Apparent Flighted Sentient Prejudice


General Discussion


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Why in this day and age do any RPGs have this prejudice against allowing PCs with flight?

In this game they even took a Tengu that is known for it's flight capavilities and stripped those from it.

Should I expect the up and coming Alien Archive Dragonkin to be flightless also?

I believe this is an inherited prejudice from older RPGs and outdated scientific beliefs. Argentavis magnificens and quetzalcoatlus would like to have a word with you)

I realize this may help a PC avoid difficult terrain, but any creature that can throw rocks could hit a medium sized flying PC.

Please don't cripple this game by stripping flight from flighted races.


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... Tengu aren't in Starfinder (yet) to my knowledge, and they couldn't fly in Pathfinder without some Feat investments.

As to outdated scientific beliefs... wat?


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There's already two races with flight in Starfinder in First Contact iirc.


The iconic Mechanic has a jetpack.


Yep.


Before the discovery of certain fossils scientists believed that there was a maximum flight size for a life form. Some still do.

The Tengu are in the Starfarer's Companion page 34. (which is Starfinder Compatible)

Maybe the compatible products are just playing it safe, but I hope they don't cripple the Dragonkin.


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I still don't know what the fossils have to do with anything (Colossal sized Great Wyrm Dragons say hi!), there isn't a size limit on what all can fly in either Pathfinder/Starfinder.

Starfarer's Companion is 3pp, it's not an official Paizo product.


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I always liked Harpies; especially the ones with hands. Never much cared for the depiction of them as explicitly evil, craven things. I wonder if, given how they're apparently providing playable stats for more monsters in Starfinder, we'll ever see a comparable playable species. That would be nice, I think.


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For one, Starfarer's Companion is a third-party product and thus is not a great indicator of Paizo's plans, and secondly as Rysky said Tengu couldn't even fly by default in Pathfinder, and even with the feat could only manage it for 1 minute per level once per day.


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Wikrin wrote:
I always liked Harpies; especially the ones with hands. Never much cared for the depiction of them as explicitly evil, craven things. I wonder if, given how they're apparently providing playable stats for more monsters in Starfinder, we'll ever see a comparable playable species. That would be nice, I think.

I'd love to play as a Harpy ^w^


I should probably quantify my post. I am a Science Fiction writer whose Prime race revolves around flying. I have spent the years modifying role-playing games to allow my characters to take part in them and I have noticed a tendency for role-playing game producers to not want PCs to fly.

Thank you all for the ideas, I currently use forcepack stats for flight in starfinder. The two races mentioned in first Contact, one is a gas bag and the other has "space" flight capability so I'm still looking for a feathered flight example.

I've noticed most role playing games don't have a problem with fully aquatic races thus the term flight prejudiced.

I hope in my frustration I have not worded any of this too strongly as I really like this game and want it to succeed.


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Thlaylie wrote:
The two races mentioned in first Contact, one is a gas bag and the other has "space" flight capability so I'm still looking for a feathered flight example.

I was actually talking about contemplatives rather than sarcasians. But my point isn't "You should be happy, here are the flying races". My point is "We have flying races already, so paizo will probably be fine giving races in the future like Dragonkin and avain races flight".


Thank you, I will check out the contemplatives entry and thank you for the reassurance about the dragonkin.


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Thlaylie wrote:

I should probably quantify my post. I am a Science Fiction writer whose Prime race revolves around flying. I have spent the years modifying role-playing games to allow my characters to take part in them and I have noticed a tendency for role-playing game producers to not want PCs to fly.

Yes, indeed. It's incredibly unbalanced from a gameplay perspective, particularly given the roots of the game (which expects dungeons and caves). Flying + missile weapon + traditional encounter = easy win.

D&D struggles with horse archers (shoot, move out of range, repeat), adding a third dimension just makes it worse (and fly speeds have been generally faster than walking).

It isn't a problem with a novel, as an authors narrative control can create or override issues, but in a game, flight is a straight up problem.

It isn't as bad in SF, but it's still a huge advantage at low levels (say good bye to guard dogs), and even at middling levels when jetpacks are running around, they're limited and presumably the flying races are not.


I'd say it's not so much that game designers don't want PCs to get flight immediately. Flight is a handy utility ability, one PCs normally start getting until level 5 or so. Like Voss said, a lot of low CR enemies in Pathfinder don't have the slightest way to challenge someone circling above them pelting them with arrows.

Personally, though, this sounds like something a good GM will houserule for you. You're clearly enthusiastic about the idea of winged species, flying races already exist in Starfinder to use as templates, and ranged weapons are far more common and viable. Letting you have a pair of feathered wings isn't going to break the game open.


The "flight at 5th"-thing goes a bit out the window with Starfinder, no? Thought it was one of the abilities they talked about shifting around.


No, it's still available around then for everyone, give or take a level. Jetpacks are a level 5 item, and the Solarion gets a Flight ability at 6th. Admittedly the earliest *magical* flight is Technomancers at 7 with the level 3 version of Flight, but the item's available as early as 4 in typical settlements, 3 in large settlements, but likely best affordable at 5.


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Winged PCs are still going to need jetpacks because their wings won't work in the vacuum of space.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Wikrin wrote:
I always liked Harpies; especially the ones with hands. Never much cared for the depiction of them as explicitly evil, craven things. I wonder if, given how they're apparently providing playable stats for more monsters in Starfinder, we'll ever see a comparable playable species. That would be nice, I think.
I'd love to play as a Harpy ^w^

That's soooo basic.


This is an example of The prejudice I referred to;

https://www.reddit.com/r/dndnext/comments/2yk9ky/handling_aarakocra_as_a_dm /

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?450387-Flight-ability-Does-this -make-the-Aarakocra-overpowered/page3

Fortunately for the game mechanics my characters can not do much else while flying. They don't have extra arms for manipulation and their legs are wings as well. They might be able to bite you if they could get close enough but I'm assuming any race above throwing rocks should be able to keep that from happening.


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So a book not made by Paizo, and a 2 year old post about a different game, mean that Starfinder doesn't like flight?


whew wrote:
Winged PCs are still going to need jetpacks because their wings won't work in the vacuum of space.

Neither would a 'jetpack,' since jet engines also require air.

Personal flight in space isn't a particularly useful thing though- if you have to be outside and aren't tethered to the hull, well. So long.

@Thlaylie- we knew what you were referring to (though as the tasty squid points out, those specific examples aren't particularly relevant). The point is, it isn't 'prejudice,' it's game design and a game balance consideration. You can test out the rules for flight that D&D style games use- it absolutely wrecks encounter design. (And the railroady type of adventure design as well)

Starfinder won't succeed or fail based on the presence or absence of PC races with flight (regardless of whether or not they're capable of manipulating objects physically).

Liberty's Edge

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The ‘prejudice’ against flying PC races (or PCs that can fly through other means prior to level 5) is not to do with a belief that large creatures can’t fly (most of these games are set in fantasy worlds with dragons after all), but are due to adventure design issues.

Adventures written for Pathfinder and similar games work with certain assumptions on what tools and abilities are easily available to PCs at certain levels. Low level adventures assume that PCs cannot fly and challenges and enemies are designed with this in mind. So you will see low level adventures that have challenges involving pits, ravines, high walls etc. – things that should present a challenge to low level groups but would be a cakewalk for groups with easy access to flight. Lots of low level enemies do not have access to flight or even ranged attacks, so encounters with such would be far less challenging if PCs had access to flight. Similarly, giving a low level enemy flight makes it comparatively harder to defeat for a low-level party.

Above a certain level (5th in the case of flight in Pathfinder), adventure design assumes that the average party does have or can get access to these abilities, and challenges are adjusted accordingly.

Having said all that, I’m not sure that Starfinder would necessarily have the same assumptions in regards to adventure design.


Pathfinder had the Strix, who had winged flight from level 1, so its probably only a matter of time anyway.


Oh I'd forgotten about the strix. I could probably use the starfinder conversion rules for them.

I understand the game designer's reluctance now. I was more interested in space games where the flight capability would be an interesting perk and an infrequent utility at best.

The Exchange

Ive played a flying race before (in the fading suns rpg). The dice hated me but i loved my Character, great history and back ground.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That said, the dungeon-habit seems really hard to break because Starfinder's treatment of zero-G is pretty consistently stupid.

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