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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Why do Orcs use such a seemingly sub par weapon as the orc double ax? hint: it's not because they're stupid.


    Whirlybird (Fighter)
    you can swing your ax so fast you fly like a bird
    Prerequisites:Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Orc double ax), Str 20, Dex 15
    Benefit: When using the full attack action with an orc double ax, you can sacrifice an attack to fly 10 ft. with good maneuverability. You can sacrifice as many attacks in a round as you get with your ax, including attacks with the offhand side. You must use your attacks in order. For example, if you fly 20 feet and then attack, you must use your highest attack bonuses on the flight, while if you attack and then fly, you use your lowest attacks to fly with. Once you are flying, you can maintain the flight by taking the full attack action. You don't need to sacrifice attacks to hover.
    Special: A fighter can select this feat as one of her fighter bonus feats.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    I think there is mechanical hole here that needs to be explained aside from the off flavor of this feat. This feat allows periods of flight of 10 ft per attack sacrificed but they can still hover if they choose not to give up any while not having a flight speed? I also don't understand the big strength requirement when this is a feat more of agility than strength.
    The question is what do you want this feat to functionally do that would still allow the orc double axe to be useful?
    Last edited by Amnoriath; 2012-11-12 at 02:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    The strength requirement makes sense to me. You'd have to swing axes really, really hard to use them as helicopter blades. I couldn't see Lidda doing it, for instance.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    it was just a goofy idea i had last night. what possible reason could a strength oriented race like orcs have for developing and using a double weapon, since two handed weapons are far better for strength oriented characters than 2 weapon fighting. either a. they're stupid, or b. they're so strong they can fly with it.

    @high strength. you are using a weapon not designed for flight to generate enough lift to pick up yourself and your gear and fly around like a helicopter. that requires a superhuman level of strength. the dexterity requirement is because you have to be coordinated enough to control where you are going.

    @hovering. you have to give up attacks to actually move, but as long as you are spinning the weapon (using a full attack action), you can hover in place and still get all of your attacks. if this is bad from a balance perspective, i could change it so that you have to sacrifice an attack to hover.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Duranzo, can an Ogre be so strong to flap his arms that he can fly? I know the feat is the key to enable, but most flying creatures have consistently strong dexterity scores while strength can vary. I know by RAW or game function it really doesn't matter but to me this doesn't fit orcs or axes for that matter. Now if he were to push off of something since he really doesn't have any capability it would justify strength but right now why would an orc spend this much training to not even be able to move as much as if he took a double move. It isn't that I don't understand battle action and it does enable more actions but charge, pounce.. fairly easy to come by.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Reading this made my day. I just hope I can find some excuse to sneak it into my game somewhere...

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnoriath View Post
    Duranzo, can an Ogre be so strong to flap his arms that he can fly? I know the feat is the key to enable, but most flying creatures have consistently strong dexterity scores while strength can vary. I know by RAW or game function it really doesn't matter but to me this doesn't fit orcs or axes for that matter. Now if he were to push off of something since he really doesn't have any capability it would justify strength but right now why would an orc spend this much training to not even be able to move as much as if he took a double move. It isn't that I don't understand battle action and it does enable more actions but charge, pounce.. fairly easy to come by.
    the point is to be able to fly without spells or magic items. a (low level) orc may be able to charge further than he can fly, but he can only charge on the ground. a flying orc can move in 3 dimensions, so he can ignore difficult terrain, get at the casters in the sky, etc. pounce is great for a charger, but it doesn't let you hit things you can't get to.

    also, considering how thick D&D air is, an ogre very well might be able to fly. it would be sort of like swimming through the air. in fact, that should probably be an epic swim check, to swim through the air.

    @using weapons to fly. marvel Thor did it. he'd throw his hammer so hard it dragged him behind it.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    the point is to be able to fly without spells or magic items. a (low level) orc may be able to charge further than he can fly, but he can only charge on the ground. a flying orc can move in 3 dimensions, so he can ignore difficult terrain, get at the casters in the sky, etc. pounce is great for a charger, but it doesn't let you hit things you can't get to.

    also, considering how thick D&D air is, an ogre very well might be able to fly. it would be sort of like swimming through the air. in fact, that should probably be an epic swim check, to swim through the air.

    @using weapons to fly. marvel Thor did it. he'd throw his hammer so hard it dragged him behind it.
    I know the obvious advantages of flight, but why spend two feats and off-set stats when it can be gained by an item or spell of a friendly spellcaster? It may be okay at low-level but to me this doesn't ultimately seem worth it for mid-long campaign build putting aside the mismatch of flavor.
    Last edited by Amnoriath; 2012-11-15 at 12:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    This looks like it'd be fun in a game with this:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245978

    And vice versa. A group of Orc PCs perhaps in the higher levels that just goofs around yet somehow manages to save the day all the same.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnoriath View Post
    Duranzo, can an Ogre be so strong to flap his arms that he can fly? I know the feat is the key to enable, but most flying creatures have consistently strong dexterity scores while strength can vary. I know by RAW or game function it really doesn't matter but to me this doesn't fit orcs or axes for that matter. Now if he were to push off of something since he really doesn't have any capability it would justify strength but right now why would an orc spend this much training to not even be able to move as much as if he took a double move. It isn't that I don't understand battle action and it does enable more actions but charge, pounce.. fairly easy to come by.
    Here's the thing: from the description, the PC isn't flapping its wings, they're spinning and using that lift to raise themselves up off the ground. Bird wings require some degree of manual dexterity; to an extent, with all the flaps and rudders and so on, planes do too.

    That's now that's going on here though; the character is basically a helicopter. As everyone knows, helicopters don't fly; they beat the air into submission. Hence, strength. ;)
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    As soon as you use your ax for something other than flight, you should begin to fall.

    Debby
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Aerodynamically and physiologically, this feat makes my head hurt. A mere 20 Str (barely more than an unusually strong but otherwise mundane human) is by no means enough to lift, much less propel, a human with such a horrifically inefficient airfoil as a double axe.

    For reference, the first human-powered airplane was flown in 1961, using composites and lots of careful aerodynamic design. A human-powered helicopter is even trickier; current attempts use even more sophisticated composites, and are ridiculously large (for example, 100' across, with 40' rotors). Also, they tend to make use of leg muscles, rather than arm muscles, for increased strength and endurance. Brute-forcing your way into the air with a makeshift airfoil and the strength and agility of your arms just isn't going to happen any short of 35 Str and 25 Dex, at the very least, never mind the endurance problems. (I wouldn't have any problems with an [epic] feat requiring 37 Str, 29 Dex, and 21 Con to pull this off, as a matter of fact.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Osagasu View Post
    That's now that's going on here though; the character is basically a helicopter. As everyone knows, helicopters don't fly; they beat the air into submission. Hence, strength. ;)
    Not so, but far otherwise. Rotors are airfoils, just like propeller blades are; helicopters fly by spinning their "wings" rapidly.


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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Ignoring verisimilitude (and for the sake of the cat girls), let's presume that a fighter with this feat could fly. To make it a little more reasonable I'd fix it thus:

    Whirlybird (Fighter) Feat
    you can swing your ax so fast you fly like a bird
    Prerequisites: Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Orc double ax), Str 20, Dex 15
    Benefit: When using the full attack action with an orc double ax, you sacrifice your attacks to fly 10 ft. with poor maneuverability. If you use your ax for any other purpose other than flying while in flight, you immediate begin to fall. You also begin to fall if for any reason you cannot swing your ax. If you can act, you may regain flight you have lost in the following round. You take falling damage normally.
    Normal: You cannot fly
    Special: A fighter can select this feat as one of her fighter bonus feats.

    For example, if you are dazed, you would start to fall but could regain flight if that is all you did. I would drop maneuverability to poor. It's kinda hard to steer while swinging an ax that's holding you aloft.

    I'd even go so far as to demand that the haft of the ax would have to be made of darkwood or some other light material.

    Still goofy if you ask me.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Aerodynamically and physiologically, this feat makes my head hurt. A mere 20 Str (barely more than an unusually strong but otherwise mundane human) is by no means enough to lift, much less propel, a human with such a horrifically inefficient airfoil as a double axe.

    For reference, the first human-powered airplane was flown in 1961, using composites and lots of careful aerodynamic design. A human-powered helicopter is even trickier; current attempts use even more sophisticated composites, and are ridiculously large (for example, 100' across, with 40' rotors). Also, they tend to make use of leg muscles, rather than arm muscles, for increased strength and endurance. Brute-forcing your way into the air with a makeshift airfoil and the strength and agility of your arms just isn't going to happen any short of 35 Str and 25 Dex, at the very least, never mind the endurance problems. (I wouldn't have any problems with an [epic] feat requiring 37 Str, 29 Dex, and 21 Con to pull this off, as a matter of fact.)



    Not so, but far otherwise. Rotors are airfoils, just like propeller blades are; helicopters fly by spinning their "wings" rapidly.


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    what about with D&D's thick air (terminal velocity is 300 ft./ 6 seconds, or 34.1 mph, so the air is much thicker than RL)? does that help? and this feat does assume that the double axes are actually designed for this, albeit poorly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Ignoring verisimilitude (and for the sake of the cat girls), let's presume that a fighter with this feat could fly. To make it a little more reasonable I'd fix it thus:

    Whirlybird (Fighter) Feat
    you can swing your ax so fast you fly like a bird
    Prerequisites: Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Orc double ax), Str 20, Dex 15
    Benefit: When using the full attack action with an orc double ax, you sacrifice your attacks to fly 10 ft. with poor maneuverability. If you use your ax for any other purpose other than flying while in flight, you immediate begin to fall. You also begin to fall if for any reason you cannot swing your ax. If you can act, you may regain flight you have lost in the following round. You take falling damage normally.
    Normal: You cannot fly
    Special: A fighter can select this feat as one of her fighter bonus feats.

    For example, if you are dazed, you would start to fall but could regain flight if that is all you did. I would drop maneuverability to poor. It's kinda hard to steer while swinging an ax that's holding you aloft.

    I'd even go so far as to demand that the haft of the ax would have to be made of darkwood or some other light material.

    Still goofy if you ask me.

    Debby
    not being able to do anything while flying defeats the purpose of flight. poor maneuverability requires forward momentum, unless you spend yet another feat on hover. making the feat weaker for the purpose of realism is a bad way to go, especially in a world where dragons fly, and can still make wing attacks in flight.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Not so, but far otherwise. Rotors are airfoils, just like propeller blades are; helicopters fly by spinning their "wings" rapidly.


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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    not being able to do anything while flying defeats the purpose of flight. poor maneuverability requires forward momentum, unless you spend yet another feat on hover. making the feat weaker for the purpose of realism is a bad way to go, especially in a world where dragons fly, and can still make wing attacks in flight.
    This is not magical flight or even natural flight and should require forward momentum. Verisimilitude allows for dragons to make wing attacks while flying. Dragons aren't flapping their wings the whole time while flying (like when a bird gets lift). On the other hand, you are not aerodynamic. You can't stop moving the ax or you'll start fall.

    Am I being too hard on this? Maybe. I just see this feat as rather cartoon-like. I also don't want this to be a substitute for magical flight or flight achieved through other means. Of course, you could gain better maneuverability with weapon enhancements to your ax without needing a feat.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    actually, it should be a substitute for magical flight. why should fighters have to depend on casters to get them into the air? that's one of the fundamental imbalances of the system, in that martial characters are dependent on either casters or gear created by casters to contribute to a variety of encounters that those same casters can solve with a single action. anything that reduces magic dependency is a good thing.

    @dragons. if they aren't flapping, they're gliding. to glide, they have to hold their wings straight to catch the air. making wing attacks while flying would only work as part of the flapping motion, the same as making attacks with the ax while spinning it.

    dragon: dips its wing a bit to hit someone with the flap.

    orc: tilts a bit to chop with the axe blade. or drops a couple of feet to spin parallel to their head, or whatever.

    they maintain the spin while attacking, just like the dragon would have to maintain the flap while attacking.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    I totally disagree that it should be the same as magical flight as I said earlier.

    If you want non-magical flight there are ways to achieve this without resorting to becoming a spinning top. There are mechanical devises that assist with flight that aren't magical. You can buy personal air vehicles (hang glider for 300 gp and ornithopter for 4,000 gp. See pgs. 54-55 Arms & Equipment. ). If you can deal with the alignment restriction, you can have the Feathered Wings Graft (see Fiend Folio pg. 210). You could take a race with flight or a template that grants flight.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    what about with D&D's thick air (terminal velocity is 300 ft./ 6 seconds, or 34.1 mph, so the air is much thicker than RL)? does that help? and this feat does assume that the double axes are actually designed for this, albeit poorly.
    It helps, but honestly even the figures I cited are probably way too low as it is; thicker air by a factor of 2-3x might almost bring it into the realm of possibility, but no more.

    Consider that the double axe has at most 2 sq ft of airfoil with a radius of maybe 4-5 ft, while human-powered helicopters need (at 16-18 Str and probably 16+ Con) multiple 20' radius rotors operating in ground effect to manage a minute of hovering at max; total area is something over 300 sq ft. (That is, they're gaining a substantial boost by never going more than 2 ft off the ground.)

    not being able to do anything while flying defeats the purpose of flight. poor maneuverability requires forward momentum, unless you spend yet another feat on hover. making the feat weaker for the purpose of realism is a bad way to go, especially in a world where dragons fly, and can still make wing attacks in flight.
    Dragons arguably fly partly by innate low-key magic (much like the magic that holds undead or constructs together); also, they're designed to fly, and have big enough wings to manage a small margin (i.e., enough to perform wing buffets).

    Humans (or elves, or dwarves, or other substantially similar races) are not built for flight; our power-to-weight ratio is horribly low in general. However, if I wanted to be mean I'd say make the feat give nothing but hovering; actually moving anywhere, or getting more than 15' off the ground, requires another feat and still higher ability score prerequisites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osagasu View Post
    I know, it's a helicopter pilot joke. ;>>
    Ah, jokes are often hard to detect with certainty. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    actually, it should be a substitute for magical flight. why should fighters have to depend on casters to get them into the air? that's one of the fundamental imbalances of the system, in that martial characters are dependent on either casters or gear created by casters to contribute to a variety of encounters that those same casters can solve with a single action. anything that reduces magic dependency is a good thing.
    This is true enough as far as it goes, but sacrificing all manner of plausibility in order to correct metagame balance concerns is not, in my opinion, a good way to deal with things. There are some existing ways to (partially) solve this, or you can design a martial class that is not fully mundane in order to get around it (Ranger animal companion, Paladin special mount, etc), but there is no way you are going to get decent flight without either technology (usually involving fixed wings or compact engines or both), magic, or overtly superhuman beings (in which case the magic is in their muscles/wings/what have you).
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    This is why I prefer Earthdawn, fluff-wise.

    There, everyone is a little itty-bitty magic. At least, all the player characters.

    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...)

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    think you've asked the wrong question: why should fighters have to depend on casters to get them into the air? The answer is, they don't. Fighters can use mechanical means (airships and the like), flying mounts, and can use grafts. They use magic weapons and magic armor so what's the grief here?

    I think having a flying mount would be preferable to taking this feat. You can't disarm a mount. You never want to be disarmed when using this feat. The Improved Disarmed feat just begs to be used on someone with Whirlybird feat.

    Another drawback to combat with whirlybird is what happens when you make that critical fumble. Dropping your weapon is very bad if you are flying with Whirlybird feat. And good luck regaining your weapon. You are not falling at the same speed as your weapon due to air resistance. For all this talk of how thick D&D air is (see earlier posts) this means you will have to make a DC 25 Dexterity check (no skill seems appropriate to this) to regain your weapon while both you and it are falling. If you had the Snatch Arrow feat, I'd give you a +4 circumstance bonus for the feat. I'd also add a -2 penalty for every 10 feet away from you your weapon is. In 3 dimensions this can be tricky. It could be 5 feet to your left but 30 feet above you.

    [Edit] As for dragons flapping their wings to maintain flight--wings allow you to grab up currents. That's why gliders works. Dragons can attack while gliding. I personally don't allow wing buffets while flying since I think that's improbable but [YMMVsup]1[/sup] However, if you are twirling a weapon fast enough to make flight (which rather boggles the mind to start and looks ridiculous), then how do you expect to maintain flight if you stop. Being hit with a simple hold person spell is decidedly more dangerous.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2012-11-16 at 12:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    ...There aren't any actual Critical Fumble rules in 3.5.

    They are actively one of the worst things ever.

    Never, ever, EVER muse "out loud" about how Crit Fumbles would affect a given feat, especially one like this one, which is pretty obviously not for a serious game.

    Why shouldn't you?

    Because damn it, you're giving bad DMs ideas. And that is never a good thing.

    Because, you know what? Auto-missing is already bad enough. Making a warrior drop their weapon because apparently they have the coordination of a drunken corpse is literally just kicking a man in the nuts after you punch him in the face.

    tl;dr: Critical Fumbles are a house rule at best; the only effect for rolling a 1 on an attack roll is a miss.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    ...There aren't any actual Critical Fumble rules in 3.5.
    True, a 1 is a miss. I'm thinking most people use some houserule for critical fumbles [Paizo makes both critical hit decks and critical fumble decks so these are popular concepts]. I have certainly used the concepts in my own games. If you allow for critical hits doing double damage, I see no reason for a DM to disallow for critical fumbles.

    They are actively one of the worst things ever.
    I beg to differ.

    Never, ever, EVER muse "out loud" about how Crit Fumbles would affect a given feat, especially one like this one, which is pretty obviously not for a serious game.
    You run your game as you like and I'll run mine. As for musing out loud, what are we? 3? We're adults having a discussion. I don't tell you what not to say and I'd appreciate the same courtesy. This is a public forum and I thank you to leave censorship at the door. Now, of course you are free to disagree with me and if you are actually persuasive, I might change my opinion on this.

    Why shouldn't you?
    [sarcasm]Oh, please, do enlighten me[/sarcasm]

    Because damn it, you're giving bad DMs ideas. And that is never a good thing.

    Because, you know what? Auto-missing is already bad enough. Making a warrior drop their weapon because apparently they have the coordination of a drunken corpse is literally just kicking a man in the nuts after you punch him in the face.
    Bad DMs have fates much worse than dropped weapons. Even good DMs can rule you have the the coordination of a drunken corpse. Have you seen any reality TV,? DMs get get worse ideas watching REAL people fumble than I could ever make up.

    And I believe the goal is to make bad DMs into better DMs. I actually believe this is possible.

    Of course a good DM will simply remind everyone that Sundering a weapon is another a possibility. Since your weapon isn't magic, it has hardness of 5 and 10 hit points. See Exploration under smashing a weapon. http://www.d20srd.org/srd/exploration.htm.

    Is that really any better than a critical fumble? At least if you drop your weapon, you have a chance to grab it back. If it is smashed, you are completely out of luck.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    It helps, but honestly even the figures I cited are probably way too low as it is; thicker air by a factor of 2-3x might almost bring it into the realm of possibility, but no more.

    Consider that the double axe has at most 2 sq ft of airfoil with a radius of maybe 4-5 ft, while human-powered helicopters need (at 16-18 Str and probably 16+ Con) multiple 20' radius rotors operating in ground effect to manage a minute of hovering at max; total area is something over 300 sq ft. (That is, they're gaining a substantial boost by never going more than 2 ft off the ground.)



    Dragons arguably fly partly by innate low-key magic (much like the magic that holds undead or constructs together); also, they're designed to fly, and have big enough wings to manage a small margin (i.e., enough to perform wing buffets).

    Humans (or elves, or dwarves, or other substantially similar races) are not built for flight; our power-to-weight ratio is horribly low in general. However, if I wanted to be mean I'd say make the feat give nothing but hovering; actually moving anywhere, or getting more than 15' off the ground, requires another feat and still higher ability score prerequisites.



    Ah, jokes are often hard to detect with certainty. Sorry.



    This is true enough as far as it goes, but sacrificing all manner of plausibility in order to correct metagame balance concerns is not, in my opinion, a good way to deal with things. There are some existing ways to (partially) solve this, or you can design a martial class that is not fully mundane in order to get around it (Ranger animal companion, Paladin special mount, etc), but there is no way you are going to get decent flight without either technology (usually involving fixed wings or compact engines or both), magic, or overtly superhuman beings (in which case the magic is in their muscles/wings/what have you).

    alright. got a lot of stuff to reply to. i'll start with this one.

    so the guy using the human powered helicopter was both an olympic power lifter and an olympic marathoner?

    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.

    @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.

    @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.

    @graft. that's still magic. grafts are magic items, created by casters.

    @critical fumble. this is a houserule. they aren't a thing in the actual rules, or in any game you'd see me in. the closest i ever get to that is a 1 ends your turn, which doesn't interfere with this feat.

    @ improved disarm. go ahead, i dare you to try to take a 2 handed weapon from someone strong enough to fly with it. waste the action, please. besides, what's 10d6 max falling damage, anyway?

    @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. and no one said the weapon wasn't magic. legacy items FTW. no caster needed for that.

    @dragons again. well, personal houserules really don't matter here. dragons can attack with their wings while flying. and no, they can't attack while gliding. gliding requires holding the wing out straight to catch the air, you can't glide if you're moving your wing around trying to hit someone, because the wing isn't catching air like that. it has to be done as part of the flapping motion.

    @hold person. yep. you are in the same danger as everyone else using any non-magical means of flight. a bird has the exact same problem.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Sorry, debihuman, I've been working my head off on a project, so I've gotten maybe 7 hours of sleep in the last week. I tend to get a little offensive when that happens.

    It's just that... well, mathematically, crit fumbles punish the people who make the most attacks.

    I.e., melees.

    I.e., the group that needs the most help.

    This is like not houseruling the monk to be proficient in their unarmed strike; it's piling unneeded penalties onto a group that doesn't really need them.

    I can see why someone would use them, but, again, they are mathematically a poor idea.

    And the difference between crit fumbles and sundering, is that you can build to avoid sundering (it's an opposed attack roll. And then, iirc, an opposed strength check), whereas, depending on how your ruling crit fumbles, they might be entirely unavoidable.

    I started playing in 1e; I know what a cruel and capricious number god feels like, and crit fumbles give me flashbacks (to the system in general, not specifics.)

    Sure, a bad DM can do worse; Shatter would work wonders in this situation; however, bad DMs usually seem to gravitate towards crit fumbles for some bizarre reason (apparently to balance out critical hits, which the auto-miss already does), which is why I called out "giving them ideas" as a bad thing. Because that kind of rule, when misapplied, already ruins certain archetypes (called most of melee.)

    And it's a 20d6 max fall damage, not 10d6, lunar2.

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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    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.)
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    I was never suggesting that PCs attack one another if one is flying. That's an inordinately bad idea. However, as DM, I think clever monsters should use clever techniques (if you have ever heard of Tucker's kobolds this should come as no surprise). That said, I do NOT advocating killing PCs for the DMs pleasure either. That is a clear sign of either immaturity or lack of experience. D&D is a cooperative game. Putting PCs in extended peril is far more entertaining for all involved.

    That said, a lot can happen to a falling PC before he hits the ground. My goal as DM is not to kill the PCs but to keep the Players engaged for as long as possible.

    Aerial combat can always attract wandering flying monsters or even a new NPC. Not all NPCs who rescue you are Good and rescue can come at a hefty price. Nothing like making a PC owe a favor makes for good drama. As a final teaser, I can keep the falling weapon just out reach until the 11th hour or until the other PCs can make up their own heroic rescue.

    The goal is not to let the PC hit the ground and die, the goal is to keep the tension going for as long as possible. In my not so humble opinion, that's the difference between a good DM and a lousy one. D&D is a cooperative game not DM vs. PCs.

    Anyhow getting back to the feat. To make this more like the fly spell, I've made a few changes. Note the duration of the fly spell is only one minute per caster level. This lasts longer and can be used outside of combat now. I consider flying this way akin to hustle movement rather than walking movement hence the fatigue.

    Whirlybird (Fighter) Feat
    You can swing your ax so fast you fly like a bird
    Prerequisites: Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Orc double ax), Str 20, Dex 15
    Benefit: When using the full attack action with an orc double ax, you sacrifice your highest level attack in order to fly 10 ft. with good maneuverability. You may attack foes with your lesser attacks (including off-hand attack), and then fly, but only if you have not used your highest attack first.
    Once you are flying, you can maintain the flight as a full-round action. You can fly for a maximum of one hour before becoming fatigued and must rest for 8 hours before flying again.
    Normal: You cannot fly
    Special: A fighter can select this feat as one of her fighter bonus feats.

    How is this?

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2012-11-17 at 08:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Patsy View Post
    Reading this made my day. I just hope I can find some excuse to sneak it into my game somewhere...
    Ha, this is hilarious. I'd totally let my players use this.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    well, like i said, it was a goofy idea i had when i was half asleep to begin with, so i guess there's really no way to make it serious. that said, i am more concerned with the mechanical balance than the fluff.

    is this more or less powerful than other at will methods of flight available to PCs?

    at very low levels, certainly. an orc with 2 flaws can pick this up at 1st level, while the game is designed for flight being unavailable until 5th level. i guess that could be addressed with a BAB prerequisite.

    at very high levels, you can get higher speeds out of this than you can with fly or most magic items, but you are also more vulnerable than you would be with those other methods, as has been pointed out.

    so, fluff aside, what should we do with this feat?

    require you to end your turn on a solid surface or fall?

    require you to spend attacks to maintain height? say, you drop 10 ft. per round at the beginning of your turn.

    limit the number of consecutive rounds you can maintain flight? say 1+Con bonus, and then you have to rest for a minute before you can fly again.

    note that i'm not wanting to turn this into either "your flight is so slow you can't actually do anything in combat", nor do i want "you can fly, but you can't do anything while flying or you fall". both of those are bad. you already can't charge, run, or dive with this feat, which limits your combat options enough, imo.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Whirlybird (New Feat 3.5)

    The only possible problem I see with it as it is in the OP now is that 1st level flight isn't really supposed to happen. A prereq like BAB +4 or +5 would indeed be a simple solution.

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