D&D 5E Clone as Character

GwaihirAgain

Villager
Im interested if anyone has ever had a PC turn out to be a clone. It looks like Neither the 8th level Clone spell or 7th level Simulacrum would work for this. I would need to come up with a custom spell or probably some other in game explanation

Has anyone ever done something like this?

G
 

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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
There was a Theme in 4e where your character was a clone of the Mad Mage of Undermountain, Halaster. So...yes, I've been a clone before.

Another Forgotten Realms wizard, Manshoon, once had a ton of backup clones, then, something went wrong and they all woke up at once, each convinced they were the real Manshoon- it took about a year before one of them killed the rest.
 


niklinna

Legend
You gotta wonder, though, since the Clone spell establishes an in-game fact about souls, what's animating all those additional clones?
 



pukunui

Legend
I personally haven't, but when I last ran Tomb of Annihilation, when one of the PCs ended up petrified, rather than have the player make a new PC, I said they could play a clone of their original PC who had been created by one of the hags in the tomb (as that is something that is even suggested by the adventure).
 

Stormonu

Legend
Had one campaign where a character found out they were a clone of a more powerful wizard who'd since become a lich. They'd been wondering why the lich had been interacting with them covertly and found out the lich wanted to Magic Jar them to get out of his undead curse and back into a living body.

Cue "burn it to the ground" and a moment later "can I have your stuff when your dead?" reaction from the player.
 


toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
Sounds like the plot line of Azure Bonds and a cool idea. No need to invent a spell. Just work with the player on a plot (I find it's more enjoyable if the player plays along and helps make the story, including acting dumb that they're a clone until the reveal, assuming the rest of the players are curious about the mystery). Mad wizard is a default, or an assassin assembly line, even the Baldur's Gate "shattered god" where the player unknowingly has a tiny bit of divine (explaining their power).
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Originally the Alias series didn't have souls, it's when they started acquiring parts of other people's souls (Dragonbait for Alias, presumably Olive for Jade, maybe Akabar for Cat?) that things went off the rails.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I've played a clone PC, though not necessarily by choice. :)

About 37 years ago a character of mine died, and failed revival. Undaunted, a few years later various PCs prepared to walk into the land of the dead and fish him out the hard way. This seemed like throwing good lives after bad, so another character just tried wishing him back to life instead.

For reasons still unknown to me, the DM decided that this wish didn't revive him conventionally but instead generated a clone; with my original PC's spirit still stuck in Niflheim. Very messy.

They then went and got the original spirit back, meanwhile the clone got parked safely out of the way; and much later - as in merely about 6 years ago after having played each version of him at different times now and then - the original and clone were divinely merged into one very confused being.

I kid you not, this still isn't fully sorted out yet. The merged character is still active and has full memories from both his "selves" - and given that some people - most notably his in-game wife (another PC) - treated his clone very differently than they treated the original him, he's now somewhat unsure who his real friends are.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Im interested if anyone has ever had a PC turn out to be a clone. It looks like Neither the 8th level Clone spell or 7th level Simulacrum would work for this. I would need to come up with a custom spell or probably some other in game explanation

Has anyone ever done something like this?

G
A clone is a twin, a normal sibling.

No special rules are necessary.

The background simply has an unusual family dynamic.



If by "clone", one means the memories of one of the siblings was manipulated to mirror the other, this is something different relating to mind magic. But even in this situation, they are really siblings.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A clone is a twin, a normal sibling.

No special rules are necessary.

The background simply has an unusual family dynamic.
Only until you start thinking about questions regarding the soul (or spirit; I use the terms interchangeably), at which point it becomes messy.

Does the original retain the soul meaning the clone has none? Does the soul also replicate such that there are two? Does the soul split in half with part going to each? What happens when either the original or the clone dies? Can either one be resurrected or even Speak-With-Deaded? Etc.
If by "clone", one means the memories of one of the siblings was manipulated to mirror the other, this is something different relating to mind magic. But even in this situation, they are really siblings.
To me it's obvious that the clone would share the original's memories, experiences, etc. up to the point of cloning*. After that, each creates its own memories etc. independently, including perhaps memories of each other. They also advance in levels independently, and so forth.

* - there's a very valid game-mechanical reason for this: as in the fiction a character's levels are comprised of experience, learning, training, and memories, if the clone is to be the same class and level as the original (which is usually the baseline assumption) then by default it has to retain the original's memories etc.
 


Heroes of Baldur's Gate (by James Ohlen, available on DMsGuild) has "Awakened Clone" as a character background. The twist being, the clone has no soul.

"Clone" is suggested as part of a sorcerer origin in Xanathar's Guide.
 

GwaihirAgain

Villager
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to set it up as he is a clone of a "hero" from Lamordia, from Van Richtens Guide to Ravenloft, created by Doctor Mordenheim. I suspect that there are several copies running around.

G
 

MarkB

Legend
One variant on this might be for the character to be a doppelganger or changeling who was impersonating the character, and something magically affected their memory to make them think they're the original. Their shapeshifting abilities are locked off until they get their real memories back.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Only until you start thinking about questions regarding the soul (or spirit; I use the terms interchangeably), at which point it becomes messy.

Does the original retain the soul meaning the clone has none? Does the soul also replicate such that there are two? Does the soul split in half with part going to each? What happens when either the original or the clone dies? Can either one be resurrected or even Speak-With-Deaded? Etc.

To me it's obvious that the clone would share the original's memories, experiences, etc. up to the point of cloning*. After that, each creates its own memories etc. independently, including perhaps memories of each other. They also advance in levels independently, and so forth.

* - there's a very valid game-mechanical reason for this: as in the fiction a character's levels are comprised of experience, learning, training, and memories, if the clone is to be the same class and level as the original (which is usually the baseline assumption) then by default it has to retain the original's memories etc.
A "clone" is a reallife scientific term. We can clone sheep, and so on.

A human clone is a twin, a biological sibling who shares the same DNA.

A clone has a soul. Each twin has ones own soul. Each twin forms ones own memories, from separate choices and experiences, despite starting off with the same DNA.


If one is talking about a mindless body, that an outside consciousness might later transfer into, perhaps that is better described as a "golem", or a brainless body, or a vegetative body. It would have all of the bodily organs except for a conscious brain. Hypothetically, the brain would form during the consciousness transfer.
 

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