In Eberron: Rising from the Last War (p. 36), the warforged's Constructed Resilience trait includes the following benefit:

You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

The Sentry's Rest trait also says:

When you take a long rest, you must spend at least six hours in an inactive, motionless state, rather than sleeping. In this state, you appear inert, but it doesn’t render you unconscious, and you can see and hear as normal.

Now, I've noticed that this is a change from the original version of Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, in which the corresponding benefit of the warforged's Warforged Resilience trait (p. 68) read:

You don’t need to sleep and don’t suffer the effects of exhaustion due to lack of rest, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

In the final version of warforged, if this living construct refused to take a long rest, would it suffer exhaustion that a normal humanoid of the flesh would likely take? Or would it be safe from that kind of exhaustion?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You are (or were) looking at an outdated version of Wayfinder's. It - the living document - got updated as part of the playtesting process. The current version is identical to the E:RftLW version while the one you reference is the UA version. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Mar 9 '20 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ So am I mistaken in thinking that "Eberron: Rising from the Last War" is the approved version? I'm not sure which one is the most up to date, could you help me to correct the question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddy Bravo
    Mar 9 '20 at 12:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Eberron: Rising from the Last War" is the approved, published Eberron supplement. I have both, and I have found it simplest, where there is any disagreement between texts, to use E:RftLW as authoritative. WGtE did get an update, but it requires another down load. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 '20 at 12:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah ok, that's fair. Well, I mostly ask because I was using this UA/WGtE version and my DM thought I was using the approved version, so with that in mind, I think I'll keep the question as is, as I am genuinely interested if with this change in mind, would the approved warforged be vulnerable to exhaustion as I have described in the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddy Bravo
    Mar 9 '20 at 12:35

It's safe from exhaustion, most likely

First of all, going without sleep causing exhaustion is already a variant rule of sorts, introduced in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 78), which specifically states that you "can use these rules if you want to account for sleep deprivation". I assume they removed the "you don't suffer exhaustion" line to keep it from being confusing, because anybody who doesn't have Xanathar's would be hard-pressed to locate the rule where you get exhaustion.

The optional rule on going without a long rest states:

A long rest is never mandatory, but going without sleep does have its consequences. If you want to account for the effects of sleep deprivation on characters and creatures, use these rules.

Whenever you end a 24-hour period without finishing a long rest, you must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or suffer one level of exhaustion.

It becomes harder to fight off exhaustion if you stay awake for multiple days. After the first 24 hours, the DC increases by 5 for each consecutive 24-hour period without a long rest. The DC resets to 10 when you finish a long rest.

While the text seems to make a bit of a mess of the general theme of it, considering it says "whenever you end a 24 hour period without finishing a long rest", the general theme here is sleep deprivation. Your warforged does not require sleep, so they will not have to fight sleep deprivation, there's no real sensible reason to apply a rule "to account for sleep deprivation" on a character or creature that does not need sleep.

If you use the rule, pure RAW, your Warforged will get exhausted because they are sleepy despite not needing to sleep. Reading the entire text however should, in my opinion, make it fairly clear that a creature that does not require sleep will not have to fight against sleep deprivation.

I mean, talking pure RAW, you could sleep 7 hours, walk 1 hour, sleep 7 hours, walk 1 hour, sleep 7 hours, walk one hour and you're now suffering from sleep deprivation because you didn't finish a long rest.

In the end, this is an optional rule so it's entirely up to your DM how it works, but logic suggests your Warforged should be a-ok.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11 '20 at 10:43

If you follow XGtE rules, they can suffer exhaustion.

In the Warforged description, you can read

Resting, healing magic, and the Medicine skill all provide the same benefits to warforged that they do to other humanoids.

The intent of not needing to sleep is that, even if you don't sleep, you still need long rests. Previously, Warforged explicitly did not need to sleep and wouldn't suffer exhaustion. Now, they still need to take long rests, even if they are merely in stasis. The same applies to elves and their Trance feature.

Whenever you end a 24-hour period without finishing a long rest, you must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or suffer one level of exhaustion.

The rule in XGtE is optional. If your DM uses it, you and your party members need to long rest once per day, or risk exhaustion. Each table should rule this as they prefer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ By this logic, are you suggesting that a zombie will die eventually if it doesn't go to bed? "Undead nature. A zombie doesn't require air, food, drink or sleep.", but you're saying they will still require long rests or they'll start taking exhaustion, which they are not immune to, until they eventually die. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Mar 10 '20 at 13:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik I would rule that NPCs don't follow PC rules \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Mar 10 '20 at 13:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik That being said, if you have a permanent undead on your party, how does it regain health? You ask it to Rest, either long or short? The undead is also not immune to spells and effects that cause exhaustion. In other words, it rests just like living creatures, and can become exhausted. It doesn't have an eternal pool of energy. Uhh, if it did, we could build cool undead labor farms, that's a good idea for my campaign! :D \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Mar 10 '20 at 13:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's completely offtopic, but that actually existed in lore. The god Jergal had sanctioned undead and their priests would hire them out to raise funds for their church. It might be worth mentioning that you believe the optional rule would not apply to NPCs if you do decide to apply it, because a lot of monsters "don't require sleep" and it'd be weird if the DM suddenly described all of those as falling over dead from exhaustion. :P \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Mar 10 '20 at 13:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik Nice bit of lore, I'll follow up on it, thanks ^^ \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Mar 10 '20 at 15:00

Warforged suffer the normal effects of skipping long rests

The combination of not needing sleep and the Sentry's Rest trait is very similar to an elf's Trance racial trait:

Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

Essentially, both Sentry's Rest and Trance provide an alternative to sleep for members of a certain race. Both traits explicitly replace the need for sleep, but neither one negates the need for a long rest. So, if you use the optional rule from XGtE for going without a long rest, both elves and warforged have to make constitution saving throws or suffer exhaustion, just like any other race. Even though the XGtE rule makes references to sleeping and sleep deprivation, the rule still applies equally to elves who don't trance and warforged who don't enter their "inactive, motionless state" because these abilities replace the need for sleep for those races and are required in order to take a long rest. This is consistent with the 5th edition practice of writing for the common case (i.e. sleep deprivation) and not explicitly spelling out all the edge cases (e.g. "trance deprivation").

  • \$\begingroup\$ The text not calling out the edge cases seems like it would be DM's call to rule on those edge cases; you've effectively declared those edge cases don't even exist. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Mar 10 '20 at 19:41

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