Flying familiar dropping a big rock


Rules Questions


Next game session I'm bringing in a wizard with an owl familiar. Said familiar will spend most of its time enlarged, buffed with Mage Armor and helping out once in a while in combat. I did however want to figure what would happen in the following scenario:

My enlarged familiar and I are facing an opponent in an open air ruin. Chunks of masonry, some of which are Medium sized and weigh a couple hundred pounds, lay strewn about. I hit my familiar earlier in the day with Ant Haul and currently he's not carrying anything.

1. Can a Small sized flying familiar with a max carrying capacity of 260 lbs grab hold and fly with one of these chunks of masonry?

2. Assuming a yes to #1, what is the rule for dropping it on a foe and how much damage will it do?

Thanks in advance!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

1. Expect table variation. You can find many thread on this, but there is often debate about weather or not a creature can fly with a greater than light load (look for threads about familiars/animal companions as flying mounts). There is the treat medium/heavy encumbrance as armor medium/heavy armor respectively. And armor for animals is often called barding. And barding states that creatures can't fly in a medium/heavy barding. Expect variation/consult your GM.

2. Damage from falling objects is table 13-11. I'd probably classify the rock as small and dense so 2d6 (halved for <30' drop or doubled for >150' drop). With a DC 15 reflex to halve damage.

Liberty's Edge

Solid stone weighs in around 160 pounds for a 1' block, so any stone the owl could carry would fit into the 'small' size category. It does feel unrealistic that a 160 stone block falling on a guy from 40 feet would only do 2d6 damage, but thems the rules.


On a side note, I'm curious what's enlarging the familiar.
I would think you'd be best off with a Mauler archetype familiar, but you're not using that.

Carrying capacity for flying creatures that aren't flying via magic can only fly while under no load, meaning a light carrying capacity only. Even that is totally unrealistic, but the world of Pathfinder tends to be like that. Also don't forget that small creatures have a reduced carrying capacity compared to medium ones due to their size, which is 25% less.

That said, nothing's stopping them by RAW to pick up a light load and drop it on something. A GM might not like this is it's consistently good to good success, although it's probably quite limited considering one needs to roll to hit, and then they can reflex save for half. If I had it my way I'd probably even say that beating the DC by 10 would avoid all the damage if it's not a particularly large object.


So by RAW:

1. the owl can only lift up to Light encumbrance and still fly, which means with an Enlarge Person and an Ant Haul spell running can only lift up to 86 lbs. The owl is Str 12; per Ant Haul for a Medium creature Light load is 129 lbs. or less, so 2/3 for a Small creature is 86 lbs or less.

2. if carrying a 6" block of stone to a height of 30' and dropping it he inflicts 2d6 damage, Ref save DC 15 for half

Do I have this right?

2 things:

1. I don't WANT a mauler. The PC is a dedicated scroll caster/buffer headed for a Cypher Mage PrC with a minor in item creation. As such I went with a Valet to speed item creation. However since I've got a familiar, the right buff spells and sometimes I'd like to have my valet familiar do something OTHER than clean me with Prestidigitation once/hour, I figured I'd lock down exactly what we CAN do if the situation arises.

2. If I've already got Enlarge Person running on my familiar and the situation is dire enough that I need to put him in harm's way I could either pull this rock drop for 2d6 (save for half) or I could risk him making attacks in melee for 1d6 +1 damage. I suppose it'll depend on the RAW of this rock drop, my GM's interpretation of it and the seeming defense of the foe.

Sovereign Court

why drop rocks when you can drop alchemical items or holy water? :)

Grand Lodge

Rock:
2d6,
Ref save for half.
Free
Reload: all over the ground

Alchemical item:
1d6,
miss may hit fellow pcs.
costs gp.
reload: must return to me. (esp. bad if I am invisible.)

Actually the rock is looking pretty good.

Sovereign Court

fishnet holding 10 alchemical items:

10d6

cost:

schmost


"Dropping an object on a creature requires a ranged touch attack. Such attacks generally have a range increment of 20 feet. If an object falls on a creature (instead of being thrown), that creature can make a DC 15 Reflex save to halve the damage if he is aware of the object."

Sovereign Court

your bird is not limited to alchemist fire either:

pellet grenade
sneezing powder
tanglefoot bag
etc.

plus, rocks are heavy

Grand Lodge

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

fishnet holding 10 alchemical items:

10d6

cost:

schmost

I would not allow this for the same reason I would not let your character tie together 10 alchemical fires and chuck them at someone.


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

fishnet holding 10 alchemical items:

10d6

cost:

schmost

The problem with that is that I think most GMs (if they allowed it at all) would rule that since you didn't target a creature with a splash weapon, but instead with a net containing several splash weapons, the creature doesn't suffer a direct hit from a splash weapon and at most would take splash damage.

In general, it is a bad idea to set the precedent that things like alchemist fire can be 'stacked' or made twice as big to do twice as much damage. The game is balanced with certain assumptions, and changing them can have quite a few negative results.


Dave Justus wrote:

"Dropping an object on a creature requires a ranged touch attack. Such attacks generally have a range increment of 20 feet. If an object falls on a creature (instead of being thrown), that creature can make a DC 15 Reflex save to halve the damage if he is aware of the object."

So...

1. The owl drops the rock from 30' and must make a Ranged Touch versus the foe at -2 for the first range increment

or

2. The owl flies the rock up to balance it precariously upon a crumbling battlement 30' overhead. Next round he pushes it off and the stone merely drops; the foe below must make a DC 15 Ref save but is otherwise auto-hit with at least SOME damage

Do I have these two right?

I'm asking about a rock because I'm planning what happens when I'm out of alchemical items. One effective combo with a wizard and a flying familiar is common flasks of oil, filled with wicks, and the Spark cantrip. Have the familiar target a foe within 30' with the wizard using a readied action to Spark the wick when the oil flask hits. If it does hit it ignites dealing 1d4 damage to said foe and uses up their Move action putting themselves out.

This thread is about a rock because I've already got rulings from my GM on a few other things like alchemical items or oil flasks. I just wanted to know what the RAW was on this so I have a leg to stand on, should the situation arise.

As for the "sack o'" whatever, be it acid flasks or just 5 lb stones unless the item's effect happens WHEN it's component pieces are spilt (like a bag of caltrops) my GM has already ruled that you're using the bag, sack, net or whatever as the weapon and whatever's inside that is just a component of how to figure the damage. A sack of splash weapons might do a few points of splash to everyone in the splash zone, up to a maximum of 5; a bag of rocks would do damage like dropping a stone; a bag FULL of oil would still only be as effective as a single oil flask, and so on.


1.)Yes that is right

2.)No, since it is being intentionally dropped or pushed its still a ranged touch since it is being aimed in some fashion.

If the wall were to crumble without aid of you or your owl, say the target stumbled into the wall and shook it enough to cause the rock to fall then if he is aware of it he gets a dc 15 ref save or it auto-hits.


LivingDedBoy wrote:

1.)Yes that is right

2.)No, since it is being intentionally dropped or pushed its still a ranged touch since it is being aimed in some fashion.

If the wall were to crumble without aid of you or your owl, say the target stumbled into the wall and shook it enough to cause the rock to fall then if he is aware of it he gets a dc 15 ref save or it auto-hits.

Got it. Thanks all!

Sovereign Court

The flyer is absolutely rolling a ranged touch to make a direct hit on the targets below. Why would he not?

For those opposed to dropping items contained in a sack, I ask this:

Why are you not opposed to an owl holding 260 pounds of masonry in its weak little claws? (I'm not talking carrying capacity: how is the owl holding it?? are his claws sinking into the rock??)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RedDogMT wrote:
Solid stone weighs in around 160 pounds for a 1' block, so any stone the owl could carry would fit into the 'small' size category. It does feel unrealistic that a 160 stone block falling on a guy from 40 feet would only do 2d6 damage, but thems the rules.

No more unrealistic than the idea that a fighter can take more than one hit from a greatsword. THIS ISN'T A REALISTIC GAME.


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

The flyer is absolutely rolling a ranged touch to make a direct hit on the targets below. Why would he not?

For those opposed to dropping items contained in a sack, I ask this:

Why are you not opposed to an owl holding 260 pounds of masonry in its weak little claws? (I'm not talking carrying capacity: how is the owl holding it?? are his claws sinking into the rock??)

Because we are talking about rules.

The rule for carrying something is weight. There are no provisions in Pathfinder for size/bulk etc, although GMs are certainly free to make certain calls. Additionally, one can imagine many large pieces of stone that an owl could still find somewhere to get a grip on.

Conversely, there are rules for splash weapons and ranged attacks, but their is nothing in the rules that say you can combine them into one multiple super attack. Once again, a GM could make a houserule on this, but it would probably be a bad idea and could certainly have quite a negative effect on a game.

Permissive system means you can do stuff the rules say what you can do.

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