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I am going to play the Out of the Abyss scenario with my players, and I allowed them to choose among all available races (fun is my primary objective).

One of the players chose to play an Aarakocra, curiously named KFC. The problem is as following: the Aarakocra can fly (yes, I didn't think this over when allowing all the races, nevermind).

How can I prevent this character from escaping too easily from the prison of Velkynvelve? Are there any spells that can prevent him from flying? Or should his wings simply be tied together?

Note: at some point, he will probably free himself from any binds/manacles/spells, and will probably help with a distraction to allow the others to escape, which I am fine with.

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Are you asking for something in the rules that might prevent this? Otherwise you are asking for personal preference / thought process. – Airatome Mar 6 at 18:20
Reminder: comments are for clarifying content, not posting small or incomplete answers. Please use answer posts to submit answers instead. Prior comments containing answers have been removed. – SevenSidedDie Mar 6 at 18:34
@Airatome yes, like a spell or a potion effect, for example. – Yotus Mar 7 at 13:42
up vote 15 down vote accepted

It's fine if he escapes. The rest of the party can't fly away, so he'll have to come back for them anyway. (Or he could abandon them and fly off, but then his character has left the game and you can ask him to make a new character.)

If he flies up above the level of the walls, it might cause bad consequences -- it might alert the guards, and they might shoot crossbows at him. But I don't recommend altering the module to thwart him if he's just doing aerial scouting.

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Arm the tower guards with ballistae and harpoons, and the guards walking the parapets with crossbows. Nets could be strewn between towers and above prison yards. Have some flying guards or guard-beasts ready.

A flying escapee would be pretty visible. Depending on the surrounding terrain, even if one breaks free it might be pretty easy to track and follow the escapee.

Typically a prison breaks wants to be more subtle than taking to the air. (Helicopter prison breaks are for movies.) Escapees need a head start before the guards start looking for you.

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Except that helicopter escapes are happen about once per year and are generally successful – Dale M Mar 6 at 19:22
Well how about that. Still, the bullet holes in the helicopters mentioned in several of these stories would be a problem for our aarakocra friend. – timster Mar 6 at 19:49

Other answers talk about discouraging him from flying.

If you want to prevent him from flying at all, remember that Aarakocra can't fly if they are wearing medium or heavy armor. If you don't want to give him actual armor, put him in a restraint vest that "acts as" medium armor, but gives no AC.

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I'm sorry, if you wanna be sure, you gotta clip his wings. It's the only way.

Sure, you can try restraints. Or burying him in rock. Or encasing him in armor. But anything you try is going to be failure-prone, and cruel. Clipping the wings is terrible. But when it's time to let the bird fly, a cleric can fix it, good as new.

So, if you wanna be sure, you gotta clip his wings. It's the only way.

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I suspect this would not get an auto-flag for length if it had an explanation of why other ways wouldn't work. – TuggyNE Mar 8 at 2:39
Ah, good point. I added some length. – Jack Mar 8 at 3:07
What about a ball and chain ? If the ball is heavy enough, it should prevent flying, wouldn't it ? – Yotus Mar 8 at 8:11
@Yotus - That's a good idea. It is basically a form of restraint, essentially the same as chaining him to the wall. It will work for awhile. Until he or someone else breaks the chain. – Jack Mar 8 at 15:23

Don't stop him from flying, stop him from wanting to fly. Simply have the warden threaten to kill his teammates if he attempts to fly out, and unless he's evil, or the breed of neutral that's close to evil, that should be enough. Regardless of alignment, he should see that escaping (without another mitigating plan) would cause severe tension at the table (kill off other PCs by his actions) and that should be sufficient to stop him.

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I like this answer, but my players are new to role-playing, so I doubt he will follow his alignment with 100% accuracy – Yotus Mar 7 at 13:41
@Yotus Not that "following alignment with 100% accuracy" is good roleplaying anyway. While a lawful good paladin wouldn't abandon his companions under normal circumstances, he's not mentally incapable of considering it as an option. – Cubic Mar 7 at 14:52
Agreed, alignment isn't a set of rules that dictate everything, but it should be used as consideration. Furthermore, it gives you, the GM, a tool to use when a player seems to be going off the deep end 'Are you sure you want to do that? It might lead to an alignment shift, and your party doesn't tolerate evil' – lithas Mar 7 at 14:54

I just remembered all the Lucky Luke episodes I watched when I was younger, and thought: hey, why not a ball and chain ?

If it is heavy enough, it would be dangerous for the Aarakocra to try flying, and he would be free at the same time the other prisonners find a way to break/unlock/pick the manacles.

Also, it would not be too cruel (even if the Drows are).

(Note: I made a new question regarding the weight an Aarakocra can carry when flying)

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