I want an upcoming high-level antagonist to have the ability to create loyal short-term duplicates of himself. Using class features, magic items, and spells what ways exist to do this for a lone level 20 divine caster or non-caster with the humanoid type (like, for example, an orc) possessing appropriate NPC wealth for its level?

Rather than a long-term master plan, I'd like this be a short-term combat ability, something that the creature can do when expecting a fight against a group of protagonists. A duplicate army is unnecessary; one to four copies should be sufficient.

Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 sources can be used (specifically Weapons of Legacy but waiving personal costs), but I'd prefer Pathfinder material.


2 Answers 2


The "correct" answer for high level 3.5 D&D play is that main Villains worth their salt will have access to a dedicated caster, if only via the Leadership feat. That caster, among other things, should have access to Craft Contingent Spell (CA p77). The villain should have an emergency escape button set to trigger whenever the party successfully implements scry & die tactics. Any plan that requires the villain to last more than a round when the party teleports in is a bad plan.

Given that we have a high level cleric who disdains time stopped gates gating in devils to crush their enemies, and who doesn't have access to psionics, and who doesn't feel like instant winning via Ruby Knight vindicator, the cleric can use miracle to manifest fission. Those fissioned clerics can then miracle (again), body outside body (Complete arcane), to have a coterie of 4 rather narcissistic guards each.

However, it's always worth having a backup backup contingent spell here. I recommend Summon Monster IX (with appropriate metamagics) crafted into a contingent form. This should be designed to summon (if you can meta-magic it) 1d3 (more! much more!) Malephants or a Bebelith Demon without metamagic. The "emergency duplication thing" is surprisingly hard to achieve on a short time frame.

If that sort of "everywhere on the battlefield at once" is a requirement of the character, the Ruby Knight Windicator combined with a way of leaving images of yourself behind. (Mostly worthless, as we'll expect the party to have true seeing at this point.).

Or, if one merely wants to summon backup, your pet caster can combine the spell Ice Assassin (Frostburn) which creates an exact duplicate of the target (with an unfortunate desire to slay the original) with Necrotic Cyst and Necrotic Domination (Libris Mortis) to provide absolutely dominated and loyal versions of the big bad. (Obviously, the big bad will have this pet caster under some sort of domination herself, else the pet caster becomes the big bad, and the current big bad is merely a figurehead.) Then, these absolutely loyal ice assassins can wait (playing poker) until they're summoned. Assuming that the villain avoids surprise, they can use a contingent celerity (PHII) to take a standard action, and summon clone Alpha, who can then repeat the process until the entire compliment of clones is available. Judicious use of short range teleports and contingent veils should make it somewhat difficult to figure out the original in the giant shell game that this will result in.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I imagined him as the muscle of his faction. That he is a Champion of his evil god, and as such one of the more powerful leaders. When the Party has to dismantle the cult one commander at a time, he's one of the most heavily guarded, having both an army of orcs and the cult's clerics and wizards backing behind him. So I thought "What would an evil god do with his strongest fighter to help kill the PC's? by making 1 to 4 clones of his greatest warrior of course! Of course I could be wrong \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 1:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a suggestion to you instead of the answer, don't bother planning out a lengthy campaign. Get experience in short and local campaigns first, then gradually let things fall out naturally. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, so my... I'll call it main campaign, can be put on hold to get more experience with shorter campaigns? I mean I know I can put the lengthy campaign can be put on hold, but I'm asking if that's what you meant \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 2:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't think of it as your main campaign. It's fine to tell all your stories in the same world, and knowing about the factions in your world is fine. But don't plan to use the same characters. Start as simple as possible. Learn what you can and cannot do with that simplicity, and iterate. By the time you'll be able to run your main campaign, you won't want to. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 2:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/a/22626/760 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 2:09

One option could be to use the combination of the following spells:

  • Use Miracle to copy the effect of both other spells, as they are not on the cleric list.
  • Simulacrum. Lesser Simulacrum is also another option that would fit the short-lived request but it is quite impractical as you would not have absolute control on the clones and your clones would be really underwhelming.
  • Sculpt simulacrum.

You could use (lesser) simulacrum on yourself to avoid having to use Sculpt Simulacrum but that would make your "clones" really sub-par mooks, at best they could act as meat shields.

To answer former question: By copying another fighter and then sculpting it to your image you should be able to have something akin to "clone".

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why not just make simulacra of yourself to begin with? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 7:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question has been amended but at first the OP was asking for a fighter while being itself a cleric. \$\endgroup\$
    – Harmelyo
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should edit your answer to fit the current question, then. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The addition of the "short-lived" clause make the use quite impractical but I try to amend the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Harmelyo
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 3:19

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