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The discovery reads as thus:

Benefit: The alchemist learns how to create a simulacrum, a soulless duplicate of his body, into which he can project his consciousness. As a full-round action, he may shift his consciousness from his current body to any one of his available doppelganger simulacra, which must be on the same plane as the alchemist. If killed in a simulacrum, he transfers to his own body automatically; if killed in his own body, he is dead. Unused simulacra (including his abandoned original body) appear to be lifeless corpses, though they do not decay. Creating a duplicate costs 1,000 gp in alchemical materials and requires 1 week to grow. The created simulacrum is a creature, not a supernatural effect.

My questions are:

  1. Does this discovery function like the Alchemical Simulacrum discovery, or is it essentially like you have made a clone of yourself when the simulacrum has been complete?
  2. Do either the alchemical simulacrum or the doppleganger simulacrum have a duration? They are creatures rather than supernatural effects, and creatures don't have durations?
  3. Can an simulacrum be healed like a creature?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you mean by "function like" \$\endgroup\$ – briddums Sep 19 '14 at 8:52
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Doppelganger Simulacrum and Alchemical Simulacrum are widely different abilities.

  • Doppelganger Simulacrum creates a copy of your own body, that you can use in order to prevent your original body from taking harm.
  • Alchemical Simulacrum is the Discovery version of the spell Lesser Simulacrum, which creates a partially real duplicate of a creature, that is completely under your control.

As to your other questions:

    • Doppelganger Simulacrum mentions nothing about a duration. In fact, your Simulacra explicitly don't even decay when left lying around.
    • Alchemical Simulacrum does not override the duration of Lesser Simulacrum, which is 1 hour/level.
  1. Yes. The ability creates "a soulless duplicate of his body", which means the simulacrum is effectively a perfect copy of your character, including race and creature type. So if you are normally subject to healing, your Simulacrum also is.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Great answer! Follow-up question: Does Doppelganger simulacrum have the half level effect of the regular simulacrum spell, or is it full level due to being a perfect copy? \$\endgroup\$ – user3735278 Sep 19 '14 at 8:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user3735278 Doppelganger Simulacrum has really nothing to do with Simulacrum at all, apart from sharing the name. So there is no restriction. Think of it as Contingent True Resurrection for 1/25 of the normal price. \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Sep 19 '14 at 9:00
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The description for Alchemical Simulacrum reads:

This works like the lesser simulacrum spell, except it costs 100 gp in alchemical materials per Hit Die of the simulacrum, requires 24 hours to grow, and decays into inert flesh rather than ice or snow if killed.

And Lesser Simulacrum has a duration of 1 hour / level, so the Alchemical Simulacrum would also have a duration of 1 hour / level.

From the description of Doppelganger Simulacrum:

Unused simulacra (including his abandoned original body) appear to be lifeless corpses, though they do not decay.

So they would not have a duration.

The simulacrums can be healed since both discoveries have the text:

The created simulacrum is a creature, not a supernatural effect.

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