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Everything I read about this spell leaves me with more questions than answers.

Does a simulacrum have the personality of its target? How would that reconcile with a target that is fiercely independent?

If it had no orders, does it attempt to entertain itself, or does it just sit there waiting for orders as an emotionless husk? Does it beg for orders like Mr Meeseeks?

Does it perform its orders and nothing else? If you order it to wait for someone, does it sit motionless until the person arrives, or will it engage in small talk to keep itself occupied?

How specific does an order need to be? Will it follow the letter or the spirit of the order?

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A Simulacrum is a partially real illusion, which is under your control.

It has all the stats of the creature you are duplicating, but it's friendly to you and it can't learn. It's not actually the creature you duplicated, though.

So if the creature you copied was fiercely independent and highly intelligent, the simulacrum would be fiercely independent, highly intelligent, but also always friendly to you and following your orders to the best of its abilities.

If you told it to "act natural", it would do so, using its high intelligence and independent nature, but it would still obey your orders if you gave any. On the other hand, if you told it to "sit perfectly still and do not move", it would do that as well, as it's under your control.

So it would try to follow the spirit of your orders, since it is friendly to you and wants to help you, but it will be limited in doing so by its abilities and nature. (A dog simulacrum might not understand orders to check out a book from the library. A devil simulacrum might not understand orders to act in good faith if questioned by authorities. Just treat them like real creatures that happen to be your friends and you should be okay.)

So basically you can have either of your options of "engage in small talk for entertainment" and "sit still and do nothing" depending on your preference, as long as the creature is capable of doing it. (The dog simulacrum won't be able to engage in small talk, for example.)

Just be a little careful with it; if you give the instructions to "sit still and do nothing until person X is here" then it will follow those, and if person X is delayed by a week, the simulacrum might dehydrate and die. (They are partially real, after all.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's "friendly to you", not "under your control". There's a world of difference between the two. \$\endgroup\$ – r256 Sep 13 '17 at 14:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @r256 the line after "friendly to you" says that it "obeys your spoken commands", which sounds like "under your control" to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 13 '17 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ A further question, would the simulacra know what the initial target knew, or just behave as the initial target behaved? i.e. you run into a particularly stubborn person who knows something you need to know but wont tell you, could you make a simulacra of that person and ask it the question? \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Gorman Sep 13 '17 at 14:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelGorman that's a great question, but you'd have to ask it separately if you want it answered :) \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 13 '17 at 14:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ ok, I looked to see if it was asked and answered already, didn't find it so I asked a new question. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Gorman Sep 13 '17 at 14:51

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