Fly+Grab+Voluntary Fall


Rules Questions


Hello all,

I've got a question... If an Intelligent flying creature has a Bite+Grab Natural Attack does this :

Ennemy Wizard is flying at 200ft., creature is flying higher, charge him, Bite him (succeed) so Grab him (Succeed) and the stop flying voluntarily... What happen ?
In the same round as the grab they bot take 20d6 dmg ? Next round ? Can the Wizard try to escape his fate before touching the ground ?
Does he take all of the fall damage ? A portion ? None ?

I can't find the rules for this case... :/


This would be mostly a GM FIAT call, since the rules aren't particularly clear.

I will say that he can't voluntarily stop flying until the next round, since he'd have to make his fly checks for the round to charge, bite, and grapple the Wizard, which would allow the Wizard one chance to escape before the effects of not flying takes place, either through breaking the grapple check, or escaping through other means.

Of course, if the Wizard fails, then yes, they'd fall the 200 feet, and take 20D6 damage (both of them). Since the Dragon (you really think we couldn't deduce what kind of creature could do this?) is purposefully falling, he could make Acrobatics checks to reduce the damage he takes, but being big and bulky and probably not having Acrobatics ranks, would be doubtful to accomplish.

Realistically, I doubt a Dragon would risk taking 20D6 damage to defeat a Wizard who can very well survive that damage with the help of magic, especially since that Wizard has friends to help save his skin. He'd be better off trying to outright eat him, since the Wizard's Strength is piddly (meaning cutting out of the dragon's gullet is mostly futile), and it's much more difficult to escape through magical means.

Sometimes the Wizard should realize that, to a Dragon, he's a nice tasty magical snack.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

This would be mostly a GM FIAT call, since the rules aren't particularly clear.

I will say that he can't voluntarily stop flying until the next round, since he'd have to make his fly checks for the round to charge, bite, and grapple the Wizard, which would allow the Wizard one chance to escape before the effects of not flying takes place, either through breaking the grapple check, or escaping through other means.
Sometimes the Wizard should realize that, to a Dragon, he's a nice tasty magical snack.

Well it's more specific thant that, in fact the real situation is this :

A familiar and animal companion (Shaman lvl 16) grabbing an ennemy from 60ft. high and stopping flying immediatly after that, in the round he grab it...
Can't find the rules if he fall imeediatly or if it's until next turn...
What about a flying creature whose has acted in the turn but whose fly is impaired by someone else in the turn ? Is he falling immediatly or on his next turn ?

The moment when you're falling is of outmost importance and I can't find the rules on this... :/

So now I understand what my question should have been :

When do you fall ? Immediatly after being impaired or at your next turn ? And Do you take fall damage at the begining of your next turn or can you act ? Is the height a factor in this (other than more than 500ft.)?

Sovereign Court

I would say gravity doesn't wait, Looney Tunes-like, for someone's turn to come around. You can bull rush someone off a ledge and they fall immediately, why should this be different?

However, then what happens? If a small critter grabs a big critter and stops flying, it doesn't really make sense that they fall. If a weasel familiar with a Fly spell grabs a big dragon, he can't really drag down the dragon. However, if a big dragon grabs the weasel, he could certainly drag him down even if the weasel tries to stay flying.

I'd take a look at carrying capacity: is the person who wants to stay flying strong enough to carry the grappler through the air?

And if they do fall, it sort of makes sense for the guy that's still trying to fly, to end up on top. Using the guy on the bottom as a cushion to soften his landing; and perhaps inflicting some damage on the cushion too.

So this is a fairly desperate tactic...

Sovereign Court

You can either let go of the grapple and stop flying, or, next turn, when you maintain the grapple, you can attempt to move the target. I don't believe that there's any room in the grapple rules to accommodate forced movement outside of what's explicitly allowed.


Since you are essentially auto-failing you fly check the following would apply (from d20pfsrd)

Retry? 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.

So if you stop flying you plummet to the ground, and take the appropriate damage.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I would say gravity doesn't wait, Looney Tunes-like, for someone's turn to come around. You can bull rush someone off a ledge and they fall immediately, why should this be different?

However, then what happens? If a small critter grabs a big critter and stops flying, it doesn't really make sense that they fall. If a weasel familiar with a Fly spell grabs a big dragon, he can't really drag down the dragon. However, if a big dragon grabs the weasel, he could certainly drag him down even if the weasel tries to stay flying.

I'd take a look at carrying capacity: is the person who wants to stay flying strong enough to carry the grappler through the air?

And if they do fall, it sort of makes sense for the guy that's still trying to fly, to end up on top. Using the guy on the bottom as a cushion to soften his landing; and perhaps inflicting some damage on the cushion too.

So this is a fairly desperate tactic...

You're right in some ways... Giving the weight of the flying tiger (but you can do this with every large creature flying and grabing) it goes way up the weight a caster can load... So easy to infer on the weight rules... too much weight... If not you certainly can continue to fly... Maybe (no tules)

Even if the not flying guy receive less damage it's still an issue... With mook doing this it can lead to a lot of "free" damage" to players... With a Companion Animal doing this players only lose 24h for 20d6 dmg on a much much bigger creature (consider the 200 ft. high from the first post)


Illeist wrote:
You can either let go of the grapple and stop flying, or, next turn, when you maintain the grapple, you can attempt to move the target. I don't believe that there's any room in the grapple rules to accommodate forced movement outside of what's explicitly allowed.

So if you don't let go of the grapple you can't stop flying (a free action) ? Falling is not a move action and is not considered a movement... Falling is falling... Usually when you fall you fall wether or not you want to (most of time you don't want to but who knows...)

In this case I've grabbed soemeone then fall, not initiate any movement... ;)

I can understand the reasoning behind : this round you've chosen to fly so if all fly check is good you continue to fly all the round, not the reasoning that led to : I chose to not fly (free action) it suddenly become a move action and I have to let the grab go...

I can understand less damage from grabbed person but how much ?No rules on grab and fall... Please can you make one ? It's important to Dragon vs Wizard... :p


Cainus wrote:

Since you are essentially auto-failing you fly check the following would apply (from d20pfsrd)

Retry? 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.

So if you stop flying you plummet to the ground, and take the appropriate damage.

For the grabber I understand the damage taken, he's doing a Kamikaze action, taking damage to damage someone else...

What are the dameges of the grabbed creature ? Less ? More due to teeth ? Equal ?
I've read rules long and large and if I want a clear ruling in this case it's beacause it impact every flying creature...

Load rules takes in ? (no ruling on this) I would homebrew yes but no rules...

If the grabbed guy act before the grabbing guy that means no try to escape grab and fall damage for both ? Rules seems to emphasies this... but as a GM I would rule : you fly for a round so no fall until your next round... But this mean you have to choose to fly at the begining of your round or do flying stuff during your round...

Grabbed creature take less damage ? Less ? Equal plus Weapon Damage ? Less plus Weapon Damage ?

Having the ability to forcefully take a flying creature to the ground can drastically change the tide of a fight, being a creature with flyby attack or with flight move... And for both side... The same for flying player's wizard who's forced back in the melee... ;)


You have to spend an action and maintain a grapple to move a grappled creature. You don't get it for free by failing a fly check.


As a GM, I'd give the victim a free chance to break free with a +4 bonus, like if you try to put a grappled creature in a bad spot when you maintain the grapple and chose to move it. It's not exactly what's happening, but it's very much in the spirit.

Also, I'd use this rule from the Fly skill:

Quote:
Avoid Falling Damage: If you are falling and have the ability to fly, you can make a DC 10 Fly check to negate the damage. You cannot make this check if you are falling due to a failed Fly check or a collision.

The victim might not be able to stop the downward motion, but its struggles could slow things down enough to avoid damage.

I'd visualize this as the grappler going down at full speed, the victim trailing along, creating drag with its attempts to fly and thereby being above the grappler at all times during the fall. There's a brief moment, between when the grappler hits the ground (full damage) but before the victim would crash, where it isn't being dragged anymore and the victim can use its flight ability to break its fall.


_Ozy_ wrote:
You have to spend an action and maintain a grapple to move a grappled creature. You don't get it for free by failing a fly check.

Sorry we are on the Rules Questions forum so... Rules ? page ? :p

Why can't I fall with my grappled creature ? What rules forbid me to do it ? What are the rules telling mr to fo it before next round ?
If I choose to fall where is the rules that makes it an action if I grab someone ? If I don't grab someone ?

Consider this :

Wizard A, (who's got inititative due to luck) is currently flying at 200ft. high, he move 20ft toward Red Dragon B and cast sleep on target flying Ancestral Red Dragon B in range, but B don't sleep ('cause he's a dragon and casting sleep on an Ancestral Red Dragon is a very very dumb move ;p ). End turn of Wizard A
Ancestral Dragon B turn : Move, Bite+Grab, Stop Flying (Yeah he knows, or at last believe, that caster A is a powerful caster that can cast 9th level spell, since he as mingled with the players in town before just to know what the potential of everyone in the Player's Party is with Alter Self).

What happen ?


Forseti wrote:

As a GM, I'd give the victim a free chance to break free with a +4 bonus, like if you try to put a grappled creature in a bad spot when you maintain the grapple and chose to move it. It's not exactly what's happening, but it's very much in the spirit.

Also, I'd use this rule from the Fly skill:

Quote:
Avoid Falling Damage: If you are falling and have the ability to fly, you can make a DC 10 Fly check to negate the damage. You cannot make this check if you are falling due to a failed Fly check or a collision.

The victim might not be able to stop the downward motion, but its struggles could slow things down enough to avoid damage.

I'd visualize this as the grappler going down at full speed, the victim trailing along, creating drag with its attempts to fly and thereby being above the grappler at all times during the fall. There's a brief moment, between when the grappler hits the ground (full damage) but before the victim would crash, where it isn't being dragged anymore and the victim can use its flight ability to break its fall.

Oooh... I knew asking the question here was worth it... Thanks... The break free with +4 bonus is nice :)

But DC 10 fly checks to avoid damage is certainly too low... Perhaps a more high Fly DC and something like 1/2 damage... That seems half legal from rules view and can be more easily homebrewed :p


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Let's put this on the ground for a moment.
Grappler grapples target and ends his turn by falling prone as a free action. Does his grappled target also fall prone ? (Answer: No)

FLYING Grappler grapples a FLYING target and ends his turn by ceasing to fly. Does his grappled target also cease flying ?

It depends on relative weights and strengths as well as the methods used to fly. If by some strange chance the flying target has enough strength to carry the weight of the no longer flying grappler, the pair remain flying.

If the weight of the grappler is more than the target can carry aloft, it will descend at some unspecified by the rules rate (but probably less than a full plummet). This is where the GM must adjudicate, as the rules do not address what happens when a flyer (flying via the fly spell) suddenly becomes overloaded.

However, if the flying target is using wings to fly and the grappler manages to PIN the target, then it doesn't matter how much weight the target can fly with, it can't flap its wings and will plummet with the grappler/pinner.

As usual, YMMV.


So, there's lots of rules at play here.

First, and this is probably most important, at 16th level, if you can fly you are probably never going to take falling damage.

If you have a fly speed, it is a DC 10 Fly check to negate all falling damage. At 16th level, the fly spell alone gives you +12 to fly checks, making it an automatic success (+4 for maneuverability, +8 spell bonus). Any flying creature with even a few ranks in Fly at this level will have at least a +10.

Second - if you moved with your fly speed, you cannot then fall in the same turn. Choosing to fall instead of fly is a move action. So, the grappler cannot fall the same round they grab, unless they made the grab before they had to move.

Third, if the grappler was using the fly spell to fly, they can't fall themselves, either. You have to dismiss the spell, which is a standard action.

Finally - if the other flyer is strong enough to carry the first creature without going over maximum load, then it doesn't matter. The grapple-ee just carries the grappler.

EDIT: grappling specifies the creature cannot move, but it doesn't explicitly say a flyer can't fly. Still, the DC to fly in place is only DC 15.


SlimGauge wrote:

Let's put this on the ground for a moment.

Grappler grapples target and ends his turn by falling prone as a free action. Does his grappled target also fall prone ? (Answer: No)
Quote:

Thanks for answeting that to the forum... Yeah "falling from height" is not the same as "falling prone"... :)

SlimGauge wrote:

FLYING Grappler grapples a FLYING target and ends his turn by ceasing to fly. Does his grappled target also cease flying ?

It depends on relative weights and strengths as well as the methods used to fly. If by some strange chance the flying target has enough strength to carry the weight of the no longer flying grappler, the pair remain flying.

I'm with you till this point...

SlimGauge wrote:
If the weight of the grappler is more than the target can carry aloft, it will descend at some unspecified by the rules rate (but probably less than a full plummet). This is where the GM must adjudicate, as the rules do not address what happens when a flyer (flying via the fly spell) suddenly becomes overloaded.

First there is a rules that gives you a speed while you fall:

Quote:

A character cannot cast a spell while falling, unless the

fall is greater than 500 feet or the spell is an immediate
action, such as feather fall.

and second I don't agree; given the fly spell RAW rules the more you weigh the less you fall... :p

The fact that there is no rules for suddenly overloaded flying people IS the issue... ;)

SlimGauge wrote:
However, if the flying target is using wings to fly and the grappler manages to PIN the target, then it doesn't matter how much weight the target can fly with, it can't flap its wings and will plummet with the grappler/pinner.

The pin thingy is a nice find... But as things is you don't needx to pin to do the same effect, just to grab... Easier for the same effect by rules... :)


As a GM I would rule that magical flyers can't be made to fall just by grabbing onto them. Them magic would keep them up, even if the other creature didn't want to be.

But there aren't any rules that cover this very well.


RonarsCorruption wrote:
EDIT: grappling specifies the creature cannot move, but it doesn't explicitly say a flyer can't fly. Still, the DC to fly in place is only DC 15.

Oooh that's fun so where in the end does the grappled creature end with this ?

Where the grab has taken plac e? on the ground ? :)


Claxon wrote:

As a GM I would rule that magical flyers can't be made to fall just by grabbing onto them. Them magic would keep them up, even if the other creature didn't want to be.

But there aren't any rules that cover this very well.

Well dismissing the spell Fly is a standard action.

For the sake of this example let's say it's a creature with wings that grab a creature with the spell Fly... :p
Then another creature without the spell Fly but can fly ?


Loengrin wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As a GM I would rule that magical flyers can't be made to fall just by grabbing onto them. Them magic would keep them up, even if the other creature didn't want to be.

But there aren't any rules that cover this very well.

Well dismissing the spell Fly is a standard action.

For the sake of this example let's say it's a creature with wings that grab a creature with the spell Fly... :p
Then another creature without the spell Fly but can fly ?

Only the creature that cast the spell can dismiss it.

Also, fly is not able to be dismissed.

Perhaps you meant dispelled, but dispelling is a completely different thing.

I'm not sure I understand the two examples you're proposing. In any event, I would have a magically flying creature held aloft by the magic, regardless of the exact source. Unless you use a maneuver which causes it to move, simply trying to use gravity on it wont do anything (is my ruling). If you grapple a creature which uses winged (or natural) flight then I would say that is where the possibility comes in that it might fall. But I would probably say you need to pin it first, at which point it can't fly using wings.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This doesn't work for two reasons.

First, the flyer has already moved for his turn. By flying he has already chosen not to fall, and it is too late to change that decision. This may lead to some weird situations like a Wizard who dismisses a fly spell simply "hanging" in the air for a full turn, but always remember that the turn-based system is an abstraction of real-time combat. The wizard is falling, but that's going to be resolved on the next turn rather than the current one.

Second, when you attempt to move a target to a hazardous location it gets a free chance to break free of the grapple with a +4 bonus. Slamming into the ground at terminal velocity counts as hazardous in my books.

The flyer would grapple the wizard on the first turn. The wizard would them get their own turn to potentially act or break the grapple. If the wizard is still grappled at the start of the flyer's next turn he can make a grapple check as a standard action to maintain the grapple, and then can elect to fall. Because the movement puts the wizard in a hazardous position, he gets another chance to escape the grapple at a +4 bonus. If the wizard fails to break out at that point, then he slams into the ground and takes the falling damage.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Loengrin wrote:

First there is a rules that gives you a speed while you fall:

Quote:

A character cannot cast a spell while falling, unless the

fall is greater than 500 feet or the spell is an immediate
action, such as feather fall.

This rule is not intended to tell you how fast you fall, it is telling you the minimum distance you must be able to fall before you can cast a standard action spell. It is also noting that an immediate action spell can be cast in any falling distance.

Loengrin wrote:
and second I don't agree; given the fly spell RAW rules the more you weigh the less you fall... :p

I don't understand your statement here. Do you mean the stronger you are, the more you can carry aloft, so the less vulnerable you are to being brought to the ground by the weight of grapplers ?

Loengrin wrote:

The fact that there is no rules for suddenly overloaded flying people IS the issue... ;)

The pin thingy is a nice find... But as things is you don't needx to pin to do the same effect, just to grab... Easier for the same effect by rules... :)

If you grapple a winged flyer capable of hovering, there is no reason (other than perhaps a failed fly check or the wings being integral with the creature's hands) that it cannot hover with the grappler dangling below it, if it can carry the weight.

When the grappled condition says "Grappled creatures cannot move", it means that the creature cannot move to a different square, not that the creature is completely incapable of moving its limbs.

In our original case, if the grappled wizard managed to make the concentration check and cast feather fall as an immediate action, he's not going to fall any faster than the spell will let him, regardless of how many grapplers he's picked up.


basically the grapple rules have wholes, and one whole is what happens if someone or something outside of the grapple tries to move someone in the grapple.

The two of the easiest ways to deal with this is that one, the people in the grapple are in superpostion an that there's no force or deity that can move them, the ground may give way, but they stay where they were. Or two, any forced movement auto-breaks the grapple, so if you grapple, stop flying, and begin to fall, beginning to fall will auto break your grapple.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't think you can normally do this in one round since you need to make a successful grapple check to move the grapple, which usually doesn't occur until the round after you've grappled your foe.


falling is a free action


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lady-J wrote:
falling is a free action

And? It still takes a standard action to make the initial grab, then another standard action to maintain the hold and move the grapple. Without special feats or abilities, that's at least two rounds.

EDIT: Actually, if you're already in the air, falling isn't even a free action. It's no action at all. You simply need to stop doing whatever it is you're doing to stay in the air (be that flapping your wings or focusing on the magical forces holding you up).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lady-J wrote:
falling is a free action

Falling is not a free action. Nor is it a full-round, standard, move, swift, or immediately. It's not an action at all. That's an important distinction. You don't fall because you took a fall action, you fall because you didn't take a fly action. In this example, the flying creature did take a fly action on its turn. Therefor, it will not fall on this turn.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You can fall all you want. Just because you have the target grappled doesn't mean they come with you though.

You can spend a standard action to make a grapple check and move the person you are grappling at 1/2 your speed, a GM might be lenient and let you consider yourself as having a 500' falling speed, I probably wouldn't since grappling assumes you are putting effort into moving.

In any event, as has already been pointed out, the target is unlikely to take any falling damage if they are capable of flight.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dasrak wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
falling is a free action
Falling is not a free action. Nor is it a full-round, standard, move, swift, or immediately. It's not an action at all. That's an important distinction. You don't fall because you took a fall action, you fall because you didn't take a fly action. In this example, the flying creature did take a fly action on its turn. Therefor, it will not fall on this turn.

Actually this is only a sort of true. While there isn't an action for falling, the universal monster rule for flight says you can cease or resume flight as a free action. One must assume, that if you cease flying, and are up in the air, you would then fall as a matter of course.


Dave Justus wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
falling is a free action
Falling is not a free action. Nor is it a full-round, standard, move, swift, or immediately. It's not an action at all. That's an important distinction. You don't fall because you took a fall action, you fall because you didn't take a fly action. In this example, the flying creature did take a fly action on its turn. Therefor, it will not fall on this turn.

Actually this is only a sort of true. While there isn't an action for falling, the universal monster rule for flight says you can cease or resume flight as a free action. One must assume, that if you cease flying, and are up in the air, you would then fall as a matter of course.

also dropping prone is a free action(aka falling down)


IMO weight matters. The target of the Fly spell can only carry max load + armor. I don't know what's the max load for natural flying but I think it's the same as the spell. I would love to be corrected if I'm wrong.

In this case presented, if both familiar and companion have the same or larger size than the target they can try a more simple option:

Quote:
Collision While Flying: If you are using wings to fly and you collide with an object equal to your size or larger, you must immediately make a DC 25 Fly check to avoid plummeting to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage.

If they can't do it because of size, magic is involded or simply they don't want then...

1) Successful grapple check on the first round.

2) If the attackers have enough load to outweight the deffender, imo, a second check to maintain the grapple is in order, and then the fall may start. The deffender can still try a check in it's turn to break free before hitting the ground. Both sides suffer falling damage.

3) If they don't have enough load, they can still try to pin the deffender's wings as a standard action, then again they start falling and the deffender can try to break free. Both sides suffer falling damage.

4) If they don't have enough load and the deffender is using magic, a little house rule for using a mix of 'move action+max fall speed'. If the speed is enough to hit the ground, the deffender only have the free attempt to break free:

Quote:
Move: You can move both yourself and your target up to half your speed. At the end of your movement, you can place your target in any square adjacent to you. If you attempt to place your foe in a hazardous location, such as in a wall of fire or over a pit, the target receives a free attempt to break your grapple with a +4 bonus.

Here, I'm still considering if it's fair to let the attackers a Fly check to avoid damage, using the same DC as the collision (25).

My two cents, a nice weekend to you all!


Ravingdork wrote:
I don't think you can normally do this in one round since you need to make a successful grapple check to move the grapple, which usually doesn't occur until the round after you've grappled your foe.

Sorry for the late reply... ;)

Ok this seems the most RAW for this issue... The others things are really helpful but I think since there's no real RAW on this maybe this post should be moved to the "Advice" section... I'm playing a home game so... :p

But my players, and I, likes to abide for the rules, and Ravingdork comment seem the most relevant, since, by RAW, to move someone you need to make another Grapple check you have can't fall unlkess you let go of the Grapple or you can wait one round, acertain the grapple then choose to fall...
But I would rule that, if you xant, you can choose to fly, move, then choose to fall since falling is a free action...

But if you have chosen to fall can you also do a Fly check DC 10 to not take falling damage ? Is this a way to go 200 feet in the air, go on top of your target, stop flying then fall right next to it and not take damages ?

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