Fly spell: Does it grant a maneuverability bonus to fly skill checks?


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Liberty's Edge

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The description for the skill Fly says:

"A creature with a natural fly speed receives a bonus (or penalty) on Fly skill checks depending on its maneuverability: Clumsy –8, Poor –4, Average +0, Good +4, Perfect +8. Creatures without a listed maneuverability rating are assumed to have average maneuverability."

The description for the spell fly says:
"The subject can fly at a speed of 60 feet (or 40 feet if it wears medium or heavy armor, or if it carries a medium or heavy load). It can ascend at half speed and descend at double speed, and its maneuverability is good. Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking, so the subject can attack or cast spells normally. The subject of a fly spell can charge but not run, and it cannot carry aloft more weight than its maximum load, plus any armor it wears. The subject gains a bonus on Fly skill checks equal to 1/2 your caster level."

Clearly, the creature gets a bonus of 1/2 caster level. But, does it also get the bonus from the maneuverability? A good maneuverability would grant a +4 bonus. If it isn't meant to get a bonus, then why include this language? It seems to me that since the spell specifically describes the maneuverability, and the maneuverability's only purpose is to either grant a bonus (or impose a penalty), that it is a specific case that would override the general language of the skill

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Stratton wrote:


Clearly, the creature gets a bonus of 1/2 caster level. But, does it also get the bonus from the maneuverability? A good maneuverability would grant a +4 bonus. If it isn't meant to get a bonus, then why include this language? It seems to me that sense the spells specifically describes the maneuverability, and the maneuverability's only purpose is to either grant a bonus (or impose a penalty), that it is a specific case that would override the general language of the skill

The maneuverability languge of the spell is flavor text since it grants at a minimum of +2 to Fly for a 5th level wizard, and it scales as you level up. and fairly shortly it equals and surpasses the bonus you'd get for good maneuvrability.


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It looks like you get both bonuses.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

It looks like you get both bonuses.

You don't because that would be double dipping. There is no such spell in the game that adds twice to the same attribute.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

What purpose, other than a bonus/penalty, would it serve to include that language? None. There is literally no reason to speak to its maneuverability unless there was some mechanical reason, as maneuverability is a game mechanic.

In fact, in another thread, a developer mentioned that one of the magic items that lets you fly is priced as if the poor maneuverability that item grants you is, indeed, a draw back.


Quote:
... natural fly speed...

Not sure about you, but fly spell doesn't strike me as in any way natural.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Stratton wrote:

What purpose, other than a bonus/penalty, would it serve to include that language? None. There is literally no reason to speak to its maneuverability unless there was some mechanical reason, as maneuverability is a game mechanic.

In fact, in another thread, a developer mentioned that one of the magic items that lets you fly is priced as if the poor maneuverability that item grants you is, indeed, a draw back.

maneuverability was a game mechanic in 3.X, now it's just a fixed modifier to a creatures's fly skill.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Mark Stratton wrote:
Clearly, the creature gets a bonus of 1/2 caster level. But, does it also get the bonus from the maneuverability?

Only if it has a natural fly speed. If the creature with fly cast on it didn't have a natural fly speed, he gets nothing.

Mark Stratton wrote:
A good maneuverability would grant a +4 bonus. If it isn't meant to get a bonus, then why include this language?

I assume you mean the language describing maneuverability as good. There may be situations or rules or scenarios or rules yet to be written where maneuverability figures into it. This was probably included to preempt any such situations.

Mark Stratton wrote:
It seems to me that sense[sic] the spells specifically describes the maneuverability, and the maneuverability's only purpose is to either grant a bonus (or impose a penalty), that it is a specific case that would override the general language of the skill.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Mark Stratton wrote:

What purpose, other than a bonus/penalty, would it serve to include that language? None. There is literally no reason to speak to its maneuverability unless there was some mechanical reason, as maneuverability is a game mechanic.

In fact, in another thread, a developer mentioned that one of the magic items that lets you fly is priced as if the poor maneuverability that item grants you is, indeed, a draw back.

maneuverability was a game mechanic in 3.X, now it's just a fixed modifier to a creatures's fly skill.

And if the developers say, "hey, it's just legacy language," then I'm fine. But clearly one of the developers sees a potential issue (and, in fact, suggested that one could post it over here and if it got enough FAQ requests, it could be looked into.)

But, that language is still present, whether or not the mechanic has changed.


Mark Stratton wrote:

What purpose, other than a bonus/penalty, would it serve to include that language? None. There is literally no reason to speak to its maneuverability unless there was some mechanical reason, as maneuverability is a game mechanic.

In fact, in another thread, a developer mentioned that one of the magic items that lets you fly is priced as if the poor maneuverability that item grants you is, indeed, a draw back.

The Fly skill was introduced with the change from 3.5 to PF but the language of the Fly spell was never addressed in that change. In 3.x manoeuvrability actually affected how you could move when flying. Compare the text of the spells in 3.5 and PF.

3.5 Fly Spell

Quote:
The subject can fly at a speed of 60 feet (or 40 feet if it wears medium or heavy armor, or if it carries a medium or heavy load). It can ascend at half speed and descend at double speed, and its maneuverability is good. Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking, so the subject can attack or cast spells normally. The subject of a fly spell can charge but not run, and it cannot carry aloft more weight than its maximum load, plus any armor it wears.

PF Fly Spell

Quote:
The subject can fly at a speed of 60 feet (or 40 feet if it wears medium or heavy armor, or if it carries a medium or heavy load). It can ascend at half speed and descend at double speed, and its maneuverability is good. Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking, so the subject can attack or cast spells normally. The subject of a fly spell can charge but not run, and it cannot carry aloft more weight than its maximum load, plus any armor it wears. The subject gains a bonus on Fly skill checks equal to 1/2 your caster level.

They added the text about the Fly skill but forgot to deal with anything else.

You can find the old 3.5 aerial movement rules HERE which show the significant impact manoeuvrability had back then.


LazarX wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

It looks like you get both bonuses.

You don't because that would be double dipping. There is no such spell in the game that adds twice to the same attribute.

There are plenty of spells that modify something by a fixed amount plus some amount based on your caster level. Barkskin and Shield of Faith for example.

Lazarx wrote:
maneuverability was a game mechanic in 3.X, now it's just a fixed modifier to a creatures's fly skill.

Right. So why would the Pathfinder Fly spell mention that it grants good maneuverability if it doesn't apply that fixed modifier to the creature's fly skill?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Artoo wrote:

[

Right. So why would the Pathfinder Fly spell mention that it grants good maneuverability if it doesn't apply that fixed modifier to the creature's fly skill?

Because as I said.... descriptive flavor text. And if the caster is 8th level, the bonus from fly is EQUAL to the bonus from good maneuverability.


Fly spell is (I hope) incontrovertibly a non-natural way to fly. Nothing in the fly spell over-rules the language in the fly skill allowing you to treat it as a natural fly speed. The fly skill is absolutely and incontrovertibly clear, only natural fly speeds gain a manoeuverability bonus.

The mention of manoeuverability may be legacy language, it may be open language for future rules, it may even be just flavour/descriptive language. It really doesn't matter. Because the rules could not be clearer:

You do not gain a bonus to your fly skill for the manoeuverability of the fly spell.

Grand Lodge

Artoo wrote:
LazarX wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

It looks like you get both bonuses.

You don't because that would be double dipping. There is no such spell in the game that adds twice to the same attribute.

There are plenty of spells that modify something by a fixed amount plus some amount based on your caster level. Barkskin and Shield of Faith for example.

Lazarx wrote:
maneuverability was a game mechanic in 3.X, now it's just a fixed modifier to a creatures's fly skill.
Right. So why would the Pathfinder Fly spell mention that it grants good maneuverability if it doesn't apply that fixed modifier to the creature's fly skill?

Because, as andreww posted above, it is legacy language from 3.5 that was not cleaned up for PF when the Fly skill was introduced.


As written, it should apply and matter if and only if you are a creature with a fly speed naturally, who then also is the target of the spell fly, and if your natural maneuverability were something other than good.

So, for example, a swan that has fly cast on it would go from its natural "average" to "good", and thus gain a +4 bonus.

An air elemental that has fly cast on it would be downgraded from "perfect" to "good" and take a -4 penalty.

A bat that has fly cast on it would remain at "good" which they already were at, and thus see no net bonus or penalty.

And a human that has no natural fly speed would get a good maneuverability, but this would confer no bonus or penalty, because the bonus only applies to things with natural fly speeds and the human does not have one.


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*facepalm*


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From all of the descriptions of spells and other effects that grant the ability to fly, it seems obvious to me that the reference to "natural fly speed" in the Fly skill description is the anomaly. Most if not all of these spells grant a maneuverability -- and if that maneuverability is not meant to correspond to a static bonus to the Fly skill, it has no meaning at all in Pathfinder. While some of these spells are in the Core Rulebook, others have been added over the years since then -- including the Monstrous Physique spells in Ultimate Magic.

In fact, I will offer this challenge: Can anyone name a single Pathfinder spell that grants the ability to fly without granting a specific maneuverability category? If, as I suspect, every such spell does mention maneuverability, then I would suggest that treating such references as mere fluff text or relics of the 3.5e to Pathfinder conversion would be a mistake.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Specific trumps general. In this case, specific language in fly spell granting good maneuverability trumps general language in Fly skill about maneuverability affecting natural fly speed. So by my reading you do get the good maneuverability bonus, and it stacks with the scaling Fly skill bonus the spell also grants.


Quote:
Specific trumps general. In this case, specific language in fly spell granting good maneuverability trumps general language in Fly skill about maneuverability affecting natural fly speed.

Nothing trumps anything unless two things are in some sort of conflict. Those two rules aren't conflicting, so neither trumps the other. They just happily co-exist without issue.

You DO gain a good maneuverability. That doesn't cause any problems or contradictions requiring trumping. Your good menauverability then proceeds to do nothing if you don't have a natural fly speed. Again, no contradictions or problems, so no trumping required.

Quote:
if that maneuverability is not meant to correspond to a static bonus to the Fly skill, it has no meaning at all in Pathfinder

Yes it does, it has meaning if the spell is cast on a creature that does have a natural fly speed, and has a maneuverability other than good.

For example, a dragon might have a natural fly speed with poor maneuverability. That clause would give it a good maneuverability during the duration of the spell, and since it does have a natural speed, this does matter for it. It loses it's -4 "poor" penalty, and gains a +4 "good" bonus for a net gain of +8 fly bonus during the spell over its natural form.

It would have no meaning for HUMANS, but does have a meaning for other things.


I wouldn't think the bonuses would STACK, you just use the higher of the two.

I mean, they are the same bonus type, right?

So +4 until you hit level ten and higher, then use half level.


The half-level bonus is untyped. No reason to think it wouldn't stack with any maneuverability bonus.

RAI is ambiguous here.
Incidentally this debate has been going on since 2009.


Matthew Downie wrote:

The half-level bonus is untyped. No reason to think it wouldn't stack with any maneuverability bonus.

RAI is ambiguous here.
Incidentally this debate has been going on since 2009.

The bonus listed in the skill is also untyped.

Thought they didn't stack unless specified to do so, like Dodge bonuses and such...

?

Dark Archive

When the description includes both mechanical and flavor text you can not pick an choose what info is flavor and mechanical. It is a double edge sword. Here you claim, oh the "good maneuverability" is just flavor and is not actually a mechanical effect, but some were else you will claim, they used the rules language because they meant this "flavor" to actually grant mechanical benefits.

Personally i think the fly change from 3.5 was not needed and has caused more issues then it solved.

They included the language of good maneuverability in the spell.
good maneuverability is a mechanical game benefit that grants a bonus.

If it was meant to be flavor there are many other ways to describe it or just not mention it at all like in other fly like spells such as overland flight or carpet of flight.

Now maybe they in fact just meant it to be flavor, but there is no way to know unless they change it cause as of right now, with the way its worded, they are referencing an actual game mechanic.

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alexd1976 wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

The half-level bonus is untyped. No reason to think it wouldn't stack with any maneuverability bonus.

RAI is ambiguous here.
Incidentally this debate has been going on since 2009.

The bonus listed in the skill is also untyped.

Thought they didn't stack unless specified to do so, like Dodge bonuses and such...

?

The rule isn't that bonuses fail to stack unless they have different types, the rule is that bonuses with the same type don't stack. Bonuses which have no type are incapable of having the same type as each other, and therefore stack by default.


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Yeah, you don't get the maneuverability bonus if you don't have a natural fly speed.

Sovereign Court

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Monstrous Physique I-IV wrote:

fly 30 feet (average maneuverability)

...
fly 60 feet (good maneuverability)
...
fly 90 feet (good maneuverability)
...
fly 120 feet (good maneuverability)
Beast Shape I-IV wrote:

fly 30 feet (average maneuverability)

...
fly 60 feet (good maneuverability)
...
fly 90 feet (good maneuverability)
...
fly 120 feet (good maneuverability)
Form of the Dragon I-III wrote:

fly 60 feet (poor)

...
fly 90 feet (poor)
...
fly 120 feet (poor)
Elemental Body I & IV wrote:

fly 60 feet (perfect)

...
fly 120 feet (perfect)

I don't think all of this was meant to be meaningless. I believe that the word "natural" in the Fly skill shouldn't be there like that.

Fly skill wrote:
Creatures with a fly speed treat the Fly skill as a class skill. A creature with a natural fly speed receives a bonus (or penalty) on Fly skill checks depending on its maneuverability: Clumsy –8, Poor –4, Average +0, Good +4, Perfect +8. Creatures without a listed maneuverability rating are assumed to have average maneuverability.

This solves the entire problem.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Charlie Bell wrote:
Specific trumps general. In this case, specific language in fly spell granting good maneuverability trumps general language in Fly skill about maneuverability affecting natural fly speed. So by my reading you do get the good maneuverability bonus, and it stacks with the scaling Fly skill bonus the spell also grants.

Where ?

The Fly spell give good maneuverability. (And that trumps the maneuverability of an human, that has none)
The Fly skill say that if you fly naturally and have a specific maneuverability you give a modifier to the fly skill.

If you don't fly naturally you still have good maneuverability, but it don't modify your fly skill.
Both rules are respected and your maneuverability has no effect.


So is a Ghost's fly speed 'natural'?

I would say no more than the Fly spell.

Yet both list maneuverability.

Why?

Sovereign Court

Flight tends to be distinguished between winged vs. magical flight. But the line can be blurry, for example how a big dragon can stay in the sky on its wings. No magic at all? Really?

So the word "natural" is a bit ambiguous here. Does it mean "without magic" or "an unmodified specimen, straight from the Bestiary"?


I see natural as winged or inherent to the being. An air elemental doesn't have wings but their flight is natural. Same with ghosts and other floating incorporeals.

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"Natural" in the Fly skill rules has no meaning, unless there's some rule out there that says it means, e.g., a fly speed granted by a race trait or an (Ex) ability. Does it say that?


Charlie Bell wrote:
"Natural" in the Fly skill rules has no meaning, unless there's some rule out there that says it means, e.g., a fly speed granted by a race trait or an (Ex) ability. Does it say that?

The rules don't need to reinvent the English language. If it doesn't definite "natural" then go off what it means in context. Yes it'll be up for interpretation, but with the bounds of what the word means.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Obviously something needs to be fixed. Either the myriad places where non-natural sources grant fly speed need to have maneuverability redacted, or as suggested upthread the Fly skill needs to have the word "natural" removed.

EDIT: IMO it is easier to remove one word from the Fly skill than it is to hunt down the myriad places non-natural sources of flight grant various maneuverability, and possibly repricing magic items like wings of flying vs lesser wings of flying.

Silver Crusade

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I don't give characters flying with the aid of the Fly spell the maneuverability bonus when I run RAW. That said, one of the two lines illustrated is clearly legacy text that was not intended to still apply in Pathfinder and I think it's valid to let the devs sort out which one they want to keep:

  • The language in the fly rules that state that maneuverability only grants you a bonus when you have a natural fly speed, or
  • The language in the Fly spell that gives you maneuverability.

It doesn't make sense to keep both. I think the former should go (if you're not using them for everything flying, why have a whole subsystem of named grades of maneuverability at all?), but I'm not going to run things that way in PFS until this is FAQed.

In my opinion, though, Pathfinder should have done away with both and just used static untyped bonuses to represent varying flight capabilities, but that might be too drastic at this point, with too much legacy text depending on those keywords being defined.


While some creatures specific modes of flight may be up for discussion*. I'll really despair if anyone tries to maintain that the fly spell is in any way natural.

For those that say the word natural shouldn't be in the fly skill, I say Tough. It is there and you cannot ignore it.

.

*[aside]I fall on the side of if it's inherent to that race and not the result of a spell or magic item I will class it as natural - a ghost flies naturally for a ghost[/aside]


dragonhunterq wrote:

While some creatures specific modes of flight may be up for discussion*. I'll really despair if anyone tries to maintain that the fly spell is in any way natural.

For those that say the word natural shouldn't be in the fly skill, I say Tough. It is there and you cannot ignore it.

.

*[aside]I fall on the side of if it's inherent to that race and not the result of a spell or magic item I will class it as natural - a ghost flies naturally for a ghost[/aside]

You have a point.

Ghosts, as an example, have a fly speed AND list maneuverability.
As does Fly.

Ghosts, however, are not natural.

They are Undead. If anything, they are anti-natural.
Supernatural, even.

Of course, the word 'natural' has no meaning from a rules perspective.

They do, however, list a maneuverability rating for both Ghosts and the Fly spell.

The rules address that.

I believe they get a bonus. I don't think 'natural' has any meaning (crunchy or fluffy)-it is superfluous.

Removing 'natural' from the description of the Fly skill is the easiest/quickest/most logical fix.

All other approaches require more effort and make less sense.


As an interesting side note, if we look at the Boots, Winged entry:

These boots appear to be ordinary footgear.

On command, they sprout wings at the heel and let the wearer fly, without having to maintain concentration, as if affected by a fly spell (including a +4 bonus on Fly skill checks). The wearer can fly three times per day for up to 5 minutes per flight.

Only a +4 bonus. Probably from Caster level 8, or perhaps from the good maneuverability...

but not +8 from both.

Hrm.

I think now that Fly (spell) just grants half caster level as bonus, and that listing maneuverability actually means nothing (legacy text).


alexd1976 wrote:
Of course, the word 'natural' has no meaning from a rules perspective.

Since the rules don't define natural then lets go by its predefined definition. 'Natural' does not have to mean "of or from nature", like your ghosts aren't natural example is suggesting. Here is Google's front page adjective definition for the word:

Quote:

adjective

1. existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.
2. of or in agreement with the character or makeup of, or circumstances surrounding, someone or something.

Going off the second entry and to put this in game and rules terms, I would see it as "If the means for which the being gets flight is a defined characteristic of the monster entry or template then it is natural."

What I mean is if all beings of the same or similar type. E.g. If all eagles, falcons, dragons, ghosts, etc get a form of flight based on the monster's stat block or template then it is natural to it. Any flight from a spell or item is not natural because it bestows the trait to the target or holder.


Texas Snyper wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Of course, the word 'natural' has no meaning from a rules perspective.

Since the rules don't define natural then lets go by its predefined definition. 'Natural' does not have to mean "of or from nature", like your ghosts aren't natural example is suggesting. Here is Google's front page adjective definition for the word:

Quote:

adjective

1. existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.
2. of or in agreement with the character or makeup of, or circumstances surrounding, someone or something.

Going off the second entry and to put this in game and rules terms, I would see it as "If the means for which the being gets flight is a defined characteristic of the monster entry or template then it is natural."

What I mean is if all beings of the same or similar type. E.g. If all eagles, falcons, dragons, ghosts, etc get a form of flight based on the monster's stat block or template then it is natural to it. Any flight from a spell or item is not natural because it bestows the trait to the target or holder.

Yup.

I also pointed out that if you look at Winged Boots, it strongly implies that Fly (the spell) should only grant the half-caster level bonus.

I changed my tune in my post before this one. :D

Previously I thought maneuverability should be applied to magic items/spells, now I don't feel that way at all.


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alexd1976 wrote:

As an interesting side note, if we look at the Boots, Winged entry:

These boots appear to be ordinary footgear.

On command, they sprout wings at the heel and let the wearer fly, without having to maintain concentration, as if affected by a fly spell (including a +4 bonus on Fly skill checks). The wearer can fly three times per day for up to 5 minutes per flight.

Only a +4 bonus. Probably from Caster level 8, or perhaps from the good maneuverability...

but not +8 from both.

Hrm.

I think now that Fly (spell) just grants half caster level as bonus, and that listing maneuverability actually means nothing (legacy text).

The +4 is given to answer the question "What is the bonus granted by caster level?"

The only reason I can see for the +4 bonus from good maneuverability not stacking is that you do not like the Fly skill bonus being that high. Would we even be having this debate if the Fly skill granted poor maneuverability and thus a penalty to Fly skill checks?


David knott 242 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

As an interesting side note, if we look at the Boots, Winged entry:

These boots appear to be ordinary footgear.

On command, they sprout wings at the heel and let the wearer fly, without having to maintain concentration, as if affected by a fly spell (including a +4 bonus on Fly skill checks). The wearer can fly three times per day for up to 5 minutes per flight.

Only a +4 bonus. Probably from Caster level 8, or perhaps from the good maneuverability...

but not +8 from both.

Hrm.

I think now that Fly (spell) just grants half caster level as bonus, and that listing maneuverability actually means nothing (legacy text).

The +4 is given to answer the question "What is the bonus granted by caster level?"

The only reason I can see for the +4 bonus from good maneuverability not stacking is that you do not like the Fly skill bonus being that high. Would we even be having this debate if the Fly skill granted poor maneuverability and thus a penalty to Fly skill checks?

I have no feelings about this one way or the other, so assuming that I have an emotional reason for saying +4 instead of +8 is... well, incorrect.

I found a magic item that lists a bonus, made using the Fly spell.

It lists +4 as the bonus.

Not +8.

THAT is why I think the 'natural' entry actually DOES have relevance now.

Magically granted flight (even if it lists maneuverability) isn't natural.

It's a legacy from 3.5 where the different maneuver values restricted your movement (hovering, for example)-now it is just a straight roll of the dice to see if you can do it, but this was not the case back in 3.5.

So yeah... if it was +8, they would have just SAID that.

They didn't.

Again, no emotional attachment to this, just pointing out something I found that changed my mind on the matter.


David knott 242 wrote:
The only reason I can see for the +4 bonus from good maneuverability not stacking is that you do not like the Fly skill bonus being that high. Would we even be having this debate if the Fly skill granted poor maneuverability and thus a penalty to Fly skill checks?

Odd, the only reason I can see for the bonus not stacking is the word "natural" in the fly skill. To answer your question - I don't see how a positive or negative modifier would change someone's confusion as to how the rules work. It would be confusing either way.


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Sigh, this again. I'm going to try to untie some knots here.
As many have many times said, specific rules override general rules.
The general rule says that creatures with a natural fly speed has a maneuverability, this seems to have gotten through to many. But it also says that

Quote:
Creatures without a maneuverability rating are assumed to have average maneuverability"

Please note: The rules does not say that "you only have-" or "you can only have a fly maneuverability if you have a natural fly speed", you actually have one and it's "average". Neither does it say that a creature without a natural fly speed can't ever have any other maneuverability than average. Even if the quoted sentence would only refer to creatures with a natural fly speed that doesn't have a maneuverability rating, meaning only those few that Paizo forgot to stat properly, if any (it refers to creatures without a rating, not creatures with a natural fly speed without a stated rating), those points still stand about the rules not excluding anybody without a natural fly speed to have a maneuverability.

The specific rule here (the one that overrides the general) is in the fly spell, stating that your "maneuverability is good". The mentioning of good maneuverability is not "flavour" or "fluff", it's part of a rules sentence: "It can ascend at half speed and descend at double speed, and its maneuverability is good.", this is NOT fluff.

The fact that the spell grants two bonuses to the Fly skill is not a problem (it actually doesn't even grant two bonuses, it's one bonus and a maneuverability). They are not of the same bonus type and there is nowhere stated that you can't have a bonus to the Fly skill and a bonus from maneuverability. It's just as if you would have gained a flat bonus and a maneuverability from any other source (say someone with a natural fly speed and an item with a bonus).

The only problem I can find is that it only mentiones creatures with a natural fly speed in regard of gains bonuses depending on their maneuverability, meaning that even if someone got a good maneuverability from the Fly spell, they wouldn't gain a bonus (unless they already had a natural fly speed). However, as indicated by my above cited sentence, creatures without a natural fly speed doesn't gain a bonus or take no penalty because their maneuverability is average, not because they don't have a natural fly speed.

EDITED


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Charlie Bell wrote:
"Natural" in the Fly skill rules has no meaning, unless there's some rule out there that says it means, e.g., a fly speed granted by a race trait or an (Ex) ability. Does it say that?

I laughed at this, all the while lamenting humanity.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Charlie Bell wrote:
"Natural" in the Fly skill rules has no meaning, unless there's some rule out there that says it means, e.g., a fly speed granted by a race trait or an (Ex) ability. Does it say that?
I laughed at this, all the while lamenting humanity.

Sorry, in law school and it's showing :(

It is pretty ambiguous, though. It's not hard to come up with plenty of examples about which people would disagree whether a fly speed is natural or not. The ghost upthread is one example. Another example is the Angel Wings feat. By Texas Snyper's reading of "natural," it wouldn't give you a natural fly speed because not all aasimars have a fly speed by virtue of their stat block.

Texas Snyper wrote:

Going off the second entry and to put this in game and rules terms, I would see it as "If the means for which the being gets flight is a defined characteristic of the monster entry or template then it is natural."

What I mean is if all beings of the same or similar type. E.g. If all eagles, falcons, dragons, ghosts, etc get a form of flight based on the monster's stat block or template then it is natural to it. Any flight from a spell or item is not natural because it bestows the trait to the target or holder.

The point is, we can all come up with reasonable rulings about what "natural" means in this context, but this isn't the rulings forum....


Charlie Bell wrote:

The point is, we can all come up with reasonable rulings about what "natural" means in this context, but this isn't the rulings forum....

And I really hope we can agree that flight from the fly spell isn't going to turn up under any of those reasonable rulings.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Both. They stack. It's a third level spell. Who cares? DC20 is all you need.

The fly skill was invented by Paizo so don't lean on legacy language.


Charlie Bell wrote:

It is pretty ambiguous, though. It's not hard to come up with plenty of examples about which people would disagree whether a fly speed is natural or not. The ghost upthread is one example. Another example is the Angel Wings feat. By Texas Snyper's reading of "natural," it wouldn't give you a natural fly speed because not all aasimars have a fly speed by virtue of their stat block.

I would consider that this would fall under the template clause I said. They are a race that, like tieflings, can be found with an amalgamation of traits. I would argue that if one starts with or develops into having wings and the ability to fly then it would be considered a natural flight. A tadpole can't jump but frogs most certainly can.

Sovereign Court

dragonhunterq wrote:
Charlie Bell wrote:

The point is, we can all come up with reasonable rulings about what "natural" means in this context, but this isn't the rulings forum....

And I really hope we can agree that flight from the fly spell isn't going to turn up under any of those reasonable rulings.

Depends on "reasonable". It looks to me like a choice between:

- Accepting that all the spells I listed earlier have redundant language, and that Form of the Dragon's poor mobility doesn't actually hinder you;
- Deciding that that word "natural" is an error/oversight, and ignoring it.

IMO, reasonable rulings aren't the same thing as rigidly applying RAW when it makes no sense.

Liberty's Edge

It seems to me that "natural" on Earth and "natural" on Golarion do not mean the same thing. I have never seen a dragon here, and it seems to me that PF dragons violate the laws of physics that work here. Yet dragons have a natural fly speed. I think we can use the word "intrinsic" in place of "natural" in the description of the Fly skill.

I see things this way.
Spells and abilities that change the character's form into something that has the intrinsic ability to fly (Form of the Dragon, Wild Shape, Dragon Disciple's wings, etc.) grant a natural flight speed, so the maneuverability bonus or penalty applies. Spells and abilities that grant flight without changing the character's form (Fly spell or Witch's Flight hex) do not grant a natural flight speed, so the maneuverability bonus or penalty does not apply.

Of course, the phrase "good maneuverability" in the Fly spell description is still ambiguous. If we agree that the good maneuverability bonus applies only if the spell is cast on something that already has a natural/intrinsic fly speed, then we can have clarity.

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