Effects of an owl being able to carry a person?


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

Recently I’ve realised that by utilising the powers of Heavyload Belt and Powerhouse Pelt I can increase my owl familiars carrying capacity up to the point where my 150lb wizard counts as a medium load in terms of carrying capacity.

Before I consider actually doing this, I want to ask what some the effects of doing this may be, for example: Would I still get to use all my actions while in the air? What action would it be for my Familiar to pick me up? What happens if my Familiar tried to pick up a hostile creature? If my Familiar was hit while flying, would I have to make a concentration checks? Depending on how I’m lifted, would my wizard need to have enough strength to hold on hanging from the owl?

I’d prefer to have an ideas as to how this might function before I inform my GM about this rather weird intersection of rules and my possible intentions for it


Trying to pick up a hostile creature will involve the grapple rules and is unlikely to work well.

If the familiar was hit and there was no special effect, no concentration check from that. OTOH this is likely to be quite vigorous motion even without the familiar being hit and you're probably looking at a concentration check from that alone.

There's nothing requiring your wizard to support themself here, they can be dangled by the scruff of the neck, from their clothes or whatever. All actions are available if not necessarily easy - as a GM I'd probably apply the mounted archery rules if using ranged attacks. If not well organised the entangled or grappled condition might apply as well.


Concentration Check wrote:

Violent Motion

If you are on a galloping horse, taking a very rough ride in a wagon, on a small boat in rapids or in a storm, on deck in a storm-tossed ship, or being pitched roughly about in a similar fashion, you must make a concentration check (DC 15 + the level of the spell you’re casting) or lose the spell. If the motion is extremely violent, such as that caused by an earthquake, the DC is equal to 20 + the level of the spell you’re casting.

There is no way you can saddle a tiny owl. That means the owl has to pick the wizard up with either its talons or beak. Flying involves rapid up and down movements, and a total lack of anything to brace against. The wizard should be flailing about like a flag.

I think the minimum DC would be 15, and 20 would be appropriate as well. Higher in bad weather conditions.

As long as the master was cooperative with the owl picking him up, I'd say it could be combined with a move action.

I'm not sure the owl is strong enough to fly and carry its master. Most winged creatures need to be in light encumbrance to fly.

Picking up a hostile creature is covered under the Grapple rules You need to grapple them as a standard action, and then you need to use another standard action to move the grappled creature. Some creatures have special abilities to do this more easily. Owls lack such special abilities.

As for the owl being hit, nothing in the rules would force the guy being carried to make concentration checks for that. The GM could rule the injured owl's motions become more rough and increase the DC of the concentration checks from 15/20 to even higher.

If the Wizard is clinging to the owl, then the wizard isn't going to be casting spells. The Wizard's strength shouldn't be used in this situation.

Dark Archive

Meirril wrote:

...There is no way you can saddle a tiny owl. That means the owl has to pick the wizard up with either its talons or beak. Flying involves rapid up and down movements, and a total lack of anything to brace against. The wizard should be flailing about like a flag,

I agree. I feel like if my Familiar has to attempt a fly check to do something my wizard will probably have to make a concentration check, though I feel that will be something I will need to discuss with the GM

Meirril wrote:

I'm not sure the owl is strong enough to fly and carry its master. Most winged creatures need to be in light encumbrance to fly.

I haven’t found anything that says they have to. I know flying mounts can’t fly in Medium or Heavy encumbrance or barding (P.162 of the CRB) but I haven’t seen anything like that relating to flying creatures. I know it was a thing in 3.5, though I think in Pathfinder it only really affects fly speed


Meirril wrote:

There is no way you can saddle a tiny owl. That means the owl has to pick the wizard up with either its talons or beak. Flying involves rapid up and down movements, and a total lack of anything to brace against. The wizard should be flailing about like a flag.

It should be possible to make some kind of harness to make it easier for the owl to hold onto your wizard. Not sure how that goes in game mechanics, but it should make things easier without solving all the problems.

Somewhat off topic there is a real life creature called a powerful owl. They can't carry people but they need to be handled with care as their talons can cut through bones.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Effects of an owl being able to carry a person? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.