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One of my players is playing a Ranger (Monk 7/Ranger 2) who has Orcs as her favored enemy. I plan on throwing an Orc Revenant at her and the party. Would her favored enemy ability activate when fighting an Orc Revenant (or any Undead Orc)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is she playing the PHB version of the ranger, or the revised Ranger from UA? (I don't think it necessarily affects the answer to this question, but the UA does change how Favored Enemy works.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 26 '18 at 16:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I assume it's not the UA Ranger, because the favored enemy for that one has to be a creature type, not a race. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jun 27 '18 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells: Good point. The revised ranger has humanoids as an overall type option, rather than forcing the ranger to pick two humanoid subtypes as favored enemies if they want to pick humanoid. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 '18 at 20:29
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No, it wouldn't

Favored Enemy states:

Choose a type of favored enemy: aberrations, beasts, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, monstrosities, oozes, plants, or undead. Alternatively, you can select two races of humanoid (such as gnolls and orcs) as favored enemies.

An orc is a humanoid. Once it dies and comes back, the orc becomes something else entirely: it becomes an undead. Your ability to best track orcs is useless if it becomes a skeleton or a floating ghost.

If you do allow this, expect players to soon ask why they can't do the same thing in reverse, e.g. "My favorite enemy is undead, a zombie is just an undead human, so why don't I get my bonus against living humans?"

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    \$\begingroup\$ So should I understand that, 5e rules as written, types do not overlap? A point of criticism on this answer, though: while someone might reason that a zombie is a type of humanoid, I don't think anyone would reason that a human is a type of zombie... to fix this answer (assuming it is generally correct) I would remove the inverse reasoning example (it's a fallacious straw man) and emphasize that this is simply how 5e works and types are mutually exclusive in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Aaron Hall Jun 27 '18 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AaronHall I think the example is an apt example of munchkin logic though. And munchkins get complain-y. \$\endgroup\$ – Jake Jun 27 '18 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general, no, creature types do not overlap. For classifications that can overlap, 5e has creature tags, such as "Orc". There's precedent for using this to indicate "undead of a specific race", such as Beholder Zombies (tagged Beholder), but the basic humanoid Zombie doesn't have one, probably because it doesn't matter much what race it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jun 27 '18 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Previously editions had types and subtypes, and races were generally a subtype - for instance "Humanoid (Orc)" and "Undead (Orc)". Sadly, that level of detail was mostly abandoned for D&D5E. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 8 at 14:36
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By RAW, The Revenant is undead not humanoid. Thus, your Revenant Orc would be a medium undead not a medium humanoid (Orc).

Monster types:

A monster's type speaks to its fundamental nature. Certain spells, magic items, class features, and other effects in the game interact in special ways with creatures of a particular type. For example, an arrow of dragon slaying deals extra damage not only to dragons but also other creatures of the dragon type, such as dragon turtles and wyverns. (MM p7)

However, you as the DM have the last say. If you want to say that the Revenant Orc is an Undead Orc, you are within you bounds to allow Favored Enemy to be triggered by it.

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As mentioned above: No. However, are we just talking about the following abilities: "You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them."?

The rules say "The GM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result", so I might see a DM giving out advantage to track an undead orc that was still behaving very orc-y (which a revenant might).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think it may be referring to the Unearthed Arcana Revised Ranger, which gets a hit and/or damage bonus to their favored enemy, iirc. \$\endgroup\$ – Nicolas Budig Jun 27 '18 at 17:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NicolasBudig: I'm not sure it is, since the revised Ranger wouldn't pick orc as a type; they could pick humanoids in general as a type. Only the PHB ranger is forced to choose 2 humanoid subtypes if they want that as their favored enemy rather than picking humanoids as a type in general. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 '18 at 20:36
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The favoured enemy works off the monster's type as indicated in the stat block.

So the answer depends on whether turning the monster into a revenant changes the creature's type or not.

If you are applying the revenant subrace from Unearthed Arcana (the only source I can access!) then there is nothing in there that states the creature's type changes. So the answer would be yes, the favoured enemy bonuses would still apply.

If you are applying some other kind of revenant that I don't know about, but which specifically states that the creatures type changes to Undead, then the answer would be no.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 27 '18 at 15:21
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No. "Favored enemy" means they want the orc dead. An undead orc is already dead. Desire satisfied.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any basis for this particular definition and interpretation of favored enemy, or is this just your personal opinion that you’re trying to sell? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 27 '18 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not trying to sell anything. What other interpretation of "favored enemy" is there? \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Crawford Jun 28 '18 at 13:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Favored Enemy means “you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy.” It does not mean “you want them dead”, and in fact such text appears nowhere in the class feature. A person who lives off the land might have beasts as their favored enemy to represent they have expertise hunting and otherwise dealing with beasts—but it does not mean they want all beasts dead or have no expertise in dealing with a creature that has the types Undead Beast. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jan 8 at 13:10
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NO, unless you are playing the original Ranger and have chosen Undead as a new Favored Enemy at either 6th or 14th level of the Ranger class, then the rules for that feature would apply.

Current rules on Favored Enemy in the Revised Ranger are as follows:

"Choose a type of favored enemy: beasts, fey, humanoids, monstrosities, or undead."

Greater Favored Enemy (6th level) of the Revised Ranger states:

At 6th level, you are ready to hunt even deadlier game. Choose a type of greater favored enemy: aberrations, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fiends, or giants.

The Revised Ranger does not allow the option of Undead at 6th level, and has eliminated the additional enemy at 14th level.

So, your ranger has Humanoids as her Favored Enemy and although the Revenant has the form of an Orc, it is now an undead, acts like undead, has the undead vulnerabilities, not the qualities of an Orc. For example, hitting an Orc in the balls is a critical, just like the other Humanoids, but since this is now an Undead, this is no longer a critical, so the knowledge of Orcs becomes irrelevant, or even dangerous. If she were to badly fail a knowledge check, then you could tell her that crits to Revenant Orcs still work normally...

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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems it's the PHB Ranger, as opposed to UA Revised Ranger. Maybe you could add a line regarding the PHB Ranger? \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Jan 8 at 7:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The edit covered both versions of the Ranger, showing that the result is the same for both, No, Favored Enemy of either Humanoids or two kinds of Humanoid, do not apply to Undead. You could only double up at 6th level in the old Ranger so you could have both by 6th level. This answer is more thorough. \$\endgroup\$ – Grond 2 days ago
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good improvement. I would disagree with the suggestion in your last line as that seems like a very aggressive DM move, personally. At the very least, the DM should always give the players the correct information about how to use their abilities. Notably, crits to Orcs do work normally regardless of if they are undead or if they are a favored enemy as neither ability changes how critical hits work. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose 2 days ago

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