How has flying affected your games?

Xeviat

Explorer
Hi everyone. How has having flying PCs affected your game? Whether it has been spellcasters, magic items, or aarakocra characters, have you seen trouble? How much do you value flying?

In my own games, I only had one character who did a lot of flying. He was a fighter/sorcerer/Eldritch Knight who loved using haste and flight. That was like level 12 in 3.5, so we were way past the time when fights with animals were regular. Also, he was a melee build so I didn't have to worry about flying artillery.

What has your experience been?
 

Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
Most times, flight was for short distances only.

Be it to string a rope across a ravine, or to get out of a deep pit trap we could not climb out of with aid.

So no, we never had a superhero-type or sand-trooper type "They FLY NOW!"
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
I've never played in or run a game with any dedicated flyers, but I've had some spellcasters use the fly spell in my games and games I've played in. Honestly, the impact of flight was minimal. It helped with certain obstacles or conditions of the battlefield, but they also typically had others things to worry about as well. The more important aspect of flight (at least in games I've played) has been to allow for story elements and cinematic elements of fights that could not have been achieved without it.
 

Larnievc

Explorer
Hi everyone. How has having flying PCs affected your game? Whether it has been spellcasters, magic items, or aarakocra characters, have you seen trouble? How much do you value flying?

In my own games, I only had one character who did a lot of flying. He was a fighter/sorcerer/Eldritch Knight who loved using haste and flight. That was like level 12 in 3.5, so we were way past the time when fights with animals were regular. Also, he was a melee build so I didn't have to worry about flying artillery.

What has your experience been?
I ran a game with a PC being an Aaracocra ranger (who could fly). The big thing it did was make the party able to plan for the encounter.

I can’t remember there being any issues and we played for about a year.

It was a Dark Sun game.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I recently ran a fighter who owned a bronze griffon figurine of wondrous power. For the most part, he used his griffon as a means to cross the battlefield faster, then he'd leap off and fight his enemies from the ground. Every once in a while there was a flying enemy which necessitated him riding his griffon into combat and engaging the enemy up in the air, but that was (fortunately) not that often.

Johnathan
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Had a Pixie ninja in a Fey-heavy 4e game, and an aarakokra archer Kensei in a 5e game, both obviously dedicated flyers.

Thing is, we already built encounters and challenges in a way where a single flyer or teleported wasn’t gonna wreck anything.

Even low level goblins have falconers and archers, regardless of flying PCs or not, and the chasm or hard to reach BBEG is usually just as easily bypassed by a magical jump.

So, very very little.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
At will or per combat flying can be somewhat annoying. I know because the last campaign my wife ran I had a PC with boots of flying. Combined with sharpshooter, I could just zip around, avoiding the majority of attacks in most encounters while doing a ton of damage.

So ... it just depends. Want to open the option for PCs like mine that flit around harassing bad guys? Will the rest of the group cheer them on? Do you regularly rely on overcoming physical obstacles like walls as challenges?

Only you can answer those questions.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
We had an aarocroka barbarian in Tomb. I didn't like it, mostly because he was always shuttling other PCs around like a lyft driver. I found it annoying and often difficult to gauge what he could reasonably lift and carry.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
At will or per combat flying can be somewhat annoying. I know because the last campaign my wife ran I had a PC with boots of flying. Combined with sharpshooter, I could just zip around, avoiding the majority of attacks in most encounters while doing a ton of damage.

So ... it just depends. Want to open the option for PCs like mine that flit around harassing bad guys? Will the rest of the group cheer them on? Do you regularly rely on overcoming physical obstacles like walls as challenges?

Only you can answer those questions.
I’m always curious about this scenario, and how it plays out.

I get that a longbow with SS has an enormous range, and ignores all but full cover, but how did you regularly have a clear shot without full cover from 200+ feet away? Or even 100+ feet away?

A reasonable copse of trees will provide full cover to anything inside it from even 80ft away.

In open terrain, did your PC ever draw creatures like rocs or dragons or other giant flying predators?

I mean I get that other people don’t see giving enemies feats, pets, and tactics that take into account what other creatures are capable of as basic adventure design, but even without those things I have trouble seeing how a flying archer wrecks adventures like some folks have seen.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Whatever the edition, 5e or previous, I've never had any real problems with flying characters.

I just design encounters & challenges bearing in mind what the actual characters being played are capable of - to do otherwise wouldn't provide the players (or me) with a fun game.
So. If you choose or gain flight? You can expect I'll take that into account.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Very little. Ranged attacks aren't that common and unless the ability is granted without needing concentration then other options using concentration were preferred.

Useful at times but rarely critical.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
In AD&D flying really wasn't a huge issue, and tbh fairly common by higher level via magic items and spells. 4E specifically made flying fairly pointless, since you had to land after your move (unless you had hover, IIRC), so it couldn't really be an issue. Really had issues in 3.5 due to casters super-buffing themselves with things light flight, but flight was more an extra problem, not the primary.

We've had several flyers in 5E, and I've yet to see any issue at all. Out of combat, it makes for useful scouting, because you can get an idea of what's ahead (except in forest/jungle/swamp), but it also risks giving away or your presence as well. In combat, an archer or spellcaster can play keep-away from melee based enemies (assuming outdoors), but they simply focus on the rest of the party. It could be an issue if everyone was a flier, but like the super-archery party, it's not going to be an issue except in theory for most games.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
I only use PHB races. The fly spell crops up in fights on occasion, but not nearly as often as Spiderclimb.

My party has three hippogriff mounts, but other than being useful for scouting they haven't had any impact.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Flyer monsters with ranged attack are like a toothache for PCs to specialized in melee combat.

Usually flyers humanoid need time, space to run before flying. Flying movement doesn't give automatically immunity against damage by falls, because extended winds are necessary, but sometimes this helps to lower damage for a pitchfall.

How to explain it better? Do you remember Mirror's Edge videogame, or Dying Light? first-person platform, or PCs from Assassin's Creed saga when they are climbing walls. Now let's imagine those characters with fly superpowers. Wouldn't it break the challenge?

A simple hengeyokai who can change to a little bird can travel to the top of a window or a zone in the mountain, and with a magic rune of the teletransportation for the rest of the group. Or flying through a dungeon without touching the floor or the walls to avoid the hidden traps.

Or a raptoran, from "Races of the wild". With fly movement can go to the top of a tree and from there shooting arrows against the dire beast.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
I have asked my players upfront to try and not use flying powers at all, unless it is through a Druid's shapeshifting ability. I explained to them that in our pirate campaign water plays a very important role, and that not being able to fly over everything makes the campaign a lot more interesting. So my players simply haven't picked flying spells, and I haven't provided items that allow them to fly either.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Hi everyone. How has having flying PCs affected your game? Whether it has been spellcasters, magic items, or aarakocra characters, have you seen trouble? How much do you value flying?

In my own games, I only had one character who did a lot of flying. He was a fighter/sorcerer/Eldritch Knight who loved using haste and flight. That was like level 12 in 3.5, so we were way past the time when fights with animals were regular. Also, he was a melee build so I didn't have to worry about flying artillery.

What has your experience been?
It will not affect my game unless i want to because i houserule it strictly. E.g. I did not want players in my ravenloft campaign to get access to it so they did not.The sorcerer was informed at session 0 that even if he makes it to 14 he will not grow a pair (of dragonwings :p) and also no spell that mimics it.
In my greyhawk campaign every wizard spell is available, but, the orcs there ride manticores if you understand what i am getting at. The wizard has levitate already and sometimes uses it to scout. N.P. it is taken into account. He also has a familar, which can fly and sometimes he let it scout ahead, well, evil things can happen to a poor little flying animal in my world real nasty things, and that's it ^^
Were i to dm Darksun, no fly zone for the PCs that is.
 

MarkB

Hero
I gave my players the option of picking up some random magic items when we started our game at 5th level, by rolling twice on the first non-consumable magic items table in the DMG and taking either result. Two of them, playing a rogue and cleric, managed to roll winged boots.

It definitely makes a difference when designing encounters. They can both easily avoid melee-oriented foes while still being fully effective themselves, but more than that, they can bypass what would be tactically challenging battlefield features for other characters, making it tough to defend against them.

Their mobility also impacts exploration challenges, naturally. It also opens up new possibilities, so it's not a bad thing, but it's something to always keep in mind when I put together new challenges and locations.
 

Stormonu

Hero
I've run and been in various campaigns with flight. Haven't had a problem - can't fly in dungeons and if only one person can fly they can't zoom off ahead of the party without risking attracting unwanted attention.

I think I've had more issues with teleporting (namely via Eladrin), to be honest.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I find flying familiars to be more of an irritation to me than flying characters. The whole thing about flying is that it just allows certain obstacles to be passed over by the character for whom the obstacle was not designed for.

Many obstacles in the game are built and designed for the PCs that are strong in Athletics to give them things to mull over, work out, and eventually overcome. Other PCs flying takes that away from them.

Other obstacles in the game are built and designed for the PCs who are strong in stealth, tracking, and observation in order to scout and figure out what is ahead and what they should do. Flying familiars takes that away from them.

To me, flying isn't a bother in of itself... I see it more of an intrusion upon niche. The same way a wizard Knocking every door open while a rogue Expertised in thieve's tools is standing there with his thumb up his butt is an unfortunate intrusion on the niches in a particular party... flying takes things away from other party members who would be really good at taking the lead on certain challenges if the flying character didn't make them trivial. As is the case almost always... the lower the number of PCs in a party, the more these esoteric abilities end up being useful, rather than intrusive. With a party of 4, there's a better chance of there not being a dedicated scout, and thus a flying familiar would be a godsend. But the more party members you have... the more ALL manner of abilities start becoming duplicated amongst the PC and I have a harder time giving everyone individual attention and challenges that they get to use their individual power on to overcome.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
A large part of whether it's going to be an issue depends on what style of campaign you run. Primarily dungeon crawls in tight spaces with low ceilings? Do you use hazards and traps that can easily bypassed?

Or do you have a lot of outdoor or city encounters where bypassing all the guards can throw your encounters off? This can particularly be an issue at higher levels when invisibility or other illusion magic is available. Having an invisible rogue putting the entire party into a portable hole while they fly into the center of the fortified camp bypassing several encounters. Then have the rogue flit out of range so that it's never at risk.

When you have one PC that has up to 600 ft range that includes straight up combined with sharpshooter giving them no disadvantage for distance or cover, that PC can be quite powerful.

None of this is game breaking, just something to consider.
 

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