D&D 5E Can an unseen servant fly?


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greg kaye

Explorer
Would it break anything? probably not.
Would I allow it? probably not.
Humans can't fly.
Having said that I'd happily let an unseen servant survive without air and walk in the bottom of a lake or fold laundry in a bag of holding.
Also, the BoH could provide a great means to transport your <6 unseen servants at your walking/riding speed.
 

Irlo

Hero
A spiritual weapon is explicitly flying, though. It is floating and can move, which is...................flight. The unseen servant on the other hand has no ability to float and can only do things that normal human servants can, so no flight.
Let me offer just a little pedantry here.

Spiritual weapon floats and can be moved by the caster. So, it doesn’t fly, per se, but it can be moved vertically.

Contrast that with the unseen servant, which can be commanded to move (presumably under its own power).
 

greg kaye

Explorer
Things like kestrels can be simultaneously considered to fly and hover.
Things like hot air balloons can be simultaneously considered to fly and float.
Things like humans don't.
 

ECMO3

Hero
It moves 15 if commanded. That's a 15 foot move speed. In any case in 5e if something isn't explicitly granted, it doesn't have it.

Exactly it does not have a move speed like an Orc or Human. That is my point, you can't treat it like a creature because it isn't, and except for the things explicitly given (hps, strength, AC) it does not have any of those things.

Flaming Sphere uses identical wording to Unseen Servant. You can move it X feet.

"As a bonus action, you can move the sphere up to 30 feet."

The barrier language just explains how it works if it hit a barrier. It's not what puts the movement on the ground. The move speed does that.

There is no move speed for Flaming Sphere either. Saying you can move the sphere 30 feet is not the same as saying it has a 30 foot move speed.

This is important because effects on movement speed. For example if your party Cleric puts down Spirit Guardians that does not mean the Wizard's flaming sphere can only move 15 feet or the Cleric's own Spiritual Weapon can only move 10 feet if inside that.

I get the argument about staying on the ground, and the fact that the movement part of FS is similar is pretty compelling, enough for me to rule against flight. But the argument for a movement speed is not compelling to me.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
This spell creates an invisible, mindless, shapeless force that performs simple tasks at your command until the spell ends. The servant springs into existence in an unoccupied space on the ground within range. It has AC 10, 1 hit point, and a Strength of 2, and it can't attack. If it drops to 0 hit points, the spell ends.

Once on each of your turns as a bonus action, you can mentally command the servant to move up to 15 feet and interact with an object. The servant can perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine. Once you give the command, the servant performs the task to the best of its ability until it completes the task, then waits for your next command.


One thing glaringly missing from this write-up is the servant's weight, if any; which is a highly relevant property.

If the servant is weightless then it could in theory float uncontrolled, though not fly in the usual sense, and be towed or pushed like a balloon. I could think of all kinds of uses for this.

If the servant has weight it can be used as a trap finder by having it "walk" ahead of the party to set off pressure plates, trip wires, etc.

Also, "shapeless" isn't very helpful if someone can see invisible and can thus see the servant - what does the bloody thing look like?

Good points all. I will say though if it is weightless then movement would be the same regardless of location and could not be towed or pushed. A weightless individual can not walk because they can not exert force on the ground to generate the required friction and could not be pushed either because without mass it can not have momentum .... except for of course magic
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Aarakocra wizard thinks:
"Why would any caster bother with an unseen servant spell that can't do something so pedestrian as flying?"
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Would it break anything? probably not.
Would I allow it? probably not.
Humans can't fly.
Having said that I'd happily let an unseen servant survive without air and walk in the bottom of a lake or fold laundry in a bag of holding.
Also, the BoH could provide a great means to transport your <6 unseen servants at your walking/riding speed.
I wouldn't allow an unseen servant to do anything in a bag of holding; given that inside the bag is in theory an extra-planar space and thus a rather considerable distance from the caster. :)
 


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