Last game session a Harpy was caught in a fireball which reduced her to 3 hp she did a full withdrawal and flew away down various corridors. I had to chase her for 4 rounds before i caught her at a large door she was having trouble opening. My question is in old school D&D there was a provision for winged creatures taking damage based on their wing type (feathered or Bat like). I could find nothing covering this at all. I am not saying just because of damage she would be unable to fly but damage from the fireball would have set her feathers ablaze which in turn would have prevented her flight or at least severely hindered it forcing her to land instead . Spoke with the DM on it he was willing to look into it and make a decision this week for future reference. Anyone have some input on this that i could use to make our case to the DM.
A walking creature caught in a fireball can still walk fine. Why should a harpies wings burst into flames and prevent her from flying? Its just not how the game works. Severe burns on your legs would preventing someone from walking just as well as burning the feathers of a bird's wings. Is your adventuring group entirely bald because all their hair would burn off every time they were caught in a fireball?
If a fireball is going to set a harpies wings on fire its only fair it set a human's head on fire.
In general in this version of the game - no she does not catch on fire unless you have feats that would have her catch on fire.
However, if she took damage while flying she needed to make a reflexive (ie no action required) fly save to avoid dropping 10-feet in altitude.
Additionally, your equipment does not take damage in an AoE spell *unless* you roll a natural 1.
Fireball does set fire to combustibles in the area of the spell - but most feathered wings would not be considered combustible considering you have to dry them out to get them to burn.
For my part, I've specifically allowed those abilities to be cast on round 1, active on round 2 if used on yourself. If they are used on an ally they expire at the start of your round 2. However, but a strict interpretation, it is an ability that is useless to use on yourself because it is only good for the next round - ie it expires at the start of your turn on round 2.
Check with your GM. S/he is would completely within RAW to say that it is not a self-buffing ability.