My level 10 Circle of the Moon Druid is just plumb tuckered out; She is suffering from Exhaustion Level 2.

During combat, she uses Wildshape to turn into an Earth Elemental. However, Earth Elementals are immune to the "exhausted" condition. So what happens?

  • The druid is still suffering Exhaustion Level 2, but the condition is suppressed for the duration of her Wildshape.


  • The druid is immune to Exhaustion, and thus is no longer exhausted.


  • The druid is still suffering Exhaustion level 2, but cannot progress to Exhaustion level 3 while an elemental.


  • The druid is still suffering Exhaustion level 2, but cannot progress to Exhaustion level 3 while an elemental and the condition is suppressed for the duration of her wildshape.

Are there any RAW indications as to which is the correct interpretation?


2 Answers 2


RAW is unclear

I could not find any wording in transformation abilities (polymorph, wild shape, etc.) or in the list of conditions that explicitly states that the conditions go away if you become immune to them.

DM rulings are necessary because conditions are so varied

The different conditions are so varied that I don't think there can be an overall answer for all of them.

For example, consider the prone condition. If the druid is prone, and wildshapes into an air elemental, he would intuitively not be prone anymore, since he becomes a "funneling cloud of whirling air". When he returns to his humanoid form, it doesn't seem to make sense that he would return to a prone position. This logic seems to apply to a lot of the physical restraint conditions, such as grappled or restrained.

On the other hand, consider something like poisoned or blinded. The wildshape text states,

When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed.

This suggests that wildshaping doesn't repair your original body at all. Since you don't get any HP back from ending your wildshape, it seems like wildshaping wouldn't clear the poison or exhaustion from your original body (one could argue the poison point, I suppose).

Finally, there are mental conditions like charmed or frightened. Given that you don't forget what's going on when you change forms, it seems intuitive that you stay charmed or frightened when you wildshape.

All of these arguments are very weak. It's a good idea to get rulings ahead of time

None of the assertions I made above have much support in the rules. My point is that there aren't clear rules, and rulings aren't obvious. If you think that this problem is going to be significant, you should probably discuss this with your DM and come to a conclusion on these conditions at the table.

  • \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, Mike Mearls says poison does not go away. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Feb 6, 2018 at 23:58

Immune is not a word defined in the rules so it takes its normal English meaning. From Merriam-Webster:

1 a : free, exempt immune from further taxation b : marked by protection some criminal leaders are immune from arrest

2: not susceptible or responsive immune to all pleas; especially : having a high degree of resistance to a disease immune to diphtheria

3a : having or producing antibodies or lymphocytes capable of reacting with a specific antigen an immune serum b : produced by, involved in, or concerned with immunity or an immune response immune agglutinins immune globulins

From context, the only definitions that make sense are 1a free, exempt and 2 not susceptible or responsive.

Substituting the definition for the word: an earth elemental is free, exempt, not susceptible or not responsive to exhaustion; a Druid is not free, not exempt, is susceptible and responsive to exhaustion. Put that way it seems clear to me that while the Druid is an earth elemental she neither suffers the effects of nor increases (or decreases) the level of exhaustion: exhaustion as a condition is a nullity for an earth elemental. However, when she ceases being an earth elemental her original level of exhaustion returns to her.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So finally someone found a use for Berserker Frenzy. The downside is you have to be at least level 13 to use it. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Mar 19, 2017 at 8:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ If that "or" was an "and" this answer would be much stronger. As is, you've demonstrated that gaining immunity might suppress the effects of the condition. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Mar 19, 2017 at 9:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András Yeah, that was where this was going, haha \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2017 at 19:30

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