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So I have a BBEG wizard who has the Clone spell and Simulacrum, he has a Simulacrum (Simon) who has been his assistant for many many years. This Simulacrum was actually created by a previous clone of the Wizard.

The rules for Simulacrum state that

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

Now as part of my campaign this BBEG is working with an Aboleth, so my thought is he identifies a member of the town to be enslaved (council member or other key individual), replaces them for a time with a Simulacrum, and then when they are enslaved removes the simulacrum and puts them back.

My question is this. If Simon (his long term Simulacrum) was created by a previous version of himself, a previous Clone, does this qualify as it having been created by a "different" wizard and therefore any other simulacrum this version of the wizard creates is created without destroying Simon? I know I can hand wave this as DM but am looking for a RAW answer before I choose to do that.

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Ambiguous - is your clone still "you"?

As you said, the heart of the question is whether a creature that dies and comes back in a body created by the clone spell still counts as the same creature.

Unfortunately, the text of clone itself doesn't specify, so we need to make a judgement call based on other 5e mechanics.

My answer: Yes, because that's how other soul-transfer spells work

Clone works by soul-transfer, as stated by the spell:

"...if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return."

These other spells that work on similar mechanics all indicate that a creature's identity transfers between bodies with its soul:

  • Magic jar indicates that you (the caster) are still "you" when you have forcibly transferred your soul into another creature's body.
  • Reincarnate creates a new body of a random humanoid race for a dead humanoid, but the wording indicates that the target is still the same creature before and after reincarnation.
  • Raise dead, resurrection and true resurrection all restore a soul to its original body, which restores "the creature" to life.

Taking these spells into account, my conclusion is that clone works the same way - the creature cloned retains its identity for all mechanical purposes, including the restrictions of simulacrum.

Of course, if it makes a better story if the BBEG gets a new body and a new assistant, leaving poor Simon Mk. 1 adrift, go for it! Maybe the BBEG decided to tweak their clone spell with some interesting consequences - BBEGs tinkering with their own souls is a lovely fantasy trope that you can get a lot of mileage out of.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This isn't so much about leaving simon adrift, it is about the wizard in the party, if they ask about simulacrum, knowing the bounds of the spell, and then possibly, if they find out about his ability to clone himself, then working out that yes, he could have 2 simulacrums that way. This is being played as an invasion of the body snatchers scenario, with NPCs who are friendly and approachable slowly becoming less so. I think I am going to have to think of a way to make the wizards spell different, maybe a different version of Simulacrum that is short lived, or more limited for replacing people \$\endgroup\$
    – Richard C
    May 27 at 6:36

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