If someone casts Clone on themselves and allows the clone to mature, then subsequently is turned into a Vampire, does the soul flee the now-vampiric undead body to activate the clone, leaving the vampire version of themselves out there? Or would the Clone merely act as an extra backup in case someone succeeds in destroying them as a vampire?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a precedent for vampires without souls? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2019 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BlakeSteel in a lot of various vampire lore, vampires are soulless... er... no human soul anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Feb 20, 2019 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


You can't turn into a vampire without triggering an active Clone spell.

The reason for this is that, to turn into a vampire, you first have to die. Specifically, you can become a vampire (spawn) by being bitten by a true vampire and being buried in the ground. In the following night, you rise as a vampire spawn.

Bite (Bat or Vampire Form only) [...] A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire's control.

Therefore, to turn into a vampire, your clone cannot be mature yet. Otherwise, it will trigger once you die, preventing you from turning into a vampire spawn.

If the clone matures after you die from the vampire's bite, but before you resurrect as a vampire spawn, it won't trigger:

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return.

If your clone matures after you rise as a vampire spawn, it most likely won't trigger either. This is for a number of reasons:

  • The Clone spell only triggers "if the original creature dies". Whether or not you as the vampire spawn still count as "the original creature" is debateable, and therefore up to your DM.
  • The Clone spell requires the soul to be "free and willing to return". You as a vampire spawn are under the control of the vampire who created you - whether this is just physical or if it also applies to your soul (rendering it not-free) is unclear, and therefore also up to your DM.

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return.

Hence, it'll be up to your DM to decide whether or not a vampire spawn with a clone will resurrect as the clone upon death.

By the way: if you Wish for yourself to become a vampire, or if you permanently True Polymorph into a vampire (or any other creature for that matter), only the first issue applies, since you will then be a free-willed vampire (or vampire spawn, but I'm not sure why anyone would choose to be vampire spawn over being a true vampire).

  • \$\begingroup\$ So Clone becomes a 'Get out of Vampirism free' card. Not bad! \$\endgroup\$
    – user47897
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Where exactly does it say that the soul is still in the risen Vampire Spawn? It seems just as likely that your body dies, your soul activates your clone, AND your corpse arises as a Vampire Spawn. Is there anything in RAW that prevents that interpretation? \$\endgroup\$
    – user47897
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkTO Well, there's the fact that "The original creature's physical remains, if they still exist, become inert and can't thereafter be restored to life" (Clone, PHB p. 222) And although undead creatures are not humanoids, they are a form of life. This can be confirmed by the fact that if a zombie is killed and then revivified, it remains a zombie in spite of the fact that it "returns to life" (Revivify, PHB, p. 272). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2019 at 19:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ clone getting you out of vampirism free, if it's already primed, seems like a natural extension of clone getting you out of ordinary death free, and with the other return-from-death spells (note in particular that resurrection doesn't work if you have already risen as an undead). \$\endgroup\$
    – zwol
    Feb 20, 2019 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ True Polymorph specifies that "You transform the creature into a different creature." Contrasted with the fact that Polymorph says "transforms a creature with at least 1 hit point that you can see within range into a new form", I think the implication is you are not the original creature. Maybe a carefully worded Wish could work around that still, however. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2019 at 21:29

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