What is the maximum number of Simulacra I can have?

Simulacrum seems like a powerful spell; I assume that the duplicate gets all my known spells and spell slots due to this part of the description:

Otherwise, the illusion uses all the statistics of the creature it duplicates

So let us assume that I have all the material components (which are very expensive). If I cast Simulacrum, have the duplicate cast Simulacrum and continue doing that, what would my limit be?

Would my limit be how many times I can halve my health?:

It appears to be the same as the original, but it has half the creature’s hit point maximum

If not, what is the maximum number of duplicates I can create with Simulacrum?

I know if I cast Simulacrum more than once, then the illusion disappears, but I believe having the copy cast the spell itself will bypass this.

• Historical note: In earlier editions, there was no limit to the number of simulacra a magic user could support. May 9, 2016 at 0:23

3 Answers

This problem is easily circumvented once you have access to wish:

1. Cast Simulacrum to create an exact copy of yourself (minus one 7th level spell slot).
2. Take a long rest (to regain the expended 7th level spell slot).
3. Tell Simulacrum-1 (Sim-1) to cast wish to make a simulacrum of you (does not require materials). Sim-2 has been created.
4. Tell Sim-1 to command Sim-2 to cast wish to make a simulacrum of you (creating Sim-3).
5. Tell Sim-1 to command Sim-2 to follow all of your commands.
6. Tell Sim-1 to give Sim-2 all the same commands in respect of the new simulacrum to be created (Sim-3) which you gave to Sim-1 in respect of Sim-2, including this command.
7. Sim-1 will now tell Sim-2 to make another simulacrum of you (Sim-3), tell Sim-3 to obey your commands, then tell Sim-3 to make another simulacrum of you (Sim-4), which Sim-3 will give the same commands again.
8. The simulacra will now automatically produce over time an infinite number of simulacra of you, all of which obey your commands.

The simulacra all have half your hp, and are missing one 9th level spell slot once they have cast wish. Sim-1 is also missing one 7th level spell slot. Also, the simulacra cannot act independently; they require orders for every action, which might become tiresome once you have too many. Also, they can be got rid of with dispel magic.

Keep those limitations in mind, and you should be able to take over the world with a simulacrum army (assuming your DM doesn't ban the whole thing once they cotton on to what you're doing - I certainly would).

Note: This strategy is explicitly disallowed by the Adventurers League FAQ Version 6.1, which states: "Simulacrums can’t cast simulacrum, or any spell that duplicates its effects."

You may wish to look at: Can a Simulacrum cast Wish?

• Re: Step 3. Technically, I think you would need to tell Sim-1 to tell Sim-2 to make a simulacrum of you. Any given simulacrum is friendly to "you", where "you" are the person who cast the spell, not the person who is copied. Thus (since Sim-2 was created by a casting from Sim-1) Sim-2 follows orders from Sim-1, not from the creator of Sim-1. Each time you wanted a new simulacrum, you would need to send an order 'down the chain'. This would also make your world conquest plans more difficult, since anyone able to destroy Sim-1 would make all the others uncommandable by you.
– Kirt
Jul 26, 2022 at 19:12
• @Kirt A good point of detail; thank you. I think the problem you allude to in the second half of your comment is fairly easily circumvented. You simply tell Sim-1 to command Sim-2 to obey all your commands and so on down the chain. Aug 10, 2022 at 20:49
• If you want the simulacra to have their 7th level slot available, you could just take a long rest before telling Sim-1 to make Sim-2. Or am I missing something?
– Jorn
Aug 14, 2023 at 11:49
• @Jorn Genius... Nov 11, 2023 at 11:50

At 20th level, you get 2 7th level spells, so the Simulacura should wait until you are fully rested and and have a full contingent of spells then make a copy of you, not themselves.

Note too, if you are an illusionist, one trick you could do is, after a long rest use Malleable Illusions to "recast" the Simulacrum spell. Now the Simulacura has a full contingent of spells. It casts the Simulacrum spell on you, and voila you have two Simulacra, with one missing a 7th level slot. So then you use Malleable Illusions again to renew the spell slot. Now they both cast the Simulacrum spell on you. You now have 4, 2 of which are missing the 7th level slot. 2 Malleable Illusions actions later the 4 of them begin casting, and so we move on to 8, then 16; 32; 64; etc.

Exponential growth of Simulacra is scary...... I guess the limit there is, how many actions are in a day, and how many 1,500gp rubies do you got?

Malleable Illusions: At 6th level, when you cast an illusion with a duration of 1 minute or longer, you can use your action to change the nature of the illusion (as if you had cast it again), provided you can see the illusion.

• 14,400 turns in a full 24 hour day. Also couldnt the simulcrum cast wish creating a 1500 gp ruby? :O Oct 17, 2018 at 10:02
• For what it's worth, Jeremy Crawford has said that Malleable Illusions can't be used to "refresh" a simulacrum, because the spell doesn't have perceivable attributes you can set. Instead, it copies the target's attributes unconditionally, so after choosing a target, there's no further parameters that you could alter with Malleable Illusions. sageadvice.eu/2018/02/28/… Oct 17, 2018 at 16:03

An unbounded number of simulacra (provided you have access to enough diamonds, or the wish spell)

The adventure

Storm King's Thunder

has a modified version of the Simulacrum spell

Found in Sansuri's enormous spellbook, in the Library (room 21 of Lyn Armaal) containing the spell Sansuri's simulacrum (7th level) (emphasis mine)

This modified version of the spell has the following modifications:

• It allows multiple duplicates of the same creature to be created
• Requires a powdered diamond worth 5,000gp as an additional material component
• Both the powdered diamond and the "regular" 1,500gp powdered ruby from the regular version of the spell must be sprinkled over the duplicate, and are both consumed by the spell

Otherwise the spell is as the spell simulacrum in the PHB (7th level)

This modified version very much breaks the balance of the spell...lets melt some cheese.

Basic breaking of the cheese

If this modified sumulacrum spell is paired with the spell wish, then you can use the basic use of the wish spell to:

duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don't need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly components. The spell simply takes effect.

So, assuming you are at least a 17th level spellcaster, the procedure is:

1. Cast the modified version of Simulacrum on yourself using a 7th level spell slot
2. Take a long rest should you wish to regain your 7th level spell slot
3. Have your Simulacrum cast wish to duplicate the modified Simulacrum spell on you
4. Have your Simulacrum command each new simulacrum to obey all of your spoken commands as if it were their own
5. Command the new Simulacrum to repeat the use of wish on you duplicating this modified version of the spell.
6. Repeat

Et voila, you have an unbounded number of Simulacra, who are only missing their 9th level spell slot.

This modified spell avoids any pesky side cases whereby your simulacrum would be destroyed by the simulacrum casting wish to duplicate simulacrum.

But my DM (set of rules) doesn't allow Simuacra to cast or duplicate Simulacrum - more RAW friendly cheese

Alternatively, if your DM pulls out some pesky rule like "simulacra can't cast or duplicate the simulacrum spell in any way":

1. Cast the modified version of Simulacrum on yourself using a 7th level spell slot
2. Cast the modified version of Simulacrum on yourself using a 8th level spell slot
3. Cast the wish spell to duplicate the modified version of Simulacrum on yourself
4. Take a long rest to regain your spell slots
5. Repeat

Now, so long as you have a plentiful supply of 5,000 gp diamonds and 1,500gp rubies, you can have an unbounded number of Simulacra with the following properties:

• 1/3rd will have no 7th level slot, but will have 8th & 9th level slots (with wish prepared)
• 1/3rd will have no 7th & 8th level slots, but will have their 9th level slot (with wish prepared)
• 1/3rd will have no 7th, 8th & 9th level slots

I don't have diamonds but I do have wish! wish based cheese

Finally, if you have no access to a plentiful supply of diamonds and rubies, but you do have access to wish, the procedure is:

1. Cast the wish spell to duplicate the modified version of Simulacrum on yourself
2. Take a long rest to regain your spell slots
3. Repeat

You now have an unbounded number of simulacra of yourself possible, missing only their 9th level spell slot. You just need to figure out a good way to make yourself live longer to be able to make enough Simulacra to try to take over the world.

How can I live long enough to make an unbounded number of simulacra? cheese that aged so well it's reaching through the editions

Possible solutions are the Clone spell, sufficient Potions of Longevity, or (the most efficient way imo), access to the Ioulaum's Longevity spell from the 3.5e Lost Empires of Faerun sourcebook (or listed, but not described, in the Netheril Empire of Magic boxed set from 2e) which enables you to:

[deal] 20d6 damage to every creature within [a 120ft radius]. A living creature that is reduced to -10 or fewer hitpoints (or construct or undead that is reduced to 0 hitpoints) is utterly destroyed as if disintegrated, leaving behind only a trace of fine dust. This spell also extends the caster's current age category by 1 year for every living creature it slays.

The spell's duration is instantaneous, but the age extension is permanent

If you have access to this spell, and the wish spell then you can functionally create an unbounded number of Simulacra by using the following methodology to increase your age by 365 years once every century or so:

Since your Simulacra are creatures, with half of your hitpoints, once you have a sufficient number, order 365 of them to beat each other with their fists until they have 10 or so hp (this should be easy to judge, given they are all you), then order those 365 to pile themselves into a 120ft radius circle, cast Ioulaum's Longevity. Congratulations, you have just increased your age by 365 years, at the cost of 1 years worth of Simulacra. Create as many Simulacra as you want for 364 years and repeat this method to live forever and have an unbounded number of Simulacra.