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When you create a simulacrum, it gets "half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD)". This is straightforward for a monster with no class levels, but what happens if you create a simulacrum of a PC? Presumably classes would be removed in reverse, starting from the last one taken, but how do you determine how to reduce feats, skill points, spells, class abilities, etc.?

Also, what - if any - impact does being a simulacrum have on a monster's special abilities? Presumably, HD-dependent abilities (for example, most racial spell-like abilities) would be reduced appropriately, but would other special abilities be reduced or removed in any other way?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If I may, I'd really like this question to encompass also the special abilities for a creature part of the spell simulacrum. Monster simulacra are weird. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2015 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Wouldn't a monster's special abilities remain the same, except for HD-relevant calculations? Unless the special abilities are coming from class levels, they generally originate from the race. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2015 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dunno. That's why I'd like it to be part of the question. :-) Consider an efreeti simulacrum--what does it mean to halve the creature's special abilities when one of those special abilities is to grant non-genies up to 3 wishes 1/day? (But, seriously, it is your question, and you're totally allowed not to care.) \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2015 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan It's a sensible concern. I'll edit it in. :) \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2015 at 22:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ A bit of historical background: In 2e, a simulacrum was created "with 50% of the memories of the original." I'm not sure if this was intended to reduce the utility of the spell as an interrogation tool or what, but it seems a likely basis for the "half of the real creature's levels or HD" line. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    May 14, 2015 at 4:13

2 Answers 2

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PFSRD:

...it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD...

Reading this straight, I believe as far as class levels are concerned, halving each classes' levels is the best way to do this, as long as the end result can come out legal. I feel the text clearly points this direction. If the creature has racial HD, those are halved as well. (If classes and racial HD, or just multiple classes, need to be rounded, some will need to round up to maintain the correct total HD/level after the operation. My best good-faith guess is that this should be caster's choice, unless for whatever reason another player should control the choices, such as if that player is going to play as the simulacrum or use it as a cohort.)

(Personal ruling note: If I were the one ruling, I'd probably make an exception only for prestige classes that clearly extend a specific class: if you can't qualify for that prestige class after losing half your levels in the base class, then the prestige class's levels would "count" as levels in that class to be lost. The examples below will reflect this non-RAW ruling, which I personally feel is as near the intent of the rules as possible. Other options might including ignoring/waiving prestige class requirements that can't be met and simply halving all classes' levels regardless; or always dropping prestige class levels first and only retaining the PrCs if more than half the original's HD are from prestige classes [maybe they're too complicated for the illusion to duplicate]. These options are no more or less rules-as-written [RAW] than my personal ruling, but may work better at some tables.)

Be careful while calculating levels for characters with prestige classes: Keep in mind that non-numeric requirements need to be met, too. If a Paladin X/Wizard Y/Arcane Archer Z is your target, of course you're going to check for the BAB requirement, but keep an eye on those feat requirements as well!

After you're done distributing levels, rebuy skills as near half the original totals as possible, except where prestige class requirements dictate otherwise. Then rebuy feats as desired, meeting PrC requirements first and choosing only feats the original has. Don't forget to remove attributes the original gained from levels/HD the simulacrum doesn't have.

Ridiculously long example text follows:

  • So, this is pretty straightforward for single classed characters with no racial HD: Halve their level, round down (per the general rounding rule). For characters with more than one class, or one or more classes with racial HD, matters get complicated. Here we go!

  • Two even-leveled classes, neither reliant on the other: Halve the target's levels in both classes. Sorc 6/Shaman 4 becomes Sorc 3/Shaman 2. Easy.

  • Even class, odd class, neither reliant: Halve the levels in the even class; halve (rounding down) levels in the odd class: Hunter 3/Ranger 6 becomes Hunter 1/Ranger 3. Ok.

  • Two odd classes, neither reliant: Halve the levels in both classes, rounding one of them up (in order to come out with the right total number of levels), caster's choice: Rogue 9/Wizard 5 can become either Rogue 5/Wizard 2 or Rogue 4/Wizard 3. Tougher.

  • Two classes, one reliant upon the other (prestige class): Check first to see if the character could be still legal if the operation for non-reliant classes is followed; if so, use that (Fighter 18/Stalwart Defender 2 becomes Fighter 9/Stalwart Defender 1). If not, count the prestige class and the base class together and get as close to the normal procedure as you can: Fighter 10/Stalwart Defender 10 becomes Fighter 7/Stalwart Defender 3 (because of the Stalwart Defender's BAB +7 requirement). A GM might need to get involved to resolve a single out-of-combat spell at this point.

  • More than two classes, none reliant on another: This is probably a specific niche build that the simulacrum won't be able to pull off. Consider choosing a new target. If you can't or won't, halve all even classes exactly and alternate rounding odd classes down and up, starting with down. If there's a level 1 class, and you can round it up (there's another odd class), do so to keep as much of the class make up of the original as possible. Bard 6/Cleric 6/Witch 1 becomes Bard 3/Cleric 3; Bard 6/Cleric 7/Witch 1 becomes Bard 3/Cleric 3/Witch 1; Bard 7/Cleric 7/Witch 5 becomes 4/3/2 OR 3/4/2 or 3/3/3, caster's choice. This should probably have a GM helping out, just in case.

  • More than two classes, one or more classes rely on exactly one class each: The ideal multi-and-prestige-classed scenario. If possible, just halve them all; if not, take from the prestige class(es) until the base class(es) meet the requirements. Barbarian 10/Stalwart Defender 6/Rogue 2 becomes Barbarian 7/Stalwart Defender 1/Rogue 1. At minimum, show the end result to your GM for approval.

  • More than two classes, at least one class relies on at least two other classes: The probable multi-and-prestige-classed scenario. As usual with prestige classes, check to see if you can just halve them all and still qualify for the prestige classes; if so, do so. If not, check to see if the simulacrum can qualify for the prestige class with the highest requirements (if more than one) with only half its total levels and still have at least one level to put into each prestige class; if so, distribute levels to classes until all requirements are met, then distribute levels to classes as close to half the original distribution as you can get. If not, drop the prestige class with the highest requirements and repeat the last step. Fighter 4/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 5/Arcane Archer 6 might actually become more streamlined by using Eldritch Knight levels to help meet Arcane Archer BAB requirements: Fighter 2/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 2/Arcane Archer 1. I can't promise there's no better way to do that one. If the requirements for Arcane Archer couldn't be met with a level to spare, you'd just ignore it completely: Fighter 4/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 5/Arcane Archer 2 would become Fighter 2/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 1. I am certain as I can be, having not met your GM, that he or she wants to be involved in this entire process.

  • Racial HD plus base class levels: Halve them all following examples already given, treating the Racial HD as just another class and ensuring the total end is half the total starting rounded down.

  • Racial HD plus prestige class levels: If the creature can still qualify for the prestige class with half the racial HD, do it. If not, take from the prestige class(es) to restore more racial HD until they qualify (as if the racial HD were a base class used to qualify for the prestige class).

Secondary question: As far as I can tell, other than reducing saving throw DCs and the like (from raw HD loss and/or from attribute loss), simulacrums' monster special abilities should be identical to the originals', except in cases where the original monster already has a natural HD progression or a template that changes based on HD. This might lead to some "obviously unbalanced" situations (such a damaging ability that doesn't normally scale to HD being far more powerful than the simulacrum should have access to, since the damage didn't scale down) that a GM may want or need to arbitrate, so even in a rather-strictly-RAW game you should check with your GM first if you're going to be using this spell on a creature with powerful built-in abilities not granted by number of HD or class levels. The comment question about genie simulacrum: nothing indicates that efreeti gain their wish-granting power at a specific HD total, so adding or removing HD should not affect it. Obviously, a GM probably shouldn't permit an efreet simulacrum to give a PC basically unlimited wishes; but RAW certainly seems to be written that way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I had the situation you describe in your final paragraph come up in one of my campaigns: A dragon had created a simulacrum of itself to guard its hoard while it was away; I ended up just using a younger age category for the simulacrum, and hoped the PCs wouldn't think too hard about it. Luckily they didn't, as they instead debated with the simulacrum whether intelligent illusions could be considered sentient. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    May 15, 2015 at 0:54
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When you use the simulacrum spell with a P.C in mind you can do the following.

Try to determine how this character was before he got to his current class and level. Meaning if the P.C is a level 10 fighter you should make him as he should be when he was level 5 with the skills and feats that are appropriate for his level and needs. this is more so the case with a multiclass character.

Option 2 : You can do this randomly, because the spell doesn't specify a certain way of doing things.

I would check with your D.M to determine which method is preferred though.

I could ask you if you are using only pathfinder spells or also using some from D&D 3.5 If so i would point you to another spell called ice assassin, that does exactly the same thing without any loss of levels and abilities as it makes an exact duplicate

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Be aware that ice assassin is a) cheesier by far, b) a higher-level spell from a non-core book, and c) has a few weird quirks coming from the whole "ice" "assassin" bit. It's not quite the world's best drop-in replacement, is what I'm getting at. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 13, 2015 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know that. In fact that is why i asked if they are cross using spells and other mechanics from D&D 3.5 (He is using pathfinder i know) . I just wanted to say there are other methods too if their Dm is house ruling. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeanon
    May 13, 2015 at 20:21

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