So...how high is the ceiling?


Gamer Life General Discussion

Grand Lodge

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Hello! I have a few players who love to fly via potions, hexes, mounts and even vestigial wings.

I am often asked how high the ceiling is in any given room to know how much room they have to fly around. Unfortunately that information isn't always readily available in APs, scenarios, etc.

I am wondering what are the average heights you folk use for...

~Homes
~Stores
~Caves
~Warehouses
~and any other common locales used in Pathfinder.

Thanks for your time!


Warehouses can be big, but we're talking olden/fantasy times warehouses. They might just be shacks with stuff in them.

In someone's house, you probably shouldn't have enough room to fly, at all. In a large manor or something, maybe, but those would be rare and only really in the main entrance hall.

Grand Lodge

DominusMegadeus wrote:

Warehouses can be big, but we're talking olden/fantasy times warehouses. They might just be shacks with stuff in them.

In someone's house, you probably shouldn't have enough room to fly, at all. In a large manor or something, maybe, but those would be rare and only really in the main entrance hall.

Good to know. I have also seen quite a few adventure in crypts and the like. Any opinion on those?

Liberty's Edge

For most flight you can just tuck in your legs a bit and your head wouldn't be any higher, so as long as your wing span doesn't exceed the space available (assuming you need wings) you should be able to fly just fine. So probably a "no" for those who are medium or larger and need wings to fly, but assuming the places are designed for Medium+ creatures everyone else should be able to fly without regard to ceiling height so long as they would normally be able to walk through that space.

Now as for actually being a full *square*(cube?) off the ground, that's a solid 'no' with the exception of unusually large buildings.


Something to keep in mind.


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Standard assumed height per floor is about 8 feet of clearance between floor and ceiling with 1.5 to 2 feet of space between floors for ductwork, cabling, etc.

Considering Golarion and other "medieval" settings can ignore the clearance requirement, 10 feet seems pretty reasonable for an average height.

Double it up for fancy hall/foyer areas and you're set.


Because I always cast flight the ceilings my DM gives are always 10 feet and the enemies are always about 8 feet. No matter the circumstance, not counting being in the open air with the sky above.


Vaelkas wrote:
Something to keep in mind.

That was just the video I was hoping to see when I saw a youtube link in this thread :D

Shadow Lodge

If you've ever been to Europe you know that medieval houses had pretty low ceilings. Even castles didn't have high ceilings in most areas, just the big show areas like ball rooms and throne rooms. Flight indoors if relying on wings would be impossible for medium creatures and difficult for small creatures as you couldn't get out of reach of anything attacking you.

Now, cathedrals and such are quite spacious in medieval structures so flight is imaginable, but remember that a medium sized creature using wings is going to have something like a 10 to 15 foot wingspan. Look at how small birds are and how large their wingspan is (or pull up images of Angel in X-Men United). Even if flight is imaginable, it's not going to be easy if you're using wings.

Shadow Lodge

It's a really excellent question, because flight is commonplace in games and with the description of rooms, room height is rarely given any thought for some reason - left to GM discretion.

Usual Suspect wrote:
Now, cathedrals and such are quite spacious in medieval structures so flight is imaginable, but remember that a medium sized creature using wings is going to have something like a 10 to 15 foot wingspan.

Using Pathfinder rules, a medium creature's wingspan doesn't exceed a 5ft square for the purposes of bumping into things or attacks of opportunity and the like. If for some reason they do, then they become a large creature.


We don't have a problem with flight but with a Synthesist Summoner's Eidolon. We have to keep track of the height of buildings and stair wells and if the old building will hold his weight.


Thewms wrote:

Hello! I have a few players who love to fly via potions, hexes, mounts and even vestigial wings.

I am often asked how high the ceiling is in any given room to know how much room they have to fly around. Unfortunately that information isn't always readily available in APs, scenarios, etc.

I am wondering what are the average heights you folk use for...

~Homes
~Stores
~Caves
~Warehouses
~and any other common locales used in Pathfinder.

Thanks for your time!

In the case of Homes, it depends on the size of the inhabitant and/or the social class/wealth of the inhabitants; rich people tend to have double-height rooms with balconies, arching vaults, etc., while larger creatures just naturally have higher ceilings.

I use an eight foot ceiling height as a base unit for medium creatures. It makes it easier to describe the room when the ceiling is about the same height as the room we're gaming in.

A good rule-of-thumb is to add 25% to 30% to the creature's height for a comfortable ceiling. (A six-foot man has a ceiling height of about eight feet; a twenty-foot giant has a ceiling height of about twenty-five feet.)

Also, fortifications like castles and fortresses (which can be considered homes to certain people) will naturally have higher ceilings; most great halls had upper-level balconies and lofts.

Of course, even a peasant hovel might have a loft for storage or sleeping, which means the main room might have a ceiling that is one and a half to two times normal height (twelve to sixteen feet, maybe).

Stores usually follow the rules for homes; most are built pretty much the same way.

Caves are unpredictable; very low ceilings or dizzying heights are possible, depending on the geology of the area. I try to have a mix, and always put in at least one air shaft for ventilation that is more than twenty to fifty feet high.

Warehouses are usually much higher than typical stores, because of the kinds of delivery methods used. You can't usually drive a laden wagon into a typical home, but it's pretty much a must for a proper warehouse. Depending on the wealth of the owner, my warehouses are usually double to triple normal ceiling height.

Other buildings or spaces vary depending on their use, and on who's using them. A rule of thumb for large buildings is that the more people that use a space, the higher the ceiling is. An assembly hall seating a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand people will have at least a triple-height ceiling (or even higher), while a small chamber for intimate discussion with a group of five or so will have a ceiling of normal height.


I assume a 10ft high ceiling in doors unless room is specifically described (or, in the case of homebrew, I imagine it so) as "cavernous" or similar.

Dark Archive

A funny truck I sometimes use in gladiator games is that I tell the players the arena has a potion of fly in the middle but then they learn the hard way there is an invisible wall(cieling) of force at the 20 mark. This way, anyone with enlarge person could still hit them with an adjacent weapon. Or a reach weapon if a 15 ceiling.

Sovereign Court

I assume a 10ft ceilling or a 7ft one for some.


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Something to be aware of is the climate and architectural style.

The architecture in hot regions often has higher ceilings, to deal with hot air buildup. Conversely, some colder climes often feature buildings with lower ceilings, to keep the warm air nearer beds in winter.

I'm currently sitting in a building with 12-foot high ceilings.

Climate does dictate certain architectural patterns, after all.


Thewms wrote:

Hello! I have a few players who love to fly via potions, hexes, mounts and even vestigial wings.

I am often asked how high the ceiling is in any given room to know how much room they have to fly around. Unfortunately that information isn't always readily available in APs, scenarios, etc.

I am wondering what are the average heights you folk use for...

~Homes
~Stores
~Caves
~Warehouses
~and any other common locales used in Pathfinder.

Thanks for your time!

For height and length, I use Gersheteks. Minotaur standard unit of measurement.


Lieutenant Paladine wrote:

Something to be aware of is the climate and architectural style.

The architecture in hot regions often has higher ceilings, to deal with hot air buildup. Conversely, some colder climes often feature buildings with lower ceilings, to keep the warm air nearer beds in winter.

I'm currently sitting in a building with 12-foot high ceilings.

Climate does dictate certain architectural patterns, after all.

Yeah, and coupled with height and heat, in fantasy worlds we could also have such wonderful things as these:

http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Architecture/wind.htm

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