Has Paizo offered any explanation as to why "Fly" stays?


Skills & Feats

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It seems that the majority of posts I've read have been opposed to adding a Fly skill. It would seem that nothing in Fly couldn't be handled by having Acrobatics cover fly actions. That said, Fly survived v.2 and I expect to see it in v.3.

Has Jason or anyone at Paizo offered an explanation as to why it is so important to add this skill to the array?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

And here I thought that fly had been well recieved at first.

Personally it was a lot of fun in our last game when the fighter had a fly spell on her and didn't have the skill. She couldn't do all sorts of fancy manuevers and I had fun describing her wobbliness as she moved from point a to point b.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am not sure if Fly is disliked by the majority or not. Or if it was just those that didn't like it that were vocal.

I do know that I like it, and that I hope it stays.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
Has Jason or anyone at Paizo offered an explanation as to why it is so important to add this skill to the array?

Because they're changing how flying works, that means flying monsters will receive new combat rules.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Haven't they already done that to a certain extent?

p.43, Special section, lists modifiers for maneuverability.


I really don't see the need for this skill.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
DracoDruid wrote:
I really don't see the need for this skill.

Climb and Swim have skills... though by that logic we'd need a Burrow skill as well.

It does make sense, though, if one thinks about it as being for those who are practiced fliers. I see it as either this or a bunch of feats based off of Improved Maneuverability and Flyby Attack.


I myself like the skill it's long overdo if ya ask me me.


If Paizo ditches Fly, I'm still keeping it. One skill replacing a bunch of clunky, antiquated feats is always a plus, in my book.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

We're not ditching the Fly skill. It will survive at least until the Beta. I will say, though, that most of us think it's a good idea.


It's an easy, elegant way that lets PCs and monsters have a 'standard' maneuverability (as per MM and Spell Descriptions) and increase that if they put the skill ranks in... Pretty nice, IMHO


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

We're not ditching the Fly skill. It will survive at least until the Beta. I will say, though, that most of us think it's a good idea.

Glad to hear that.


I like fly, it is neat and easy to use. Anyway, most players won't be flying much so you can safely ignore the skill and just assume that flying monsters can do anything as if they always take 10.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Lord Tataraus wrote:
I like fly, it is neat and easy to use. Anyway, most players won't be flying much so you can safely ignore the skill and just assume that flying monsters can do anything as if they always take 10.

unless you find a flying carpet and a lamp... then your only friend (a monkey) touches the big red ruby, and the whoel cave starts falling in on you...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
It's an easy, elegant way that lets PCs and monsters have a 'standard' maneuverability (as per MM and Spell Descriptions) and increase that if they put the skill ranks in... Pretty nice, IMHO

Ditto.

Liberty's Edge

I like Fly.


Do you think it will dissuade people from using it in combat as much?


Daeglin wrote:
Do you think it will dissuade people from using it in combat as much?

We had a sorcerer in our playtest two weeks ago use it on a ship deck in open air, fly backwards as far as he could while still lobbing fireballs at the sea serpent the party was fighting.

Since nothing was near him, and he was just flying straight back, he really didn't need to make any rolls, but he wasn't hesitant to use the spell in combat, but perhaps that's because he knew he had completely open air to utilize for the fight.


You know, I couldn't see the reasoning behind it at first myself, but now that you point out that it replaces the clunky and arbitrary manoeuvrability classes... I'm sold!


I have mixed feelings about this skill as well, for the most part it seems a waste of space, I think you could handle it with other skills, not sure why its still in either, but I guess like most people in charge its there idea and be damned if there gonna change it.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Or it could just be that the people in charge have not heard a solid argument for not using the skill Fly, nor a better system to replace what they have done for flying in general.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cringer_luvr wrote:
I have mixed feelings about this skill as well, for the most part it seems a waste of space, I think you could handle it with other skills, not sure why its still in either, but I guess like most people in charge its there idea and be damned if there gonna change it.

Yeah. Apparently, I spoke to soon. That said, I still don't see why it can't be incorporated into Acrobatics.

That said, I still don't see why climb, jump, and swim can't be rolled into Athletics. (Especially, since we see that balance, jump (??), and tumble are rolled into acrobatics.)

Side note: I did the long jump in high school oh so many years ago. It really didn't rely on dexterity as much as strength. Don't know why it's included in acrobatics.


Kvantum wrote:

Climb and Swim have skills... though by that logic we'd need a Burrow skill as well.

It seems logic to have a burrow skill. And also a "walking" skill (something I read in another thread I think)

Climb, swim, fly, walk, burrow... Could all of this be include in only one "movement skill" ?

Let me explain somes of the things that crossed my mind.

I never myself had the chance to experiment flying, but I did some underwater swimming, which, I think, might feel something like flying. The difference could be that buoyancy makes swimming goes upward and gravity makes flying goes downward...

If swimming is almost like flying, is burrowing almost like swimmig (or flying) underground?

Swimming at the surface (you know, to keep breathing) is going horizontally using legs and arms. If I could swin on a vertical plane of water, wouldn't it be a kind of climbing?

For the rest of my post, I will only concentrate on swim, fly and burrow and leave the "walking" part to skill that already exists (balance!), but maybe the balance/walking part can be inlcude in this movement skill.

What I am thinking is basically a skill that anybody can use. Anybody who can move to be more precise.

If you have a knowledge in a form of movement, you may have some basic knowledge in other forms of movement.

You have rank in this skill and you apply a bonus when moving in a way you are proficient with.

I am just throwing numbers here:

A bird has a +15 racial bonus to movement while flying
A fish has a +15 racial bonus to movement while swimming
A Manta Ray has a +15 racial bonus while swimming AND +10 flying
A Beholder has a +15 bonus on fly, swim and burrow
A Dragon has +10 fly, and +5 burrow or swim, but has high base movement skill rank.
A 10th level ranger has movement skill at +10, but no bonus. This Ranger is better than most at swimming or flying (he has a good sense of moving) but not as good as a bird or a fish.

And you can't, never, use tumbling with a movement you are not proficient with. But for example, the Fly spell could makes you proficient at flying and also give a bonus.

This movement skill is a little complicated because of tracking different bonuses, but it is something we are use to since 3.0. (Hide+8, +16 in shadow ; Sense motive +12, +16 against fav. enemy ; ...)


Personally I do not like the Fly skill. I think this is getting away from the stated goal of PFRPG, which is backwards compatibility.

Balance and Tumble can cover all of the necessary conditions, simulating the ability of someone with natural talent to be able to control themselves if they had a fly spell cast on them or a magic item. (don't most magical effect also give you a flight control rating also)

By adding a fly skill that most people wont use seems to be a serious drag on the fewer skill points that you ae giving the classes. I can see that you guys are trying to address this by combing the skills but it is taking away from the diversity of choices for diferent characters.

I think I will keep the old skill system in place more or less, and that is mostly motivated by the addition of the Fly skill.

Erik, said earlier that most of them think it is a great idea. Well that's good and all but why do you think that?, Can you cite some examples?

Also I would like to thank all of you guys at Paizo for doing a great job, and providing us with a forum to help improve the game that we all love.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

*sighs*

Guys, please READ the flying skill.

There's no need for walk or burrow skills. Fly is there specifically for fighting while flying. Just like there's a skill for riding. It's the ability to fight while you're not moving under your own power.

This isn't a skill most people need or will even think about. I'm even willing to bet that the flying spells will be revised as well to give you a fly bonus.

You don't need to continuously walk, run, or burrow to fight... unlike fly.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Cringer_luvr wrote:
I have mixed feelings about this skill as well, for the most part it seems a waste of space, I think you could handle it with other skills, not sure why its still in either, but I guess like most people in charge its there idea and be damned if there gonna change it.

Or, maybe they're not changing it because it's a good rule and a more elegant manner of handling flying creatures (not to mention a good check on the all-flying party that tends to crop up in the mid-levels of play).

I guess like most people not in charge, if there's an idea they can't understand, they're gonna b#### about it.

Liberty's Edge

Dude--every time I hear "fly spell," I think of your earlier quoted party of invisible flying Legion of Super Heroes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Heathansson wrote:
Dude--every time I hear "fly spell," I think of your earlier quoted party of invisible flying Legion of Super Heroes.

I hope they're using Improved Invisibility. That way they can Meteor Swarm the enemy without being seen. :)


I can see Fly being a useful but rarely-chosen skill in a typical D&D campaign, like Use Magic Device. In a more "Dragonball Z" campaign, it could be up there with Spot and Tumble. In a "Low Fantasy" campaign, I can see it being eliminated (i.e. the PC's shouldn't be flying around long enough to actually learn to get used to it).

If you're going to combine skills into Athletics and Acrobatics, it would make the most sense to put three Strength skills (Climb, Jump, Swim) in Athletics and three Dexterity skills (Balance, Escape Artist, Tumble) in Acrobatics. That also solves such issues regarding which stat should be assigned to the two skills.


SirUrza wrote:


There's no need for walk or burrow skills. Fly is there specifically for fighting while flying. Just like there's a skill for riding. It's the ability to fight while you're not moving under your own power.

With the actual PFRGP fly skill, combat with flying creatures gets more complicated because of skill checks to be made, like in a fight with riding opponents.

A flying creature shouldn't have to make checks to fly, just as walking creature don't make checks to walk.

When a not-flying creature has the chance to fly, than it is understandable that some checks are needed.

Is the fly skill there only because of the fly spell?

Yes, this new skill helps when little birdy tries to outmanoeuver the giant eagle, but does the cute little kitten needs to make "walking" checks to escape the fury of a pursuing bloodhound?

The Fly should be a skill easy to master for flying creature. And checks for flying creatures may slow down combat a lot.

It is a good idea to restrict a little bit the players when they all start flying around, but it shouldn't be more complicated then the underwater combat rules. (swimming underwater and flying look similar)


The reason that they have a Climb skill, a Swim skill, and now a Fly skill is primarily for PCs who are not designed for such activities. That is why there is no Walking skill (I believe it was made in jest anyway folks).

Creatures with natural Climb, Fly and Swim speeds actually have to make checks just like anyone else. The difference is that most creatures receive a +8 racial bonus to the skill and can take 10 even while being rushed or threatened (this is standard for all creatures unless otherwise noted). This is why sharks and birds can manuever and such without having to make checks. They simply take 10 and automatically succeed. Note however, that a shark caught in a whirlpool or a bird caught in a fierce storm would certainly need to make Swim or Fly checks.

I think it works. Why shouldn't the skill exist? Because humans can't fly. That's bolocks! If magic exists for PCs to fly I think making a skill check to execute a sudden change in direction or fly upwards quickly is a lot simpler than figuring out the existing maneuverability rules.

I'm still trying to digest the fact that someone gives a manta ray a bonus to Fly. What the *#%@?

Liberty's Edge

Fighting while flying IS more complicated than fighting while walking on the ground.

I don't know if anyone has out there has the chance to watch Raptors making a kill, but if you can't see it at your nearest river, you might try to watch it on the Nature Channel or something....

If you fly into something, you start to fall. Figuring out how to fight with natural weapons while flying should be difficult, and creatures that make their living with it should be 'skilled' at it. Giving that skill to everyone doesn't make much sense.

I like Fly.

Liberty's Edge

I was walking to the mailbox one day, and I just happened to be looking at this pigeon that a red tailed hawk was trying to hit.


I do think Fly should be both a Strength-based skill and a Dexterity-based skill. A dragon or eagle really uses the strength of its wings to fly, while a creature relying on levitation or magical flight would use Dexterity to maneuver. I think this should also be modified by the GM on a case-by-case basis. An small bird (even a small eagle or raven) should be able to use Dexterity in place of Strength simply for the sake of convenience, but a griffon or wyvern should definitely use Strength. This would actually make these monsters a lot more impressive while in the air (the way they should be).

Perhaps certain flying feats should have a Fly rank prerequisite. In other words, to use Flyby Attack you must have at least 5 ranks in the Fly skill (though certain creatures might gain it as a bonus feat).


Phil. L wrote:

I'm still trying to digest the fact that someone gives a manta ray a bonus to Fly. What the *#%@?

Because Manta Rays are 'flying' underwater (same motions/physics, different media). Similarly, penguins. Of course, that doesn't mean giving them a bonus to fly is the right thing to do - they'd probably be rather perturbed by the lessened resistance in air.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm noting that my original question still isn't being addressed. Namely, why can't Acrobatics accomplish Fly? Taking all the analogies of raptors in flight, I wouldn't call their dance, dive, and hunt as "Fly" but rather "Aerial Acrobatics."

Dark Archive

Yay for moscas!

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Acrobatics is already covering Jump, Tumble, and Balance, I think jamming Fly in there would be too much.

Besides, if you attach movement skills, like climb, swim, and fly, to other skills, you end up with a weird situation where giving something wings makes it good at tumbling. While I can see some flying creatures being capable of somersaulting around, I don't want EVERY flying creature to do so. Only applying the racial movement bonus to that skill in certain situations just makes extra work.

Why the urge to stick Fly into another skill anyways? I like it as is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
I'm noting that my original question still isn't being addressed. Namely, why can't Acrobatics accomplish Fly? Taking all the analogies of raptors in flight, I wouldn't call their dance, dive, and hunt as "Fly" but rather "Aerial Acrobatics."

Rouge is very good at jumping around and doing flips, all the sudden for the first time every he is shot into the air by a magical spell that grants him the ability to move in ways he has never done before. He might not be too good at it if you ask me.

Also Swim is its own skill, climb is its own skill, burrow... ... well I've never had an underground burrow battle nor any insight on how moving 40 ft through ground is actually like and walking has its own skills (balance and tumble pretty much cover maneuvering well doing this walking thing) Why shouldn't fly since it can end up happening kind of often.


Lady Melo wrote:
Rouge is very good at jumping around and doing flips, all the sudden for the first time every he is shot into the air by a magical spell that grants him the ability to move in ways he has never done before. He might not be too good at it if you ask me.

... and same thing with a natural flyer: an albatros is good at flying, but have you have seen one make flic-flacs?

@ "Walking skill"
Acrobatics, Climb etc. already are a kind of "walking skill". They cover ground-based movement. Walking would be an Acrobatics check with an extremely low DC, if a check was ever necessary. There's even at least one case where you need to make to check just to walk: the grease spell.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
I'm noting that my original question still isn't being addressed. Namely, why can't Acrobatics accomplish Fly? Taking all the analogies of raptors in flight, I wouldn't call their dance, dive, and hunt as "Fly" but rather "Aerial Acrobatics."

To me it looks more like the raptors not only have the fly skill, but also the acrobatics skill.

Not all flyers are graceful and nimble. You see that in nature and in modern aviation (thinking of an F-16 vs an airliner).

I am seeing acrobatics as a skill set that needs fast coordination. Where as climb and swim need strength but normally they do not need that fast coordination and that allow a slow but steady style to work.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SirUrza wrote:
Heathansson wrote:
Dude--every time I hear "fly spell," I think of your earlier quoted party of invisible flying Legion of Super Heroes.
I hope they're using Improved Invisibility. That way they can Meteor Swarm the enemy without being seen. :)

Hmm.... it'd cut down the appeal of the comic panels though. But if the villains also have improved Invisibility it could be the rebirth of the old Invisible Tribe comic strip. :) Anyone here old enough to remember that?


Mistwalker wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:
I'm noting that my original question still isn't being addressed. Namely, why can't Acrobatics accomplish Fly? Taking all the analogies of raptors in flight, I wouldn't call their dance, dive, and hunt as "Fly" but rather "Aerial Acrobatics."

To me it looks more like the raptors not only have the fly skill, but also the acrobatics skill.

Not all flyers are graceful and nimble. You see that in nature and in modern aviation (thinking of an F-16 vs an airliner).

I am seeing acrobatics as a skill set that needs fast coordination. Where as climb and swim need strength but normally they do not need that fast coordination and that allow a slow but steady style to work.

I would actually add to this point by saying that once you are able to fly at all, you've killed the majority of battlefield issue. Most terrain is irrelevant, most cover is irrelevant. Not all, but a good portion. The only thing left to limit you is your ability to maneuver around tall obstacles, under overhangs, etc. Although not useful at all at first (unless you play a monster race), Fly becomes really nice once you can reliably take to the air (the magical weapons from Oriental Adventures springs to mind). Imagine being able to fly with perfect maneuverability using the fly spell. Or when you polymorph into a huge dragon. Or whenever else. That's what the Fly skill lets you do.

As a play balance issue, taking it from the perspective that flight is rare then it could be rolled into Acrobatics. However, once flight becomes common, balling up Acrobatics and Flight means making a single exceptionally useful skill. If the "in-game" argument is insufficient (and I admit, even I am not 100% convinced by it), then the play balance argument rears its ugly head.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JSIN668 wrote:

Personally I do not like the Fly skill. I think this is getting away from the stated goal of PFRPG, which is backwards compatibility.

Backwards compatibility is not the be all and end all of Pathfinder. If it was, they should be doing nothing more than what Mongoose Publishing did in thier pocket books, printing the SRD with some minor edits and formatting and forget all innovation whatsoever. Instead it is an aspect of Pathfinder to be balanced with others.


I am pro fly. It has immediate application in game, for npc and pc alike, and gives a quick elegant fix to the problems flying beings pose. I am also pro seperate swim, and keeping athletics combined with Jump.

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