What penalties for a paralyzed creature using a fly spell?


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I just wanted to make a small contribution to the discussion.

If you take a look at the wizard's transmutation school, there is, indeed, a written precedent for the division of "mental" and "physical" stats. I just feel it's relevant because earlier there was contention on whether it was an official thing.

Dark Archive

Forseti wrote:
Shadowlords wrote:

Now the paralyzed condition actually calls out winged creatures.

"A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it becomes paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls."

So why would they call out winged creatures specifically? does this mean magical flying creatures do not fall? do they keep flying? Are they frozen mid air? refer back to my post about the 3 different types of paralyzed. which one are they?

Pathfinder is plagued by unedited passages from the original 3.5 rules.

The reference in the Paralyzed condition held true in 3.5 because in 3.5, magical flight was always given a "good" or better maneuverability, and with a good maneuverability, a creature could automatically hover.

Hovering isn't automatic anymore in Pathfinder, and nothing was added to the Fly spell to grant the ability to hover without a skill check. The fly skill demands a check, regardless of what the Paralyzed condition says about winged creatures.

The condition says nothing about creatures that fly by some other means, so those creatures just use the regular rules of their flying ability. It would be rather absurd to have to use fly skill checks to hover when you're completely mobile, but to automatically hover when you're paralyzed. Paralyzation isn't meant to make flying easier.

I don't think anyone here has stated that paralyzed makes flying easier, those of us who have been advocating for magical flying to continue to work, I guess like it did in 3.5, have also been saying "with heavy penalties".

And I get were your coming from with the plethora of mistypes or copy/pastes from 3.5 that no longer reference things they used to.

But looking at it from a RAW you can not just ignore that passage. It must mean something, It is written in the rules after all.

But if we look at it from a RAI why don't we just reference back to 3.5 then were it was originally copied from. Instead of ignoring passages completely or specific call outs like this one in the rules why don't we add back too it and make it complete again?

How was this handled in 3.5?

Dark Archive

So a quick search on my phone at 3.5 Fly and fly spell, there are no skill checks involved with flight in 3.5 everything is based off maneuverability. Fly spell grants Good maneuverability, so from a quick glance i did not see anything that prevents you from continuing to Fly in 3.5 with the fly spell, it is in fact easier because you can do all the "complex maneuvers" without any checks at all.

they call out winged creatures fall. but no mention of magical flight.


This game is pathfinder, not 3.5.

Yes, it may be heavily based upon the same system, but how things worked in 3.5 are not a good basis for how things work in pathfinder.

I believe I remember a dev saying something along these lines, but I'm a filthy casual who doesn't bookmark relevant posts so I can't find it. Bottom line, this isn't about how it works in 3.5. It's about how it works in pathfinder.

Dark Archive

Johnny_Devo wrote:

This game is pathfinder, not 3.5.

Yes, it may be heavily based upon the same system, but how things worked in 3.5 are not a good basis for how things work in pathfinder.

I believe I remember a dev saying something along these lines, but I'm a filthy casual who doesn't bookmark relevant posts so I can't find it. Bottom line, this isn't about how it works in 3.5. It's about how it works in pathfinder.

I know this, but the point was brought up that certain text was left in from 3.5 during a copy/paste "mistake" and the rules for this specific scenario are "missing" referring back to the parts that were left in or taken out.

If we are moving out of the RAW argument to ignore parts of rules that were "accidentally" left in during copy/paste. then lets look back to were the rules were "copied" from to find a RAI.


Forseti wrote:
Shadowlords wrote:

Now the paralyzed condition actually calls out winged creatures.

"A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it becomes paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls."

So why would they call out winged creatures specifically? does this mean magical flying creatures do not fall? do they keep flying? Are they frozen mid air? refer back to my post about the 3 different types of paralyzed. which one are they?

Pathfinder is plagued by unedited passages from the original 3.5 rules.

The reference in the Paralyzed condition held true in 3.5 because in 3.5, magical flight was always given a "good" or better maneuverability, and with a good maneuverability, a creature could automatically hover.

Hovering isn't automatic anymore in Pathfinder, and nothing was added to the Fly spell to grant the ability to hover without a skill check. The fly skill demands a check, regardless of what the Paralyzed condition says about winged creatures.

The condition says nothing about creatures that fly by some other means, so those creatures just use the regular rules of their flying ability. It would be rather absurd to have to use fly skill checks to hover when you're completely mobile, but to automatically hover when you're paralyzed. Paralyzation isn't meant to make flying easier.

Actually I think I resolved this discrepancy between 3.5 and PFRPG earlier. In the Fly skill, it also explicitly states that winged creatures who fail a Fly check by more than 5 fall (this fact had been left out of this discusison until I posted it earlier). This, to me, indicates that magically flying creatures do not fall when they fail their fly check, they are simply unable to complete the maneuver and stay stationary. That being said, a paralyzed, magically flying creature would be paralyzed, frozen in place, unable to move but also would not fall. They also don't have to make the hover check because nothing happens if they fail it anyway.

Dark Archive

so a magically flying creature who becomes paralyzed is stuck in place in the air or "hovering" because he fails his fly check or is unable to do a fly check. He is sustained in the air by the spell fly but he can not move in any direction, if the spell expires he floats down as per feather fall. do we all agree to this interpretation?

I am just trying to find some common ground that we can agree on and then continue from there, not trying to end the discussion on all parties that this is the final agreement but that this is reasonable assumption that can lead us further into another conversation.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

what about a half-way option, one doesn't stop flying, but continues flying in the direction/speed they were last traveling in, until you hit a solid object, then you just sort of float into it. So magical flight continues to work, but you lack the ability to use your body to control the flight.


Shadowlords wrote:

so a magically flying creature who becomes paralyzed is stuck in place in the air or "hovering" because he fails his fly check or is unable to do a fly check. He is sustained in the air by the spell fly but he can not move in any direction, if the spell expires he floats down as per feather fall. do we all agree to this interpretation?

I am just trying to find some common ground that we can agree on and then continue from there, not trying to end the discussion on all parties that this is the final agreement but that this is reasonable assumption that can lead us further into another conversation.

Yes, taking everything into account this is exactly how I believe it should work, both RAW and RAI.


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Skylancer4 wrote:
The game also uses 'general' English, which is where confusion...

Sure, that happens, in some cases with some words. But this isn't in a loose description of something, it's completely baked into the same sentence as a bunch of other rules.

If one's going to argue that a sentence has mechanical weight, as alexd and others have, they need to use the mechanical terms for what they mean; again, I can't carry around a regular mirror and claim to get the benefits of Mirror Image from it just because looking in the mirror I see a mirror image (as the common english usage).

Like, in this case it's so over the top specific; the sentence says that because it doesn't require more concentration than walking, you can attack and cast normally. What does the mechanical term concentration pertain to? Limiting you from attacking or casting normally.

It's so utterly super-specific I have a hard time even giving the benefit of the doubt to people at this point at not deliberately being disingenous.

It's like claiming that when the "ex-paladin section" talks about falling for breaking the "code of conduct", "code of conduct" isn't used to refer to the code of conduct mechanical ability of the paladin but is used in some entirely different meaning.

_Ozy_ wrote:
So, every time the word 'run' is used in the Pathfinder rules, it refers to moving x4 (or x5) your speed during a round?

If used in a mechanical context such as a spell, yes; either that or it refers to the feat of the same name.

For example, if a spell says "you can't run", then that means you can't take the Run action. It doesn't mean it cures a running nose.

EDIT: Or, as another example, the Run feat states:
"When running, you move five times your normal speed (if wearing medium, light, or no armor and carrying no more than a medium load) or four times your speed (if wearing heavy armor or carrying a heavy load). "

I can't say "well I always act quickly even when I don't take the Run action, and since the feat says I get the bonus when running, which the dictionary says is acting quickly, I always move at five times my normal speed even when taking a regular move action".

One can't switch between reading words in a sentence as rules and reading them as not-rules. One can't both claim that "concentration" is used in a fluff sense AND that the sentence gives you the ability to move by thought.


Shadowlords wrote:

so a magically flying creature who becomes paralyzed is stuck in place in the air or "hovering" because he fails his fly check or is unable to do a fly check. He is sustained in the air by the spell fly but he can not move in any direction, if the spell expires he floats down as per feather fall. do we all agree to this interpretation?

I am just trying to find some common ground that we can agree on and then continue from there, not trying to end the discussion on all parties that this is the final agreement but that this is reasonable assumption that can lead us further into another conversation.

It seems reasonable and I wouldn't ever argue against a GM that ran that way in a game. RAW is silent on what happens when you fail a check to hover, and personally I might have the character float down as by an expired spell, but that's not covered by the rules at all.

I certainly don't think your interpretation is against the rules or unreasonable.


"Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking"

Concentration refers to purely central nervous system activity as a term, so paralysis has nothing to do with it.

That said, it also doesn't tell you though whether anything MORE than concentration is required.

Thus, seems like an open and shut case of completely ambiguous spell mechanism, thus I'd say it's pure DM fiat what may be involved, tiny air bicycles with your feet, whatever.

If the DM ruled you can mind fly, then you're fine, because you can just be sure to do stuff that doesn't require fly checks. Maintain half your speed per round, don't make any sharp turns, etc. Interestingly even getting hit by an arrow is fine, because failing that check only loses 10 ft altitude.

If the DM ruled that you can't move, then since you aren't moving, you have to make a hover check. Fly being [DEX] based pretty clearly implies you need to do, you know, dexterous things, which you can't, so you fail the check.

The fly skill page says that if you fail a fly check, you are plummeting. The spell then says nothing about you falling slowly during the spell's duration, only after it ends. And the Duration does not have a [D] after it so you are not allowed to dismiss the spell at will before you start falling.

Thus, if DM doesn't let you mind-fly, you will hit the ground and take fall damage, assuming the spell was not dispelled by any of your friends or other external things that might possibly save you.

Personally? I'd probably rule that you plummet, because it wouldn't sit right with me that you somehow have to use a dexterity skill to do maneuvers, but yet not use any dexterity (even the tiniest bit) to fly less dramatically. I can't really reconcile any story in which that lines up in my head. I might cut the player some slack if it was them, depending if they were new/whatever.


Crimeo wrote:
The fly skill page says that if you fail a fly check, you are plummeting. The spell then says nothing about you falling slowly during the spell's duration, only after it ends.

The fly skill says that if you fail a fly check by more than 5, and you are flying with wings, you are plummeting. It says nothing about magical flight. Since only failing a check with a result of 5 or more results in winged creatures plummeting, magically flying creatures and winged creatures who fail their checks by less than 5 simply fail to perform the complex maneuver. I guess hovering is assumed to be free for magical flight.


Shadowlords wrote:
This leads to a couple problems You stop breathing, (all muscles are seized up) the spell Hold Person is the only place that says this is not the case "breathes normally". so maybe that applies to all cases? how about the heart, that's a muscle so it would seize up as well and death is following after quickly. there is nothing in the text of either hold person or paralyzed condition that says that doesn't happen. But we assume and infer that these are not instant death effects to a character.

This. You are all being big babies about wether you can fly or not when paralyzed when you should be worried about wether you can LIVE while paralyzed.


el cuervo wrote:

Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free. Since Paralyze explicitly allows purely mental actions and Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free, we can logically conclude that the Will save made to break free from Hold Person is a purely mental action. From that, we also determine that all Will saves must be purely mental actions.

If P, then Q.

You fail logic 101.

You say Spell X uses mental energy to make a will save, therefore a will save for that spell is mental.

So far, OK.

You then say that since this is true for one spell, it is true for all spells.

This is not true.

Example spell
This spell has "Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object)". It's target makes the save. It's target is an object.
Per SRD:

(object) wrote:
The spell can be cast on objects, which receive saving throws only if they are magical or if they are attended (held, worn, grasped, or the like) by a creature resisting the spell, in which case the object uses the creature's saving throw bonus unless its own bonus is greater. This notation does not mean that a spell can be cast only on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects. A magic item's saving throw bonuses are each equal to 2 + 1/2 the item's caster level.

An untended +1 weapon has no Int/Wis/Cha score. How then does it make the will save?

This spell has a will save that is not a mental action.

Your supposition that all will saves are mental is proven wrong.

/cevah


el cuervo wrote:
The fly skill says that if you fail a fly check by more than 5, and you are flying with wings, you are plummeting. It says nothing about magical flight. Since only failing a check with a result of 5 or more results in winged creatures plummeting, magically flying creatures and winged creatures who fail their checks by less than 5 simply fail to perform the complex maneuver. I guess hovering is assumed to be free for magical flight.

Okay fair enough. But doesn't help, because when the maneuver is simply "not falling", then "failing the maneuver" still = falling.

So that would just mean that there are two ways to fall -- having wings and failing any check by 5 (including the sharp turns, etc.), or flying by any means and failing specifically the checks that are for not falling ("hover", "collision", and "move less than half speed", but for the other ones like sharp turns just nothing happens if fail by <5 or magical).

Otherwise, with wings it would become possible to both fail AND succeed your hover check at the same time if you missed it by 3. Does not compute.


Crimeo wrote:
el cuervo wrote:
The fly skill says that if you fail a fly check by more than 5, and you are flying with wings, you are plummeting. It says nothing about magical flight. Since only failing a check with a result of 5 or more results in winged creatures plummeting, magically flying creatures and winged creatures who fail their checks by less than 5 simply fail to perform the complex maneuver. I guess hovering is assumed to be free for magical flight.

Okay fair enough. But doesn't help, because when the maneuver is simply "not falling", then "failing the maneuver" still = falling.

So that would just mean that there are two ways to fall -- having wings and failing any check by 5 (including the sharp turns, etc.), or flying by any means and failing specifically the checks that are for not falling ("hover", "collision", and "move less than half speed", but for the other ones like sharp turns just nothing happens if fail by <5 or magical).

Otherwise, with wings it would become possible to both fail AND succeed your hover check at the same time if you missed it by 3. Does not compute.

The issue is, "hover" and "move less than half speed" is not stated as being for not falling, unlike collision or taking damage. I certainly wouldn't argue with your reading if you where the GM of my game, I think it's a reasonable way of handling it, but the rules are silent on it.


Psyren wrote:
Note that if you have perfect flight, you don't need a minimum forward speed or to make a check to hover. All the others do and you won't be able to make such a check.

I'm going to guess you are thinking of the older 3.5 rules here...

Maneuverability in Pathfinder no longer provides those kinds of benchmarks... it now provides only a bonus or penalty to fly checks.

A creature with "perfect" maneuverability only gets a higher bonus on Fly checks... it still needs to make a check in order to hover...


And that maneuverability bonus only applies to creatures with a natural fly speed. The good maneuverability mentioned in the Fly spell doesn't actually do anything with regard to using the fly skill.


Cevah wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free. Since Paralyze explicitly allows purely mental actions and Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free, we can logically conclude that the Will save made to break free from Hold Person is a purely mental action. From that, we also determine that all Will saves must be purely mental actions.

If P, then Q.

You fail logic 101.

You say Spell X uses mental energy to make a will save, therefore a will save for that spell is mental.

So far, OK.

You then say that since this is true for one spell, it is true for all spells.

This is not true.

Example spell
This spell has "Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object)". It's target makes the save. It's target is an object.
Per SRD:

(object) wrote:
The spell can be cast on objects, which receive saving throws only if they are magical or if they are attended (held, worn, grasped, or the like) by a creature resisting the spell, in which case the object uses the creature's saving throw bonus unless its own bonus is greater. This notation does not mean that a spell can be cast only on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects. A magic item's saving throw bonuses are each equal to 2 + 1/2 the item's caster level.

An untended +1 weapon has no Int/Wis/Cha score. How then does it make the will save?

This spell has a will save that is not a mental action.

Your supposition that all will saves are mental is proven wrong.

/cevah

The target of the spell may be an object, but it is the target object's owner who determines if the object resists the spell. The rules are abstract concepts meant to portray fantasy themes and actions in a believable way. The object does not Will anything, because it has no will (except in the case of Intelligent weapons ;). As an inanimate object, it can not have will. The object's owner has will and is attempting to will away the effects of the spell targeting the object she is holding. The will save is not made by the object but by a surrogate. Rules wise, this is represented as the object gets a save if it's being held by the owner, and it uses the owner's Will save.

Furthermore, objects do not make actions as saves. The Will save to escape Hold Person is a full round action. We're talking about purely mental actions. Your example does not apply in this case.


el cuervo wrote:
Cevah wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free. Since Paralyze explicitly allows purely mental actions and Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free, we can logically conclude that the Will save made to break free from Hold Person is a purely mental action. From that, we also determine that all Will saves must be purely mental actions.

If P, then Q.

You fail logic 101.

You say Spell X uses mental energy to make a will save, therefore a will save for that spell is mental.

So far, OK.

You then say that since this is true for one spell, it is true for all spells.

This is not true.

Example spell
This spell has "Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object)". It's target makes the save. It's target is an object.
Per SRD:

(object) wrote:
The spell can be cast on objects, which receive saving throws only if they are magical or if they are attended (held, worn, grasped, or the like) by a creature resisting the spell, in which case the object uses the creature's saving throw bonus unless its own bonus is greater. This notation does not mean that a spell can be cast only on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects. A magic item's saving throw bonuses are each equal to 2 + 1/2 the item's caster level.

An untended +1 weapon has no Int/Wis/Cha score. How then does it make the will save?

This spell has a will save that is not a mental action.

Your supposition that all will saves are mental is proven wrong.

/cevah

The target of the spell may be an object, but it is the target object's owner who determines if the object resists the spell. The rules are abstract concepts meant to portray fantasy themes and actions in a believable way. The object does not Will anything, because it has no will (except...

Not that I disagree with your premise, but you should read the section again to make sure your argument is sound. A magical (non-intelligent) item lying on the ground without an owner technically still gets a will save to resist a spell.

A more salient point would be that the item also technically gets a reflex save even though it is inanimate - the rules are highly abstract at this point.


Crimeo wrote:
el cuervo wrote:
The fly skill says that if you fail a fly check by more than 5, and you are flying with wings, you are plummeting. It says nothing about magical flight. Since only failing a check with a result of 5 or more results in winged creatures plummeting, magically flying creatures and winged creatures who fail their checks by less than 5 simply fail to perform the complex maneuver. I guess hovering is assumed to be free for magical flight.

Okay fair enough. But doesn't help, because when the maneuver is simply "not falling", then "failing the maneuver" still = falling.

So that would just mean that there are two ways to fall -- having wings and failing any check by 5 (including the sharp turns, etc.), or flying by any means and failing specifically the checks that are for not falling ("hover", "collision", and "move less than half speed", but for the other ones like sharp turns just nothing happens if fail by <5 or magical).

Otherwise, with wings it would become possible to both fail AND succeed your hover check at the same time if you missed it by 3. Does not compute.

I don't really know what you're saying when you say you could fail and succeed your hover check if you missed it by 3, since you provided no explanation. I'm not really sure how that's possible, since you get only one check at one DC. Does not compute.

Anyway, since the rules are specific to winged creatures it is inferred that non-winged flying creatures don't fall. This means this rule only applies to winged flying creatures (or they'd have mentioned other flying creatures and magical flight). Read on for an explanation.

If you are a winged creature, you fall when you fail any fly check by more than 5. We know this because it's written under the fly skill. If this is true, then the contrapositive must also be true (argument of modus tollens). The contrapositive states that if you are not falling, either you have not failed or are not winged (or both).

With that in mind, the hover and move at half speed checks become moot for anything flying without wings. The same for collisions, which make the same exception: winged creatures must pass a DC 25 to not fall. Non-winged flying creatures, then, must not. Non-winged flying creatures who fail their maneuver check to turn at greater than 45 degrees simply stop movement for that turn. Same for other maneuvers involving movement.

This thread has largely been about what magical flight allows you to do, and whether it can overcome paralyze. I still maintain that the paralyze condition's "cannot move or act" clause enforces that you cannot make a movement action to move using the fly speed granted by the spell, but I do think the intent of the "winged creatures" exceptions under the fly skill are there to ensure there is a difference between natural, winged, flight and supernatural flight. And I'm okay with that.


Blakmane wrote:

Not that I disagree with your premise, but you should read the section again to make sure your argument is sound. A magical (non-intelligent) item lying on the ground without an owner technically still gets a will save to resist a spell.

A more salient point would be that the item also technically gets a reflex save even though it is inanimate - the rules are highly abstract at this point.

Actually, I agree entirely. The rules for this get very abstract from what they are intended to show in terms of game rules. And you're right, magical items do get a save. I missed that part. I'd say that the save granted to the magical item is imparted by the magical force imbued in the item by it's creator, and is a representation of that creator's magical energy in the item resisting other magical forces. It's more an abstraction of the interactions of the magical forces, and a Will save happens to be the most appropriate roll for that type of interaction.

My original premise, that Will save actions are mental actions, is unaffected by this, however. Objects do not make saves as actions. The Hold Person spell text explicitly refers to making a will save as a full round action, and allows a character to make this action while paralyzed and under all the effects of paralyze. In this case, it is being made as an action.


Hi, I'm a latecomer to this debate, but it strikes me that there's a sharp divide with regards to whether or not flying characters fall because they cannot make fly checks.

I saw a few posters comment that flight without wings does not seem to require some Fly checks- and others reply that not needing to make Fly checks doesn't mean you can Fly if you would be denied the ability to make Fly checks (at least, that's how I understood that particular counterpoint).

Recently in a game I was in, we were fighting an enemy who had a natural fly speed, but had used Fly to gain increased speed and mobility for the battle (as well as a hefty bonus to their Fly check).

In desperation, our Cleric tried Hold Person, and to our delight (and the GM's chagrin), our foe rolled very low on his save.

Someone immediately asked if that meant he crashed, but the GM replied that his NPC had the Hover feat (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/monster-feats/hover), so he could remain aloft without having to make Fly checks.

The, ah, 'discussion' that broke out basically revolved around whether or not Hover can be applied to magical flight, since one of it's benefits refers to having wings, but ultimately since all that is required to use it is having a fly speed, we quit the field of battle, and the game commenced.

My question here is: does that matter? Can a paralyzed creature who is flying without wings remain aloft with the Hover feat?

Basically, does the inability to take physical actions trump an ability that requires no action to use?


Lynceus wrote:

Hi, I'm a latecomer to this debate, but it strikes me that there's a sharp divide with regards to whether or not flying characters fall because they cannot make fly checks.

I saw a few posters comment that flight without wings does not seem to require some Fly checks- and others reply that not needing to make Fly checks doesn't mean you can Fly if you would be denied the ability to make Fly checks (at least, that's how I understood that particular counterpoint).

Recently in a game I was in, we were fighting an enemy who had a natural fly speed, but had used Fly to gain increased speed and mobility for the battle (as well as a hefty bonus to their Fly check).

In desperation, our Cleric tried Hold Person, and to our delight (and the GM's chagrin), our foe rolled very low on his save.

Someone immediately asked if that meant he crashed, but the GM replied that his NPC had the Hover feat (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/monster-feats/hover), so he could remain aloft without having to make Fly checks.

The, ah, 'discussion' that broke out basically revolved around whether or not Hover can be applied to magical flight, since one of it's benefits refers to having wings, but ultimately since all that is required to use it is having a fly speed, we quit the field of battle, and the game commenced.

My question here is: does that matter? Can a paralyzed creature who is flying without wings remain aloft with the Hover feat?

Basically, does the inability to take physical actions trump an ability that requires no action to use?

If you read my few posts above, I came to the conclusion that magically flying creatures don't need to make hover checks. Make of that what you will, since there's no official ruling. The rules are ambiguous at best but there is at least mathematical proof to back up what I wrote.


When one rule tells you you need to make a skill check to accomplish something and another rule tells you the result of the check doesn't matter because you'll accomplish it even if you fail, perhaps it's best to just grab on to the rule that says you can't even be doing it in the first place, in situations where that latter rule applies.

That is, the whole hovering even if you fail (or can't even attempt) the skill check to hover shouldn't come into play at all for creatures using the Fly spell while paralyzed. The Fly spell won't work for them unless they're carrying absolutely nothing except for the armor they're wearing.


Forseti wrote:

When one rule tells you you need to make a skill check to accomplish something and another rule tells you the result of the check doesn't matter because you'll accomplish it even if you fail, perhaps it's best to just grab on to the rule that says you can't even be doing it in the first place, in situations where that latter rule applies.

That is, the whole hovering even if you fail (or can't even attempt) the skill check to hover shouldn't come into play at all for creatures using the Fly spell while paralyzed. The Fly spell won't work for them unless they're carrying absolutely nothing except for the armor they're wearing.

I'm not sure that's correct, either. The spell text says the target cannot carry aloft more than the maximum load. If they are already aloft when they become paralyzed, are they carrying that load aloft? Does an effective STR/DEX score of 0 actually translate to changing the character's maximum load? After all, ability damage that isn't permanent doesn't change carrying capacity, and we're not even talking about ability damage here.


Having an effective score is not damage, nor a penalty. Having an effective score gives you the effects of having that score without actually having that score.

And about that "carry aloft" phrase, I posted about that before. It's flowery language that's not fit to be rules text. It can't mean anything else than disallowing flight. If you allow the Fly spell to keep things afloat regardless of encumbrance, you could do stuff like arranging 4 ogre magi in a square with sides a mile wide, balance a solid steel 20 feet thick platform on them and build a village on top of that. Surely that shouldn't "fly"?

Edit:

el cuervo wrote:
After all, ability damage that isn't permanent doesn't change carrying capacity, and we're not even talking about ability damage here.

This is something that doesn't sit right with me. We have a FAQ entry telling us that temporary bonuses to ability scores will in fact affect everything relating to that ability score, specifically calling out carrying capacity, but it makes no mention at all of penalties. It makes no sense whatsoever not to have that apply to penalties too. Especially when penalties and bonuses are working on the same ability score at the same time. Someone with a natural strength of 18 having suffered 16 strength damage and under the influence of Bull's Strength, having the carrying capacity that goes with a strength of 22? Not at my table!


Forseti wrote:
And that maneuverability bonus only applies to creatures with a natural fly speed. The good maneuverability mentioned in the Fly spell doesn't actually do anything with regard to using the fly skill.

It might do something for a creature with natural flight casting it. It is one of the questions I asked in this thread. Essentially, it might be that a creature with a eg clumsy natural flight that casts Fly will now have good maneuverability. Esp important for dragons, since they have both good spellcasting (and cash for consumables) and a high fly speed with crappy maneuverability.


I'm under the impression that if you are flying without wings and attempt to hover, but fail the check, then you must use a move action to move at least half your speed.


Fergie wrote:
I'm under the impression that if you are flying without wings and attempt to hover, but fail the check, then you must use a move action to move at least half your speed.

I had considered this. It's definitely one way it could play out.


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But what if you can't because you've used up all your actions?

For example, you're doing a flying full attack? One option would be to have the skill check to hover done as part of the dull attack (fly checks are made as part of other actions after all) and have the full attack fail.

Simply said, always make the hover check before allowing people to commit to actions that require hovering. Seems fair.


el cuervo wrote:

I don't really know what you're saying when you say you could fail and succeed your hover check if you missed it by 3, since you provided no explanation. I'm not really sure how that's possible, since you get only one check at one DC. Does not compute.

"Hovering" is nothing more than "Not moving this turn" If I want to "hover" it simply means I don't want to move any squares under my own power, not even temporarily. But I want to not fall NOT under my own power, either

So I have wings and I want to stand still and not fall. The GM makes me roll a hover check since I'm standing still: DC 15.

I roll a total of 12. I failed my check. But by your reading of the rules, since you only fall if you have wings and fail your check by 5 or more, I don't fall, because I didn't fail my check by 5 or more.

So I end up standing still and not falling, i.e. exactly what I wanted to do. So I actually succeeded in hovering, since there's no other logicaal explanation of how my character stays in one place while not falling with wings. But also failed it, by not making the dice.

It makes no sense.

What would make sense is for the "fail by 5 or more" to have been included due to being relevant to the sharp turn maneuvers and things, given the assumption that if all you're trying to do is not fall (hover), then failing in that case would be failing to not fall. So you fall if you miss it by 1.


el cuervo wrote:
Cevah wrote:
el cuervo wrote:

Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free. Since Paralyze explicitly allows purely mental actions and Hold Person requires a full round action to make a Will save to break free, we can logically conclude that the Will save made to break free from Hold Person is a purely mental action. From that, we also determine that all Will saves must be purely mental actions.

If P, then Q.

<snip>

An untended +1 weapon has no Int/Wis/Cha score. How then does it make the will save?

<snip>

Furthermore, objects do not make actions as saves. The Will save to escape Hold Person is a full round action. We're talking about purely mental actions. Your example does not apply in this case.

As mentioned by someone else, an untended magic item gets a save even without Int/Cha/Wis.

Saves are not actions. The Full Round action specified in Hold Person is the effort required to get a chance to save, not the save itself. This means that you do not have move/standard actions available to do something else if you make a save, not that a save takes that long.

el cuervo wrote:
Blakmane wrote:

Not that I disagree with your premise, but you should read the section again to make sure your argument is sound. A magical (non-intelligent) item lying on the ground without an owner technically still gets a will save to resist a spell.

A more salient point would be that the item also technically gets a reflex save even though it is inanimate - the rules are highly abstract at this point.

Actually, I agree entirely. The rules for this get very abstract from what they are intended to show in terms of game rules. And you're right, magical items do get a save. I missed that part. I'd say that the save granted to the magical item is imparted by the magical force imbued in the item by it's creator, and is a representation of that creator's magical energy in the item resisting other magical forces. It's more an abstraction of the interactions of the magical forces, and a Will save happens to be the most appropriate roll for that type of interaction.

My original premise, that Will save actions are mental actions, is unaffected by this, however. Objects do not make saves as actions. The Hold Person spell text explicitly refers to making a will save as a full round action, and allows a character to make this action while paralyzed and under all the effects of paralyze. In this case, it is being made as an action.

There is no "Will Save Action", only "Will Save". As shown above, not all of these are mental effort, since something without mentality can make a save. Your premise is still flawed.

/cevah


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Quote:

Anyway, since the rules are specific to winged creatures it is inferred that non-winged flying creatures don't fall. This means this rule only applies to winged flying creatures (or they'd have mentioned other flying creatures and magical flight). Read on for an explanation.

If you are a winged creature, you fall when you fail any fly check by more than 5. We know this because it's written under the fly skill. If this is true, then the contrapositive must also be true (argument of modus tollens). The contrapositive states that if you are not falling, either you have not failed or are not winged (or both).

I think the following parentheses are definitely implied by the text. Also don't forget you have to switch the terms for the contrapositive. So:

"If (P and Q), fall" The contrapositive would be "If not(fall), then not (P and Q)"

or in English "If you aren't falling, then it is not the case that (you both have wings and failed your check by 5 or more)."

[Degree in philosophy up in here yo]

Which doesn't tell us anything about non-winged flight one way or the other, nor does it exclude other means of falling, winged or otherwise. In fact it doesn't tell us anything reliable about what the source of a current fall might be at all. If you want to know what happens with non-winged flight, you have to just make some reasonable assumptions or judgment calls, which is why I said in my earlier post that I think the mechanism of non-winged flight is purely ambiguous and DM fiat the way it's written.

One such way you might rule it is that fly is a DEX skill, so it implies somatic components. Reasonable, but not ironclad logic. Or you might say that since it only mentions concentration, it's a purely mental skill, and you rule that non-winged flight doesn't use the skill at all. Sort of reasonable (begs the question why wizards get flight as a class skill though). Etc. etc. there's a lot of ways you could rule it, none of them very obviously correct more than others.

Once you do make a ruling on how the mechanics of non-winged flight work, though, then presumably the paralysis question will be straightforward based on whatever your ruling is.


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Cevah wrote:


Saves are not actions.

I agree with this _in general_; saves are not inherently actions, just like attacks aren't inherently actions. However, in some cases making an attack or save may be an action, such as in the case of Hold Person. It clearly says that "the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action"

Not that you can spend a full-round action to get the option to make a saving throw, but that making the saving throw is a full-round action.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:

Anyway, since the rules are specific to winged creatures it is inferred that non-winged flying creatures don't fall. This means this rule only applies to winged flying creatures (or they'd have mentioned other flying creatures and magical flight). Read on for an explanation.

If you are a winged creature, you fall when you fail any fly check by more than 5. We know this because it's written under the fly skill. If this is true, then the contrapositive must also be true (argument of modus tollens). The contrapositive states that if you are not falling, either you have not failed or are not winged (or both).

I think the following parentheses are definitely implied by the text. Also don't forget you have to switch the terms for the contrapositive. So:

"If (P and Q), fall" The contrapositive would be "If not(fall), then not (P and Q)"

or in English "If you aren't falling, then it is not the case that (you both have wings and failed your check by 5 or more)."

I stand corrected. I missed the "not" part of "not falling" in the contrapositive, which when added in changes the outcome entirely. Thanks for being tactful about that, by the way.

Cevah wrote:
The Full Round action specified in Hold Person is the effort required to get a chance to save, not the save itself. This means that you do not have move/standard actions available to do something else if you make a save, not that a save takes that long.

The text of the spell says nothing about effort. It says that attempting to make the will save to end the effect of Hold Person is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Hold Person wrote:
The subject becomes paralyzed and freezes in place. It is aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions, even speech. Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A winged creature who is paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A swimmer can't swim and may drown.


Related to the will saves:

Mathed it, and a human will reach terminal velocity (~120mph) in 5.5 seconds. In the last 0.5 seconds in a round you fall 88 feet, total is

575 ft for round 1. Then falling at terminal velocity for subsequent rounds is 1,062 additional feet per round.

So depending how high up you are, you might have some time before you splat to make your save, even if you do fall. Higher level characters CAN get up to thousands of feet before the spell runs out, and without very bad altitude sickness issues yet for short periods of time.

How exactly anybody hit you with paralysis up there, or why you'd fly that high when the feather effect wouldn't save you (maybe you have a ring!), I'm not sure, but yeah :P


el cuervo wrote:
Cevah wrote:
The Full Round action specified in Hold Person is the effort required to get a chance to save, not the save itself. This means that you do not have move/standard actions available to do something else if you make a save, not that a save takes that long.

The text of the spell says nothing about effort. It says that attempting to make the will save to end the effect of Hold Person is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Hold Person wrote:
The subject becomes paralyzed and freezes in place. It is aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions, even speech. Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A winged creature who is paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A swimmer can't swim and may drown.

OK. Checked the "Actions in Combat" table on the SRD. "Make a Saving Throw" is not listed. Also, a saving throw is usually in response to someone else's action. RAI, I think saving throws are no-action, since they could be made at any time. The spell's text is a specific rule overriding this. Normally, a spell gives a single save when cast. This spell allows retries as a special rule.

/cevah


Yeah, it's certainly an exception. But I don't see it's mention/lack of mention in the "actions in combat" section being relevant? Loads of things aren't mentioned there, even those that are actions by default (such as using a swift-action or 1 round casting time SLA, which certainly isn't a standard action)

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

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Answered in FAQ!

FAQ wrote:

Flight and Magical Flight: Can a paralyzed or stunned creature keep flying with magical flight? Does a creature with magical flight not apply bonuses or penalties to Fly checks because it doesn’t have a “natural” fly speed? Does flying make a creature immune to being flat-footed?

No, any creature that loses all actions can’t take an action to attempt a Fly check to hover in place and thus automatically falls. That includes a paralyzed, stunned, or dazed creature. Magical flight doesn’t act any differently, even for paralysis, as it isn’t a purely mental action. A creature with 0 Dexterity can’t fly, and paralysis sets a creature’s Dexterity to 0. Despite the fact that the Fly skill mentions that bonuses and penalties from maneuverability apply to creatures with natural fly speeds, they apply for any fly speed. If they didn’t apply to creatures that gained flight artificially or through magic, then those maneuverabilities (like the listed good maneuverability for the fly spell) would have no game effect. Finally, the statement “You are not considered flat-footed while flying” means that flying (unlike balancing using Acrobatics or climbing) doesn’t automatically make you flat-footed or force you to lose your Dexterity bonus to AC; it doesn’t mean that flying makes you immune to being caught flat-footed.


alexd1976 wrote:
Shaun wrote:
I would judge that a paralyzed person under the effects of a fly spell hangs motionless in the air where he was paralyzed. He wouldn't fall because he's not using wings, until the spell expired.
That's an interesting viewpoint, do you then think that controlling the Fly spell is an action other than "purely mental"?

Absolutely... because the activity is still ruled by Dex, not Int or any other mental attribute.

A version of the Fly spell that is purely mental would switch the Fly skill to a mental attribute.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

Answered in FAQ!

FAQ wrote:

Flight and Magical Flight: Can a paralyzed or stunned creature keep flying with magical flight? Does a creature with magical flight not apply bonuses or penalties to Fly checks because it doesn’t have a “natural” fly speed? Does flying make a creature immune to being flat-footed?

No, any creature that loses all actions can’t take an action to attempt a Fly check to hover in place and thus automatically falls. That includes a paralyzed, stunned, or dazed creature. Magical flight doesn’t act any differently, even for paralysis, as it isn’t a purely mental action. A creature with 0 Dexterity can’t fly, and paralysis sets a creature’s Dexterity to 0. Despite the fact that the Fly skill mentions that bonuses and penalties from maneuverability apply to creatures with natural fly speeds, they apply for any fly speed. If they didn’t apply to creatures that gained flight artificially or through magic, then those maneuverabilities (like the listed good maneuverability for the fly spell) would have no game effect. Finally, the statement “You are not considered flat-footed while flying” means that flying (unlike balancing using Acrobatics or climbing) doesn’t automatically make you flat-footed or force you to lose your Dexterity bonus to AC; it doesn’t mean that flying makes you immune to being caught flat-footed.

Thank you!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

Answered in FAQ!

FAQ wrote:

Flight and Magical Flight: Can a paralyzed or stunned creature keep flying with magical flight? Does a creature with magical flight not apply bonuses or penalties to Fly checks because it doesn’t have a “natural” fly speed? Does flying make a creature immune to being flat-footed?

No, any creature that loses all actions can’t take an action to attempt a Fly check to hover in place and thus automatically falls. That includes a paralyzed, stunned, or dazed creature. Magical flight doesn’t act any differently, even for paralysis, as it isn’t a purely mental action. A creature with 0 Dexterity can’t fly, and paralysis sets a creature’s Dexterity to 0. Despite the fact that the Fly skill mentions that bonuses and penalties from maneuverability apply to creatures with natural fly speeds, they apply for any fly speed. If they didn’t apply to creatures that gained flight artificially or through magic, then those maneuverabilities (like the listed good maneuverability for the fly spell) would have no game effect. Finally, the statement “You are not considered flat-footed while flying” means that flying (unlike balancing using Acrobatics or climbing) doesn’t automatically make you flat-footed or force you to lose your Dexterity bonus to AC; it doesn’t mean that flying makes you immune to being caught flat-footed.

I suppose you will change the text of the fly skill in the next reprinting of the CRB.

There is a problem with the current text and this FAQ:

PRD wrote:
If you are using wings and you fail a Fly check by 5 or more, you plummet to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage (see Environment).

That rule seem to imply that if you are not using wings to fly you can fail a fly check by any amount and not fall to the ground.

The FAQ say the exact opposite:
PRD wrote:
No, any creature that loses all actions can’t take an action to attempt a Fly check to hover in place and thus automatically falls.

so the FAQ is an errata to that text.

- * -

Just for the record, if you fail a fly check while using the Fly spell, you don't benefit from the Feather fall effect it give when the spell end, right?


Holy crap, just be thankful you got an FAQ response and move on. A clarification is not a rules change unless said otherwise, which some FAQs do admit.


I think they mean that you automatically fail the fly check, and suffer the consequences - falling if you are using wings, nothing happens? (hover in place?) if you are using a fly spell.


Fergie wrote:
I think they mean that you automatically fail the fly check, and suffer the consequences - falling if you are using wings, nothing happens? (hover in place?) if you are using a fly spell.

No, any creature that loses all actions can’t take an action to attempt a Fly check to hover in place and thus automatically falls. That includes a paralyzed, stunned, or dazed creature. Magical flight doesn’t act any differently, even for paralysis, as it isn’t a purely mental action.

I'm reading that magical flight doesn't act any differently as magical flight is just as use intensive as wings, so if you get so much as dazed you start to plummet to the ground, even with a fly spell. Which is just kinda... what? Thats even worse than having the spell canceled entirely.


You may be right, but that would seem to be a change from this:
PRD Fly skill -

Quote:
Try Again: Varies. You can attempt a Fly check to perform the same maneuver on subsequent rounds. If you are using wings and you fail a Fly check by 5 or more, you plummet to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage (see Environment).

As far as I know, there is no penalty for failing a fly check (if you are NOT using wings). Although I don't know if you would then hover, or move at the minimum speed required to not make a check...


Fergie wrote:

You may be right, but that would seem to be a change from this:

PRD Fly skill -
Quote:
Try Again: Varies. You can attempt a Fly check to perform the same maneuver on subsequent rounds. If you are using wings and you fail a Fly check by 5 or more, you plummet to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage (see Environment).
As far as I know, there is no penalty for failing a fly check (if you are NOT using wings). Although I don't know if you would then hover, or move at the minimum speed required to not make a check...

I agree with you that its a change (look up through the thread, through the saaaands of tiiiiime) but the FAQ seems pretty straitforward on it. If you're paralyzed you can't hold the superman pose and that makes you drop.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I agree with you that its a change (look up through the thread, through the saaaands of tiiiiime) but the FAQ seems pretty straitforward on it. If you're paralyzed you can't hold the superman pose and that makes you drop.

I would rather play without flight for the rest of time then have to read through that thread again. No thanks! ;)

EDIT: I like the idea of falling when you fail a fly check, wings, magic, or whatever. It always bothered me that some fool with a fly spell cast on him was better off in the air then a creature that evolved for flight, and has been doing it it's whole life. I would be happy if they removed all mentions to "using wings" from the fly skill test.

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