How can I design a series of traps that test a character's ability to fly quickly through their area?

The group I am GMing for will soon be entering the (abandoned) headquarters of a former faction of Pegasi who were proud of their speed and skill at flying. I want the entrance-way of their lair to include a long corridor filled with traps that can be safely bypassed by flying through them at a high enough speed.

It does not seem appropriate to use the standard method of reflex saves in order to avoid the traps; while reflexively dodging is sometimes considered a form of "speed", the main point of this challenge is that if you move through the traps' trigger areas fast enough, the traps will miss you by design and you are guaranteed to be safe. Therefore, if you perform well, you need not do any dodging at all. Movement speed itself also isn't an appropriate stat, since this stat rarely changes and is uniform between all the PCs. What other mechanics can be used to simulate this challenge?

Pathfinder has the Fly skill, which is a good candidate to test in some way. However, due to it being a new skill over previous 3.x editions, I find its mechanics to be rather underdeveloped. Are there any RAW using fly that help me create this challenge?

In terms of in-game design, the possibilities are wide open - while the system is E6 and the characters are low-level, the traps were partially created with the help of copper dragons, who specialize in trapmaking and have more powerful spells than moral beings. As such, the traps can have abnormally high magical components and costs far beyond the level of the group, if it helps achieve the desired end.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How long can the corridor be? (And I really like the fluff, but what made the copper dragons so immoral? Just bad parenting?) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 13, 2018 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan There's no real space limit, as the complex is underground. And the dragons did not make these traps out of spite - the pegasi wanted their base protected in this way. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 13, 2018 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


For fly speed checks: this can be accomplished by setting up a corridor with a trap that triggers once someone enters. After the trap is triggered, the entire corridor is hit by some unavoidable damage(fire, ceiling spikes, lightning, whatever) at the start of every subsequent turn. To avoid the damage, the character must be able to move through the entire corridor in one turn.

For fly skill checks: have the trap create fierce winds. The fly skill has a table listing wind conditions which require a check to avoid being blown away, and the modifiers for various wind levels and character sizes.

You can of course combine the two. The same fly skill table also lists checks to continue moving in strong winds. The trap could not only require fast movement to get through the corridor, but a skill check as well to fight against the winds.


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