Simulacrum states:

If you cast this spell again, any currently active duplicates you created with this spell are instantly destroyed.

Does this mean that if I take my simulacrum and permanently transform it using true polymorph into, say, a dragon, that if I cast simulacrum again, it would still instantly destroy that dragon I just produced?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ One important underlying question here is whether you can successfully cast True Polymorph on a simulacrum at all. True Polymorph works on creatures and nonmagical objects. A simulacrum certainly isn't a nonmagical object, but is it a creature? The spell says it's an "illusory duplicate...[which] is a creature, partially real and formed from ice or snow," so the only answer I have is a solid "maybe." \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    Mar 28, 2020 at 12:50
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @gto Yes, a simulacrum is a creature. It's a construct, and constructs are creatures, just like golems and homunculi. Besides which, even if you count it as an object (which is doubtful), true polymorph works on objects too. \$\endgroup\$
    – user62688
    Mar 28, 2020 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ user62688 I wasn't thinking it'd be an object -- I was more hooked up on it being illusory. \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    Mar 29, 2020 at 17:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @gto There is no rule that says illusory things can't be the target of spells. This illusory thing happens to be a creature that is also a construct. The fact that it is a creature interacts with true polymorph by making it a valid target, while the fact that it is illusory is neutral and does not change anything about that relationship. \$\endgroup\$
    – user62688
    Mar 30, 2020 at 5:33

3 Answers 3


A simulacrum, even true polymporphed, gets destroyed upon subsequent casting of simulacrum

tl;dr True polymorph changes a targets form and stat block. The property of being a simulacrum is not inherent in either of these, so true polymorph does not insulate nor prevent the simulacrum from being destroyed upon a subsequent casting.

The form of the simulacrum does not affect that it is a simulacrum

It's flexibility with regard to form is already established as it can duplicate any beast or humaniod. Regardless of form, it's still a simulacrum.

You shape an illusory duplicate of one beast or humanoid

True polymorph for the creature to creature case just changes the form.

the new form can be any kind you choose whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target's

The target gets the statistics of the new form.

The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the new form. It retains its alignment and personality.

Being a simulacrum isn't a statistic of the form.

Being a simulacrum is specified by a magical effect not the stat block of the form it assumes. So regardless of form or stat block, it's still a simulacrum subject to the effects of the spell that created it including being destroyed upon subsequent casting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How can you tell which of the special properties of simulacra are part of their stat block and which aren't? Is there an actual stat block for a simulacrum anywhere? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Mar 28, 2020 at 19:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mark_wells Per the DND Beyond link to Simulacrum above, "(other than HP and equipment) the illusion uses all the statistics of the creature it duplicates, except that it is a construct." If it gained any properties in its stat block aside from the "construct" type, that's where it would be mentioned. \$\endgroup\$
    – recognizer
    Mar 28, 2020 at 20:31

yes, your Simulacrum is even when true polymorphed just affected by a spell that can be negated by other means, it is still your simulacrum and would be destroyed. The simulacrums [I´m a Simulacrum] property is not a game statistic that can be changed.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't this be: "Yes, it is still your simulacrum and would be destroyed"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Mar 28, 2020 at 17:12

Objects or creatures Truly Polymorphed are no longer 'currently active duplicates' and would not targeted for 'instant destruction'.

The 5e spell Simulacrum states:

If you cast this spell again, any currently active duplicates you created with this spell are instantly destroyed. (emphasis added / page 276 Player's Handbook)

It is believed this line was added so casters could not make infinite copies of themselves. This was a hot topic & all the rage a few years back. When the PhB was reprinted, this line was added so as to give this high-magic fantasy role-playing game far more realism, verisimilitude and the respect it deserves (yet still keeping the beast-master ranger exactly as it was, of course).

So now, when Simulacrum is re-cast (specifically) on the exact same target-humanoid &/or target-beast, this magic will also (as a bonus feature?) somehow search all known universes for any possible 'current active duplicates'. Should it find them, it instantly wipes them out (or at least turns them into rapidly melting snow sculptures). Of course, anything subject to a True Polymorph could not possibly be a recognizable duplicate of anything anymore. In fact, StackExchange has made it perfectly clear that one cannot even True Polymorph back into oneself.


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