Simple question, are undead immune to exhaustion? My DM seemed to think so just based upon the fact they are undead. I said that unless their stat block specifically states they are immune to exhaustion, they're susceptible to it. Is there an official ruling?


1 Answer 1


A monster is immune to exhaustion only if its statblock says it is.

Notably, monster types to do not have rules of their own:

The game includes the following monster types, which have no rules of their own.

So there is no rule that all undead are immune to exhaustion, because that would be a rule about the monster type. So the only way to know if a particular undead creature is immune to exhaustion is to check its statblock. There are lots of undead that are immune to Exhaustion, however some undead, such as vampires, are not.

For comparison, the basic skeleton’s statblock reads:

Condition Immunities Exhaustion, Poisoned

But Exhaustion is notably absent from the basic zombie’s statblock:

Condition Immunities Poisoned

The monster’s statblock has everything you need to know, as stated in the introduction to the Monster Manual:

A monster’s statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run the monster.

A monster’s statblock has the essential information you need to run that monster. There is no secret rule about undead you need to have found to know how to play the monster. The statblock has everything you need.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ It may be worth contrasting this with earlier editions (3rd) where the opposite was true. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 2:48
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The stat block may contain all of the essential information, but it does not contain all of the necessary information, particularly if you are running monsters outside of combat. The Lore is not secret rules, but it is additional rules. To run an undead, you may at times need to refer to its Undead Nature, which is found in its Lore, before the Stat Block starts. A vampire's stat block will tell you it is not immune to exhaustion - but to remove its exhaustion, you would need to know the rules for how it rests, which are in its Lore, not the stat block. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 6:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fectin This is a 5e specific question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Fair, I’ll add a footnote about that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 11:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Senmurv Many players and DMs fall victim to what I call "Edition Baggage" where they've view (especially 5e vs 3.x) different editions as having related rules sets, when actually they should be treated as completely independent other than the source lore material. \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 14:34

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