Carrying Capacity of Flying creatures
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  1. #1

    Carrying Capacity of Flying creatures

    Which multiplier should be used for calculating carrying capacity for flying creatures in flight, bipedal or quadrupedal?

    The calculation itself seems straightforward -- maximum lifting capacity = maximum load, and then apply a multiplier based on size. I can understand quadrupeds having a greater capacity (since the musculature of all limbs is in use carrying the load, whereas a biped has musculature not being used as efficiently) -- the question is how to apply that to flying creatures. My gut says treat birds as bipeds; though a greater portion of their musculature is devoted to their wings than legs, this is offset by the fact that it takes significantly more power to fly with a given weight than to walk with it. But that's real-world physics, and mixing the real-world and D&D is usually a no-no ...

    So I look in the MM, and the Giant Eagle, Giant Owl, Hippogriff, and Griffon (the only flying creatures I can find with a carrying capacity listed) all use the x3 multiplier of quadrupeds. They're all magical beasts; should I chalk that up to magic (especially given the bizarre anatomies of Hippogriffs and Griffons), or should that be a general rule for anything that has wings?

    The reason behind the question:
    The party's 8th level druid wants to wild shape into something that flies and carry party members; I'm trying to figure out what he can reasonably carry. The bipedal modifiers seem intuitively more correct to me -- I just have a hard time envisioning eagles lifting more than horses without magic being involved.

    Edit: And what's up with the Dire Bat? Large and Str 17 at 5HD, but an 8HD Dire Hawk is Medium and Str 12. *shakes head* Just no logic ... *slap* it's D&D!
    Last edited by Olgar Shiverstone; Monday, 17th November, 2003 at 06:59 PM.

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    Hollow bones? big air bladders?

    smaller than avg brain size?

    it is the force pushing from the top which causes...nevermind...lets get away from physics...

  3. #3
    Just go with the whole x3, but in order to fly, the creature can not carry over a light load I believe.

    Calrin Alshaw

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by CalrinAlshaw
    Just go with the whole x3, but in order to fly, the creature can not carry over a light load I believe.
    That's useful; anyone got a page reference? Some load restriction on flight/maneuverability would make sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone
    That's useful; anyone got a page reference? Some load restriction on flight/maneuverability would make sense.
    Monster Manual - page 311/312 - Movement Modes
    Under fly it explicitly states that creatures with a fly speed can move through the air at the listed speed if carrying no more than a light load.

    I believe in 1e/2e this was also the case.

    The text can be interpreted that the flying creature can still move at a reduced speed if carrying more than a light load, since it doesn't explicitly state that a creature can only fly if carrying a light load.

    For research purposes you can also look at a pegasus and nightmare. Str 18, carrying capacity 300lbs (x3).

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaglo
    Hollow bones? big air bladders?

    smaller than avg brain size?

    it is the force pushing from the top which causes...nevermind...lets get away from physics...
    More importantly, african or european?

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