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Consider a Simic Hybrid with the Manta Glide trait:

You have ray-like fins that you can use as wings to slow your fall or allow you to glide. When you fall and aren't incapacitated, you can subtract up to 100 feet from the fall when calculating falling damage, and you can move up to 2 feet horizontally for every 1 foot you descend.

If the Simic Hybrid were to fall from a 50' height while not in combat, it could unequivocally move 100' horizontally as it falls those 50'.

However, I'm unclear what should happen if the Simic Hybrid falls during combat.

Can the the Simic Hybrid move 100' horizontally while falling 50' feet even if its speed is less than 100' or even if it falls during someone else's turn?
If not, what happens?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't access your link (it is pay content). Does the Simic Hybrid list a fly speed? \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Dec 18 '18 at 1:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ravery it does not list one. \$\endgroup\$ – Riker Dec 18 '18 at 1:58
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Yes, it should be able to

Consider it from a practical perspective: if something is gliding (not being propelled), is it moving under its own power really? It doesn't have a flying speed, because it's not really "flying". I would rule that it doesn't consume movement at all, since the only remaining speed (land) certainly doesn't apply here. You're really just steering.

See the spell feather fall:

Its descent slows to 60 feet per round until the spell ends.

Feather fall probably a good place to start, as this spell deals with slow falling and it lists a definite speed for your fall. Other than this, the other source for a falling speed I can find is the XGTE rule (500' per round during free fall). I think it's fair to rule that Manta Glide slows your speed to 60' per round similarly to how feather fall does.

Like this, it would take only one round to finish falling for 50', and during that round you could glide 100' horizontally. It would of course take more than that if you fall from say 120' feet (2 rounds, 240' horizontal motion total, 120' horizontally per turn)

This would be a relatively quick fall, but likely not fast enough for any other characters or enemies to have issues targeting you, if they can reach that high in the air. Your DM is free to make rulings on the specifics of how far you fall per turn, but 60' per round is probably a good starting point.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I've tried to address why I feel feather fall is relevant, see edited version. \$\endgroup\$ – Riker Dec 18 '18 at 5:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aah... just as a touchstone for safe descent. That makes sense! Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Dec 18 '18 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Feather Fall is a great place to look for glide speed, I'd say that movement speed should be tracked based on the higher distance moved (100 horizontal vs 50 vertical) rather than the lower, so you don't end up giving out 'free' movement. Feather fall assumes going straight down, so horizontal is not an issue with it. Your 60' move should take two rounds to use up the 100 feet rather than one round to fall the 50' Or you could figure out the distance of the hypotenuse of the triangle with the 50' vertical and 100' horizontal dimensions, for 111.8 feet (round to 115 for DND purposes) \$\endgroup\$ – MarkTO Dec 18 '18 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkTO IMO, speed isn't an issue here. Speed is really "how fast can you move in around", and this isn't you moving yourself, it's just you steering an alternative means of locomotion which just happens to be on your back. \$\endgroup\$ – Riker Dec 18 '18 at 23:28
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The Ability works the same in combat as it does out of combat.

The ability states that it slows your fall. So, it will take more than one turn to move 100' while descending 50'. However since a fly/glide speed isn't listed, it is up to the DM as to how many turns it will take.

There are two logical options:

  • Apply your movement speed to vertical descent.
  • Apply your movement speed to horizontal movement.

Note: As Riker mentions, Feather Fall gives 60' descent per round.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Correction: I believe you can have more/less than 6' descent per turn, since a 5e round is 6 seconds and the number of turns in a round varies depending on # of participants. \$\endgroup\$ – Riker Dec 18 '18 at 3:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Riker - creature turns are simultaneous. 1 round = 10 turns per participant. a turn is 6 second, a round is 1 minute. \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Dec 18 '18 at 3:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ravery that's not 5e. See PHB5e p.189: "a round represents about 6 seconds in the game world. During a round, each participant in a battle takes a turn." (emphases in the original) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Dec 18 '18 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 -- ahh, then in 5e a round and turn is the same for an individual character since turns are simultaneous. \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Dec 18 '18 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ravery Not really. A round is a measure of time. A turn is a measure of action and tied to a character; it doesn't have a specific length. Turns are not simultaneous - a character can be dead before their turn comes up in a given round. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Dec 18 '18 at 19:32

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