Exhaustion in D&D 5e: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the intricacies of the Exhaustion system in Dungeons & Dragons 5e with our in-depth guide. Learn how to effectively navigate the stages of exhaustion, from mild weariness to complete fatigue. Gain valuable insights into the mechanics, causes, and consequences of exhaustion, and uncover essential strategies for preventing and curing this debilitating condition.

From understanding the impact of exhaustion on your character’s abilities to mastering rest and recovery techniques, our comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge needed to overcome fatigue and maintain peak performance throughout your 5e adventures. Don’t let exhaustion hinder your success—empower yourself with the tools to conquer fatigue and emerge victorious in the realm of D&D 5e.

Check also: GATE 5e

Conditions alter a creature’s capabilities in a sort of way and may arise as a result of a spell, a category feature, a monster’s Attack, or other effects. Most Conditions, like blinded, are impairments, but a few, like invisible, are often advantageous. A condition lasts either until it’s countered (the prone condition is countered by standing up, for example) or for a Duration specified by the effect that imposed the condition.


Exhaustion 5e

Exhaustion 5e

  • Casting time: 1 action
  • Range: Self (60-foot cone)
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: Instantaneous

If multiple Effects impose an equivalent condition on a creature, each instance of the condition has its own Duration, but the condition’s Effects don’t worsen. A creature either features a condition or doesn’t.

What is Exhaustion in DnD 5e?

I like to consider exhaustion because of the future effects of adventuring without rest or characters attempting to push beyond their limits. Mechanically, exhaustion may be a condition (such as blinded, paralyzed, or poisoned), but it’s unique in the aspect that it’s multiple levels.

The levels of exhaustion range from 1-6. Each of those levels has increasingly negative effects on the characters. Oh yeah, and therefore the effects of exhaustion are cumulative and stack. Meaning that if you’ve got 3 levels of exhaustion then you’re afflicted by the extent of 3 effects also because of the effects of level 1 and level 2.

Some Special Abilities and environmental Hazards, like starvation and therefore the long-­term Effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can cause a Special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An impact can provide a creature with one or more levels of exhaustion, as laid out in the effect’s description.

If an already exhausted creature suffers another effect that causes exhaustion, its current level of exhaustion increases by the quantity laid out in the effect’s description.

A creature suffers the effect of its current level of exhaustion also as all lower levels. For instance, a creature suffering level 2 exhaustion has its speed halved and features a disadvantage on Ability Checks.

An effect that removes exhaustion reduces its level as laid out in the effect’s description, with all exhaustion Effects ending if a creature’s exhaustion level is reduced below 1.

Finishing an extended Rest reduces a creature’s exhaustion level by 1, as long as the creature has also ingested some food and drink.

Exhaustion is often particularly effective thanks to bringing consequences to a tough adventuring lifestyle. Rather than viewing exhaustion as a punishment for players, DMs should start seeing it as another storytelling element, bringing grit and reality into the fantasy world of D&D.

Exhaustion may be a reminder that the characters are meant to act like real individuals. It’s a mild, and sometimes not so gentle, reminder that everybody needs rest. Even half-orc barbarians.

The only way for characters to get rid of A level of exhaustion is by finishing an extended rest (if they need many foods and clean water available). Notice that it only removes one level of exhaustion! So if a personality has multiple levels of exhaustion, it can take quite a while in-game, to urge back to normal.


Q: What is exhaustion in D&D 5e?

A: Exhaustion is a condition in Dungeons & Dragons 5e that represents increasing levels of physical or mental strain on a character. It can negatively impact a character’s abilities and impose penalties as it progresses through six different stages.

Q: How does exhaustion affect gameplay in Dungeons & Dragons 5e?

Exhaustion can significantly hinder a character’s performance. It imposes a disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls, reduces movement speed, and affects other aspects of gameplay. The higher the level of exhaustion, the more severe the penalties become.

Q: What are the different stages of exhaustion and their effects?

  • The six stages of exhaustion are:
  • Disadvantage on ability checks.
  • Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws.
  • Movement speed halved.
  • Hit point maximum halved.
  • Disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws.
  • Speed is reduced to 0, and death occurs if this level is reached.

Q: What are the common causes of exhaustion in D&D 5e?

Common causes of exhaustion include lack of rest, starvation, extreme cold or heat, certain spells or abilities, and specific campaign scenarios designed by the Dungeon Master.

Q: How can players prevent or reduce exhaustion in the game?

Players can prevent or reduce exhaustion by ensuring their characters get sufficient rest, maintain a healthy diet, avoid extreme environmental conditions, and use abilities or spells that specifically remove or mitigate exhaustion.

Q: Are there any spells or abilities that can help alleviate exhaustion?

Yes, several spells and abilities can alleviate exhaustion. For example, the spell “Greater Restoration” can remove one level of exhaustion, and certain class features or magical items may also provide benefits to combat or reduce exhaustion.

Q: Can exhaustion be cured or removed in D&D 5e?

Yes, exhaustion can be cured or removed. Certain spells, class features, or magical items can remove one or more levels of exhaustion. Additionally, taking a long rest allows a character to recover from exhaustion up to a maximum of one level.

Q: How do the long rest and short rest mechanics relate to exhaustion?

A: A long rest allows characters to recover from exhaustion up to a maximum of one level. Short rests, on the other hand, do not directly affect exhaustion but can provide opportunities to regain hit points or use class features that aid in managing exhaustion.

Q: Are there any items or magical artifacts that can mitigate exhaustion?

A: Yes, there are certain items and magical artifacts in D&D 5e that can help mitigate exhaustion. For example, the “Amulet of Health” grants an advantage on saving throws against exhaustion, while the “Boots of Speed” can increase movement speed, offsetting the penalties of exhaustion.

Q: How can Dungeon Masters effectively incorporate exhaustion into their campaigns?

A: Dungeon Masters can incorporate exhaustion by designing encounters, challenges, or scenarios that involve elements such as harsh environments, lack of resources, or time constraints. They can also use exhaustion as a consequence of certain actions or as a plot device to add tension and realism to the game.

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