Say that for whatever reason, a martial character can't use any projectile (sling, bow, etc.) or thrown (javelin, bloodstorm blade's Throw Anything, etc.) weapons.

The whole region is also covered in a constant antimagic field, so supernatural attacks like the fan the flames maneuver won't work (not that 30 feet is really going to counter most flying enemies), nor will a potion of fly or a magic sword with some sort of ranged special ability. It would also be a waste to take a spellcasting class and become a dragon disciple, since this is a martial character, and they live in an antimagic field.

And obviously the character isn't of a race that has a fly speed of its own, because that would make it a non-issue. Let's say they're human.

Is there any way for the character to attack flying enemies (especially flying, ranged ones) from the ground, or bring the enemies down to the ground, or bring themselves up to the enemies in the sky (who we can assume are beyond any reasonable jump check and aren't dumb enough to hang out near climbable walls)?

Courtesy of @HeyICanChan, an example situation can be thought of as, "How can a naked and unarmed human engage in battle with a flying opponent that's making ranged attacks against the human from 180 ft. up while both are in an area of antimagic?" Melee weapons are actually okay, but if it can be done without any equipment, that's a plus. Assume the flying creature is a winged monster (like a harpy) with a mundane ranged weapon, but that the character would like to deal with the monster in the fewest number of rounds they can (so waiting for the harpy to run out of arrows and start making melee attacks is far from ideal). Also assume that this is a recurring situation that can happen in various locations within the character's home region, so preparation like grafts and class levels are okay, but once the monster shows itself, the human wants to be able to begin fighting it within a couple rounds.

As for a couple background specifics: I thought at first that maybe the human would've made some rather unusual oath to abstain from ranged combat, which can probably be thought of as a reason for that. Alternatively, consider that this is just a very cautious adventurer who wants to ensure that they have a backup for when they do run out of ammunition while in an area of antimagic (incidentally, this is the actual reasoning for which I'd use the answers, myself). As for the antimagic field itself, assume it spans several miles in each direction, perhaps for some political reason or as a safeguard against some underground network of crypts for dead wizards or something.

I'm expecting that this will rely on extraordinary class features or feats (which we'll say are all available, unless they have a magical/non-human prerequisite), but there could be some other type of solution, I dunno. (Not 100% sure on the tags because I don't know what sort of features will work)

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    \$\begingroup\$ What distance do you need to be able to deal with them from? Full longbow range, or would shorter range options (like an epic Jump check or some sort of grappling hook) be acceptable? Also, do you need to be able to attack them specifically (ie, you need to hunt them down and keep them from escaping) or would some sort of defense that made them no longer be a threat be acceptable? \$\endgroup\$
    – divibisan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for feats that could grant a mundane human modes of flight? What about something like Aberration Blood, another aberrant feat, and Starspawn (which grants wings and limited flight to any creature that takes it, including human)? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is the person being shot or thrown by someone else allowed? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be helpful to know why the human is unable to use ranged attacks, since they're the obvious solution to the problem. Is something stopping them from, for example, picking up rocks and throwing them? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 16:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SanfordBassett If I may, an improvised thrown weapon has a range increment of 10 ft. and a maximum range of a mere 50 ft. (and that's while suffering a -12 on the attack roll). The theoretical harpy archer (mentioned only in comments by the asker) can stay within its shortbow's first range increment and still be out of range of the dude's hurled rocks. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 16:40

3 Answers 3


Flying mount

Hippogriff (fly speed 100ft, average maneuverability, cost 2,000 to 4,000gp)

Pegasus (fly 120ft, average maneuverability, cost 2,000 to 4,000gp)

Dragonnel (fly 90 ft, average maneuverability, cost 5,000 to 10,000gp - Draconomicon p151)


Feathered Wings, 10,000gp (this takes magic to attach, so check with your DM, but this should be considered extraordinary once attached). If you are of good alignment, this may drive you insane. (See Fiend Folio, page 210).

Membranous Wings, 50,000gp (similar to feathered wings, but more expensive and grants energy resistances) (See Fiend Folio, page 211).

Buffeting Wings, 100,000gp (similar to the other two, slower, imposes a Dex penalty, but avoids the alignment issue -- see Races of the Dragon p 127-8).

Zelekhut Wings, 100,000gp (no alignment restrictions, unclear who can make/attach them. Dragon #313, p 46, thanks to Zachiel and Hey I Can Chan for finding)


Starspawn - grants flight (average maneuverability, half base land speed, may use for a number of rounds equal to 1+Con mod)

Dragon Wings - requires you to have a DM that allows you to start the game as a Dragonborn of Bahamut as this is a first level feat, so you are no longer a human, and you lose all your human abilities (this feat grants gliding only)

Improved Dragon Wings - requires Dragon Wings (see above), but at 12 HD, grants at will flight.

Dragon Steed - gain a dragonnel steed/cohort (Draconomicon, p 105)

Wild Cohort - gain essentially an animal companion. At 7th level, you can gain a Dire Bat, which has 40 ft good maneuverability.

Leadership - gain a flying cohort, many of these options are quite good.


Becoming a Dragonborn of Bahamut allows you to gain wings without feats. Just choose the Wings option, and by 12 HD, you will be able to fly as if you took Dragon Wings and Improved Dragon Wings.

Class levels

An 8th level Ranger is treated as a 4th level Druid for the purposes of determining animal companions, allowing them to pick up a Dire Bat (fly 40ft, good maneuverability).

A 17th level favored soul grows wings (fly speed of 60ft, good maneuverability). You may be unable to use your magic, but you would have wings. (This may not be possible, as a favored soul is a primary casting class, and you were looking for martial class, but I felt it bore mentioning, as their flight is nonmagical.) (Complete Divine, pp 6-10).

Epic skill checks

Epic balance would allow you to balance on liquid or clouds. You may be able to use this to balance on rain? Very iffy.

Get the enemy to land

Create a mundane disguise of something that would attract the enemy. For instance, you mention a harpy in the comments. Dress as an injured harpy needing aid. Call out to the flying harpy. Ask for help. When they come to assist, have your friends pounce.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider leading with the feathered wings graft. That—or another graft or something like one—really is the solution to this scenario. Well, that and just walking away from any DM that would put the PC in that situation. Even Kirk was allowed to make a gun. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 16:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's another winged graft somewhere. Wings of the Zelekhut. They cost disproportionately more but they solve the alignment issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jun 4, 2020 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Question about (and—full disclosure—my answer to) core-rules-only exceptional flying mounts is here. And, you're right, that's absolutely the solution… if the character is allowed to bring the mount with her. (I guess this answer assumes lone means without any other PCs?) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which also makes the feat Leadership acceptable as well as any animal companion that can fly via mundane means as possession of an animal companion, too, is an extraordinary ability. (A paladin's mount may be unavailable, though, as summon mount is a spell-like ability.) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 18:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I updated to include Wild Cohort, Leadership, and Ranger animal companion (as a druid is a primary caster, not a martial class), and a Paladin, as you mentioned, would not be able to summon mount. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 19:37

This particular problem was solved by the Orcish 17th Regulars Catapult Brigade.

They launch their fiercest warriors into the air with a net and a plethora of piercing weapons in order to catch the pesky giant mosquitoes of Tharsishish, which they use to make a rare and potent rage-boosting form of blood soup. Also used by the 237th Irregulars Orcish Bear Warrior division to great effect (and lots of bears with bald spots....)

Hope your catapult operator has good aim... though it never made much difference either way to the 17th Regulars, who typically used a saturation bombardment method as they launched entire fireteams and squads at once.

Might want a parachute, or some other method of flying/featherfalling once you get out of the non-magical area.

This approach technically should be allowable based on how the question was originally phrased, as the martial character in question is neither using a thrown nor projectile weapon. (They are being shot from a projectile weapon by another person - the catapult operator)

Fling Ally Feat

As a lower powered (and more portable option) an Ally can be thrown with the Fling Ally feat from Races of Stone (don't look at the dwarves, they hate this feat) which can give a base line for those who don't have the feat. Treat your ally as a heavy improvised weapon if they don't have the feat.

My party who had a Half-orc Monk with a really high STR mod, and a Gnomish Barbarian Bear Warrior (Bearbarian?) who would combine to make a "Cannon-bear" maneuver... (you may have heard of the more famous Fastball Special maneuver with the guy with all the claws?) Throw the gnome, he transforms into a bear mid-toss, and splat. We used the improvised weapon and weight rules from Complete Warrior as appropriate.

Last I heard, the character was looking for a way to quick-summon full plate mail onto his bear-form for the added ooomph.


Also alternatively, alchemical effects (such as something like Gummi berry juice, or any other non-magical jump enhancing effect) or scientific effects (mech suits, such as found in the City of the Gods, or the Expedition to the Barrier Peaks might be available depending on how standard Greyhawk/Blackmoor your Dungeons and Dragons is or is not.

There are science gizmos from the 3.5 licensed Ravenloft stuff, which could work too.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this an actual thing? Because it's pretty awesome. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even if the projectile is an orc, I think the catapult counts as a projectile weapon. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2020 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan but the person in question is not using it, they are being used by it, or it is being used by another person to throw them, so technically speaking.... \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It is in my campaign worlds.... =D \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Agreed :) If you can talk about how you've used this and how it went, it would be much improved. RIght now, it just feels like untested ideas being submitted because clever. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:09

One simple method would be snatch arrows: they fire/throw at you, you catch it and throw it back at them. Note that this works best vs. thrown weapons, but it gives the character access to a ranged weapon at least in some circumstances.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There was an upgraded version somewhere that allowed one to catch and toss back much larger objects than just arrows or bolts, but my recall is not pulling it up right now. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 6, 2020 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko So far as I can tell, I was surprised to learn that no official feat—or even officially licensed feat—has as one or more of its prerequisites the feat Snatch Arrows. (It's rare for a core rules feat to be a dead end!) Maybe you're thinking the epic feat Exceptional Deflection (EL 55)? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2020 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't that because the Snatch Arrows feat uses Deflect Arrows as a prereq? It's not a 'first level' feat.... And the one I described isn't epic either. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 7, 2020 at 3:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ And the one I described isn't epic either, IF I'm recalling correctly... which I may not be. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jun 7, 2020 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko You may be thinking of the feat Return Shot (XPH 51) that can be used 1/round to return upon the attacker "a projectile or a thrown weapon no more than one size category larger than your size." (By the way, the feat's phrasing means that technically a Medium dude can somehow return at the Gargantuan giant who threw it a dagger that itself has a size category of Large. Giant guy hucks a sharpened car at the dude, and that dude somehow flips it back at the guy! That's absurd and awesome.) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2020 at 9:03

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