I'm new to GM'ing and I ran into an (Pathfinder) issue that needs clarification.

My group faced a flying demon and I thought it could easily hover and fight. Some of my experienced players pointed out that it needs fly speed and it has to make a DC 15 in order to hover.

So, even if creatures are born to fly, do they need to pass the Flying Manouver DC's? And if it's fighting, does it need to take a hover DC for each round?

Let'stake this Quasit demon as an example:
Fly Speed: 50 (Perfect +8)
Size: Tiny (+4)
Fly: +20

Does this mean that for any fly check, it has +32? Or is it only +20?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Which demon were you using? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Does it matter? I'm thinking for any flying creature that has natural fly speed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steven
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It matters because depending on the demon, they could pass a DC 15 check even by rolling a natural 1. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe! It's almost always better to be as specific as possible. Pathfinder is a game of exceptions, and the creature you used may be an exception to the general rules. The site can answer the question generally, but the site'd rather answer your specific question. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ See my example above @ShadowKras \$\endgroup\$
    – Steven
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Flying creatures need to make checks in order to hover, even when they have a natural flight speed (but they're often so good at those checks that they can automatically succeed).

As the general description of flying in the Fly skill states:

Without making a check, a flying creature can remain flying at the end of its turn so long as it moves a distance greater than half its speed. ... Taking any action that violates these rules requires a Fly check.

Unless otherwise stated in the creature's own description, a flying creature that wants to hover needs to make a Fly check in order to do. It doesn't have to hover while it's fighting; as long as it moves at least half its speed with a move action in every round, it's not done anything that requires it to actually make a check. However, it will often be beneficial to hover in place, to allow for using full-round actions, avoid provoking attacks of opportunity, and so on.

Many naturally flying creatures have Fly modifiers which are so high that they will always pass most flying checks in normal circumstances - remembering that skill checks, unlike attack rolls and saving throws, are not subject to critical success/failure rules. A +14 or greater modifier is enough to ensure that a creature will always pass the check to hover in normal conditions, at which point there is no sense in rolling it. (Outside of combat situations, a flying creature that is not under particular stress can take 10 on their flight checks as normal for other skills, so it's even easier for them to make their checks.)

The quasit demon from your example has a +20 modifier (the bonus from its maneuverability rating and size is included in the listed modifier in its stats) and so it can easily hover without needing to actually roll flight checks unless it's in very strong winds or something like that.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Worth pointing out that there is no auto-failure on skill checks, as opposed to attacks and saves, which normally causes this confusion. And that flyers can normally Take-10 on fly checks out of combat. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 14:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras good points, I have incorporated them into my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 14:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .