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Say a character were to cast clone on themselves, prior to casting the wish spell and requesting a bespoke wish, and were then made unable to cast wish (due to the 33% chance stated at the end of the wish spell). Once the clone matures, if the character then died, would they still be locked out of casting wish?

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Yes

From the Clone spell description:

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return. The clone is physically identical to the original and has the same personality, memories, and abilities, but none of the original’s equipment.

The soul is the part of you that is prevented from casting Wish and "Abilities" would include "(dis)abilities".

Clone is a more complicated way for Wizards to do what Clerics can do with Revivify, Raise Dead, Resurrection and True Resurrection.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Dale, perhaps I need an edit. To clarify - is the clone not a copy of the caster 'at the time' of casting? So any abilities (such as the ability to cast wish, which the caster could do before the lock out) should be abilities that the clone keeps, regardless of the casters actions after the clone matures? \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Rundle Dec 5 '16 at 0:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ No the Clone spell is clear that the Clone is inert flesh younger than or the same age as the caster at the time of casting and that the soul transfers at the time of death. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Dec 5 '16 at 0:39
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Yes

Clone PHP p.222

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return. The clone is physically identical to the original and has the same personality, memories, and abilities, but none of the original’s equipment.

The key phrase here is "The clone is physically identical to the original and has the same personality, memories, and abilities". This means at the time you die.

Why do I say this?

  1. that's the way 5e works, you interpret RAW as literally as possible. The RAW description does not use the past tense in any way, "same abilities" refers to now. The reason the clone is not dead too (i.e. physically identical at the time of death) is because the spell states that it is the soul that transfers bringing personality, memories and abilities, not any physical state. This means the clone's body will be identical to the wizard's at the point the clone was made (it is kept in stasis) so it will have the same age as the wizard when when clone was cast, it will be missing any scars etc. picked up by the caster at a later date and it will be alive.
  2. if it were the case that you gained the abilities you had at the time the clone was created rather than now, in the case you state the ability to cast wish, the wizard would also have to lose all the abilities they had gained since creating the clone. This means abilities from going up any levels (hit points, class features, spell slots etc.), they lose the levels themselves and by direct implication the memories/experience that meant they gained them, which the spell states is not the case, memories come with the soul transference.

The spell description explicitly means that in the case you describe, as the wizard does not have the ability to cast wish at the time they die, the clone does not have ability to cast wish either.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand your points and agree except that the clone is inert therefore is immutable until the soul reaches it so in my opinion the clone is the same as the body that originally cast it at that time. If I cast it at age 27 the clone is a 27 year old in appearance and does not age or are you saying that the clone matches your physical form inside the tank (e.g. it would lose limbs should the wizard also lose them?) I have to disagree given its inert status. It does awake with the same abilities though, or inabilities. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Dec 5 '16 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you got something I said the wrong way round. I agree that the clone's physical state is as it was when the clone was cast: "The reason the clone is not dead too (i.e. physically identical at the time of death) is because the spell states that it is the soul that transfers bringing personality, memories and abilities, not any physical state." I'll edit the answer to make this clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – Protonflux Dec 5 '16 at 16:15
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No

The wording of the Wish spell is physical in nature:

The stress of casting this spell to produce any effect other than duplicating another spell weakens you. After enduring that stress, each time you cast a spell until you finish a long rest, you take 1d10 necrotic damage per level of that spell. This damage can’t be reduced or prevented in any way. In addition, your Strength drops to 3, if it isn’t 3 or lower already, for 2d4 days. For each of those days that you spend resting and doing nothing more than light activity, your remaining recovery time decreases by 2 days. Finally, there is a 33 percent chance that you are unable to cast wish ever again if you suffer this stress.

Note that the damage type is necrotic, and it's your Strength that is affected. Additionally, recovery from this effect is hastened by physical rest. These points, along with the word "stress," suggest that the draining effects of Wish are on your body and not your soul.

As for the Cloned body,

It remains inert and endures indefinitely, as long as its vessel remains undisturbed.

This body did not experience the physical stress of casting Wish. The spell does not state that the clone's body is "updated" as the original body changes, and thus it would be able to cast Wish once imbued with a soul.

Note that the resurrection spells return the soul to its original body (or in the case of True Resurrection, a new body equivalent to the old one) at the time of death, whereas Clone places the soul in a completely different one. Thus, a resurrected wizard would not recover his/her ability to cast Wish, whereas a cloned one would.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you create the clone at level 17 and die at level 19, do you lose those levels? \$\endgroup\$ – aherocalledFrog Oct 3 '19 at 21:12

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