If an appropriately preserved but soulless clone of oneself is available—probably created through the use of the spell clone but maybe generated some other way—is that body a valid target for the psionic powers mind seed, mind switch, true mind switch, or similar effects? The entity may or may not be the originator of the clone.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you offer an explanation as to why a creature would want to become itself again? (I can think of only medical reasons, and if that's it, that's cool, but reasons from your perspective might help give this question some heft.) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2016 at 6:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Several possibilities: age reset while keeping (most) original knowledge attempt, getting rid of something specific to the original body that isn't affecting the clone body, plot to perfectly disguise self as another person, plot to stage the murder of someone and prevent resurrection or speak with dead attempt, mess with the pcs minds without using a mirror of opposition, commit the perfect crime, the list goes on. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


This Doesn't Work Directly

Clone Grows a Body Without a Soul

...A duplicate can be grown while the original still lives, or when the original soul is unavailable, but the resulting body is merely a soulless bit of inert flesh, which rots if not preserved...

Mind Seed Uses the Target's Soul

...Although the subject starts off with memories of your experiences, it possesses its original “soul” and physical body and is free to develop its own personality based on its own new experiences...

Mind-switch Targets a Living Creature

You can attempt to take control of a nearby living creature, forcing your mind (and soul) into its body...

Polymorph Any Object To the Rescue!

As with the Psionic Sandwich, you can PAO the body from a corpse into a living creature, mind-switch, then dispel the PAO. PAO it into a shrieker or other immobile creature, first, then manifest dispel psionics, as per the sandwich (or merely wait, immobile, for 3 hours for the PAO to elapse). The clone now has your soul and mind in it now.

Even this might not be enough to animate the clone; the spell only refers to the original creature's soul, not adding in just any old soul. I'm unaware of anything that fixes this, but...

Stone to Flesh Works Wonders

Stone to flesh sets precedent, which I'd say allows you to bring that there corpse to life.

Creating a corpse via stone to flesh is faster and cheaper, and actually talks about a life force being available to animate the created flesh. Consider just using it to make the body, in conjunction with stone shape or fabricate.

The best way I can think to do this is to stone shape/fabricate a beautiful statue, PAO it into that shrieker (it's a creature now), mind switch, dispel/wait, then you or a helper cast stone to flesh. Order matters here; your mind should be inside the stone before you make into flesh, as that's closest to StF's phrasing

Such flesh is inert and lacking a vital life force unless a life force or magical energy is available...

Spell to power Erudite can manifest Sor/Wiz spells, so can PAO, fabricate/stone shape, and stone to flesh. But he needs a way to Still or Silently cast them, if he's doing this to himself.

Good luck.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting to note the the mind and soul are not synonymous per the text of the clone effect. Also, the the clone does not seem to count as a living creature despite being something that grows and develops from the flesh sample to the full body. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko When a creature dies, its soul departs: "Death causes the character’s soul to leave the body and journey to an Outer Plane" (PH 307). While it might be presumptuous to assume the inverse, it's not wholly out of line to postulate soulless equaling not living, making at least mind switch impossible to use on a traditional arcane clone. Edit: O, you spotted that, too, huh? :-) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2016 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if the creature is dead, even for a few months, its soul can enter the clone (assuming free, able, and willing), whereupon it automatically becomes a living creature. It would seem that a soul is the difference between living and inert. Also note that mind seed targets a humanoid, not a creature. Just because it had no soul doesn't seem to matter. In the case of not having a soul in the first place, it would simply result in it not gaining a soul from the mind seed effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also note that the mechanical text for mind switch says "you and one other creature" living only comes up in the descriptive text. Also, soul and mind go one way, but only mind goes the other. (Probably simply poor writing rather than intended mechanic). [Bonus points for linking Minmaxboards, btw] \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Corpses aren't creatures, they're objects. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:58

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