Air Genasi in 5e D&D have the trait Unending Breath. Does this trait carry over when an Air Genasi druid uses Wild Shape? Would such a druid be able to breathe on land if they wild shaped into a fish or other strictly water-breathing animal?


The description of Wild Shape states:

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.

Presumably any beast you can wild shape into would also be able to hold its breath, in which case you would indeed retain the benefit of the Unending Breath racial feature.

It would not let you breathe where you would otherwise be unable to, or change anything about flight. The feature does exactly what it says it does; it lets you hold your breath indefinitely while not incapacitated. (Normally, a creature can hold its breath for a number of minutes equal to 1 + its Constitution modifier (minimum of 30 seconds).)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So for clarification, if I were an octopus holding its breath I would be able to walk about on land unhindered(by breathing) unless incapacitated? \$\endgroup\$ – Traveling Chef Mar 9 '18 at 3:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TravelingChef: Well, octopi are pretty slow on land (their regular speed is 5 feet, whereas their swim speed is 30 feet), but yes. Normally, according to their statblock, octopi can only breathe underwater, and can hold their breath for 30 minutes while out of water; the air genasi feature would let them hold their breath indefinitely while out of water. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 9 '18 at 5:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ That said, I'm not sure if there's anything besides knocking the creature unconscious that would cause it to be unable to hold its breath, by the rules as written. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 9 '18 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Tasha's Hideous Laughter would force it to breathe (or attempt to breathe). \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 9 '18 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron: True. I suppose anything that forced a creature to speak or take other actions that prevent holding one's breath would also apply. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 9 '18 at 8:27

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