Just how useful is racial flying?

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Tamara Bloodhoof
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Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Tamara Bloodhoof » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:08 pm

This is a legitimate question, just how useful is a pony or otherwise who can fly if they have a -8 modifier to their flying?

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David
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby David » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:18 pm

Game. Changing.

That is not hyperbole. The difference between flying and not flying is immense. If you don't invest in some way to fly by around level 5'sh, you're just doing it wrong. Before then, natural flyers just get it, for free, any time they want. Climb checks? Never! Funneled valleys of doom(Like they had in the adventure path I'm running right now), entirely negated. The penalty to fly checks is paltry, as you can avoid having to roll them most of the time. The only one you can't avoid(being hit) is a whole DC 10.

Tamara Bloodhoof
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Tamara Bloodhoof » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:28 pm

Or crashing into something (DC 25) and therefore falling to the ground, or turning 180 degrees in midair so you can get out of anywhere that doesn't have a minimum of twenty feet by twenty feet of midair manoeuvring space (DC 20), or how you can only move up at a total of 45 degrees unless you again make a check (DC 20)? All of those are different common scenario's that few if any characters could make, and unless you're a very lenient GM, when someone fails one of those rolls and slams into the wall, they're going to be making that DC 25 crash check and, since they couldn't make the DC 20, most likely fail said check causing them to fall to the ground.

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David
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby David » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:00 pm

http://youtu.be/BktMGSF_Ew8

Explaining with words is hard. About the only time you'll get the mid air collision is if some other flyer just crashes into you on purpose, in which case you both flopping to the ground is fairly legit. If you are that cramped for space, you're probably underground in a hallway, which are 10' high as often as not, and your flying is probably not doing much at the moment anyway, so just land.

Anyway! That's enough from me. If other people have their own argument, fire away, and feel free to houserule in your home game.

Tamara Bloodhoof
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Tamara Bloodhoof » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:15 pm

Other problems, moving less than half speed while flying, moving upwards takes double movement, so the 45 degree angle would force most races to move what would be the equivalent of ten feet vertically and horizontally.

Also, just a reasonable thing to tell people, if you are slammed into by an opponent, then you're going to crash. That means that if someone decided to bull rush you, well, you just crashed into something. If you don't consider that a crash, then it's still an attack, but I honestly doubt anybody would take another creature just as big as them to the face and NOT have collided so hard they're losing control.

Changing Pony
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Changing Pony » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:15 am

Only just barely chiming in here, but I found this book to be extremely useful for explaining and dealing with all things 'flying' in Pathfinder. It is well worth the investment.

Alzrius
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Alzrius » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:16 am

David has the right of it. Natural flying is a game-changer.

The reason that having a -8 penalty to Fly checks isn't a big deal is that the circumstances wherein Fly checks become relevant are comparatively few. You'll see them most often in combat, but combat isn't where flight makes the biggest impact (crashes notwithstanding).

Flying changes the game (mostly at low levels) because it completely alters issues relating to the environment as an obstacle. Issues of accessibility and exploration becomes vastly easier when you can fly over gorges, lakes, and walls. Reconnaissance is far easier for overland campaigning, unless the environment has a thick forest canopy. Areas that are dangerous to walk through - rickety bridges, narrow pathways, etc. - cease to be a problem.

For all of these things, Fly checks don't matter because you don't need to push issues of how fast or how maneuverable you are. Needing a double move to ascend isn't a factor when you just want to fly over a chasm or see if there's a town nearby.

Even for combat-related areas, flight is great for simply avoiding ground-based threats. Many monsters - especially low-level ones such as animals and vermin, as well as things like oozes and constructs - usually aren't equipped with ranged weapons or attacks, and so cease to be a concern to flying creatures. Ditto for ground-based hazards, such as pit traps, trip wires, quicksand, avalanches, earthquakes, etc.

Issues of making Fly checks in combat aren't really a factor, simply because combat is only one small part of the picture regarding what flight grants a character. Take away issues of time and proximate threats, and a penalty to Fly checks largely ceases to matter.

Tamara Bloodhoof
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Tamara Bloodhoof » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:11 am

I shall concede this point, but I still believe that combat is where flying is suddenly horrible.

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David
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby David » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:00 am

Pretend that instead of fly -8, it is climb +99, +5 to saves vs traps, and +99 to acrobatics for long jumps, because that is basically what it gives you in terms of power. The increase in mobility, even if you pretend you can't fly in combat(you can, you really can), is huge.

Tamara Bloodhoof
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Re: Just how useful is racial flying?

Postby Tamara Bloodhoof » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:43 am

I'd prefer what you just said immensely! Fly doesn't save you versus every trap, fly has a horrible turning speed, and in combat weapons are merely a size category smaller than you if they are two handed. My new flying creature killer is going to be a Antean with Large Fate and a halberd. Every single one of those flyers is being grounded stat!


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