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Is it possible to Clone (spell) a Simulacrum (spell)?

Points:

  • If slain, the Simulacrum-creature reverts back to snow &/or basic / simple components not suitable as flesh for this spell. A Clone would have to be cast whilst the host Simulacrum-creature were still 'alive'

  • The flesh of a Simulacrum-entity is not able to accept healing of any kind (magical, First Aid or rests). Instead the flesh must be repaired in a suitable laboratory at great cost. This implies the 'flesh' may be of some golem material (similar perhaps to Edward Scissorhands). As such, it may not be effectively cloned.

  • In short, even though a Simulacrum functions as a warm, living, breathing creature (given to starvation, dehydration, drowning, etc., just like the origin-target humanoid used for the spell), it may not really be alive.

If there is any documentation, advice or tweets for or against the cloning of simulacra, let us know.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that the issue is whether it is "living creature" as much as whether a simulacra has a soul, which is a big part of the Clone spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Nov 16 '18 at 16:42
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Yes, because the simulacrum is a creature.

The points you present are plausible reasons for why a DM might disallow cloning a simulacrum in their own campaign setting, but a strict reading of the rules shows that you can clone a simulacrum.

Specifically, the simulacrum spell states:

The duplicate is a creature ... and it can take actions and otherwise be affected as a normal creature.

And the clone spell acts on creatures:

This spell grows an inert duplicate of a living creature as a safeguard against death.

Because the simulacrum is specifically a living creature, it is a valid target for the clone spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Bingo: both the logic and the rules i was looking for. This might open a slew of other questions: can the Clone heal as the original target creature did? Or even regain spells (and otherwise live its life, reproduce and even age) as any other living creature? It is also unknown if the Clone would have the hit points of the original-source creature or that of the Simulacrum. All of this another day / another question. Thank you all the same. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16 '18 at 2:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I understand the devs lack of detail on a few things, but I have a hard time believing that a Simulacrum has a soul since it is only partially real. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Nov 16 '18 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, Slagmoth: any reasonable DM would assume the Clone would partially 'work', that is, create a complete body, duplicating and generating the DNA-flesh as given. This body should probably not wake up unless the 'original' soul were free, that is, the Simulacrum's source-creature were dead (and willing to return). There is no documentation on this but the logic is surprisingly sound. Destroying the Simulacrum would probably not allow their newly minted Clone-body any benefit. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17 '18 at 22:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would have to say this answer is wrong, by RAW, because it overlooks two very important specifications in Clone. Clone specifies a living creature and only triggers when that creatures dies. The Simulacrum is a creature, yes, but it is a construct that does not die, instead it melts. Because when the simulacrum goes to 0 hit points it reverts to snow, it never has the opportunity to die and therefore is not a valid target of clones death trigger. And Constructs typically treated in hand with Undead which are not living, making them not a valid target to copy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sean
    Jul 20 '20 at 23:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sean - i looked into it and... you are right! The answer you suggested is below, backed with links. Kudos to you, dear fellow. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18 at 21:38
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Regrettably evidence now counters the answer i had previously accepted, above. Please note this Stack Exchange discussion (below) - with valuable errata:

Can a Simulacrum reproduce?

This new(ish) errata specifies Simulacrum is both a 'creature' and a 'construct'. As such it is a non-living creature similar to undead and golems.

The spell Clone specifies the target must be 'living' (and 'medium' sized - sorry: gnomes, goblins and halflings). Thus one cannot Clone any kind of Flesh Golem either. Creative DMs might house-rule a Clone of a Flesh golem as a duplicate of whatever random person's body part 'Igor' had ransacked, from whatever local graveyard. If allowed, this would create an inert yet complete body in a storage bucket - with no soul or spirit to take it over. The new body would be fresh meat unless a ghost, demon or magic jar could take it over.

I digress here for clarity of concept: the Flesh golem cannot be cloned. Neither can a Simulacrum nor even a fleshy Shield Guardian.

The jury may still support a successful Clone on a Simulacrum via a 'non-stress' version of Wish - as this duplicates spells without 'requirements'. Is requiring one's target to be living a requirement?

"You do not need to meet any of the requirements for the spell."

In fact, are BOTH 'living' &/or 'medium sized' requirements? If so, one could then clone undead gnomes by using a basic 'Wish'.

Please let me know if i have missed something. If not, i shall un-check the answer i like and then up-check my own answer, this one, that disappoints me.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting take. Clone assumes the target has a soul, but it doesn't restrict based on creature type. And all constructs are creatures in D&D 5e. How do you get that constructs are strictly non-living? You may want to read the answers to What is a living creature? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Aug 18 at 22:38

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