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Could a creature, made by the 7th level Simulacrum spell, cast the Create Magen spell (from Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden) as a means of bypassing the hit point maximum reduction?

It seems like a character could resonably create a simulacrum of themselves then ask them to cast Create Magen. Upon finishing the Create Magen spell the simulacrum could order the magen to listen to and obey the character as if they had created the magen. Thereby allowing the caster to avoid the hit point reduction.
Is this the case? or is something missing here? one of my concerns is that, if this is the case, a player character could conceivably make an army of magens with few repercussions. Obviously a DM will have the final say, but what do you guys think?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please correct me if I'm wrong. As far as I can tell, this spell and magens were in earlier editions of D&D. But this is the first time that they've arrived in 5th edition, and they have slightly different rules. For instance in earlier versions, if the original caster died the magen would go berserk. but no wording about that is included in the 5th edition version of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shummed
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 22:51

3 Answers 3

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Looks technically legal, but you should expect your DM to veto it.

Note that it's also technically possible to get your simulacrum to cast wish for you. The Adventurers League guidelines forbid this for AL games:

If a simulacrum you have created casts wish, both you and your simulacrum suffer the stress associated with casting the spell including the risk of being forever unable to cast wish again. The inability to cast wish extends to any simulacrum you create in the future.

This situation seems similar.

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I can't see any obvious reason that wouldn't work, but RAW spell effects don't stack anyway: you just take the most potent effect (see pg 205 of PHB, Combining Magical Effects). So in this case the most HP a player would have to sacrifice is 3 (the CR for a Galvan Magen,) and the material components to churn out a clone army.

Alternatively, if your character is safe enough and has the prerequisite spells and levels you can just keep alternating between making Magen and Wishing your HP max back to normal.

I would definitely talk to your DM beforehand about this beforehand though, because this feels like the kind of thing that's easy for a DM to overlook, then ban out of panic since they weren't prepared. It can really mess up a campaign's climax for the wizard to pull an army out of a hat during the week before the final battle.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Restoring the HP loss from create magen using wish would incur stress, and would almost certainly not be able to be done in perpetuity due to losing the ability to cast wish. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 12:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ The basic use of Wish is to duplicate another spell effect of 8th level or lower, this type of use does not incur stress; Greater Restoration is a spell of 5th level that allows you to end one effect reducing your hit point total: therefore, casting wish to duplicate the effect of greater restoration satisfies the requirements needed to regain hit point totals from the casting of Create Magen without incurring stress. \$\endgroup\$
    – Spexguy
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 3:41
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How my DM ruled

In one of our campaigns, I played a wizard who used simulacrum, using it from 13th level, through 20th. My wizard pretty much always had a simulacrum. I asked my DM about the magen exploit you describe.

Asking about the exploit

I asked about the exploit as both a player and as a character. As a player, I spent a lot of time poring over spells, including create magen. In-character, my wizard went through the trouble to learn the spell, and in addition, spent actual game time and money researching both simulacrum and create magen, and any lore associated with them (in addition to many other topics).1 Generally the DM expected there to be some relationship between in-game effort and in-game knowledge.

Eventually I asked, given my research, if my sim casts create magen over and over, orders the magens to obey me, and then I create a new sim, do I now have an army of magens for free, and a fresh healthy sim?

The DM's ruling

Let me say something about the DM of this campaign. They're a stickler for rules-as-written . . . to a point, and then it's rulings over rules. In other words, RAW matters, but the game matters more. If you don't want to play that way, this isn't the DM for you. Also, there's no point mincing words with this DM. If you're trying to get an army for free, just say it. They respect that. I've been amazed at the things where they just shrug and say, "sure". This wasn't one of them.2

Anyway, the DM said, "Hmm, let me think about it." And then came back with, "You're not completely certain, the lore is obscure and to some extent inconclusive, but your research has led you to two conclusions. First, you think that magen created by a simulacrum disappear when the simulacrum disappears. Second, you're pretty sure if you get a magen, you pay the hit point price, and shenanigans don't matter. If you want to know more, you'll have to try it."

Conclusion

The DM's approach of "RAW matters, but the game matters more" was and continues to be an enjoyable approach, and the approach of in-game research combined with between-session discussion was fun for both of us, allowed us to work out a reasonable approach without surprising either of us, and minimized burden on the other players.

I never did actually try it. I could have gotten a final ruling for the in-game time and cost of simulacrum and create magen, and potentially losing just one hit point, forever. I just never got around to it. There were too many other power plays and game threads to follow.


1- Even learning the spell was somewhat difficult. It was fairly easy to find up to 5th level spells in major cities, but higher level spells took extra effort.

2 - It wasn't because the DM was opposed to rule abuse power plays. By the end of the campaign, we had dozens of myrmidons, created by true polymorph; after all the monster description says "they exist only to follow the commands of their creators". DM didn't blink an eye. The myrmidons never fought in melee with the party though, I think that would have been a different story; they were just part of the titanic clash of forces that was the final arc of the campaign.

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