A druid's Wild Shape feature specifies the following:

• Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, [bla-fu about stuff you retain; resistances are not mentioned]


• 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.

Clearly, your resistances are part of your "game statistics". However, they are also clearly a "benefit from your [...] race", and not a special sense.

Logically, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me why a wildshaped tiefling, for instance, would retain his fire resistance in wildshaped form.

Is someone able to clarify whether or not you retain your racial* resistances while wildshaped?

*I don't care about class-given resistances. It makes a lot more sense for a raging barbarian or a level 17 war domain cleric to keep his resistances than the racial example given above.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That isn't clear to me, Clearly, your resistances are part of your "game statistics" I read the "keep race features" and never considered there to be a conflict. You raise an interesting question; looking forward to the answers. FWIW \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I suppose it's not necessarily clear, since everyone has his/her own opinion, considering there's no official definition of "game statistics" afaik. To me, everything on your sheet is part of your game statistics. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: How do I determine if a Racial Trait applies to Wildshape? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster what counts as a "statistic" is defined via MM pp.6-11. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 1:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 while this definition includes resistances, I don't think it's meant for player characters. First off, if it were relevant for players using wild shape, it should logically be in the PHB - players are not expected to have a MM. Secondly, the definition includes CR and equipment, which players don't have (in the case of CR) or shouldn't be "game statistics" for players, since wild shape specifically talks about what happens to the druids equipment. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


RAW and RAT (rules as tweeted), yes, resistances are kept by a wildshaped Tiefling or similar

By using the answers to this question, it can be seen that any and all features that do not explicitly require a feature on the beast (such as Hellish Rebuke requiring a finger to point) are valid for transference.

There may also be circumstances where the feature does not explicitly say whether it requires a physical, racial feature, in which case common sense or DMs ruling may come into play.

In the case of Hellish Resistance, I will outline the example here (this is the full text for the trait):

Hellish Resistance. You have resistance to fire damage.

Nowhere in this statement does it specify that this is due to the player being a Tiefling. This trait, lore-wise, could be due either to the blood in their veins or a boon on their spirit. Either way is outside of RAW, so cannot be discussed.

I would rule, personally, that such resistances are part of a creature's statistics, but that is not RAW. Obviously you can rule as you wish.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for RAT (rules as tweeted) ... that got me to grin. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ A Tiefling's fire resistance is gained from his "Hellish Resistance", but the blood flowing through his wildshaped form is (temporarily) no longer that of a descendant of a fiend. Likewise, dwarves get resistance to poison due to their "Dwarven Resilience" trait. Obviously, however, once a dwarf wildshapes into e.g. a wolf, he's no longer a dwarf. In both cases, the new form wouldn't have the "required anatomy" (quoting the RAT here ^^) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster the key point is that neither of the examples you stated say that it is a physical feature of the race. They could just as easily be boons from a god. I've updated my answer to reflect these thoughts. \$\endgroup\$
    – L0neGamer
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster: Race is not the same thing as "anatomy". "Anatomy" here specifically refers to body parts and the like specified in the description of the trait itself. For instance, neither the wood elf's Fleet of Foot trait nor the dragonborn's breath weapon specifies a necessary anatomy in the description (Breath Weapon just requires exhalation). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ And drows' Sunlight Sensitivity just requires sight, not a specific biology or anatomy. In contrast, the tortle's Natural Armor and Shell Defense require a shell. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 22:58

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