View Full Version : Pathfinder Redesigning flight [PEACH]

2016-01-17, 01:23 AM
(This effort is the brainchild of a bored mind and may be too complex for its own good, but I think it turned out remarkably consistent.)
This is of course based on PF's idea of a Fly skill, though any use it's likely to see(if any) is probably going to be in a majorly 3.5 campaign.

As someone who comes primarily from a 3.5 background, I've recently been looking into how PF does things and there are many things I like. One of those that I find especially neat is the skill system redesign.
So I was looking at all of the individual skills in detail. Awesome stuff, except one. I really didn't like how Fly was done. There were so many capabilities lost when opposed to the 3.5 maneuverability system. So I wondered how it could be improved.

And here's the result.
(Design comments in square brackets.)

[The main goal being to allow creatures to pull off all the stunts that were possible under 3.5, but no longer under PF(such as turning on a dime), while preserving and greatly extending the graduated nature of a skill check.
The most logical approach seemed correlating certain DC thresholds to certain Maneuverability ratings in 3.5 - meaning those that can consistently beat certain DCs should have more or less the same flight capabilities as the corresponding maneuverability class from 3.5, those being:
Clumsy: Cannot reliably beat a DC10.
Poor: Reliably passes DC10 checks.
Average: Reliably passes DC15 checks.
Good: Reliably passes DC20 checks.
Perfect: Reliably passes DC25 checks.]

* Fly:
- Reworked to be more consistent between 3.5 and PF.
Speed and direction:
All creatures can fly straight and level at their Fly speed, ascend at an angle up to 45 at half that speed or descend at an angle up to 45 at normal speed without making checks. A creature that moves no more than 5 feet horizontally for every 20 feet of total movement is considered to be flying vertically(this is equal to an angle greater than 75). Generally only winged creatures need to make these checks.[Doesn't seem logical for magical flight.] Those who have natural flight can always take 10, even under adverse conditions. [Like creatures with natural Swim and Climb speed]
DC Effect
15 Move less than half speed and remain flying. [Middle ground. I've always felt that this ability should be available to Average in 3.5, but not below.]
15 Take off without running start. Which is defined as spending a move action on the ground before being able to ascend. [The implication of the above.]
20 Hover
20 Fly up at an angle greater than 45 (but not vertically)
25 Fly up vertically
+10 Fly up at greater than half-speed [Based on Unchained-10 bonus]
15 Fly down at an angle greater than 45 up to double speed (but not vertically)
25 Fly down vertically up to triple speed

A creature can turn in the air by up to 45 for every 10 feet of movement without making a Fly check. Switching vertical direction is equal to a 90 turn. A hovering creature can turn any angle as part of the action during which it hovers.
If the creature needs to perform more complex turns it must make a Fly check. The base DC of this check is 10 and the following modifiers apply:
DC Effect
+5 Double turning angle (cumulative)
+5 Halve amount of movement spent (cumulative, a value of less than 5 is considered 0 and equals turning in place)
-5 Double amount of movement spent
+5 Turn in place (without physically moving, though the maneuver may still consume movement)

DC Effect
25 Avoid Falling After Collision: 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.
10 Negate Falling Damage: If you are falling and have the ability to fly, you can make a DC 10 Fly check to negate the damage.
10 Avoid Falling After Being Attacked: You are not considered flat-footed while flying. If you are flying using wings and you take damage while flying, you must make a DC 10 Fly check to avoid losing 10 feet of altitude. This descent does not provoke an attack of opportunity and does not count against a creature's movement.

-1 If you are falling due to a failed Fly check or a mid-air collision, you may attempt to right yourself before you hit the ground. At the end of each round, during which you have not yet hit the ground, you may make a DC25 check to stop falling. The DC of this check is lowered by 1 for every 20 feet of movement available to you during your fall(to a minimum DC of 10). In the round you hit the ground, you may make a final check at the modified DC to negate any[or half?] falling damage.

Table: Wind Effects on Flying
Wind Force Wind Speed Checked Blown Away Fly Fly Speed
Size Size Penalty Modifier
Light 010 mph
Moderate 1120 mph 10 ft.
Strong 2130 mph Tiny -2 20 ft.
Severe 3150 mph Small Tiny -4 30 ft.
Windstorm 5174 mph Medium Small -8 40 ft.
Hurricane 75174 mph Large Medium -12 60 ft.
Tornado 175+ mph Huge Large -16 80 ft.

"Checked" means that creatures of that size or smaller cannot easily move against the wind. To do so, it must succeed on a a DC 20 Fly check so long as the wind persists.

"Blown away" means that creatures of that size or smaller are blown away by the severe winds. It must succeed on a DC 25 Fly check or be blown back 2d610 feet and take 2d6 points of nonlethal damage. This check must be made every round the creature remains airborne. To move against the wind, the creature must have a fly speed greater than the current wind speed's speed modifier and make a successful DC30 Fly check. [It really made no sense to require an easier check for an even harder action.]

"Fly speed modifier" is the speed modifier you receive for trying to move in the same axis as the wind. Thus, if you are trying to move against the wind, you receive this modifier as a penalty. If you are moving with the wind, you receive this modifier as a bonus to Fly speed, essentially acting as tailwind. [Deliberately avoiding making the higher modifiers too obscene, fluff reason being turbulence in these conditions prevents the winds from imparting their entire speed to creatures caught within. Or somesuch. Fluff is mutable.]

Unchained bonuses: [Rework these, since what the offered before is now covered by modifiers to your checks.]
5 ranks: You treat falls after midair collisions or failed Fly checks as 10 feet shorter with a successful DC 10 Fly check, plus 10 feet for every 10 points by which you exceed the DC.
10 ranks: You are considered one size category larger when determining wind effects on Fly checks.
15 ranks: Armor no longer reduces your Fly speed.
20 ranks: You are considered two size categories larger when determining wind effects on Fly checks.

1. Say a winged creature is confined to a 5-feet by 5-feet chimney-like structure and needs to escape. It can fly vertically by making a DC25 Fly check. If it cannot make this check, it must attempt to fly at an angle greater than 45, since any lower angle would require more than 5 feet of horizontal space per 5 feet of vertical travel, which is impossible due to the circumstances. Therefore it must make a series of steep ascent + hover(and turn) DC20 Fly checks. Alternatively, with a sufficiently high fly speed(50 ft. or more), with a single move action it can fly up 15 feet(consuming 30 ft. of movement), then turn in place(consuming 20 ft. of movement), essentially hopping between the walls with the aid of its wings. Failing its ascent/hover check means the creature begins falling. Failing its turn check means a collision with the walls.
2. A creature collides with another, mid-air and fails its collision check(DC 25). It begins falling. Its normal fly speed is 60 ft. and its distance to the ground is 200 ft. It will fall for 1 full round and part of a second(assuming a falling speed of 150/300 ft. for the first/subsequent rounds). Thus it has 1 full round to attempt to right itself. With a fly speed of 60 ft. this equals a total available movement of 120 ft. (2 move actions with 60 move speed). Thus the DC is 25-6=19. It fails the roll to stop falling at the end of its 1st round of falling. However it is successful in the second round and successfully negates the fall damage. It has been "knocked out of the air" and is now on the ground and not flying, but has not taken any damage as a result.
3. Turning 180 degrees in place, in mid-air, without consuming any movement is a DC35 Fly check: 10(base) + 5(turn in place) + 2*5(halve movement consumed twice) + 2*5(double turning angle twice).
4. Switch from falling to flying up, depending on maneuverability: Average-to-Good - as 2 checks (2 move actions) - stop falling and begin hovering(DC20), then begin ascending at greater than 45 at half speed (DC20). Perfect - as 1 action: While falling turn in place 180 without wasting movement(DC35) and make a check to fly up vertically at full speed(DC35).
5. An airship is riding against unfavourable air currents with Moderate force. The airship receives a 10 ft. penalty to its Fly speed as a result. A powerful caster on the ship is able to bring his magic to bear, creating a Strong wind in the opposite direction, to act as tailwind. The airship now receives a 20 ft. Fly speed bonus(and a -2 penalty to Fly, which the captain and crew's expertise might have to compensate for).
So feel free to point out disfunctions.

P.S. Silly-ass different tab widths.