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Can undead get Fatigued or Exhausted?

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  • Can undead get Fatigued or Exhausted?

    One of my players is playing as a lich. I had everyone make Athletics rolls to avoid getting Fatigue and then the issue came up that a lich really wouldn't get tired since they have no human physique to begin with. And if a substantial physical injury does not cause them penalties then neither would fatigue. I ruled that his Fatigue was due to his undead body being rattled a lot during the ordeal and that he doesn't suffer penalties due to it, but I wasn't too happy about this quick ruling afterwards. So how would you handle it?
    Last edited by Aristarkos; 05-18-2020, 03:33 PM.

  • #2
    Undead not getting fatigued can be a narrative aspect of being undead but did his "undead" race pay, mechanically speaking, for this bonus? If not, I'd say the magic sustaining him needs renewal from time to time in some way or he can indead become fatigued. This could become severe enough that the magic could fail entirely and he could "die" again. Make sure someone is armed with a mop. Just saying.

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    • #3
      I'm assuming that his racial abilities match the quoted monster ability. If they don't then we'll need to see what his actual race abilities are.
      Undead
      Zombies, skeletons, and similar physical horrors are particularly difficult to destroy. Below are the benefits of being such an abomination.
      • Add +2 to Toughness and Spirit rolls to recover from being Shaken, ignore additional damage from Called Shots, ignore 1 point of Wound penalties, don’t breathe or eat and are immune to disease and poison, don’t Bleed Out, and can only be healed with magical healing.
      If Fatigue comes from a source other than Suffocation, Starvation, Disease, or Poison then undead are subject to it. That includes fatigue from rolling down a stony hill (Bumps & Bruises), fatigue from athletic exertion (as in the OP), fatigue from Radiation (though may not be subject to Radiation Sickness, depending upon GM interpretation, preventing actually destruction by radiation), or even sleep deprivation.

      Maybe the magic that makes the body work is being over stressed by all this repetitive motion. Stress fractures of bone are most commonly caused by repeated impacts.

      Regardless, based upon my assumptions I would have ruled as you did.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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      • #4
        I would just note that, RAW the Undead Special Ability doesn’t say anything about a blanket resistance to Fatigue, nor does the Lich stat block later in the bestiary chapter. As long as the Fatigue wasn’t related specifically to one of the immunities called out in Undead (don’t breathe or eat and are immune to disease and poison) I’d say Undead can suffer Fatigue penalties.

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        • #5
          Thank you all for you answers, I feel much more confident about my ruling now with your wise counsel!


          Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
          I'm assuming that his racial abilities match the quoted monster ability. If they don't then we'll need to see what his actual race abilities are.


          If Fatigue comes from a source other than Suffocation, Starvation, Disease, or Poison then undead are subject to it. That includes fatigue from rolling down a stony hill (Bumps & Bruises), fatigue from athletic exertion (as in the OP), fatigue from Radiation (though may not be subject to Radiation Sickness, depending upon GM interpretation, preventing actually destruction by radiation), or even sleep deprivation.

          Maybe the magic that makes the body work is being over stressed by all this repetitive motion. Stress fractures of bone are most commonly caused by repeated impacts.

          Regardless, based upon my assumptions I would have ruled as you did.

          Yes, I did use the ability that you quoted. Actually the source of Fatigue was a combination of exertion from swimming against strong currents and bumps and bruises for crashing into things along the way. So yeah, those very sources you mentioned as being reasonable! As always a concise and well-written answer from you, thanks.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
            Stress fractures of bone are most commonly caused by repeated impacts.
            This, combined with this
            Undead...can only be healed with magical healing.
            makes me think evil thoughts that reasonable houserule makes some sources of Fatigue become real damage, ie Wounds, for undead.

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            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              Eh, I'd classify it as basic wear and tear. The kind of degradation that quality necromancy is built to counter-act. Otherwise your tireless servants and eternal protectors would last about three weeks before literally falling apart.

            • paladin2019
              paladin2019 commented
              Editing a comment
              We're talking specifically about the kinds of things that cause an effect. I don't see tireless servants having to make Vigor rolls against Fatigue walking their post from flank to flank, but a zombie trying to get a hero through an electric fence or getting pushed down a slope is another story. Basically, no natural healing and that's what your stress fractures example subsumes with recovery. But I was spitballing on case by case bases here. Applying these could serve as a way to reduce the value of a hypothetical "Undead" racial modifier for PCs, if one was doing a Warcraft or V:tM adaptation, for example.

          • #7
            Well, there is the phrase "dead tired"...
            Jeffrey...
            Left is Death!

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