The Artificial Clone

March 23rd, 2015

Alex Riggs

Exotic Encounters Archive

                Making a perfect clone of a creature is incredibly easy in Pathfinder… at least, if you’re the GM. All you need to do is say that it’s there, and you can even use the same stat-block that you used for the original. Easy-peasy. But what if you want something that’s not quite a perfect copy? What if you want it to be stronger, faster, and smarter? Well, you’d probably apply the advanced template. But what if you want it to be a bit more unique, with some special abilities (and weaknesses) that reflect its status as an artificial life form? Well, that’s where today’s template comes in.


Creating an Artificial Clone

                “Artificial clone” is an inherited template that can be applied to any living, corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). An artificial clone retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities, except as noted here.

CR: Same as the base creature +1.

Alignment: If the base creature was good-aligned, it becomes neutral-aligned, instead (a lawful good character become lawful neutral, a neutral good character becomes true neutral, and a chaotic good character becomes chaotic neutral). Otherwise, its alignment is unaffected.

Type: The creature’s type remains the same. However, it is treated as having both its original type, and the construct type, for the purposes of effects that target creatures by type (such as a ranger’s favored enemy class feature, a charm person spell, and so on). This has no effect on the creature’s Hit Dice, base attack bonus, or saving throws.

Armor Class: Natural armor bonus improves by +2.

Special Qualities and Defenses: Artificial clones gain a +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, and stun effects. They also gain a +4 bonus on ability checks and saving throws made to avoid becoming fatigued or exhausted. Finally, artificial clones are immune to fear and emotion effects, and cannot gain morale bonuses or penalties from any source.

Speed: Each of the base creature’s speeds improves by 10 ft.

Special Abilities: An artificial clone gains the following special abilities.

                Berserk (Ex): When an artificial clone enters combat, there is a cumulative 1% chance each round that it has a crisis of identity and goes berserk (this increases to a cumulative 5% chance each round if the artificial clone’s base creature is present). If this occurs, it goes on a rampage, attacking the base creature , if able, or, if not, attacking the nearest living thing each round, or smashing some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach, then moving on to spread more destruction. While berserk, the artificial clone’s Strength score is increased by +4. Any creature within 60 feet can attempt to end the artificial clone’s berserk state as a full-round action with a Diplomacy check (DC 10 + the artificial clone’s Hit Dice + the artificial clone’s Charisma modifier). Success on this check causes the artificial clone to be dazed on its next turn, and resets its berserk chance.

                Replica (Ex): An artificial clone appears to be an exact copy of a single, specific creature. It is impossible to tell the artificial clone from the original by looks alone, and no Perception check can distinguish one from the other, unless some event causes them to be more easily distinguishable (such as if one of them gains a scar or other identifying characteristic after the artificial clone is created). Even magic such as true seeing fails to differentiate between the two, although a locate creature spell can distinguish between them. While an artificial clone’s personality is often vaguely similar to that of the creature it is a copy of, they are never perfect matches, as artificial clones lack empathy and tend to be highly erratic. Anyone who is familiar with the creature the artificial clone is a copy of is entitled to a Sense Motive check (DC 20) after one minute of interaction with the artificial clone. Success indicates that the creature is aware that the creature he is speaking with is not acting in the way that that creature should, but does not automatically reveal that he is an artificial clone. If the creature is aware of the existence of an artificial clone of that creature, he gains a +10 bonus on their Sense Motive check.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +2, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +2, Cha -2.

Skills: An artificial clone suffers a -5 penalty on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks.



                Generally the creations of mad wizards, alchemists, or tinkerers, artificial clones are magical or technological copies of living creatures. In many ways, they are very similar to androids, and seem to blur the distinction between constructs and living creatures. They are used for a variety of purposes, including as body doubles for the creator, as assassins who can kill their victim and then replace them, preventing the world from ever knowing that the victim had died, and for even more nefarious and convoluted plots.

                For some reason, almost all artificial clones are highly unstable. While it would be wrong to call them emotional, because they lack proper emotions, and are almost universally completely devoid of empathy of any kind, they are prone to suddenly snapping and going on violent berserk rages, especially when in the presence of the creature they were modeled after. These rages are typically quite short in nature, and, unsettlingly, the artificial clones seem to have no memory of them, and often act confused and surprised by the destruction that they wreak, not realizing that they were the ones who caused it. Some believe that this behavior comes from the artificial clones’ lack of a soul, while others believe it is a deep-seated hatred of the creature that they were copied from, and a desire to supplant and replace that creature.