I believe this is completely outside the realms of RAW as I don't know of any way for a PC to gain Undead Fortitude beside homebrew,

Undead Fortitude reads:

If damage reduces the creature to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the creature drops to 1 hit point instead.

and Wild Shape reads

You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.

So with these two wordings, if you drop to 0 hit points while wildshaped, and since you retain any features from your race, while wildshaped, does that mean that Undead Fortitude could prevent a wildshaped druid from turning back into its non-beast form?

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    \$\begingroup\$ hrm... I thought we had a question about druid and boars relentless feature, but I can't seem to find it.... \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related question: Does Phoenix Spark overcome Disintegrate? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mwr247
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ If a player would have that you would need to upscale the challenges. I believe you could pull off a half-undead (c.f. Gauldoth the Half-Undead from Heroes of Might and Magic IV) that could shape into undead, with similarly overpowered friends routinely having deadly encounters. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 8:37

3 Answers 3


Yes, Undead Fortitude would prevent them from reverting if they were to somehow acquire it.

As you said, undead fortitude states (emphasis mine)

If damage reduces the creature to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the creature drops to 1 hit point instead.

I would argue that because of the reading of this you would first make your CON save and if you pass you stay wildshaped because you are not at 0 HP. It is worth noting, however, that this could be up for debate; as Please stop being evil stated in their answer, Xanathar's Guide to Everything does include rules for simultaneous events which these could be considered.

If they are considered simultaneous, then the DM could say that whoever's turn it is gets to decide the order in which the effects activate and declare that you drop your wildshape before undead fortitude can take effect.

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    \$\begingroup\$ instead very much being the carrying word here \$\endgroup\$
    – rasmus91
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 17:24

Not usually

Two things are happening simultaneously here, both triggered by having 0 hp. According to Xanathar's Guide to Everything, that means the person whose turn it is decides the order things happen in. Usually, you take damage not on your turn when an enemy attacks you, so usually they decide you revert first. If it is your turn, however, this does work.


It's Confusing

One interpretation is that because undead fortitude says "is reduced to 1 HP instead" means that it would take effect and you would no longer be at 0 HP for the druids wildshape ability to revert back to their initial form. Unfortunately D&D doesn't give us nice concise timing mechanics like Magic the Gathering, because that would bloat the rule book to hundreds more pages than it needs to be. So, we'll look at other abilities that function similarly, namely the half-orc ability:

When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 instead.

But the Boar has a similar, although slightly different ability:

If the boar takes 7 damage or less that would reduce it to 0 hit points, it is reduced to 1 instead.

Now, there is some word choice by the Devs that imply that with both undead fortitude and the half-orc racial you do actually hit 0 hit points, while with the boar ability you never hit 0 due to the "If you would [...] instead" compared to the "When you are reduced to 0 [...] instead"

In the end, no, Undead fortitude doesn't prevent you from leaving wildshape

So the conclusion is that with undead fortitude you would indeed hit 0 HP which would kick you out of wildshape, but with the boar's natural ability you never hit 0. This could be an editing mistake, or perhaps the abilities were created at different times, but either way interpreting we're interpreting what is written.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer, but I wonder if the difference in wording between half-orc vs. boar is because the half-orc trait is written from the perspective of the player (because in most cases that rule will be used by a half-orc PC) whereas the boar rules are written for an NPC (i.e. in most cases, this rule will be used by the DM, although exceptions exist, such as a druid wild-shaped as a boar)? What do you think? \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 21:30
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    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 22:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, I'll probably open a question on the slight word differences between features like these tomorrow sice it seems particularly odd to me \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 7:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS That is an interesting thought, but the Undead fortitude is worded similarly to the half-orc and it's less likely a PC will be undead than a boar due to wildshape. I would think that all animal abilities would be created with a Druid in mind as the staple ability of them is wildshape. I might send a tweet to Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls and see what they say, because any ideas we might have are assumptions based on the books we're given. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wholeheartedly disagree. This is a very incorrect assessment of the wording due to two things: 1. It uses the words drop/reduced to, which would imply that you are going from a higher number which 0 is not by any means. 2. It uses the form 'IF this would be the case THEN that INSTEAD' and this wording implies that if the potential outcome is dropping to 0 hp, then that is prevented, and you are instead reduced to one. For a look at something worded like what you're claiming this is, have a look at it ferocity from Pathfinder 2e \$\endgroup\$
    – rasmus91
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 17:23

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