can I fight in the air... if I can't fly?

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My character has an attack, Cunning Abduction, that says, "Before the attack, you teleport 5 squares."

My enemy flies. I don't. Can I teleport into the air, and hack him before I fall? You may have noticed there are two issues with the tactic. First, do I fall immediately, or can I hack first, since it's all one power? Second, if I'm not standing on solid ground, can I swing? Would there be a penalty? Also, what if I teleported up there using a separate move action? Would that change whether I fell before attacking?

An alternative tactic would be to teleport and try to grab onto said flying enemy. I'm guessing we'd use the standard rules for Grab. So let's say it's a magically hovering humanoid type. I could grab onto it, and then attack it on subsequent turns, if it doesn't escape the grab. Does this make sense? It seems pretty clear that if the enemy was flying with wings, a grab would immobilize it, and we'd fall.

Let's say the enemy was or was riding a (flying or otherwise) mount. How do I attempt a, um... hostile mounting?

What do you think?
Unfortunately falling occurs the instant you are no longer supported and before anything else can resolve (unless you have something that specifically triggers when you fall). So unless you have a special ability that lets you remain in the air, you won't be able to attack before falling.

Also, grabbing an airborne enemy only prevents THEM from moving, it does not prevent YOU from falling. 

 On a general note, one thing you're going to want to do is stop assuming that real-world physics are part of the mechanical game rules. The rules do not always take actual physics into account and aren't meant as an exact simulation of the real world. Fireballs don't set the whole room on fire, freezing an opponent in place with ice doesn't leave a giant puddle when it melts, etc. (Powers do not by default affect objects in any way unless the power specifically says so or the DM decides they do.)

 The rules are written in a manner that makes a game easily playable, and in no way attempt to accurately simulate real-world physics. Whenever there's a conflict between what "should" happen and what makes for easier and better gameplay, the game designers will always write the rules so that they play better.
 It's much easier to read the rules from a literal basis (i.e., they do exactly what they say they do, no more and no less) and work from there than to assume that things are going to work the way you think they should "realistically" and then wonder why they don't.
 As an example, very few things in the rules for flying denote any difference between whether a creature flys using wings or magic and thus, by the rules as written (often referred to as RAW), simply grabbing a flying creature does not cause it to fall because it's wings are somehow entangled. Being immobilized in midair simply means that you can't move from your current position unless something specifically dictates that you begin to fall, such as being knocked prone while in midair (which has specific consequences detailed in the flying and falling rules). It may not seem "realistic", but it makes for a much simpler and easier to play game than having complicated tables and rules for whether or not a creature is capable of remaining flying depending on how much weight they're carrying and whether or not one or more of their wings is disabled...




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The respondants are accurate vis-a-vis RAW. However, I have to say, as a DM I would certainly allow you to do this. It's an encounter power, so it's not like you're going to abuse it by doing it every single round, and it's pretty cool and not unreasonable.
Can I teleport into the air, and hack him before I fall?

From the forum FAQ, if desired:
"Can you attack during a jump? Even though, strictly as written the rules might not allow for attacking while mid-air during a jump, this was apparently not the writer's intent. A DM could either allow it as RAI, or use the DMG p.42 stunt rules to accomplish the same thing as a jump attack."

The sentiment could be aplicable to your situation. Timing-wise, teleport attacks are outside the rules. However, the DM might be encouraged to make use of the DMG p.42 stunt rules.

How do I attempt a, um... hostile mounting?

Also from the forum FAQ, if desired:
"How do I jump onto the back of an enemy dragon? This is outside the rules, so ask your DM. My own preference is to allow PC's to grab oversized creatures... but they then move with the creature instead of immobilizing it (this is similar to an answer provided in the 3.5 FAQ, but the 4e mechanics make this more viable). Alternately, if the PC could've just as easily attacked the dragon without jumping on it's back (and doesn't necessarily care about moving with it), I handle the stunt merely as a normal attack, with altered fluff."

fwiw: jumping onto the back of a flying creature to attack it is such a common desire that WotC really needs to address it in the core rules.

Unfortunately falling occurs the instant you are no longer supported... 

This makes sense, but other people have other suggestions, so I think it will be my GM's call.
Also, grabbing an airborne enemy only prevents THEM from moving, it does not prevent YOU from falling. 

So I grab him, imobilize him, and immediately fall. Is there a separate set of rules to grab onto something (or someone) to keep from falling, rather than to immobilize what I've grabbed onto?


 On a general note, one thing you're going to want to do is stop assuming that real-world physics are part of the mechanical game rules....

Good advice. Thanks!

The respondants are accurate vis-a-vis RAW. However, I have to say, as a DM I would certainly allow you to do this. It's an encounter power, so it's not like you're going to abuse it by doing it every single round, and it's pretty cool and not unreasonable.

And it would be spectacular if it worked. There ought to be some wiggle room in the rules for that. Even if I can do it twice. Smile


Good stuff, mvincent! Thanks!


Oh, something else... let's say I've jumped onto the back of a beast, mount or monster, flying or otherwise. How do I hang on, how does it try to remove me, and how do I attack it while holding on? What do you suggest?

You're moving into stunt rules (ie. DMcall) here. I'd recommend switching it up a bit and using Opposed checks to stay on a creature that both doesn't want you there and is actively attempting to dismount you. A flying creature could spend a move action and use an acrobatics check to twist or something, forcing you to make an acrobatics check to stay on? As to hanging on, I don't think you'd need a check unless it's actively attempting to escape and/or dismount you. Attacking it would restrict you to one-handed attacks probably.

Again, pretty much strictly improvisational there. 
Oh, something else... let's say I've jumped onto the back of a beast, mount or monster, flying or otherwise. How do I hang on, how does it try to remove me, and how do I attack it while holding on? What do you suggest?

The Escape rules (p.288) indicate that a creature can make an Acrobatics check vs. your Reflex or an Athletics check vs. your Fortitude to escape your grab.

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