## A PC has Zephyr boots that gives flight, and forced movement would cause him to fall off a ship...

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mysticbelmont
Joined Jun 2008
779 Posts
Does he fall, or do the zephyr boots stop the fall?
devyn
Joined Aug 2004
330 Posts
Property: Gain a fly speed equal to your speed while wearing light armor or no armor.

The Property gives you a fly speed, so you would not fall unless you also were knocked prone in the process.
Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17444 Posts
Falling Prone: If a creature falls prone while it is flying, it falls. This means a flying creature falls when it becomes unconscious or suffers any other effect that knocks it prone. The creature isn’t actually prone until it lands and takes falling damage.

Remaining in the Air
: A flying creature does not need to take any particular action to remain aloft; the creature is assumed to be flying as it fights, moves, and takes other actions. However, a flying creature falls the instant it is stunned, unless it can hover.

Hover:  If a creature can hover, it can remain in the air if it is stunned. See also fly speed.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
slobo777a
Joined Jun 2009
1897 Posts
Although also note if you have a fly speed, you get no saving throw for forced movement over an edge, and can be pushed, pulled and slid in three dimensions . . . sometimes this can give the enemies more options than if you were walking!
morandir62
Joined Oct 2006
690 Posts

From the Compendium

Crashing

• Falling while Flying: If a creature falls while it is flying, it descends the full distance of the fall but is likely to take less damage than a creature that can’t fly. Subtract the creature’s fly speed (in feet) from the distance of the fall, then figure out falling damage. If the difference is 0 or less, the creature lands without taking damage from the fall. For example, if a red dragon falls when it is 40 feet in the air, subtract its fly speed of 8 (8 squares = 40 feet) from its altitude. The difference is 0, so the dragon lands safely and is not prone.

• If a creature is flying when it starts a high-altitude fall, it has one chance to halt the fall by making a DC 30 Athletics check as an immediate reaction, with a bonus to the check equal to the creature’s fly speed. On a success, the creature falls 100 feet and then stops falling. On a failure, the creature falls as normal.

• High-Altitude Falls: Some encounters take place very high above the ground. In such an encounter, it is possible for a creature to spend more than one round falling to the ground. As a rule of thumb, a creature falls up to 500 feet during its first turn of falling. If it is still falling at the start of its turn, it can take actions on that turn as normal, then falls up to 500 feet at the end of the turn. If none of those actions expressly halts a fall, the creature falls up to 500 feet at the end of the turn. This sequence continues until the creature lands.

Prone

• Falling Prone: If a creature falls prone while it is flying, it falls. This means a flying creature falls when it becomes unconscious or suffers any other effect that knocks it prone. The creature isn’t actually prone until it lands and takes falling damage.

• If a creature is flying when it falls prone, it safely descends a distance equal to its fly speed. If it doesn’t reach a solid surface, it falls.

It would remain aloft when going overboard, since it has a Fly Speed with the Zephyr Boots.

RC 209 Remaining in the Air: A flying creature does not need to take any  particular action to remain aloft; the creature is assumed to be flying as it fights, moves, and takes other actions. However, a flying creature  falls the instant it is stunned, unless it can hover.
Mirtek
Joined Aug 2001
4405 Posts

I would let him fall if he was not already flying before he was forced from the ground.

The RC quotes all refer to a creature that is already flying, for a creature that is not already flying I would not allow to automatically start flying.

In following rounds, if the creature has no yet hit the ground, it can try the DC 30 check to start flying.

slobo777a
Joined Jun 2009
1897 Posts

I would let him fall if he was not already flying before he was forced from the ground.

The RC quotes all refer to a creature that is already flying, for a creature that is not already flying I would not allow to automatically start flying.

In following rounds, if the creature has no yet hit the ground, it can try the DC 30 check to start flying.

A character moving with a ship should probably be assumed to be standing on the ship, and not flying, especially if resting. Otherwise, they would need to be using their flight to "walk" and keep pace with the ship. If you need to make this clear to the player during combat, simply have the ship move (probably just 1 to 3 squares) on a fixed initiative - the effect should be the flying PC slides a few squares aft relative to the boat. This might actually be quite fun for them to see the logical effect of using their ability.

artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts

I would let him fall if he was not already flying before he was forced from the ground.

The RC quotes all refer to a creature that is already flying, for a creature that is not already flying I would not allow to automatically start flying.

In following rounds, if the creature has no yet hit the ground, it can try the DC 30 check to start flying.

This would be unduly harsh.  It takes no action for him to fly as he has a fly speed.  It's not like he has to actully use an action to get the fly speed - that would be an entirely different matter.

mastercliff
Joined May 2010
369 Posts

This would be unduly harsh.  It takes no action for him to fly as he has a fly speed.  It's not like he has to actully use an action to get the fly speed - that would be an entirely different matter.

Yes it does, move action.  Just like how you have to climb to climb a wall, you have to fly to fly.  It's another form of movement.  If he was not flying at the time, then he's not flying after the forced movement.
Parallel it to swim.  If a person is force moved around in the water, does that mean they start swimming automatically?  No.  On that person's turn, they start swim movement(if they can).

However, I would give that player a saving throw, since being thrown off the ship can remove them from the fight for a turn or two.  And that's not fun(tm).
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts

This would be unduly harsh.  It takes no action for him to fly as he has a fly speed.  It's not like he has to actully use an action to get the fly speed - that would be an entirely different matter.

Yes it does, move action.  Just like how you have to climb to climb a wall, you have to fly to fly.  It's another form of movement.  If he was not flying at the time, then he's not flying after the forced movement.
Parallel it to swim.  If a person is force moved around in the water, does that mean they start swimming automatically?  No.  On that person's turn, they start swim movement(if they can).

However, I would give that player a saving throw, since being thrown off the ship can remove them from the fight for a turn or two.  And that's not fun(tm).

That would be like saying you would fall prone every time you get pushed because it takes a move action to walk.

The boots give you a fly speed - it becomes normal for you to fly, just like it is normal to walk.  No power or activation is required - you just simply fly.
Mirtek
Joined Aug 2001
4405 Posts

This would be unduly harsh.  It takes no action for him to fly as he has a fly speed.

On his turn I agree, however if forced from the ground off-turn I say that he takes a moment to get his bearing and start flying.

If a bird is knocked from a branch it also needs a moment to catch itself and isn't immediately flying.

artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts

This would be unduly harsh.  It takes no action for him to fly as he has a fly speed.

On his turn I agree, however if forced from the ground off-turn I say that he takes a moment to get his bearing and start flying.

If a bird is knocked from a branch it also needs a moment to catch itself and isn't immediately flying.

One needs to be careful about "realistic" analogies for the rules.  What you say is roughly equivalent to stating that any forced movement might knock one prone since it takes a second to regain your balance.

Besides, it is easy enough to simply be flying all the time if one has a fly speed; no rule states that one cannot be flying when in contact with the ground.

I think that the better (and less harsh) ruling would be that, if in possession of a fly speed, one can always be forced move in three dimensions and one does not need to make a saving throw for getting pushed off a cliff but one simply ends up in midair.  This applies only if one has an "active" of fly speed, not if one fly by a means other than a fly speed or if one needs to activate ones flying ability by using a power of some sort.

This view keeps one from having to have discussion over the reasonableness of being forced to fall the full 500' even though the creature has a fly speed.  Forcing one to fall 500' when on has a fly speed seems pretty damn unreasonable.

Mind you, by a strict reading of the rules, either viewpoint can be sustained in a argument.

Also, keep in mind that is certainly possible to fall when flying, as noted above, but " Subtract the creature’s fly speed (in feet) from the distance of the fall, then figure out falling damage" (Crashing rule)

Finally, your ruling of "on his turn, I agree" ends up with a very odd circumstance where on his turn he would stay aloft if forced move off a cliff (say, from an interrupt) but the identical circumstance would have him fall if not on his turn.  This presents a very strange ruling indeed, where the identical circumstances have differing results based soley on whether it is your own turn or not.
sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
This is an intersting rule as I dont really agree with it.

Notice all the rules state a 'flying creature', although there is no sub-set of creatures that have a 'flying' property.  As such a 'flying creature' is defined as a creature IN FLIGHT.

If the creature is already IN FLIGHT then those rules apply.  If said creature is not IN FLIGHT, then it would have the rules the same as any other creature, regardless of thier ability to fly.

I would say that the rules want those with a flight speed that are not in flight to react the same as a creature without a flight speed.  however, it doesnt require an action to activate flying boots, so if the character didnt hit the ground/water before thier turn, they could fly without expending an action.

personally I dont really think this makes 'sense', but it is the rules.  If I would DM a game situation as above, I would allow it just because its easy to overcome through cheese.

"always flying with my toes on the ground" might be a situation that he would be IN FLIGHT while still retaining enough friction to move just the same with the said boat.  either way, adding some movement to the boat, i am sure the player would just deal with it.

however you want to rule, make sure the player knows so you dont spring it on them.
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts
This is an intersting rule as I dont really agree with it.

Notice all the rules state a 'flying creature', although there is no sub-set of creatures that have a 'flying' property.  As such a 'flying creature' is defined as a creature IN FLIGHT.

If the creature is already IN FLIGHT then those rules apply.  If said creature is not IN FLIGHT, then it would have the rules the same as any other creature, regardless of thier ability to fly.

I would say that the rules want those with a flight speed that are not in flight to react the same as a creature without a flight speed.  however, it doesnt require an action to activate flying boots, so if the character didnt hit the ground/water before thier turn, they could fly without expending an action.

personally I dont really think this makes 'sense', but it is the rules.  If I would DM a game situation as above, I would allow it just because its easy to overcome through cheese.

"always flying with my toes on the ground" might be a situation that he would be IN FLIGHT while still retaining enough friction to move just the same with the said boat.  either way, adding some movement to the boat, i am sure the player would just deal with it.

however you want to rule, make sure the player knows so you dont spring it on them.

From a practical perspective, any creature with a fly speed could be a "flying creature,' and you pointed out exactly how that could be so.  It's easiest and most consistent to just run it that way rather than deal with all kinds of bizarre things like flying at an altitude of 0 (relative to whatever ground is in question - a ship's deck, the ground, the floor of a building, etc.).

But... remember that if you run it that way for PCs (and it is very reasonable to do so), that this is true for NPCs/Monsters as well.  I think this is a good thing - no pushing a flying creature of a cliff and killing it with a 500' fall.
Mirtek
Joined Aug 2001
4405 Posts

Besides, it is easy enough to simply be flying all the time if one has a fly speed; no rule states that one cannot be flying when in contact with the ground.

You don't even need to be in contact with the ground, just announce that you are flying at height 0 (personally I would do that with a character with magical leviatation flight, but not with a character with physical wing-based flight, aka floating like Magneto is cool, being an favored soul avenger constandly flapping his giant wings would look ridiculous) and you're set. However if you didn't and were waking before losing the ground under your feet you fall.

From a practical perspective, any creature with a fly speed could be a "flying creature,'

And any creature with hp could be a  bloodied creature or a dying creature, but isn't until she becomes so

But... remember that if you run it that way for PCs (and it is very reasonable to do so), that this is true for NPCs/Monsters as well.

Of course

no pushing a flying creature of a cliff and killing it with a 500' fall.

That's why a 500' cliff is a stupid idead if there are any non-flying creatures in the encounter and it's stupid for a flying creature to land during a battle near a 500' cliff (or in general to engage in a high altitude fight in an altitude between "more than you're comfortable of taking falling damage" and high enough that you get at least one check to stop the fall).

morandir62
Joined Oct 2006
690 Posts

While I believe the rule clearly states, “when flying” for prone and crashing, meaning the ability is already active.  I would not allow the boots to work automatically.

But there is a difference in the following items, which could be interpreted as the more powerful Zephyr Boots fly speed being activated as a free action.

Show

Winged Boots

Level 13 Rare

These enchanted boots protect you from falling damage and can be activated to allow you to fly.

Price: 17,000 gp

Item Slot: Feet

Property: You take no damage from a fall and always land on your feet.

Power (Daily): Minor Action. You gain a fly speed equal to your speed until the end of the encounter.

Zephyr Boots

Level 24 Uncommon

You catch the wind and fly like bird with these light boots.

Price: 525,000 gp

Item Slot: Feet

Property: Gain a fly speed equal to your speed while wearing light armor or no armor.

Free Action

Free actions take almost no time or effort.  You can take as many free actions as you want during your or another combatant’s turn.  There is an exception to that rule: A creature can take a free action to use an attack power only once per turn.  Creatures don’t normally have attack powers that can be used as free actions, but some powers and other effects grant the ability to use an attack power (usually a basic attack) as a free action.  For example, a character might have two different abilities that let him or her make a melee basic attack as a free action when their respective triggers occur.  If both abilities are triggered on the same turn, the character can make only one of the melee basic attacks during that turn.

In certain circumstances, the DM might decide to limit the use of free actions further.  For instance, if an adventurer has already used free actions during a particular turn to talk, drop things, and use a class feature, the DM might rule that the adventurer can use no more free actions during that turn.

artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts

While I believe the rule clearly states, “when flying” for prone and crashing, meaning the ability is already active.  I would not allow the boots to work automatically.

But there is a difference in the following items, which could be interpreted as the more powerful Zephyr Boots fly speed being activated as a free action.

You are mistaken - the Zephyr Boots require no action at all to activate (not even a "no action" action) - they simply give you fly speed that is "on" all the time, so long as they are worn.

sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts

While I believe the rule clearly states, “when flying” for prone and crashing, meaning the ability is already active.  I would not allow the boots to work automatically.

But there is a difference in the following items, which could be interpreted as the more powerful Zephyr Boots fly speed being activated as a free action.

You are mistaken - the Zephyr Boots require no action at all to activate (not even a "no action" action) - they simply give you fly speed that is "on" all the time, so long as they are worn.

I agree that Zephyr Boots require no action to activate, this however does not mean they the wearer is a 'flying creature' all the time.  The one case that the wearer is a 'flying creature' is when they are suing the granted flight speed to actually fly.

Per the rules, a 'flying creature' is a creature in flight aka flying.  If the creature is not flying, they are not a 'flying creature' and all normal rules apply, including falling.
legba11
Joined Jan 2002
766 Posts
A flying creature could either be A creature who is currently flying or a creature who is capable of flight.

If you walked down the street and asked people "Is a sparrow a flying creature?", most would tell you yes, without regards to the current state of the bird.  I don't think there is anyway to determine whether the rules mean flying as  describing the current state or flying the category meaing capable of flight.
sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
A flying creature could either be A creature who is currently flying or a creature who is capable of flight.

If you walked down the street and asked people "Is a sparrow a flying creature?", most would tell you yes, without regards to the current state of the bird.  I don't think there is anyway to determine whether the rules mean flying as  describing the current state or flying the category meaing capable of flight.

actually, if you decide that a 'flying creature' is a subset of creatures as defined by rules (this is the rules forum, we are using rules to determine how this situation resolved), please point me to the classification of any monster text that states it is in the subset of creatures 'flying creatures'.

since i have yet to see any monster text that states such a subset of creatures exists, we have to use the term 'flying' as an adjective to describe an action that a creature is doing.  As such a 'flying creature' is in fact a creature in flight.

as an example earlier, a 'bloodied creature' is a creature that is bloodied, by your definition, beause all creatures are capable of being bloodied, then all creatures are always bloodied creatures?

If i go down the street and ask if a cockatrice is a flying creature what do you think the public would say?  This and the answer to your similar question is irrelevant.
legba11
Joined Jan 2002
766 Posts
Bloodied has nothing to do with flying (in this case, i'm sure they have connections elsewhere).  In English, flying can refer to what a creature is currently doing or what it is capable of doing.

By your same argument, please show me in the rules where flying is defined as a creature who is currently using flight as it's means of locomotion.  From the compendium: (this is the listing for flight, which is what comes up when you ask for flying)

"Flight
Some creatures have the innate ability to fly, whereas others gain the ability through powers, magic items, and the like. The rules for flight in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game stress abstraction and simplicity over simulation. In real life, a flying creature’s ability to turn, the speed it must maintain to stay aloft, and other factors put a strict limit on flight. In the game, flying creatures face far fewer limitations.

FLIGHT
Flight follows the basic movement rules, with the following clarifications.
Fly Speed: To fly, a creature takes the walk, run, or charge action but uses its fly speed in place of its walking speed. A creature that has a fly speed can also shift and take other move actions, as appropriate, while flying.
Moving Up and Down: While flying, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.
Falling Prone: If a creature falls prone while it is flying, it falls. This means a flying creature falls when it becomes unconscious or suffers any other effect that knocks it prone. The creature isn’t actually prone until it lands and takes falling damage.
Remaining in the Air: A flying creature does not need to take any particular action to remain aloft; the creature is assumed to be flying as it fights, moves, and takes other actions. However, a flying creature falls the instant it is stunned, unless it can hover.
Landing: If a creature flies to a surface it can hold onto or rest on, the creature can land safely.
Terrain: Terrain on the ground does not affect a flying creature if the terrain isn’t tall enough to reach it. Because of this rule, flying creatures can easily bypass typical difficult terrain, such as a patch of ice on the ground. Aerial terrain can affect flying creatures."

While not clear, I would say this implies that they define flying creature as capable of flight.  The opening sentence points that way, and later on they are very precise in saying "while flying" when they mean a creature who is currently in flight.  They could have said flying creature in those instances and chose not to.

sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
Bloodied has nothing to do with flying (in this case, i'm sure they have connections elsewhere).  In English, flying can refer to what a creature is currently doing or what it is capable of doing.

By your same argument, please show me in the rules where flying is defined as a creature who is currently using flight as it's means of locomotion.  From the compendium: (this is the listing for flight, which is what comes up when you ask for flying)

"Flight
Some creatures have the innate ability to fly, whereas others gain the ability through powers, magic items, and the like. The rules for flight in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game stress abstraction and simplicity over simulation. In real life, a flying creature’s ability to turn, the speed it must maintain to stay aloft, and other factors put a strict limit on flight. In the game, flying creatures face far fewer limitations.

While not clear, I would say this implies that they define flying creature as capable of flight.  The opening sentence points that way, and later on they are very precise in saying "while flying" when they mean a creature who is currently in flight.  They could have said flying creature in those instances and chose not to.

Legba11 - Thanks for this information, this actually answers a lot of other questions in this forum, like the point that flying does take an action to actually fly, which is something we have been discussing.

Unfortunetly it does nothing to prove your point you are trying to make.  The use of 'flying creatures' in the beginning of that phrase is actually talking about the abilities of creatures in flight, not about creatures with the ability to fly, hence the mention of turning, speed, factors that limit flight.

There doesnt need to be "show me in the rules where flying is defined as a creature who is currently using flight as it's means of locomotion." as thats the definition of the word flying.  If you look up 'flying' in the english dictionary nowhere does it say the definition of 'flying' is the ability to fly, because its an adverb, 'flying' means 'in flight'.

The exmple of Bloodied in this is how you are defining nouns.  Follow the example -  if a 'flying creature' means a creature with the ability to fly, then a 'bloodied creature' is a creature with the ability to be bloodied.  As such you would be saying that all creatures are bloodied creature (since all have this ability), if all 'flying creatures' are creatures with the ability to fly.  I think we can both agree this is incorrect.

We have already established that 'could of use this/that wording' isnt really an argument to support or deny a rule.
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts
Interesting:

Fly Speed: To fly, a creature takes the walk, run, or charge action but uses its fly speed in place of its walking speed. A creature that has a fly speed can also shift and take other move actions, as appropriate, while flying.
Moving Up and Down: While flying, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.

This is a clear demonstrating of the trap of reading too narrowly.  If one is standing on the ground with a fly speed, one could not, if read narrowly, move straight up since one started out on the ground in a non-flying state.  That's because to move up, one must already be flying, per the second rule quoted above.

I hope everyone agrees that such a reading would be pure nonsense.

Back to the point, a "flying creature" can be read as one with a fly speed or one that is actually in flight due to the use of some item or power.  It can also be read (if not applied too narrowly) as a creature actuallly in flight, though this does create some issues and some nonsense like people flying while actually in contact with the ground.
legba11
Joined Jan 2002
766 Posts
Definition 1 on dictionary.com:
making  or passing through the air; that

Flying creature is very commonly used to mean a creature capable of flight.

The first sentence says creatures with he ability to fly.   The rest of that paragraph is then talking about flight (which is what the definition is of).  Clearly in those sentences they refer to a creature in flight. Here the context makes the meaning clear.

The bloodied argument continues to make no sense.
Ask a normal person if a sparrow is a bloodied creature, and they will ask if it has been mauled by something.    Bloodied is a state.

Flying has multiple meanings.  Flying can be a state.  It can also be a category.
Humans are walking creatures, fish are swimming creatures, birds are flying creatures.

The term flying is not defined as "in flight" in D&D, thus we have to use the English definition, which includes both possibilities.
sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
Interesting:

Fly Speed: To fly, a creature takes the walk, run, or charge action but uses its fly speed in place of its walking speed. A creature that has a fly speed can also shift and take other move actions, as appropriate, while flying.
Moving Up and Down: While flying, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.

This is a clear demonstrating of the trap of reading too narrowly.  If one is standing on the ground with a fly speed, one could not, if read narrowly, move straight up since one started out on the ground in a non-flying state.  That's because to move up, one must already be flying, per the second rule quoted above.

I hope everyone agrees that such a reading would be pure nonsense.

Back to the point, a "flying creature" can be read as one with a fly speed or one that is actually in flight due to the use of some item or power.  It can also be read (if not applied too narrowly) as a creature actuallly in flight, though this does create some issues and some nonsense like people flying while actually in contact with the ground.

i dont understand how this is a 'trap'.  If one is standing on the ground with a fly speed, they could certainly move straight up, it would just cost 1square of movement to be 'flying', then any additional up or down would be free.  Just because its not 'free movement' doesn't mean its not possible.

i agree that the actual rule here (since the definition of 'flying' in in flight and i have yet to see a rule contradicting that) does cause some issues with 'flying on the ground' and similar cheese.  as i stated above i really dont agree with it (but since this is the rules forum)  that is indeed the rule.  if you find a rule similar to citing a 'a flying creature is a creature with the ability to fly' i would certainly appreciate you citing it.
sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
Definition 1 on dictionary.com:
making  or passing through the air; that

Flying creature is very commonly used to mean a creature capable of flight.

The first sentence says creatures with he ability to fly.   The rest of that paragraph is then talking about flight (which is what the definition is of).  Clearly in those sentences they refer to a creature in flight. Here the context makes the meaning clear.

The bloodied argument continues to make no sense.
Ask a normal person if a sparrow is a bloodied creature, and they will ask if it has been mauled by something.    Bloodied is a state.

Flying has multiple meanings.  Flying can be a state.  It can also be a category.
Humans are walking creatures, fish are swimming creatures, birds are flying creatures.

The term flying is not defined as "in flight" in D&D, thus we have to use the English definition, which includes both possibilities.

I dont understand how you feel like this is at all strengthening your point.  You point to the definition of flying as something in flight or that flies, all consistant with a creature in flight, not a creature with the ability to fly.

It does say that creatures have the ability to fly, which is true.  I dont see anything adding to your point.

The bloodied analogy makes perfect sense, just because you say it doesnt, adds nothing to your point, nor refutes the fact.

First you say that bloodied is a state and not compareable to flying, then you say flying is a state, making both those arguments total invalid.  Just because you or your friends like to define things your way, doesnt mean that it was the intention of the RAW to be your definition.  The definition of 'flying' remains the same, as your quote - in FLIGHT or if something FLIES.

Please cite this rule-"The term flying is not defined as "in flight" in D&D", so we can explore that possibility.

And please stop with the 'ask people on the street', first if you watch any late night TV where talk show hosts do the same thing, you know that most people on the street are not bright, second, street peoples opinions are not rules or definitions of words.  In fact 90% of any questions that you ask 'people on the street' will more then likely give you an incorrect answer.
ChaosMage
Joined Apr 2001
2840 Posts

"Flight
Some creatures have the innate ability to fly, whereas others gain the ability through powers, magic items, and the like. The rules for flight in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game stress abstraction and simplicity over simulation. In real life, a flying creature’s ability to turn, the speed it must maintain to stay aloft, and other factors put a strict limit on flight. In the game, flying creatures face far fewer limitations.

FLIGHT
Flight follows the basic movement rules, with the following clarifications.
Fly Speed: To fly, a creature takes the walk, run, or charge action but uses its fly speed in place of its walking speed. A creature that has a fly speed can also shift and take other move actions, as appropriate, while flying.
Moving Up and Down: While flying, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.
Falling Prone: If a creature falls prone while it is flying, it falls. This means a flying creature falls when it becomes unconscious or suffers any other effect that knocks it prone. The creature isn’t actually prone until it lands and takes falling damage.
Remaining in the Air: A flying creature does not need to take any particular action to remain aloft; the creature is assumed to be flying as it fights, moves, and takes other actions. However, a flying creature falls the instant it is stunned, unless it can hover.
Landing: If a creature flies to a surface it can hold onto or rest on, the creature can land safely.
Terrain: Terrain on the ground does not affect a flying creature if the terrain isn’t tall enough to reach it. Because of this rule, flying creatures can easily bypass typical difficult terrain, such as a patch of ice on the ground. Aerial terrain can affect flying creatures."

While not clear, I would say this implies that they define flying creature as capable of flight.  The opening sentence points that way, and later on they are very precise in saying "while flying" when they mean a creature who is currently in flight.  They could have said flying creature in those instances and chose not to.

The text you quote gives the opposite conclusion; every use of the term "flying creature" is clearly referring to a creature that is flying.  "A flying creature falls when it becomes unconcious," "a flying creature does not need to take any particular action to remain aloft," "a flying creature falls the instant it is stunned," and "terrain on the ground does not affect a flying creature" are all clearly referring to a creature in flight; applying those phrases to a creature capable of flight but on the ground makes no sense.  Even the use of the phrase in the opening paragraph wouldn't make any sense if applied that way- "a flying creature’s ability to turn, the speed it must maintain to stay aloft" would not be limited for a creature on the ground.  From context, therefore, we can see that "flying creature" means "creature that is currently flying."

Interesting:

Fly Speed: To fly, a creature takes the walk, run, or charge action but uses its fly speed in place of its walking speed. A creature that has a fly speed can also shift and take other move actions, as appropriate, while flying.
Moving Up and Down: While flying, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.

This is a clear demonstrating of the trap of reading too narrowly.  If one is standing on the ground with a fly speed, one could not, if read narrowly, move straight up since one started out on the ground in a non-flying state.  That's because to move up, one must already be flying, per the second rule quoted above.

I hope everyone agrees that such a reading would be pure nonsense.

Such a reading would be nonsense, but it's not actually supported by the wording.  As soon as a creature takes a walk, run, or charge action using its fly speed, it's flying.  Therefore, it's flying when it uses its first square of movement, since it's already spent the action.  Therefore, it can move straight up from the ground, since it's already flying.  It's not flying when on the ground, but when it spends an action that causes it to become flying, it gets the benefits of being flying.
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts
...
The exmple of Bloodied in this is how you are defining nouns.  Follow the example -  if a 'flying creature' means a creature with the ability to fly, then a 'bloodied creature' is a creature with the ability to be bloodied....

Not necessarily.  A "flying creature" can mean a a creature in flight or a creature capable of light, by normal use of english.  As opposed to "a creature in flight" which can only mean a creature actually in flight.

A "bloodied creature" can only mean a creature that is bloodied.  There is not other way, using normal enlish rules of language interpretation, to use that term.

Note that a dragon, for example, is a flying creature, but that does not mean it is always in flight.  So, depending upon on context, it can mean either thing.
sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
...
The exmple of Bloodied in this is how you are defining nouns.  Follow the example -  if a 'flying creature' means a creature with the ability to fly, then a 'bloodied creature' is a creature with the ability to be bloodied....

Not necessarily.  A "flying creature" can mean a a creature in flight or a creature capable of light, by normal use of english.  As opposed to "a creature in flight" which can only mean a creature actually in flight.

A "bloodied creature" can only mean a creature that is bloodied.  There is not other way, using normal enlish rules of language interpretation, to use that term.

Note that a dragon, for example, is a flying creature, but that does not mean it is always in flight.  So, depending upon on context, it can mean either thing.

I dont know if you have read this thread, but that definition of 'flying' is (i guess) the point of this discussion.  I have a argument to support my point, the definition of 'flying' which actually means 'in flight'.

Furthermore, you prove my point even more with A "bloodied creature" can only mean a creature that is bloodied."  As a 'flying creature' is only a creature that is flying.  Anyone has yet to provide any kind of prove besides "we do it" as to a "flying creature" is a creature with the ability of flight.

Please provide your 'normal use of english' proof.  Keep in mind 'everyone else does that' is not proof.
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts

Interesting:

Fly Speed: To fly, a creature takes the walk, run, or charge action but uses its fly speed in place of its walking speed. A creature that has a fly speed can also shift and take other move actions, as appropriate, while flying.
Moving Up and Down: While flying, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.

This is a clear demonstrating of the trap of reading too narrowly.  If one is standing on the ground with a fly speed, one could not, if read narrowly, move straight up since one started out on the ground in a non-flying state.  That's because to move up, one must already be flying, per the second rule quoted above.

I hope everyone agrees that such a reading would be pure nonsense.

Such a reading would be nonsense, but it's not actually supported by the wording.  As soon as a creature takes a walk, run, or charge action using its fly speed, it's flying.  Therefore, it's flying when it uses its first square of movement, since it's already spent the action.  Therefore, it can move straight up from the ground, since it's already flying.  It's not flying when on the ground, but when it spends an action that causes it to become flying, it gets the benefits of being flying.

Of course such a reading would be nonsense, but someone could narrowly read it that way.  To move straight up one must be flying (not just capable of flight) and therefore, if one starts out not in flight, one cannot move straight up.  Yes, as soon as you start to move you'd be in flight, but you could not do that because you have to be in flight first to take that move straight up.

Of course no one (I hope!) would actually use the rules that way, I simply point this out as the fallacy of trying to read the rules very narrowly focusing on one definition of a word; in this case, focusing on a strict definition of "flying" as meaning moving through the air.  If one used that definition, the rule would be:

Moving Up and Down: While moving through the air, a creature can move straight up, straight down, or diagonally up or down. There is no additional cost for moving up or down.

Of course this is nonsense, and that's my point.

It is my belief that very strict reading of the rules and even taking into account intent, one can rule either of the following two ways and be perfectly comfortable that is is RAW:

1.  If forced move a cliff while possessing a fly speed, one does not need to make a saving throw and one does not fall.

2.  If forced move off a cliff while possessing a fly speed but not actually aloft, one must make a saving throw and fall if the saving throw fails (and fall prone if it succeeds).

Using rule 1. above is, to me, the better choice so that players are not forced into using the cheesy tactic of saying they are flying at height 0 - and those that forget to say say so go plunging to their potential deaths while those who remember are safe.  That's just ludicrous. but clearly once view of RAW.

BTW, one definition of "flying" is (See dictionary.com) "Moving or able to move through the air with wings."  A strict definition of only "Moving though the air...)  falls apart if one tries to apply that, with precision, to every use of the word "flying" in the rules.  "Flying" is both an adjective and a noun, and that certainly can cause confusion.
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts
...Please provide your 'normal use of english' proof.  Keep in mind 'everyone else does that' is not proof.

Just did, but, so that it is not buried in other text:

See www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flyin...

## Definition of FLYING

1

a : moving or capable of moving in the air

As opposed to the game defined term of "bloodied;"

"You are bloodied when your current hit points drop to your bloodied value..."

shattari
Joined Apr 2011
13 Posts
As much as I hate to say it I think a creature with flying would fall if not flying when forced over an edge. If you are crawling and you are forced to move you can not say "I enter the new space in walking mode" even though "walk" is a movement move you have. It takes a move action to stand up. Just like it takes a move action to start flying. If something slides you you stay prone, stay crawling, stay walking, or stay flying. As much as I think falling for what could be a deadly amount of seconds is just dumb, (especially for a creature with wings) saying that, if pushed off an edge can put you in fly mode would be just like saying that if im standing and get pushed I can say I want to end the forced move in a prone state, or going from prone to walking. Unless you can do that.... DIdnt think maybe you can do that. Can you do that?
shattari
Joined Apr 2011
13 Posts
Just thought of this too. If forced movement can put you in fly mode you could go from prone/crawling to flying if something pushes or slides you. It should be no different than flying of an edge if your pushed right?
I have a new rule idea -"If you are forced to move you can enter any legal movement mode you have during the forced move" So if you are prone and some one slides you, you could use the "momentum" to stand into walk mode, or if some one pushes you out from your cover into the line of arrow fire you could end the forced move prone, and all other kinds of neat tricks.
sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
...Please provide your 'normal use of english' proof.  Keep in mind 'everyone else does that' is not proof.

Just did, but, so that it is not buried in other text:

See www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flyin...

## Definition of FLYING

1

a : moving or capable of moving in the air

As opposed to the game defined term of "bloodied;"

"You are bloodied when your current hit points drop to your bloodied value..."

Ok, 1 site that contradicts other sites does not constitute 'normal use', put the defintion point is valid, effectively diverting my definition as well.  At this point we are at an impass.  The only logical next step would be to compare all the defintions to come to a majority solution to the definition of flying.

I'll research 20 sites that have definitions and get back to you.

morandir62
Joined Oct 2006
690 Posts

A flying creature could either be A creature who is currently flying or a creature who is capable of flight.

If you walked down the street and asked people "Is a sparrow a flying creature?", most would tell you yes, without regards to the current state of the bird.  I don't think there is anyway to determine whether the rules mean flying as  describing the current state or flying the category meaing capable of flight.

Yes a sparrow is a flying creature, so is a dragon.  A perching bird can be knocked prone by a strong wind; they do not always make it to flight even if they are capable of “flying”.  Same for the dragon fighting on the ground; if your DM tells you that your prone attack power has no effect, because the dragon leaps into the air and is now flying, I’d think you’d kill them.

You are mistaken - the Zephyr Boots require no action at all to activate (not even a "no action" action) - they simply give you fly speed that is "on" all the time, so long as they are worn.

I agree that Zephyr Boots require no action to activate, this however does not mean they the wearer is a 'flying creature' all the time.  The one case that the wearer is a 'flying creature' is when they are suing the granted flight speed to actually fly.

Per the rules, a 'flying creature' is a creature in flight aka flying.  If the creature is not flying, they are not a 'flying creature' and all normal rules apply, including falling.

The “always on/no action” rule would assume the PC is constantly flying about, NEVER settling down on a solid surface, in order to meet the requirement of “when flying”.  The boots do not grant hover so the PC must basically use a move action to sustain the “when flying” requirement incessantly.

The “always on/free action” rule would assume the PC is may walk about a solid surface, and in rise to flight (as needed) to meet the requirement of “when flying”, taking almost no time or effort on the PC.  So the PC knocked (push, pull, or slide) of the ship could activate the boots with no problem, and then the rules for crashing would apply (remember the boots do not grant hover) if stunned or knocked prone. [Edit: corrected sentence]

In combat free action is basically no action; i.e. not expending a Minor, Move, or Standard actions.  The PC can take as many free actions, as they want during theirs or another combatant’s turn; however the DM might decide to limit the use of free actions/round (usually as a limiter of abuse).

sinistersp
Joined Feb 2010
249 Posts
The rules for Flight have been quoted above, it does take a move action to be 'in flight'.
artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts
The “always on/no action” rule would assume the PC is constantly flying about, NEVER settling down on a solid surface, in order to meet the requirement of “when flying”.  The boots do not grant hover so the PC must basically use a move action to sustain the “when flying” requirement incessantly.

The “always on/free action” rule would assume the PC is may walk about a solid surface, and in rise to flight (as needed) to meet the requirement of “when flying”, taking almost no time or effort on the PC.  So the PC knocked (push, pull, or slide) of the ship could activate the boots with no problem, and then the rules for crashing would apply (remember the boots do not grant hover).

In combat free action is basically no action; i.e. not expending a Minor, Move, or Standard actions.  The PC can take as many free actions, as they want during theirs or another combatant’s turn; however the DM might decide to limit the use of free actions/round (usually as a limiter of abuse).

Whoopsa - some mistakes in there about what "hover" really means.  In 4e, "hover" only means, "If a creature can hover, it can remain in the air if it is stunned. See also fly speed."

It has nothing else to do with using a move action or not to maiontian flying - in fact, you do not ever need to do when flying.

Remaining in the Air: A flying creature does not need to take any particular action to remain aloft; the creature is assumed to be flying as it fights, moves, and takes other actions. However, a flying creature falls the instant it is stunned, unless it can hover.

So your whole argument above is based upon a false premise.
morandir62
Joined Oct 2006
690 Posts
Correct, I eat crow.  My orginal write-up had included "stunned or knocked prone" after the parantheses, but after my system crashed I failed to catch it.

I still stand on my argument.  "Remaining in the Air" assumes a flying creature, one who has already used a move action to get there, thus constantly in flight.  I will also stand by the use of the free action to take flight with the zephyr boots, a more powerful form of the winged boots, which are activated on a minor action.

artoomis
Joined Jul 2003
1754 Posts
...I still stand on my argument.  "Remaining in the Air" assumes a flying creature, one who has already used a move action to get there, thus constantly in flight.

A fair interpretation - not the only one that is RAW, but fair.

I will also stand by the use of the free action to take flight with the zephyr boots, a more powerful form of the winged boots, which are activated on a minor action.

That just... wrong.  It cleary takes no action at all to "activate" the Zephyr Boots.  Wearing them give you a fly speed - no activation required.
morandir62
Joined Oct 2006
690 Posts

New question:  How do you all indicate a “in flight” flying creature on the battle grid?

We raise flying creatures in increments of 5 feet; if it is on the mat it is considered grounded..