Can I use my Simulacrum to draw from a Deck of Many Things and if yes, what restrictions do apply?

Longer version

Imagine the following situation: You have gotten a Deck of Many Things and successfully identified it with an Arcana check, so you know what you got your hands on. Since you are aware how horrible the effects can be, you get a brilliant idea - at least you think so:

If I cast Simulacrum, let it draw from the Deck and order it to give me whatever it got, I can draw from the Deck without any risks!

It should be obvious that certain effects would benefit neither you nor the simulacrum, e.g. the potential XP gains/losses, since you a) can't transfer XP and b) your Simulacrum can't gain XP.

I appreciate an RAI answer if there are areas that are not governed by strict RAW, but try to bend the rules only when necessary (or for a much greater fun factor).

  • \$\begingroup\$ It is usually accepted that once the DoMT comes into play, all bets are off. Anedoctally, it has wrecked more gaming groups than any other magical item. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


Yes, but there are only a few cards where the benefits could be transferred

The benefits that could be transferred are limited to material goods, and effects that the simulacrum could be directed to use on the caster's behalf. Additionally, there are a some detrimental effects that may carry over to the caster.

Material goods cards

  • gem: 50k gold
  • key: magic weapon
  • throne: simulacrum may be able to transfer ownership of the keep.
  • sun: wondrous item.

Effects that could be used to benefit the caster:

  • moon: 1d3 wishes that the simulacrum could use to your benefit
  • vizier: get the answer to a question
  • the fates: undo an event
  • the knight: level 4 fighter loyal to the simulacrum.

Tricky Wish

It is probably worth noting that there is the potential for a simulacrum to use their wish to become real. The caster would be wise to ensure that it is explicitly known that this outcome is against their wishes.

Detrimental effects that may bleed over.

  • rogue: a NPC becomes hostile to the card drawer.
  • flames: a powerful devil becomes the enemy of the card drawer.

Either of those enemies may view the caster as an enemy as well since they are the progenitor of the simulacrum. It's unlikely the dodge, "No that wasn't me! It was my illusionary construct creature that looks exactly like me", is going to work.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just the type of answer I was looking for - I like the bit about tricky wishes and some effects "bleeding over" :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 13:15
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ My Simulacrum uses wish to become real -> sounds good to me. Now I have a powerful ally who thinks like me. (Someone who thinks like me is my ally by default...) \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 17:05
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Joshua That was my immediate though as well. "I see this as an absolute win!" Though I suppose it depends on the character - if you're a CE murderhobo with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder then maybe it isn't as good. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnMontgomery when I imagine that for my current wizard the most important thing is magic and nothing else, that might not be too compatible with a real simulacrum since they would start to compete, no matter what... \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 11:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JohnMontgomery: I'm not like Pansy Parkinson. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 2:58

Yes, they can draw. But only the simulacrum draws and therefore gets any cards' effects.

Whomever interacts with the deck is going to gain the results of drawing the cards. They can't "pass the card" to you once it's known. Any effects affecting only the card-drawer will go to them, and any other effects that may involve characters around them will still happen.

This is for a few reasons:

The Deck of Many Things(DMG, 162) states:

Before you draw a card, you must declare how many cards you intend to draw and then draw them randomly...

Starting here, the simulacrum is going to determine how many cards they intend to draw and then will draw them.

Otherwise, as soon as you draw a card from the deck, its magic takes effect.

As soon as the card is drawn the magic will take effect. And it will affect whomever drew the card (the simulacrum.)

And finally:

Once a card is drawn, it fades from existence

The card is now gone after being drawn (and returns to the deck unless the card says otherwise.) It can't be handed to someone else.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ So just doing a quick count... the Simulacrum could hand over the output of 2 cards (Gem/Key), half the output of 1 card (Sun), and use the output of 3 cards to your benefit (Fates, Moon, Vizier--if Vizier is in the deck). All the rest is Bad Stuff, or nontransferables. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some will be just "indirect", e.g. the possible 1d3 wishes are something you would need to keep your Simulacrum around for, but otherwise you can just order him to wish for something in your place (for you if applicable for the wish). \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 19:37

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