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Magic Jar states:

You can attempt to possess any humanoid within 100 feet of you that you can see ... The target must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failure, your soul moves into the target's body, and the target's soul becomes trapped in the container.

How does this apply to creatures that do not have a soul, such as undead and constructs, which are animated by magic? Does the spell fail to possess such a creature? Or does the animation magic get captured in the container as a substitute "soul"?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ related: Does a simulacrum have a soul? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 17 '18 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it established that undead have no soul by default? I get mindless skeletons not having them, but what about mummies/vampires/etc? \$\endgroup\$ – user47897 Feb 20 at 18:34
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It's irrelevant: humanoid is a type of creature (see the first chapter of the Monster Manual). Undead and constructs are different types and are ineligible targets. As are giants, dragons, etc.

In short, if it doesn't say humanoid in the monster stat block immediately under the name you can't cast Magic Jar on them.

Just in case it comes up: a Druid currently wildshaped is a beast or elemental, not a humanoid. Similarly, any creature under a Polymorph effect has the type they have been polymorphed into. So you can Polymorph the vampire to a humanoid and then Magic Jar them.

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