Tella – Female Doppelganger Assassin | New NPC for Fifth Edition

In the Bloody Bunch campaign which is soon wrapping up (they’re at 19th-level now), Tella is probably the best–and most interesting–of all the NPCs the characters travel with. Originally the doppelganger servant of Nezznar (yes, the one from Phandelver), Tella has mostly turned good over the years. Now, she aims to take down the villainous [redacted] with the other characters.

I’ve created Tella here as a doppelganger 20th-level expert sidekick using the rules from Unearthed Arcana/Essentials Kit. To make it rules compliant, I removed her multiattack from her original stat block.

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Medium monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral

Armor Class 18 (+2 studded leather armor)

Hit Points 182 (28d8 + 56)

Speed 30 ft.

Abilities Str 11 (+0), Dex 22 (+6), Con 14 (+2), Int 15 (+2), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 16 (+3)

Saving Throws Dex +10, Wis +6

Skills Arcana +6, Deception +11, Insight +6, Intimidation +7, Investigation +6, Medicine +6, Perception +10, Stealth +14

Tools herbalism kit, poisoner’s kit, thieves’ tools

Damage Resistances cold, traps

Condition Immunities charmed

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 20

Languages Common

Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

Special Equipment boots of the winterlandsbracers of archerycloak of the bat, quiver of Ehlonna

Shapechanger. Tella can use her action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid she has seen, or back into her true form. Her statistics, other than her size, are the same in each form. Any equipment she is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. She reverts to her true form if she dies.

Ambusher. In the first round of combat, Tella has advantage on attack rolls against any creature she has surprised.

Dungeon Delver. Tella is alert to hidden traps and secret doors. She has the following benefits:

  • Tella has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to detect the presence of secret doors.
  • Tella has advantage on saving throws made to avoid or resist traps.
  • Tella can search for traps while traveling at a normal pace, instead of only at a slow pace.

Evasion. If Tella is subjected to an effect that allows her to make a Dexterity saving throw or take only half damage, she instead takes no damage if she succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if she fails.

Jill of Many Trades. Tella can add half her proficiency bonus to any ability check she
makes that uses a skill but doesn’t already include her proficiency bonus.

Mistress of Tactics. Tella can take a bonus action on each of her turns to take the Dash, Disengage,  Help, or Hide actions. When Tella uses this trait to take the Help action, the creature who receives the help also gains a 2d6 bonus to the d20 roll. If that roll is an attack roll, the creature can forgo adding the bonus to it, and then if the attack hits, the creature can add the bonus to the attack’s damage roll against one target.

Reliable Talents. Whenever Tella makes an ability check that includes her whole proficiency bonus, she can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.

Stroke of Luck (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). Tella has an uncanny knack for turning failure into success. If Tella’s attack misses a target within range, she can turn the miss into a hit. Alternatively, if she fails an ability check, she can treat the d20 roll as a 20.

Surprise Attack. If Tella surprises a creature and hits it with an attack during the first round of combat, the target takes an extra 10 (3d6) damage from the attack.


Multiattack. Tella makes two weapon attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d6 + 8) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Read Thoughts. Tella magically reads the surface thoughts of one creature within 60 feet of her. The effect can penetrate barriers, but 3 feet of wood or dirt, 2 feet of stone, 2 inches of metal, or a thin sheet of lead blocks it. While the target is in range, the doppelganger can continue reading its thoughts, as long as the doppelganger’s concentration isn’t broken (as if concentrating on a spell). While reading the target’s mind, the doppelganger has advantage on Wisdom (Insight) and Charisma (Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion) checks against the target.


Art by Wizards of the Coast

1 thought on “Tella – Female Doppelganger Assassin | New NPC for Fifth Edition

  1. As someone who has a changeling character, I have to say that “Glamoured Studded Leather Armor” is a great investment.

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