D&D 5E On fairies and flying

"not very good" is a bit nicer than I would have been :)
I have to confess I wouldn't have thought of putting in rules for going piggy back though. Using mounted ones makes sense and put lots of comedy with the reduce spell back on the table.
It also works with/makes not-useless the Powerful/Equine Build racial abilities.

NB, I suggest you give the Equine Build ability to ponies, mules and donkeys.
Until the party has to get the dead party member back to town.
A corpse is an object rather than a creature, so the rule does not apply.

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I tend to create encounters for narrative and completely ignore the PCs abilities in extreme favor of their narrative interests. Not only have I had some of the greatest responses to sessions that ended up with zero combat, I'm long past thinking I can even predict how they'll act and it's one of the main delights in running a game to discover how my players will react to or approach something.

Some stuff is obvious, like cliffs, water, weather, lava, imminent parlay, etc. but what has helped with my pesky flying PC is waiting for them to ask about certain features they can use with their flight and then developing things "on the fly" (pun partially intended). I almost always can give them something they can use, but nothing that makes them OP: "Are the ceilings high enough in here?", "Are there any trees I can perch on?", "Do they have range weapons?" --> Why, yes! Two of them have crossbows. --> "Hmm...okay..."

It's one of those classic learned DM skills that only comes with playing a whole lotta hours and after enough broken encounters. At some point, you're weary of adding another wave of minions (my least favorite balancer) or "name your deus ex machina". You draw a few lines out but not too many and wait for them to start helping you shade and fill in the color.


If you design a broad range of challenges and enemies, and your world is living and reactive you shouldn't need to change anything just because a PC can fly.
I disagree. Flying is strong but expected in the D&D world, but resources-less flight is a game-changer (admittedly less so in the tier 3 and 4). The fact that you can change the game to adapt doesn't make it less of a game-changer in the first place.

Like the fireball spell. In itself the spell isn't much of a game changer, but unlimited and resources-free fireballs would be in tier 1 and 2. A majority of energy-resistant creatures can resist fire damage so you could adapt, but this adaptation would be beyond the expected level of adaptation that DMs must do for their group.


Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I highly dislike the DMing philosophy of altering challenges based on the character's abilities.

If I'm playing a rogue I don't want there to be more locked doors just because I'm a rogue. Instead of helping with the doors now I'm just making it worse by conjuring them into the world.

There is much more player agency in being able to have abilities that can address the challenges that are going to be there regardless. And then there are challenges where no one has expertise and they need to get creative.

Having a flying character and then changing the game around that is a hard no from me.

So, I shouldn't challenge my players specific skills?
I don't necessarily think of it as challenging the PCs' specific skills. But I will do some tailoring because their choices of characters will give me some information about what kind of game they want to play. If they all choose to play flyers, then this isn't going to be a traditional dungeon-crawler. If they pick all fighters and rogues with very little magic opportunity, then this isn't going to be a game about adventures that require a lot of magic to accomplish. I may need to talk to them to confirm it, but they are telling me what kind of options they might like to encounter via their choices of characters.

And if I persist in setting up adventures and sites that run contrary to their choices, then I'm making a big mistake.


Magic Wordsmith
For my part, I discuss in broad strokes with the players what the theme and content of the next campaign will be, soliciting their ideas and incorporating them. Generally speaking, they prefer to let me decide these things. Nevertheless, I get their buy-in before I put pen to paper so that I don't waste my time.

If they then show up with a character that is not a good fit for the campaign in a way that makes them somehow less effective, that is on them. I am not altering anything about the theme or content to accommodate their characters.

There is a difference between accommodating the players and accommodating the characters.

Certainly, players don't want you to change the game in order to screw over their character choices.

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