Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Some forms of fly have an altitude limit (like those granted by Form of the Vengeful StormDDI, Sky HookDDI, DuskwalkDDI and Wings of Elevated ThoughtsDDI).

Altitude limitDDI merely says that:

If a creature has a specified altitude limit, the creature crashes at the end of its turn if it is flying higher than that limit.

When a creature is at ground level, is it at altitude 0 or altitude 1? That is: does a fly speed (altitude limit 1) allow the creature to end its turn 5 ft. above ground? Or does it force the creature to be at ground level at the end of its turn?

share|improve this question
That rule is just silly. If you're at max altitude, shouldn't you have plenty of time to recover from a stall? I guess it depends on the altitude. – RMorrisey Dec 29 '10 at 10:24
Uhm... According to the math rolled out in this post, in the first 6 seconds round a crashing creature falls at least 550 ft. (110 squares). – Erik Burigo Dec 29 '10 at 12:53
Just because the player can only select an action every 6 seconds doesn't mean the character is a paper airplane in the meantime. If you're familiar with flying at all, you know when you're approaching stall speed and adjust accordingly unless you're trying to stall (or are otherwise out of control). – Bacon Bits Jul 24 '12 at 7:06
Of course, but for similar reason, you even know that a sword slash is quite going to kill or at least incapacitate you. D&D is a game of epic action. D&D 4th edition is not about simulation: is about simplicity. Furthermore, if you are familiar with flying in 4th edition then you know what your altitude limit is and avoid stall in this way. – Erik Burigo Jul 24 '12 at 10:51
up vote 6 down vote accepted

From the WotC Rule of Three article on the subject:

To be completely clear, Altitude 1 means you have 1 empty 5-foot cube under your heels. If you are at Altitude 0, you’re standing on the ground (or at least hovering in the square at the same height as someone standing on the ground). Altitude 1 means you’re in the next “square” up. You’re still in reach for melee attacks from people on the ground, and you can still reach them.

share|improve this answer
Yes! This is the answer. Thank you. – Erik Burigo Aug 8 '12 at 21:03

The definition for crashing indicates that ground level (not-flying) is zero (0).

Per DDI : Crashing Falling while Flying: 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. Subtract the creature’s fly speed (in feet) from the distance of the fall, then figure out falling damage. If the difference is 0 or less, the creature lands without taking damage from the fall. For example, if a red dragon falls when it is 40 feet in the air, subtract its fly speed of 8 (8 squares = 40 feet) from its altitude. The difference is 0, so the dragon lands safely and is not prone.

I take this to mean the zero is landed (at ground level).

share|improve this answer
It doesn't seem to be a strict implication, however it provides a logical, rule-driven answer to my question. Thank you. – Erik Burigo Dec 29 '10 at 12:55
This issue has been recently address by Rule-of-Three: – Erik Burigo Oct 26 '11 at 18:47

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.