How does the 'Ferocity' Universal Monster Ability work for creatures of the Undead type? It seems like, since Undead lack a Constitution score, the creature would be staggered and lose additional hp over time yet never reach a negative hit point total equal to their constitution score (since they don't have one). Is this accurate? Does it matter that undead are "immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points."?

An example of such an undead (and where this question comes from) is any undead created by an orc with the Ferocious Summons feat via e.g. Skeleton Summoner.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan the Floodslain Orc from PCS: Belkzen is an undead creature with ferocity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 5, 2019 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Cool. TDW, did you already see this question? \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2019 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Ferocity doesn't benefit undead creatures

Ferocity allows that a creature:

remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0.

But undead creatures can't reach negative hit points and fall unconscious; they are simply destroyed upon reaching 0hp. Ferocity prevents the creature from falling unconscious due to negative hit points, but it does not protect the creature from any of the other consequences of hit point loss, which for undead creatures means they are destroyed before ferocity is ever relevant.

But if you want it to, use their charisma score instead

If you houserule that ferocity does prevent the undead creature from being destroyed at 0hp, you should probably use their charisma score in place of their constitution score to determine how much more damage they can take. As per the description of Constitution and the Undead type:

Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution (such as when calculating a breath weapon’s DC).

Undead explicitly base their hit point calculation and special abilities that depend on constitution on their charisma instead, so it makes sense to use their charisma score for this purpose too.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like it could be more explicit that your second section would be a homerule, up to the GM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 6, 2019 at 3:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso better? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 6, 2019 at 10:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you square that first section against the "can continue fighting" phrase? You appear to have focused on the "remains conscious" phrase while glossing over this phrase. Do you consider that to be exclusively a clarification on the unconsciousness phrase or something like that? \$\endgroup\$ May 6, 2019 at 10:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I read it as an implied "and [therefore] can continue fighting", because the reason a creature normally does not continue fighting at <0hp is because it's unconscious. Undead are instead destroyed before that happens, and I think a RAW reading of ferocity which allows it to supersede being destroyed would conceivably override any condition or effect which compromises the ability to "keep fighting", like paralysis. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 6, 2019 at 10:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener but thanks; that comment prompted me to reason to a better argument for why it works this way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 6, 2019 at 11:06

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