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The DMG Says the following about dashing during a chase:

During the chase, a participant can freely use the Dash action a number of times equal to 3 + its Constitution modifier. Each additional Dash action it takes during the chase requires the creature to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution check at the end of its turn or gain one level of exhaustion.

If there are vampires or vampire spawn in the chase, would this rule apply to them? RAW I don't see why not, but common sense suggests that if they don't need air then they wouldn't get exhausted from exercise in the same way a living creature would.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Are undead immune to sleep which has more explanation the design of creature type in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2023 at 10:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that if you do decide that they can be exhausted, the rules for recovering from exhaustion require a long rest with access to food and drink. There are more specific rules for a long rest for vampires and vampire spawn than for other monsters in general. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Aug 26, 2023 at 15:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you Asking about basic, published RPG rules or how your own group should refine them? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27, 2023 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could the moderator who removed my comment here asking for clarification please explain what about it was against the rules so that I can avoid such mistakes in the future? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kryomaani
    Aug 28, 2023 at 2:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kryomaani Not every comment deletion is about broken rules. It’s likely another user flagged it as “no longer needed” and a moderator agreed. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 28, 2023 at 12:48

3 Answers 3

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If a creature is immune to Exhaustion, its stat block will tell you.

For example, the Air Elemental statblock has a section that reads:

Condition Immunities Exhaustion, Grappled, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone, Restrained, Unconscious

The vampire has no condition immunities, so it is not immune to exhaustion, and so all the usual methods of gaining Exhaustion apply. Since nothing else in the statblock relates to exhaustion, and the rules are not a secret, we conclude the vampire can become exhausted through all the usual means.

There are lots of undead that are immune to Exhaustion, but most of these seem to be on the more dead side of the undead spectrum than vampires.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @aquavitae If they’re immune to exhaustion, then the source of exhaustion doesn’t matter - it’s a blanket immunity. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 26, 2023 at 18:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch-is-skeptical-about-SE: The OP's objection is that full immunity is stronger than what they're asking for, so the fact that vampires don't have it doesn't (in their mind) rule out partial immunity, i.e. to some sources. Or whether some activities should contribute to exhaustion at all; e.g. Dashing while using a magically-powered movement method (such as the Fly spell) doesn't contribute to exhaustion. (Or wait, I can't find a RAW source for that.) Anyway, the answer to that objection is that there are no hidden rules. If there was anything, it'd be in the statblock. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27, 2023 at 12:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ The one thing (that is really not material to the answer) that seems a stretch to me is the last sentence with most undead that are immune being "more dead" than vamps. The kindly given link shows variant wights and ghasts, next to mummies, death knights and liches, that seem to be about as dead. Maybe, because the vamp still needs to eat? But so do ghasts, and even liches, in a way. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27, 2023 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NobodytheHobgoblin Is there a sliding scale of "more dead vs less dead"? If continuing the medical coma - clinical death - biological death scale, one can consider the degree of decomposition. Vampires retain their full physical body and most of its functions in the normal form, barely dead at all. Skeletons would then be very dead, and spirits, totally dead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Therac
    Aug 28, 2023 at 14:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Interestingly, I note that Vampirates (space vampire pirates from Spelljammer), which are mostly vampire-like, but drain life force by touch or proximity, rather than by drinking blood, do have Exhaustion immunity. Maybe Vampires actually have to move energy around with stolen blood in roughly the same manner as humans (and therefore subject to similar flaws), while Vampirates, who transmit the energy directly without a physical medium, don't need to worry about such issues. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2023 at 13:56
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Vampires will gain exhaustion from a chase

Vampires and are not immune to exhaustion, so all the rules that cause exhaustion apply to them. If they participate in a chase, they'll have to take checks like any other participant.

The mechanics of the rules fail for many common sense things. Why do fireballs not evaporate water, why do creatures stuck in a web mid flight fall to the ground, and why do falling creatures not accelerate? Why can attacks beat you within inches of dying with no effect whatsoever on your ability to function? Why do all your wounds heal overnight? Why can two blind archers hit each other just as well as if they would be seeing?

Because the rules simplify for playability or have corner cases that were not considered. D&D is not a physics or biology simulation.

It is your liberty as a DM to overrule the rules if you think they make no sense. DMG, p. 4:

The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren't in charge. You're the DM, and you are in charge of the game.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ One way of achieving the goals of the last paragraph while staying RAW is by offering advantage on the Con save for the Vampires. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2023 at 18:56
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There's no rule for it, and rules do what they say they do.

RAW I don't see why not, but common sense suggests that if they don't need air then they wouldn't get exhausted from exercise in the same way a living creature would.

D&D can get really weird once you try to factor in common sense. Can a wizard safely fire off a lightning bolt underwater? Could a halfling really wield a greatmaul made for an orc? Is it perfectly safe to get knocked out six times in a minute? I'd say "no" for all of those, but the rules are quite clear: the answer to all of those questions is "yes." There are no secret rules, so in lieu of a rule that specifically states that vampires and their spawn are immune to exhaustion, they're not. If it fits the story and tone you're trying to convey then it's fully up to you to change that, but there's no rule for it.

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