Some other players of 5e D&D have suggested that the Clone spell only works with a Medium size body. Putting this into perspective (and putting aside obvious yet possibly reasonable discrimination against creatures such as gnomes, kobolds and halflings), what is the actual RAW on this?

Question: What living creatures can be cloned by the 8th level Clone spell - from what micro-minimum to what absolute maximum in size could this thing be?


2 Answers 2


A creature can be cloned; the 'medium' size looks like a limitation

Clone's spell description says this:

Components: V, S, M (a diamond worth at least 1,000 gp and at least 1 cubic inch of flesh of the creature that is to be cloned, which the spell consumes, and a vessel worth at least 2,000 gp that has a sealable lid and is large enough to hold a Medium creature, such as a huge urn, coffin, mud-filled cyst in the ground, or crystal container filled with salt water)

And, it says this.

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

But the 2018 errata says this:

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

And who wants to clone gnomes, anyway? 8^p

Korvin's ruling as a DM?

I'd let a halfling or gnome PC have a clone; it would fit - but only if they player bought pizza for the next session! 8^D

Something that might work ...

If you cast the second level spell enlarge/reduce on the creature in question, and then use wish to cast clone (which avoids the need for spell components) you can probably make it work for a Small or Large creature.

You don’t need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly Components. The spell simply takes effect.(wish, PHB)

As for what size the clone ends up being - that could be an interesting surprise. (thanks to @ RedOrca)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mecix Oops, not near my errata thing, thanks for the catch. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 21:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh you're good the errata doesn't even mention this change, it's... unfortunate at best \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 21:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you cast enlarge/reduce on yourself, then use wish to dupe clone, you can probably make it work for a Small or Large creature. As for what size the clone ends up being...? \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 22:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Due to the material components requiring a Medium (note the capital M there), it must only work on spiritual Mediums. We can thank Terry Pratchett for his insight on this sort of thing. In all seriousness: thanks to everyone - read it twice. I am, indeed, half blind. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 23:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You highlight the text "is large enough to hold a Medium creature" - to me, I read that as "up to Medium" rather than "only Medium", because if something is large enough to hold medium creature, it's also large enough to hold a small creature (maybe two) or a (or many) tiny creature(s). However, clearly a large creature would not fit into something that is "large enough for a Medium creature". At least, that's my reading on this. Of course, that errata then ruins everything, which is why some people ignore the errata when it makes the rules make less sense (see also: Ranger's Multiattack)! \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 9:09

Pushing this as deeply into ad absurdum and slippery slope territory as possible:

The smallest possible limit must be for the basic RAW Clone spell should be: any creature with less 'flesh' than a cubic inch, i.e. the amount required for the base-component to cast the spell. This requirement could be vetoed by any creature able to cast this without use of material components, such as the 5e D&D spell-casting dragon variant of CR24+. Such component-free castings would be able to duplicate one bacteria cell or possibly a virus... were they considered a life-form.

The largest size possible aught to include ANY living creature, as per RAW / spell description. Thus, the 'Garden of Eve with teeth and claws' planet for the Na'vi, Pandora seems both alive (and even sentient). Granted, it may be tough to find a crystal container big enough, but once again, casters not requiring components can even do this casting quite easily. Those using Wish spell can create duplicate living planets as a move action, once a day, without threat of exhaustion or other such reprimand-repercussion.

'Look ma, a new planet just came into orbit!' This would also be ideal if one had something like a living plane of existence or even living magic items. If a magic item is made from a fae, fiend, celestial or elemental, are they alive? Would such a Clone rebuild this magic item as a 'body'? This would be stuff for other questions and Exchanges of Stack.

Lore wise, this would explain why the Abyss is notoriously infinite: someone figured out how to replicate living planes for their homestead. It may be that the Abyss is a cloned wasteland created by one otherwise-bored ancient dragon, casting this as many times as he or she has in charisma modifier points.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you aware that the spell states that the creature must be medium-sized? (source) "This spell grows an inert duplicate of a living, Medium creature as a safeguard against death." Note that this is not mentioned in the errata but is gone over here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 reread the spell from the paper Players Handbook... twice! Dammit. And it specifies Medium, with a capital letter. That MUST mean it has to be a spiritual Medium correct? In my defence, this is in the material components. Spells cast without material components may vary (??). Edit: i am joking about the spiritual Medium being required for the spell to work : P \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 23:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh no worry, like, it's not even in the errata. There's no way you'd know about it unless you had a very recent copy of the PHB or checked that single Q/A I linked. I'm just kinda sad stuff does get changed and yet isn't found in the errata documents/packets. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 23:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ plus, I love your absurdum approach. Rules as Fun, for the win!!!!!! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 1:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .