As a Half-Orc I have Relentless Endurance:

Relentless Endurance When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest. (PHB p.42)

While wild-shaped "you retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is capable of doing so." (PHB p.68)

So, as a half-orc druid in wild shape when my temporary/wild-shape hit points drop to zero can I choose then to drop to 1 hit point without ever reverting form? Additionally, what happens to the "carry-over damage" that usually applies to a wild shape taking more damage than its current hit points?

Related: Does the half orc's Savage Attack work when wild shaped?


2 Answers 2


Yes you can

The rules for wildshape clearly state that you retain any benefits of features from your race if the new form is capable of using them. Since the Relentless Endurance feature does not implicitly or explicitly require any particular body parts (hands, for example) I see no reason why it should not be retained.

The rule on reverting says you automatically revert if you hit 0 hit points. Since your Relentless Endurance allows you to drop to 1 hp instead of dropping to 0, you never actually drop to zero and thus never revert.

... and there is no carry-over damage

The rule on carry-over damage says:

if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form

Since you did not revert or drop to 0 hit points, this rule does not apply.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 the wording is consistent with the wording of spells like Shield, which says "when you are hit..." but allow you to then insert the effects of the spell before the attack actually hits, potentially turning that hit into a miss. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2015 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personally I think the key feature is "if the new form is physically capable of doing so". I think things like, darkvision, speed, dwarven resilience, fey ancestry, trance, mask of the wild, sunlight sensitivity, halfling nimbleness, stout resilience, draconic ancestry, breath weapon, draconic damage resistance, speak with small beasts, tiker (if you have no hands and/or no tools), menacing, relentless endurance, savage attacks, hellish resistance are all physical racial features and thus does not carry over in your wild shape. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 17, 2015 at 5:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EfraimSiounis it's a reasonable argument. It's really a gray area to decide which racial benefits rely on having that particular body, and which do not. Relentless endurance could be as much a willpower thing as a physical body thing, by my reading. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 17, 2015 at 20:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I don't think it contradicts. It says relentless endurance doesn't protect you from a death effect, and that wildshape doesn't save you from a death effect. And it says that Tough doesn't apply to druids in wildshape form. I'm not seeing anything that contradicts this answer though. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2016 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Basically I think "death effects" are a special case -- turning to dust is part of what happens if you go down to 0 hp due to disintegrate, so it can't be separated to allow something like relentless endurance or unshaping in between. This case is very different because both of the things that happen at 0 hp are PC abilities -- and I think if a PC has 2 abilities that could trigger on a given trigger, they can choose the order. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 20, 2016 at 3:57

RAW: Yes

Because Relentless Endurance requires that you hit 0 hitpoints to function, because wildshape has specific rules for hitting 0 hitpoints (meaning you can actually hit 0 in wildshape), and because your race feature still applies, you can use your Relentless Endurance to stay in wildshape once per long rest. This is no different from every other racial ability. So it seems that, while being in wildshape changes your physical attributes, racial features are treated like a mental attribute - like your wisdom, intelligence, and charisma.


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