I tend not to give zeroes anything really cool, including racial abilities. Makes the characters that much more nifty when they survive to reach 1st level!
Of course, your observation that they would survive the funnel better with those racial abilities is spot on. I tend not to use them (which I realize is not "realistic") exactly because I don't
want to give any zeroes the edge over their peers. Often I find that players' favorite characters die off no matter how much they try to protect them.
_________________Marv / FinarvynDCC Minister of Propaganda
; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C
since 2003, ADRP
Since 1993, OD&D
player since 1975
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson