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On another question - Is an Immune creature considered to have the condition without suffering its effects? - it was concluded that a creature could gain exhaustion levels, while being immune to the effects of those levels.

Assume we have a druid/barbarian (Berserker subclass).

The druid hasn't been sleeping for a few nights, and so has 2 levels of exhaustion. There's a blizzard going on, bestowing another level of exhaustion.
He goes into a frenzied rage, taking the exhaustion level to 4.
He goes into the Wild Shape of an elemental, gaining immunity the effects of exhaustion. He then sprints enough times to the point where each Dash increases the exhaustion level by 1.

The rules aren't exactly clear whether exhaustion immunity prevents the exhaustion level from increasing, but regardless, he won't suffer the effects of exhaustion.

If he dashes enough to increase the exhaustion level to 6, what happens if he gains another level of exhaustion? Is it possible for exhaustion level to increase past 6?

If so, would this increase the amount of healing/spells/potions that remove exhaustion levels needed to decrease the exhaustion level to a point the Druid could drop Wild Shape without dying?

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While in the form of an elemental, the druid is exempt from exhaustion.

Elementals do not suffer from exhaustion effects

The vernacular definition lists exempt as a meaning which is apt for this application of it, and the immunity rules don't more specifically define the term. Immunity to fire means one does not suffer burns. Immunity to exhaustion means one does not tire.

Elementals do not accrue exhaustion.

Similar to being immune to a damage type. It doesn't mean that damage is taken and ignored, it means that the immune creature takes no damage of that type. Similarly, when something would add a point of exhaustion to an elemental, it does not. So in this case, the druid is not accruing exhaustion while they're an elemental.

Specific to your example, in elemental form the druid can sprint as often as they like without ever increasing exhaustion.

When the druid reverts back from an elemental, they're still at the same exhaustion level as when they changed form.

The text of wild shape ability is mum on removing effects, so it doesn't explicitly do so. There exists a consensus about changing form supressing effects that do not apply to the new form. Changing form, such as with polymorph, can suppress effects but doesn't cure them. Shows up again here.

It is not possible to get to an exhaustion level above 6.

By taking an form immune to exhaustion, they cannot accrue exhaustion. If taking a form that is susceptible to exhaustion, and they gain more levels of exhaustion, the effect is death. This causes the druid to revert to their original form. Since death does not remove exhaustion levels (despite it being the longest rest) the druid still has 6 levels of exhaustion which has the effect of death.

In short, if immune to exhaustion, a character can't get to 6 levels of exhaustion. If not immune to exhaustion, a character suffers the effect of death upon getting 6 levels of exhaustion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Working on linking to citations \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Dec 13 '19 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ What happens if he goes into a frenzied rage? Would the exhaustion be ignored. \$\endgroup\$ – NeutralTax Dec 13 '19 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wild Shape allows you to rage while in it .rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/55358/… \$\endgroup\$ – NeutralTax Dec 13 '19 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeutralVax is he immune to exhaustion? If so, he accrues no exhaustion. If he's immune to fire damage and gets hit with an effect that does 2d6 fire damage, he takes none. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Dec 13 '19 at 18:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NeutralVax if he is immune to exhaustion, he does not suffer a level of exhaustion at the end of the frenzied rage. During the rage, he still gets to make an attack as a bonus action and all the other benefits of rage. So there might be many reasons he might still want to rage. Perhaps there is a nearby machine to do it against. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Dec 13 '19 at 18:16
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According to the exhaustion condition description:

Some special abilities and environmental hazards, such as starvation and the long-term effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can lead to a special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An effect can give a creature one or more levels of exhaustion, as specified in the effect's description.

The exhaustion effect is measured in 6 levels, meaning it has only 6 levels. You can never go past 6 as it's the highest this condition becomes.

To paraphrase Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

"Seven shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, three, four, or five, excepting that thou then proceed to six. Eight is right out. Once the number six, being the sixth number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it." - T.J.L.

I hope this is clear enough.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This stilll doesn't answer what happens when the level is increased when it's already at 6 \$\endgroup\$ – NeutralTax Dec 13 '19 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ It can't go past 6, what else should i say? \$\endgroup\$ – Bruno Souza Dec 13 '19 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Seven shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, three, four, or five, excepting that thou then proceed to six. Eight is right out. Once the number six, being the sixth number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it." \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Dec 13 '19 at 18:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @zeiss The OP asks "Is it possible for exhaustion level to increase past 6." and this answer addresses that. The other portions of the question ("what happens if another level is suffered?" and "Are more restoration spells needed to remove exhaustion?") are resolved by answering the first point. That said, I think this answer could benefit from more explicitly stating these ramifications. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Dec 13 '19 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ While I love Monty Python, I don't think quoting TJL's paraphrase/reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail does anything to improve the clarity of your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 14 '19 at 4:06

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