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The text of Simulacrum states:

[The Simulacrum] appears to be the same as the original, but it has half the creature's hit point maximum and is formed without any equipment. Otherwise, the illusion uses all the statistics of the creature it duplicates, except that it is a construct.

That seems pretty straightforward for things like ability scores, proficiency bonuses, and size categories (although I'm not 100% sure whether a simulacrum of a caster under the effect of Enlarge would be permanently enlarged or not). It also seems straightforward for things like Armor Class, which are determined by equipment that the simulacrum explicitly doesn't have.

What I'm uncertain about are effects like the Fates card from the Deck of Many Things. The card's text states:

Reality's fabric unravels and spins anew, allowing you to avoid or erase one event as if it never happened. You can use this card's magic as soon as you draw the card or at any other time before you die.

So, is the ability to erase an event a "statistic"? Or is it "the card's magic," ie the effect of magical equipment which would not be duplicated by Simulacrum?

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2 Answers 2

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Rules as written: shrugs.

This is a great question, and exactly the kind of question to ask the DM before you try it. The guidance on "what is a game statistic" is pretty clear for monsters, and much less clear for player characters. In this answer, I outlined what I believe is the full extent of the guidance available for what counts as game statistics for player characters:

Game statistics here refers to everything mechanical about your character. That is, all of your racial traits, class features, ability scores, everything. We see this explained for NPCs in the Monster Manual:

A monster’s statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run the monster.

But this applies to PCs as well - your statistics are everything that make you, well, you, within the calculus of the game rules. In the Player’s Handbook, we have reference to game statistics in the step by step character creation section:

Your character is a combination of game statistics, roleplaying hooks, and your imagination.

There isn't much to go off of here. We simply do not have adequate guidance to make a ruling with solid rules support. In this answer, Rubiksmoose outlines all of the guidance for NPC/Monster statistics, of which there is quite a bit. But, the section Rubiks provides for PCs is quite short:

The statistics for a PC include all of the same things as for monsters and NPCs. The description of building an NPC like a PC (above) confirms that creatures built this way count those things as statistics and really that just makes sense.

Basically, anything on the standard PC character sheet is considered to be a statistic.

I think this is probably the right ruling, and it does a good job of telling what is included, but an definitive method of determining what is not included is not given, as far as I can tell.

Reductio ad absurdum: working backwards to a ruling from what is possible if we permit this.

However, I think we can arrive at a satisfying ruling by considering the consequences of allowing the Fates card's effect to be copied to a simulacrum. We know that rules as written, we can create an arbitrarily large army of simulacra given the time to do so. Ergo, if we allow the Fates card's effect to propagate to an army of simulacra, we would be able to erase an arbitrarily large number of events from history.

As a DM making a ruling, ask yourself: is this kind of reality breaking possible in my universe? If not, then the Fates card's effect doesn't transfer to simulacra.

In the end, as with all world changing shenanigans, the players and the DM should work out together how they shape the world.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This feels like a strong argument, but does your opinion change if playing under the Adventurer's Guild errata that disallows simulacra from casting Simulacrum? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tack
    Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tack Probably not, but I would handle it the same way I handle wish, which is "let's talk about what you want to do and see what we come up with". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 20:42
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This is a case for GM ruling

The core rules do not specify if the statistics are the natural, base statistics or the statistics enhanced by magic.

The statistics of the simulacrum are the statistics of the copied creature at the time when the simulacrum is finally created. (tweet by J. Crawford, not official Sage Advice):

A simulacrum is a duplicate of another creature at the time of the spell's casting. You essentially take a snapshot of that creature's game statistics at the completion of the 12-hour casting, and those become the statistics of the simulacrum.

So if the base creature had lost some hp at the time, the simulacrum would have less hit points.

Magic effects that alter these statistics are duplicated by Simulacrum, even though the items are not copied (Note that this other answer was closed for clarification, but the upvoted answer is pretty exactly about what you ask.)

This of course opens the door for all kinds of absurd brokeness. You may be able to achieve versions of the target wearing Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Amulet of Health and similar equipment that replaces its statistics with enhanced versions as permanent features of the simulacrum. Even if you had no such items, spell effects like upcast Aid would make for permanent additional hitpoints etc.

I want to argue for an interpretation that would at least make simulacrum not become even more broken than it already is.

If I had to rule this, I would rule that the spell copies the base statistics of the creature, without any applied magical effects from spells and magic items.

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