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    lord_khaine's Avatar

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    Default Flying and heavy armor

    Hello members of the playground, i have a player who has gotten himself a pair of wings, and i was wondering if wearing Heavy armor would slow his movement speed the same way it slows his walking speed?
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    herrhauptmann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Definitely. DMG and SRD should have teh answer
    Note, some forms of flight, you can't fly when in heavy armor or heavily encumbered.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Hello members of the playground, i have a player who has gotten himself a pair of wings, and i was wondering if wearing Heavy armor would slow his movement speed the same way it slows his walking speed?
    Yes. It reduces all of your speeds unless whatever gives it specifically states otherwise (i don't think I ever saw such exception). The armor speed penalty is shared with the load penalty.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Thank you, for the answer.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    There are a few feats that can overcome that issue though. Races of the Dragon I believe.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    If you've gained flight due to wings, you cannot fly while wearing medium or heavy armor, at least according to Races of the Dragon.

    You can overcome this with the "Reinforced Wings" (for medium armor/load) and "Heavyweight Wings" (for heavy armor/load) feats, also from Races of the Dragon. Your speed is still reduced, even with these feats.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel404 View Post
    If you've gained flight due to wings, you cannot fly while wearing medium or heavy armor, at least according to Races of the Dragon.

    You can overcome this with the "Reinforced Wings" (for medium armor/load) and "Heavyweight Wings" (for heavy armor/load) feats, also from Races of the Dragon. Your speed is still reduced, even with these feats.
    Core only specifies light load and nothing about armor.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Core doesn't actually state what happens when you are carrying more than a light load. It just says you can't fly at the listed speed. It doesn't say whether you fly at a reduced speed (per the encumbrance rules) or if you just immediately drop like a rock.

    As far as armor goes, the rules treat wearing medium/heavy armor as being encumbered for all intents and purposes. I'm not entirely sure why the designers never clarified this.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    So a Favored Soul couldn't use the wings he gets at level 15, unless he goes from medium to heavy armor? That kinda sucks.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel404 View Post
    If you've gained flight due to wings, you cannot fly while wearing medium or heavy armor, at least according to Races of the Dragon.

    You can overcome this with the "Reinforced Wings" (for medium armor/load) and "Heavyweight Wings" (for heavy armor/load) feats, also from Races of the Dragon. Your speed is still reduced, even with these feats.
    No, that only affects the wings in Race of the Dragon.

    They can't supercece Core unless they make that an official rule rather than a side note in a feat. It seems like the author didn't read the books.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake-Aes View Post
    Yes. It reduces all of your speeds unless whatever gives it specifically states otherwise (i don't think I ever saw such exception).
    The thing is, the general flight rules do state otherwise; they provide a complete set of (differing) rules for aerial movement.
    Fly

    A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated speed if carrying no more than a light load. (Note that medium armor does not necessarily constitute a medium load.)
    You fly at your flight speed, not at an armor-reduced speed. You simply can't fly if you're carrying more than a light load. If the weight of your armor puts you over the light load limit then it affects your flight speed; otherwise it has no impact on your speed. (Maneuverability affects a bunch of things, including your speed when turning or gaining altitude.)

    As Starbuck_II pointed out, the armor restriction noted in the "Normal" section of the Heavyweight Wings feat (Races of the Dragon, page 100) isn't actually the normal rule.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    The thing is, the general flight rules do state otherwise; they provide a complete set of (differing) rules for aerial movement. You fly at your flight speed, not at an armor-reduced speed. You simply can't fly if you're carrying more than a light load. If the weight of your armor puts you over the light load limit then it affects your flight speed; otherwise it has no impact on your speed. (Maneuverability affects a bunch of things, including your speed when turning or gaining altitude.)

    As Starbuck_II pointed out, the armor restriction noted in the "Normal" section of the Heavyweight Wings feat (Races of the Dragon, page 100) isn't actually the normal rule.
    Remember that both armor and load count to speed. If you can fly with medium armor, then you will fly at reduced speed, even if you are at a light load.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake-Aes View Post
    Remember that both armor and load count to speed. If you can fly with medium armor, then you will fly at reduced speed, even if you are at a light load.
    No, I think you're wrong there, perhaps because the authors of Races of the Dragon also got that wrong. The flight rules provide a complete replacement for movement with respect to load. Attempting to combine the armor speed reduction with flight speed reductions would necessitate annoying calculations and lead to weird combinatorial effects.

    For instance, attempting to gain altitude at a diagonal (45 degree upslope, which is allowed for any maneuverability class) would use the usual D&D movement math and lead to 2/3 movement rate (every other diagonal movement costs double), which is an approximation of the actual √2/2 figure. When you look up the armor speed reduction table (which doesn't have a formula, but is approximately .69 of original speed, round to nearest 5'), and finally figure out your horizontal movement rate, you'll discover a nasty consequence of using your whole movement to gain altitude at a slope guaranteed to work: you'll instead fall to the ground if your maneuverability is less than good.
    Minimum Forward Speed

    If a flying creature fails to maintain its minimum forward speed, it must land at the end of its movement.
    That is, 2/3 x .69 = .46, which is less than the 50% minimum forward speed requirement. Try to factor in slippage when you change direction and you've got an unwieldy, difficult to calculate mess.

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    Snake-Aes's Avatar

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    No, I think you're wrong there, perhaps because the authors of Races of the Dragon also got that wrong. The flight rules provide a complete replacement for movement with respect to load. Attempting to combine the armor speed reduction with flight speed reductions would necessitate annoying calculations and lead to weird combinatorial effects.
    I'm getting this from the very place linked in the srd. What you are calling weird combinatorial effect doesn't exist because the speed drop from armor/load is already stated in the encumbrance section of the srd. You just look at the base speed, and find your modified speed, no mystery there. the clauses of flight there only restrict you from flying if you have a medium or heavy load. There's no clause saying "you can't fly with medium/heavy armor".

    Thus if you have heavy/medium armor, but still going through a light load, nothing stops you from flying. You also get that flight speed reduced according to the armor/load speed table.
    Last edited by Snake-Aes; 2010-10-12 at 12:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake-Aes View Post
    Remember that both armor and load count to speed. If you can fly with medium armor, then you will fly at reduced speed, even if you are at a light load.
    Actually, it is Armor or Load: they don't stack: they replace each other in respect to speed reduction.
    Example:
    So Heavy armor and light load = reduced to 20 ft (no run)
    Meduim armor and heavy load = Reduced to 20 ft (still can run).

    Only Heavy armor stops you from running unlike a heavy load.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    If wearing heavy armour and flying on your light load you lose one third of your flight speed.

    The races of the dragons armour restrictions where written by someone that failed to grasp the rules and hate martial characters.

    This is all additionally supported by many a monster entry where winged creatures in heavy armour have their speed correctly reduced while still flying.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *As a DM I run sand-box games.
    Challenge me.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake-Aes View Post
    Thus if you have heavy/medium armor, but still going through a light load, nothing stops you from flying. You also get that flight speed reduced according to the armor/load speed table.
    And thus your flight speed may not be capable of maintaining the minimum forward speed requirement: half of your base fly speed, since there are no "after armor reduction" notes on the Maneuverability table. So that would stop you from flying ─ or at least would force you to land at the end of every round of flight.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    And thus your flight speed may not be capable of maintaining the minimum forward speed requirement: half of your base fly speed, since there are no "after armor reduction" notes on the Maneuverability table. So that would stop you from flying ─ or at least would force you to land at the end of every round of flight.
    You are creating an impediment that doesn't exist. No given reduced flight speed is equal or less than half of the base speed(the actual calculation to adjust speed is, roughly, to reduce it to 70% of the base speed, reaching into the nearest 5' unit). If the creature's maneuverability demands it to keep moving, then the speed loss from armor doesn't have an influence on that, because it'll have to dedicate a move action to it anyway.
    Last edited by Snake-Aes; 2010-10-12 at 02:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake-Aes View Post
    You are creating an impediment that doesn't exist. No given reduced flight speed is equal or less than half of the base speed
    You're assuming horizontal flight, which is only 1 of 12 possibilities. As the Maneuverability table shows, all maneuverability classes should be capable of 45 degree up angle flight, which would normally reduce horizontal distance to 2/3 of base flight speed. If you add a further 31% speed reduction because of armor then that 45 degree up angle flight must somehow end on the ground at the end of every turn, because the horizontal movement drops to just 46% of the base speed ─ below the 50% minimum.

    The "impediment that doesn't exist" is built into the rules for flight maneuverability. (The 60 degree maximum up angle for average maneuverability reduces horizontal distance to exactly the 0.5 base speed minimum requirement, so imposing any further speed reduction will have fliers dropping out of the sky.) As I see it, these flight rules replace the speed reductions due to armor with a clearly defined set of exceptions. After all, it's no longer the body parts inside the armor that have to move as they do for walking/swimming/burrowing/climbing; it's the wings sticking out, which merely have to be able to sustain the weight.

    Unless there's some armor which covers wings and needs to be flexed with each flap, it makes no sense at all to reduce flight speed because of the inflexibility of heavier armors. And I don't know of any D&D armors which cover the wings.

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    Default Re: Flying and heavy armor

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    You're assuming horizontal flight, which is only 1 of 12 possibilities. As the Maneuverability table shows, all maneuverability classes should be capable of 45 degree up angle flight, which would normally reduce horizontal distance to 2/3 of base flight speed. If you add a further 31% speed reduction because of armor then that 45 degree up angle flight must somehow end on the ground at the end of every turn, because the horizontal movement drops to just 46% of the base speed ─ below the 50% minimum.

    The "impediment that doesn't exist" is built into the rules for flight maneuverability. (The 60 degree maximum up angle for average maneuverability reduces horizontal distance to exactly the 0.5 base speed minimum requirement, so imposing any further speed reduction will have fliers dropping out of the sky.) As I see it, these flight rules replace the speed reductions due to armor with a clearly defined set of exceptions. After all, it's no longer the body parts inside the armor that have to move as they do for walking/swimming/burrowing/climbing; it's the wings sticking out, which merely have to be able to sustain the weight.

    Unless there's some armor which covers wings and needs to be flexed with each flap, it makes no sense at all to reduce flight speed because of the inflexibility of heavier armors. And I don't know of any D&D armors which cover the wings.
    You will see that the tables don't show variation on the possible angles and speeds of upwards/turning movement. This means that no one bothered making a more complicated table, not that intermediary movements don't exist(because it's simpler that way)

    You can either allow the flight to remain indefinitely as long as it is horizontal or calculate the maximum up angle an armored flier would have.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    You can't assume maneuverability includes armor penalties as nothing of the sort is ever mentioned. On the other hand, both armor and load apply to speed at all times, so any movement that allows either is penalized by that.

    The easier alternatives are to ignore the armor or to use the armored speed as base speed. The first uses an assumption that is wrong (maneuverability is never mentioned to influenced by armor) and the other, while acceptable by raw, doesn't make sense (reduced fly speed = reduced minimum forward speed), but they're definitely easier.

    -----------
    Oh, and finally: We kept assuming the creature was moving only a move action per round. If it performs a double move, moving at 35% speed is enough since it'll move 70% of its speed on that round.
    Last edited by Snake-Aes; 2010-10-12 at 06:48 PM.

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