Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
Because, you know, the argument that dragons A. are aerodynamic at all (they aren't) and that they fly due to being partially magic (and who says orcs aren't? I mean, while they don't get the ability to use magic, they can still learn it, which means that they have at least a slight amount of magic on their own. After all, there are races that have no ability to use magic at all...)
I'd peg a substantial and meaningful difference between "can, with considerable effort and a great deal of study, or unusual inborn talent possibly traced to dragons, manage to learn magic" and "learns and is powered by magic automatically from hatching without exception". And for me, the jump involved in "can't really hold up body weight or overcome drag without 2-3x innate Ex boost provided by existing inner magic" is considerably less than the jump involved in "can't possibly generate significant amounts of thrust or lift without 30-60x Ex boost provided by newly-formed inner magic".

Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
so the guy using the human powered helicopter was both an olympic power lifter and an olympic marathoner?
Pretty close, yes; it requires a great deal of exercise and training. (I would peg actual Olympic athletes as having scores of 19 or 20, often, but that's more an artifact of how D&D doesn't model extremely unusual natural strength or extensive workout routines.)

Human-powered flight is not for your average joe off the street, it requires a substantial training regimen and a baseline pilot who's already quite strong and enduring. (No particularly high agility or coordination is required, because the machinery handles that.)

a strength of 20 is superhuman. we are talking about a level of strength that isn't even possible in the real world without steroids, extensive training, or both.
This may be true, but only barely. Also see above about the extensive training that I already assumed.

Basically, Str 20 is great and all, but "just slightly superhuman" is nowhere near enough to pull off a stunt like this you need "extremely massively mega-super-human" (i.e., 30+ Str) to have a chance at it.

@dragon flight. nope. their flight is a natural ability. no magic involved, just big muscles and big wings. and they most certainly are not shaped for flight.
Dragons have a) far higher Str scores than humans, b) the afore-mentioned big wings, which are at least reasonably aerodynamic, and c) are inherently magical creatures, just like the undead I alluded to. So whether their flight is natural or Ex is undecidable; I prefer to assume it's Ex (i.e., making use of minor implicit magic that doesn't go away in an AMF, in order to bend or break physics).

@plausibility. it's exactly as plausible as anything else in this game. no one complains when trolls regenerate their head and all their limbs within a few minutes, get them cut off again, and repeat the process.
Sure, so? That's how they're supposed to work. I don't see any particular inconsistency here. Troll regeneration does not break my suspension of disbelief (possibly because I have nothing to compare it to), but flying by swinging an axe over my head just does.

Unless, of course, you're talking about Paul Bunyan, who I could certainly imagine pulling this off, and who has an absurdly high Str score (50, 60, 70?) and is in epic levels.

@sunder a good DM won't remind the players about how to destroy other players' gear, nor will they go around looking for ways to screw their players.
While this is usually true, you have to assume that some enemies will be just that mean, because it is a valid option. (Rare, because it's not usually worth the effort, but if the enemy is flying and wants to stop the whirlybirder, it might be considered worthwhile.)