November 25, 2016

School of Simulacra

Arcane Tradition
Comments from the Finger: I thought of doing something a little different for the wizard of the Tundra Update. Ice and snow have a different purpose when it comes to spell components, after all.
     The Tundra Update comes on the first of the month! Sign up on Patreon to get your hands on it!

School of Simulacra

Many view the snow as a byproduct of cold weather and a portent of colder times to come, but wizards have long known the potential of snow and ice as special components for their spells. With the right words and gestures, a particularly long ritual, and a potent illusion, a mass of snow or ice can be molded into the exact likeness of a creature, creating a lifelike doppelganger knowns as a simulacrum.
     This spell has such versatility and such usefulness, an entire school of magical thinking has sprung up around its use: the School of Simulacra. Its practitioners are called simulators, and are always, except in rare circumstances, accompanied by simulacrums of their own creation.

Starting at 2nd level, your study of simulacra has taught you the amazing skill of copying almost anything you watch. When a creature you can see makes an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw, you can use your reaction to record the result of that roll and the type of roll it was (an ability check or saving throw using a particular ability score, or a melee, ranged, or spell attack roll). When you make a roll of the same type, you can replace your roll with this recorded roll. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.
     You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Minor Simulacrum
Starting at 6th level, when you finish a long rest, you can create an illusory duplicate of yourself or another willing creature in your company. The duplicate is a creature, partially real and formed from ice or snow and lasts for 24 hours before it collapses into a melting heap. It can take actions and otherwise be affected as a normal creature. It appears to be the same as the original, but it has one-fourth the creature’s hit point maximum and is formed without any equipment. The duplicate cannot cast spells or make more than one attack on each of its turns. Otherwise, the illusion uses all the statistics of the creature it duplicates.
     The simulacrum is friendly to you and creatures you designate. It obeys your spoken commands, moving and acting in accordance with your wishes and acting on your turn in combat. The simulacrum lacks the ability to learn or become more powerful, so it never increases its level or other abilities, nor can it regain expended spell slots.
     This simulacrum can't be repaired and reverts to snow if it is reduced to 0 hit points.

Duplicate Spell
By 10th level, you can even copy spells by sight. When you see a wizard spell cast, you can fix its form in your mind for up to 24 hours. You can only have one such spell memorized at a time. While this spell is in your mind, you can copy it into your spellbook without having a written copy of the spell. Doing so requires the same amount of gold, but takes half the amount of time.

Master Simulator
Starting at 14th level, you have become a master of crafting and controlling simulacra. Casting the simulacrum spell and repairing damaged simulacra requires half as much time and gold. In addition to your minor simulacrum, you can have up to two active duplicates created by the simulacrum spell at one time.

Changelog: 11/25/16: Duplicate Spell: Only works with wizard spells


  1. Huh. Interesting idea, with some very COOL (pun intended) applications.

    Copycat is powerful, but seems ok- it can be used more than portent, but requires more of you and is more specific.
    Btw, wizards get 2 second-level features from their school.

    Minor Simulacrum seems fine- it really is minor next to the spell.

    The Duplicate Spell seems WAAAAAAAY too powerful- since you can copy it into your spellbook, that basically means you have permanent access to any spell anyone on your party can cast- including divine spells.
    I think this ability should allow you to cast the spell for 24 hours but not copy it into your spellbook. Also, It should probably be limited somehow (1/rest or otherwise).

    The Master Simulator Basically means you create 2 simulacrums instead of one (using the spell). That would mean you control the actions of 4 different characters in combat, which slows combat significantly, so I think maybe making only 1 improved simulacrum with the spell (in addition to a minor one) is better.

    One last issue, which existed with the simulacrum spell before as well but should be raised here:
    Let's say you're level 15, so you have a 7th level and an 8th level spell slots. Let's also assume you have 15,000 (not a lot at 15th level). You make a simulacrum of yourself, which comes to 'life' without a 7th level spell slot (you used it to create the sim) but with an 8th level slot. It uses the 8th level slot to make another simulacrum of you (you can't have 2 simulacrums- but your sim can have one itself), which also comes to life with a 7th and 8th slots (you rested). That simulacrum can ake another one, and so on. At a cost of 15,000 gp, you now have 10 simulacrums of yourself (and with this class it becomes 20) within 10 days.

    1. A few responses:

      Wizards tend to get a 'Savant' feature at 2nd level, but I wasn't sure if that was necessary in this case. Nor am I sure what an appropriate feature like that would be.

      Duplicate spell: this should just say /wizard/ spells. My bad.

      Simulacrum stacking: I don't think that you can do this without producing additional gold. Each simulacrum that makes another simulacrum needs to produce additional gold. Importantly, because your simulacra don't regain spell slots, and duplicates have the same slots as the original, you can only chain this twice in your example. (You cast the spell once, expending your 7th level spell slot, and your duplicate, which has no 7th level spell slot, uses its 8th level spell slot to cast it again, expending gold, just as you did.)

      But also, if a player of mine tried to do this, I'd make them pay all the gold to make the duplicates, then smack them with a dispel magic to destroy them.

    2. of course you'll pay all the gold- but 1500 gp per sim isn't much.
      Also, notice in my example that I said the simulacrum does not create a sim of itself, but of YOU, meaning the new sim has a spell slot (like you) and can create another sim (of you).
      A dispel magic is a good idea, but I'd go for full Mister Meeseeks problems (

  2. Does duplicate spell work for all spells or just spells a wizard can learn?

    1. Thanks for asking this! I intended it to be only wizard spells but forgot to put that in. Change should be visible now

  3. The one big problem I have with this design is the need for snow/ice. While this would be an interesting idea in an arctic setting, it may be near impossible to find any at all in pretty much any other environment. Combine that with needing a fresh batch every day and it starts to become a bit of a hassle. If I were running this class I would most likely allow any other sort of mundane material (mud, sand, clay dirt etc.) instead of forcing the snow theme. While I understand that it links the ability to the simulacrum spell, that one small flavour detail could make the ability entirely impossible to use. Otherwise cool idea.