certainly be a lot of fun!

Dual identity isn’t a particularly powerful or complicated ability, but its up there for one of the most roleplaying-heavy class abilities of all time; I personally think that it is as evocative as the change shape ability is for kitsune and reptoids. Coming up with separate personas and deciding why those personas need to exist is half the fun of the vigilante, and I totally recommend that you do the same when planning your character.

So tell me about YOUR vigilante? What are his identities and why does he have them? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t forget to come to our live Know Direction Podcast super show this Wednesday, April 13th. After a brief interview with Legendary Games, Ryan, Perram, Anthony, and I will be doing a review of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue LIVE! It’ll be a lot of fun, and you don’t want to miss it. Until then, take care!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC.

1 Comment

  1. Dean Jones Reply to Dean

    Edward Voss is a booming Brian Blessed-inspired human actor who is well known on the Oppara operahouse scene and who dabbles in diplomatic missions for the pathfinder society, a giant of a man who is affable and gets on well with everyone, from Irrisen tribal warlords to Galtish sausage vendors.

    The Fox is a terrifying phantom, a masked Kitsune who lunges from the shadows and has been known to infiltrate and impersonate members of secret organisations to get close to his targets. His shock tactics are so effective that enemies take stress damage just from seeing him wield his greatsword, but he always leaves his foes alive to tell the tale and spread the legend.

    I went with a very literal split of personae; The kitsune form and the vigilante persona are one and the same, there’s no mixing of the roles here and they even split their social skills; the social is all diplomacy, the vigilante all intimidation.

    Yes, the kitsune wears a mask even though without it he would still not be recognizable as even the same species as the social identity.

    Easter Egg: Although it’s a Chelaxian name, the surname Voss is also German, and their family crest shows a fox.

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