Intention is: make a copy of self (as in PC) as close to the original as possible. Copy goes on adventures while original works in the lab and only gets involved when copy dies or is captured.

Target: Arcanist version of God-Wizard type of character. Relying heavily on equipment to push spell save DC's to high heavens combined with save-or-suck/save-or-die spells to disable entire encounters.

Theme: Shadow caster than never shows his real self and acts via proxies most of the time, only revealing himself in worst case scenarios.

I know there are many ways to achieve that, but I'm not sure whether I was able to find all of them. So here's what I got already:

  • Good old Mirror of Opposition + Dominate combo. The strongest option I was able to find so far, copies the whole shebang, including magic items worn.
  • Simulacrum. Very weak option, cuts down level/HD in half which means copy is infinitely weaker than original. It's something though.
  • Trompe l'Oeil construct. Advantage is, it's functionally immortal, disadvantage is it costs way more than other options and there is no equipment included so it is pretty weak, although not as weak as Simulacrum which is literally naked.
  • Possession family of spells. Probably the weakest option (no separate spell slots), doesn't even fit 100% of the criteria (original body can't do things) but it's an option nonetheless.

What other options are out there?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The Mirror of Opposition + Dominate combo is pretty neat. Especially if it goes wrong, the copy wins initiative, and Dominates the original. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim C
    Commented May 9 at 16:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think many DMs would rule that a duplicate that's created by a mirror is defeated if the duplicate is dominated. (Also, including in your question links to appropriate game elements might inspire more folks to answer those questions.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ IMO this sounds more like a BBEG thing than a PC thing. If you want your PC to survive death, have you considered something along the lines of paying a high-level cleric to resurrect you afterwards instead? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Commented May 10 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


Don't try this at home

There are a few other options, although many are quite limited in duration, and you seem to be looking to have this as the casters's default mode of operation.

  • Clone, is kind of a mirror image to what you intend and it think is best: this will create an inert copy of you, but instead you sending the copy out to adventure, you go out and the copy stays at home until something untoward happens to you and you die, then the copy becomes your new self. I think this pretty much has the same effect, but it plays better. Alas, the clone can't do your lab work for you while you are off.

  • Astral Projection also can work, especially if you are operating on other planes that the material (or maybe, if you cast in on another plane, the other way round, though the wording does not support that well); you however remain in suspended animation, so no lab work for you either.

  • Wish, of course also can work.

Here are some others, all not that great, both because of limited duration and other limitations

  • Project Image Lets you send an illusory copy of yourself, that you can perceive through and cast spells through.

  • Psychic Image A similar one that is intangible (but works only for Psychics)

  • Twine Double Mostly a decoy. Cannot attack and has not special abilities.

  • Twin Form does only allow you to jump back and forth, no working in the lab on the side.

  • Id Portrait allows you to have multiple copies, and even of other classes and for extended durations.

  • Akashic Form similar to clone in that it makes a shapshot of you can bring back in case of a mishap (within 24 hours).

I happen to have a high level divination wizard with Simulacrum, Clone and all other kinds of ways to send minions or sensors to scry and scout, (although that is in D&D 5e, but it's not that different), and my experience is that to play like this is less fun than you may think it is. Unless you are a whole group of such characters, you are the only one doing this, everyone else is out there adventuring and risking their skin. Clone gives you a safety blanket in a way that is much less hogging spotlight and play time to support it.

PS. If what you mostly would care for is the time and effort of doing lab work or copy spells, while you would rather be adventuring, then you might just create a simulacrum, and leave that at home to do it. It's a perfect solution that also defuses the power concerns about simularcrum a little. However, does not sound that is your main motivation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean... In the rare occassion (maybe the end-of-chapter boss fight) doing the Naruto thing and having entire team of myself to work with would also be quite epic. Not that it's the main goal but a cherry on top nonetheless. Also: I actually find it fun to play absolutely OP characters and only "holding myself back" anime style to pretend I'm weak. Never gets old. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nec Xelos
    Commented May 9 at 14:48
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NecXelos If all the PCs are equally OP, and if the DM knows all the PCs are OP, and if the campaign's built around all the PCs being OP, that's great. If even one of those isn't true, though, then the campaign's liable to implode. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9 at 15:19

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