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What happens if a creature with a flight speed/altitude of 4, suddenly, for whatever reason, finds itself 50 squares above ground?

  1. Does it fall/crash until it reaches an altitude of 4, then fly as normal?
  2. Does it crash all the way to the ground?
  3. Is it able to keep moving, but unable to fly anywhere but down?
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A flying creature creature with an altitude limit falls if it is above its altitude limit at the end of its turn.

From the Rules Compendium, p210, Flight Traits:

Altitude Limit: If a creature has a specified altitude limit, the creature falls at the end of its turn if it is flying higher than that limit. For example, a creature that has an altitude limit of 2 falls at the end of its turn if it is flying higher than 2 squares.

When a flying creature falls, it follows special rules; from the Rules Compendium, p209, Falling:

Flying Creatures: If a creature falls while it is flying, it descends the full distance of the fall but is likely to take less damage than a creature that can't fly. Multiply the creature's fly speed by 5 and subtract that distance from the fall, then figure out falling damage. If the difference is 0 or less, the creature lands without taking damage from the fall.

Essentially, flying creatures safely descend their flight speed, then fall the rest of the way.

So if a pixie (flight speed 6, altitude limit 1) ends its turn 10 squares up, it would safely descend 6 squares to 4 squares up, then fall the last 4 squares (taking 1d10 dmg & being knocked prone, barring a trained Acrobatics check).

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Okay, so what happens when it falls and reaches an altitude of 2? Does it just break the fall in midair and fly? Or is momentum preserved? –  Ravn Aug 6 '12 at 23:54
It continues falling. Once a creature starts falling, it doesn't stop until reaches the ground (except for the rare case of a flying creature making a high-altitude fall, where high-altitude means >100 squares). –  Oblivious Sage Aug 7 '12 at 0:00
Ah great. Another question, though. In your example, wouldn't the pixie take 0 dmg? If its flight speed is 6, you multiply that by 5 and subtract it from a height of 10, you get -20? –  Ravn Aug 7 '12 at 0:07
No, the RC counts in feet, I was counting in squares. The RC multiplies by 5 to convert the movement speed (normally squares) to feet. –  Oblivious Sage Aug 7 '12 at 0:14
Alright, I get it now. Thanks for the answer, I don't have access to the RC myself :) –  Ravn Aug 7 '12 at 9:09
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