Simulacra

(Tom Clare)
Simulacra are constructs of pure enchantment, made to resemble a man or a woman, and used by magicians as servants or guards or as fiendish decoys. A powerful enchanter may dwell alone in a remote tower, waited on by unreal servitors, eating food prepared by a phantasmal cook, and protected by doughty magical knights.

Such creations are not perfect. Mortals tend to find them unnaturally cold to the touch, and an alert character may notice other odd flaws – the figure before them doesn’t breathe or blink, or flinch from pain or danger. Its artificial nature will become more apparent if characters attempt to speak to it. The conversation of simulacra is didactic, uninspired, and ill-informed; they can only really speak on the topics they were created for – guarding a door, protecting a personage, serving at table, or ferrying a boat across an underworld river. Social banter can never run deeper than the repetition of painfully obvious observations on the surroundings, or the state of the weather.

Those simulacrum not created to wield arms will ignore attacks made on them; they will attempt to retire from the scene, or continue with their tasks until they are destroyed. But a guard simulacrum, if a character attempts to seize its charge or fails to give a particular password, will step up to attack, meeting destruction or victory with the same blank countenance.

Combat Ability

Simulacra intended for combat have the statistics of a knight one rank less than the sorcerer who created them. Other types of simulacra have the statistics of an ordinary, unranked mortal. All have panoptical vision.


Unliving

Simulacra are unliving and do not suffer the trials of the flesh as men do. Simulacra are not subject to poison, disease, or illusions. They do not breathe, so cannot be drowned or suffocated. They do not eat or drink, or sleep, or dream, and are immune to all emotional punishment, such as fear, pain or trauma. Direct-attack spells (other than dispel magic) have no effect on simulacra.

Simulacra cannot heal from damage suffered, and must be restored by the sorcerer who created them (by recasting the simulacrum spell). Wounds cause the simulacrum to flicker; when destroyed a Simulacrum loses its cohesion and literally melts away into a cloud of dancing motes.


The Simulacrum Spell

Level 6.
Durational: lasts until dawn.

The sorcerer fashions a man-like figure of raw enchantment. How life-like the figure is depends on what artistic ability the sorcerer possesses. The simulacrum is created with one particular job in mind, whether it is a serving-lad, a gatekeeper, or a guard; it knows nothing else and can do nothing else. If intended for combat, it will have the martial ability of a knight one rank less than the sorcerer who created it. Simulacra are not good soldiers - they can only carry their last order until given new instructions by their creator - but they make reliable and didactic guards and watchmen.

Ordinarily a simulacrum fades at dawn, but with every additional magic point put into the spell the simulacrum will last an additional twenty-four hours. It can also be ‘renewed’ for another day by the sorcerer that created it. To do this, that worthy must imbue it with an extra three magic points before it fades. A sorcerer whose household is run by such unliving creations will rise early to renew his servants as part of his daily routine.


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