# Fly spell and 5' step upwards

### Rules Questions

The Fly spell grants a fly speed of 60' (unencumbered), but movement upward costs double. Given that, should a flying character be allowed to take a 5' step straight up, or diagonally up for that matter?

I would say no, with the same reason that you can't take 5 foot steps in difficult terrain (which also costs double).

While that does not mean that flying upwards is difficult terrain, you still don't have 10 foot movement during a 5 ft step.

Bigrin da Troll wrote:
Given that, should a flying character be allowed to take a 5' step straight up, or diagonally up for that matter?
Bigrin da Troll wrote:
The Fly spell grants a fly speed of 60' (unencumbered), but movement upward costs double.

Going up 5 feet in any direction would take at least 10 feet of movement. You answered your own question before you even asked it.

Perfect manoeuvrability allows them to move around without the upward movement penalty, so that's a way around it.

Compare to moving in difficult terrain. You can't 5' step when it takes 10' of movement to do it, so I'd rule the same applies to flight. Birds in combat always retreat by swooping down because it is faster, but that's bringing physics into it.

As a DM fudge you could require a flight check for less than perfect manoeuvrability, a bit like hovering.

Note that the double cost of movement is not completely true as it includes distance as well as ascension. (Just thought I'd include that to muddy the waters).

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Horselord:

Perfect maneuverability no longer allows a creature to fly upwards with no speed reduction. Table 2-1 on DMG p20 has no Pathfinder equivalent. In Pathfinder all that maneuverability affects is the bonus to your fly check.

Summary: In Pathfinder all flying creatures, including those with perfect maneuverability, require 10feet of movement and a DC20 fly check to fly straight up 5feet. Because of this they cannot take a 5' step up.

- Gauss

Does the haste spell make you fly faster? And if so, could this be a way to take a 5ft step up?

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Prawn wrote:
Does the haste spell make you fly faster?

Yes.

Haste: "All of the hasted creature's modes of movement (including land movement, burrow, climb, fly, and swim) increase by 30 feet, to a maximum of twice the subject's normal speed using that form of movement."

Prawn wrote:
And if so, could this be a way to take a 5ft step up?

No. Ten feet of movement is still ten feet of movement, regardless of how fast you're moving.

That might not actually be true in a 'speed-of-light-space-time' sense, but it's true for the game.

By RAW I would have to agree that you can't five foot step up, any more than you can five foot step into difficult terrain while under an "expeditious retreat" spell.

But I might allow it for cases of perfect maneuverability, just because I like the idea of extending combat into the third dimension.

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

[Obscure reference to an old SPI game: Air War] Only if you're a Harrier Jump Jet [/obscure reference]

long winded explanation:
In the old SPI game Air War, once a turn, the Harrier Jump Jet could, if flown by a competent pilot, at any time simply gain 200 feet of altitude. Nothing else (facing, "turn point" accumulation, etc.) was affected.

 RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Actually as I was researching this, I can't seem to find the doubled movement cost for moving upwards in the PRD. I just see a DC20 Fly check for moving upward at a steeper angle than 45 degrees. I can't find anything in the combat movement section either. Am I just oblivious?

If you want 3D fun, try underwater - no problems with swimming upwards as a 5 foot step if you have a swim speed.

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CRB p96 Fly skill wrote:
It can also turn up to 45 degrees by sacrificing 5 feet of movement, can rise at half speed at an angle of 45 degrees, and can descend at any angle at normal speed.

- Gauss

ryric wrote:
Actually as I was researching this, I can't seem to find the doubled movement cost for moving upwards in the PRD. I just see a DC20 Fly check for moving upward at a steeper angle than 45 degrees. I can't find anything in the combat movement section either. Am I just oblivious?

It's not endemic to all flying movement, it's specific to the Fly spell (which also grants 'Good' maneuverability).

Bigrin da Troll wrote:
ryric wrote:
Actually as I was researching this, I can't seem to find the doubled movement cost for moving upwards in the PRD. I just see a DC20 Fly check for moving upward at a steeper angle than 45 degrees. I can't find anything in the combat movement section either. Am I just oblivious?
It's not endemic to all flying movement, it's specific to the Fly spell (which also grants 'Good' maneuverability).

This is incorrect. See Gauss's post above. Vertical movement is made at half speed for all flying creatures.

also see average mobility

PRD wrote:

Wingover

This creature can make turns with ease while flying.

Prerequisite: Fly speed.

Benefits: Once per round, the creature can turn up to 180 degrees as a free action without making a Fly check. This turn does cost the creature any movement.

Normal: A flying creature can turn up to 90 degrees by making a DC 15 Fly check and expending 5 feet of movement. A flying creature can turn up to 180 degrees by making a DC 20 Fly check and expending 10 feet of movement.

(BTW, a 90 degree turn is when you're flying along and suddenly move up/down on the z-axis. A 180 degree turn is when you move the opposite direction you were going.)

meabolex wrote:

PRD wrote:

Wingover

This creature can make turns with ease while flying.

Prerequisite: Fly speed.

Benefits: Once per round, the creature can turn up to 180 degrees as a free action without making a Fly check. This turn does cost the creature any movement.

Normal: A flying creature can turn up to 90 degrees by making a DC 15 Fly check and expending 5 feet of movement. A flying creature can turn up to 180 degrees by making a DC 20 Fly check and expending 10 feet of movement.

(BTW, a 90 degree turn is when you're flying along and suddenly move up/down on the z-axis. A 180 degree turn is when you move the opposite direction you were going.)

That's all true, but you spend the 5' of movement to make a 90 degree turn BEFORE leaving your current square(s). So, it will STILL cost double movement to move vertically. If you don't have wingover, you can only "turn" or change facing by continuing to move forward while turning, making a wider arc, depending on size and maneuverability, I believe.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bigrin da Troll wrote:
The Fly spell grants a fly speed of 60' (unencumbered), but movement upward costs double. Given that, should a flying character be allowed to take a 5' step straight up, or diagonally up for that matter?

Not normally, but if you have a feat that allows you to make 5 foot adjustments in difficult terrain or by covering 10 feet, I'd allowit.

Quote:
So, it will STILL cost double movement to move vertically.

Ahh. I forgot that PF imposed a random nerf to creatures with perfect maneuverability.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
meabolex wrote:
Quote:
So, it will STILL cost double movement to move vertically.
Ahh. I forgot that PF imposed a random nerf to creatures with perfect maneuverability.

No it's not random, it's a deliberate consequence on how flying movement is handled in the new system.

LazarX wrote:
meabolex wrote:
Quote:
So, it will STILL cost double movement to move vertically.
Ahh. I forgot that PF imposed a random nerf to creatures with perfect maneuverability.
No it's not random, it's a deliberate consequence on how flying movement is handled in the new system.

So, if a creature floats around by magic, how would flying up versus flying down make any difference?

In 3.5, that creature has perfect maneuverability -- so there's no issue.

In PF, because the rules say so, that creature can't do something that it logically should be able to. Now you have to argue about whether gravity applies to things like Lantern Archons.

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meabolex:

Logic and D&D/PF do not have anything to do with each other. More specifically, the 3.5 fly rules were complicated. PF simplified them, even if it was at the cost of a bit of 'logic'. And I agree with the simplification. Every exception makes things more complicated.

On another note: floating around even via magic does not necessarily mean that the force of gravity is negated. So just because it was written a certain way in the preceding game system does not mean it must be written that way in all of them.

- Gauss

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Logic and D&D/PF do not have anything to do with each other.

I'm pretty sure that one of the more important design elements in any game is a logical set of rules.

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floating around even via magic does not necessarily mean that the force of gravity is negated.

Considering that lantern archons are pretty much light and effectively have no mass, it's illogical that regular gravity (not star-level gravity! Curvature of space-time is not relevant here!) would have an effect on their magic flying. It's actually much more complicated to have to explain why they're so insubstantial yet they're weighed down by gravity |:

Oh, cuz they didn't move the 3.5 logical rule from the table in the PF rules. . .

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you're totally right. In a game where I can logically conjure a ball of fire using only a pinch of bat crap and my mind, logic must remain paramount.

Weables wrote:
you're totally right. In a game where I can logically conjure a ball of fire using only a pinch of bat crap and my mind, logic must remain paramount.

Logical consistency in the rules is not the same thing as logical consistency in a fantasy world.

meabolex: Creating rules that violate logical rule consistency in favor of logical fantasy or real world consistency should not occur. This is a game. With that said, some exceptions should be made but where is the line drawn? Should the line be drawn at whatever a person wants or should it be drawn at what makes rules sense?

Two exceptions, two different results:
1) Perfect fly makes fantasy world sense but its implementation in 3.5 made the rules unnecessarily complicated.

2) The 3.5 reach weapon exception does not make sense from a realistic point of view but makes sense from a mechanical point of view. That exception closes loopholes and thus makes sense.

#2 made rules sense, #1 did not. In both cases PF cut them. Oh well.

Ultimately, it is your game and you can houserule it back into your game. After all, most people houserule the reach weapon exception back into the game.

- Gauss

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Quote:
Perfect fly makes fantasy world sense but its implementation in 3.5 made the rules unnecessarily complicated.

Yes, because moving up at full speed instead of half speed is rocket science.

meabolex: I did not state Perfect Maneuverability = moving up at normal speed could not have been implemented in PF in a simple manner. I said in 3.5 the fly rules were unnecessarily complicated. The fly rules in 3.5 required a person to reference a table and look up rules which were just short of the grapple rules in complexity. Good riddance.

- Gauss