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Let's say I have a Bard that has learned the Find Steed spell and Simulacrum through the Magical Secrets trait.

Find Steed (and Find Greater Steed(XGtE 156)) both specify the following (with slight differences):

While mounted on [your steed], you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target the [steed].

If I'm mounted on such a steed and were to cast Simulacrum, targeting myself, can I choose to also target the Steed, and if so, what happens?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How are you going to spend twelve hours making a life-size copy of yourself out of snow and ice while sitting on your steed? If the spell were to also copy the steed, you would need to make a life-size copy of them as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Jan 31 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Marq that can be done in preparation to casting the spell, or we can interpret "You shape an illusory duplicate of one beast or humanoid that is within range for the entire casting time of the spell" as being magically directed as part of you casting the spell, rather than manually scooping snow or ice with your hands. \$\endgroup\$ – G. Moylan Jan 31 at 19:20
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The Simulacrum spell targets your Steed, but it won't copy it

The spells Find Steed (and Find Greater Steed) both will allow you to target your steed as well as yourself with Simulacrum. However, the spell Simulacrum states (PHB, p. 276):

You shape an illusory duplicate of one beast or humanoid that is within range for the entire casting time of the spell.

However, even if your steed appeared to be a beast (e.g. if it was in the form of a Warhorse), according to the text of Find Steed (PHB p. 240, bold added):

The steed has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice).

So although you could target your steed with the Simulacrum spell, the steed is not a valid target of the spell by virtue of its creature type. And according to an (optional) rule in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 85-86):

Invalid Spell Targets A spell specifies what a caster can target with it: any type of creature, a creature of a certain type (humanoid or beast for instance)... But what happens if a spell targets something that isn't a valid target? For example, someone might cast charm person on a creature believed to be a humanoid, not knowing that the target is in fact a vampire.

If you cast a spell on someone or something that can’t be affected by the spell, nothing happens to that target.

The example above demonstrates that the ability to target a creature with a spell does not automatically make the spell's effects apply to it. Just as you can target a vampire with charm person (which wouldn't do anything to the vampire), you can target a fey, celestial, or fiend with Simulacrum, but it won't do anything.

So although Simulacrum will both target you and your steed, it will only duplicate you, not your steed.

Of course, the Simulacrum copy of you could cast Find Steed itself, and gain a steed of its own. But this would cost a non-recharging 2nd level spell slot. Otherwise, the copy will have to resign itself to a steedless existence.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A small note (that doesn't really belong in the answer, but I found fun): other similar spells might be able to copy both you and your steed. For example, this tactic might work with the spell Clone. However, that could create some awkward moments, such as your clone waking up subsequently in a medium sized container that also contains a full grown Warhorse. That could be an uncomfortable squeeze. \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme Jan 31 at 19:55
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Simulacrum also targets your Steed

It creates one duplicate each of the two of you.

Just to take the first line of the Simulacrum spell:

You shape an illusory duplicate of one beast or humanoid that is within range for the entire casting time of the spell.

The target is one beast or humanoid within range touch.

The Steed would not normally be a valid target because its type is celestial, fiend, or fey, but Find Steed (and Greater) specifically calls out:

[snip]... While mounted, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed...[snip]

If you have yourself, and are mounted for 12 hours, then you should be able to cast the spell and it'll create two duplicates: one of you, and one of your steed.

As for controlling them all:

[snip]... It obeys your spoken commands, moving and acting in accordance with your wishes and acting on your turn in combat. ...[snip]

The Simulacrum of you will be under your control.
The Steed is under your control.
The Simulacrum of the Steed is under your control.

It's likely to be very mentally tiring (narratively), but mechanically feasible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The proper wording from find steed in the PHB p. 240 says: "While mounted, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed." This text doesn't seem to allow bypassing any qualifiers for the steed to be a valid target, it just allows it to be targeted (even though it may be an invalid target and the spell would not work once cast.) \$\endgroup\$ – Token Jan 31 at 18:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I will update my text to match the book text, though, I still personally feel this works. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Jan 31 at 18:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not unconvinced of your logic as the specific rule of Find Steed may override the more general targeting rules. But I also think that you can target something, but have it fail because it's not valid and not need to deal with specific over general. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jan 31 at 18:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch: In fact, Xanathar's has (optional) rules for just that: Invalid Spell Targets (XGTE p. 85-86). It specifically uses the example of charm person cast on a vampire: "If you cast a spell on someone or something that can’t be affected by the spell, nothing happens to that target, but if you used a spell slot to cast the spell, the slot is still expended." \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 31 at 20:59

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