Ranged attack penalties while flying for humanoid with wings?


Rules Questions


I am the DM, and I have a player that is playing an Aasimar with angel wings. His primary weapon is a long bow. He wants to attack ground targets while flying around overhead. Is there an attack penalty (or bonus)?

Seems to me that the herky-jerky motion of flapping your wings would interfere with your ability to aim as well as if you were standing still. Thoughts?


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There is no penalty for shooting while flying.


Remember that a flying creature often has to succeed with a Fly check to do what they want. Occasionally, your Aasimar PC will fail those. That's the drawback this tactic has.


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He'd have a bonus for having the high ground (which does not depend on flying).
Also, I don't think Fly checks should be too much trouble for an archer, provided he can get the ranks (an INT headband made to order would do it). The DC for hovering is only 15, which means an automatic success at level 10 with full ranks (it's a class skill, and the DEX bonus should cover the armor penalty and the difference).

Grand Lodge

Khudzlin wrote:

He'd have a bonus for having the high ground (which does not depend on flying).

Also, I don't think Fly checks should be too much trouble for an archer, provided he can get the ranks (an INT headband made to order would do it). The DC for hovering is only 15, which means an automatic success at level 10 with full ranks (it's a class skill, and the DEX bonus should cover the armor penalty and the difference).

Pretty sure high ground bonuses only apply to melee attacks. Have to double-check that.


Yeah, high ground bonus only applies to melee attacks.

With an archer, and finding a way to get fly as a class skill you could very easily have:
+4 dex, +3 class kill, +1 skill point. For a +8 at level 1. By level 7 there would be virtually no risk of failing a hover check.


If your looking to impose a penalty house rule, there is precedence with mounted combat rules.

I'd go with -4 for hovering, -8 if moving, and a feat to halve them requiring 1 rank in fly, and point blank shot.

Both the in game (jerking motion throws off aim) and out of game (huge mechanical benefits over those without) justification s apply equally well.


It should be noted that toastedamphibian that the rules you're referring to, the archer only receives those penalties if the mount double moves or runs. Which is pretty different from your suggestion of remains in place or takes single move action.

The penalties exist for mounted archers because a mounted archer still gets a full attack even when the mount runs or double moves. A flying creature who double moves can even make an attack.

Yes, flying with a bow is great. But there are no penalties in the game for doing so, and if you want to make it not so great you can do so by having enemies you appropriate tactics. Like shooting the flying guy out of the air. Especially in an ambush when someone up in the air is significantly easier to see than someone down at tree level.

And don't forget about options like windwall which can shutdown archery.

Also, keep in mind your Aasimar PC is at least 10th level to take this feat. The wizard has had access to the fly spell. The wizard can be flying and invisible and casting spells that completely shut down the enemy. By this time, the flying archer isn't that tough/bad to deal with.


They are also of similar magnitude to the penalties for 2 weapon fighting. Seems fair to me.


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Of course something you make up is going to seem fair to you.

People rarely suggest things they think are bad ideas.


Eh... I disagree. I often suggest rubbish.

Wizards do it better is pretty much a justification for anything. "Can my 10th level fighter will himself invisible? Sure, why not, the wizard has been doing it since level 5." Etc.


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Claxon wrote:

Yeah, high ground bonus only applies to melee attacks.

With an archer, and finding a way to get fly as a class skill you could very easily have:
+4 dex, +3 class kill, +1 skill point. For a +8 at level 1. By level 7 there would be virtually no risk of failing a hover check.

Having a fly speed gives you Fly as a class skill.


Azten wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Yeah, high ground bonus only applies to melee attacks.

With an archer, and finding a way to get fly as a class skill you could very easily have:
+4 dex, +3 class kill, +1 skill point. For a +8 at level 1. By level 7 there would be virtually no risk of failing a hover check.

Having a fly speed gives you Fly as a class skill.

No, having a Fly spell allows you tu put ranks in the flying skill

Luckily the Feat that grants wings to the Aasimar also makes Fly a class skill

EDIT: lol I slipped hard reading "spell" instead of "speed", yeah having a flying speed makes Fly a class skill, and the feat explicitly gives it to you anyway.

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