I am currently playing in 5e campaign and a question came up regarding the transferable of command of undead servants.

My Necromancer wants to live forever but not be a lich, so naturally the idea is to make extensive use of the Clone spell. The idea is not to be indestructible, just immortal.

However, in his travels he has used Finger of Death, let's say, a few times, and has MANY permanent zombies that follow him around as his entourage.

When he dies, and his soul is transferred to his clone, does the control those permanent zombies also transfer to the 'new' body?

My thoughts are yes, because the soul is the same, the person is the same, and the connection to magic is the same, even if the body is different (though also technically the same)... But there appear to be no clear rules on this sort of thing.


1 Answer 1


Yes, the control will transfer.

First, let's look at the relevant part of Finger of Death (emphasis mine):

A humanoid killed by this spell rises at the start of your next turn as a zombie that is permanently under your command, following your verbal orders to the best of its ability.

Nothing is mentioned about a soul or a body, there is just "you".

Next, let's check the Clone spell (emphasis mine).

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

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return. The clone is physically identical to the original and has the same personality, memories, and abilities, but none of the original's equipment.

Obviously, your DM may rule differently...but, since the clone is "physically identical" to you and has your soul, well that means the clone is you. Since Finger of Death specifies "you" and not "this current physical incarnation of you", said control of your zombie horde would transfer to you in your new cloned body.


...your zombie horde is specifically under your verbal command. Nothing in the Finger of Death spell states or implies any kind of mental connection. So, if you die and your clone is half a continent away, those zombies are just gonna keep doing whatever you told them to do last, until you find them and give them different verbal orders.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "...well, to me that means it is you." This makes the answer sound opinionated, and not RAW. That very well may be the case, and if so, you should mention that it is not a RAW answer. While I agree with your evaluation, it could be argued that all parts are necessary for 'you' - original body included. Magic is finicky like that sometimes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheLittlePeace RAW is pretty clear about the 'you' part of FoD, but I'll fix the wording to remove the opinionated sound, TY! \$\endgroup\$
    – aaron9eee
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm amused by the alternate interpretation, in which your original body (now corpse) remains "you", and someone can raise it from the dead and sock puppet control your horde of the undead. I agree with this answer, but I think the alternative solution sounds fun. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 0:51

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