The ancestral legacy trait states:

If you replace a race with this lineage, you can keep the following elements of that race: any skill proficiencies you gained from it and any climbing, flying, or swimming speed you gained from it.

while the Flight trait of an Aarakocra states:

You have a flying speed of 50 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor.

Does the restriction from the Flight trait also apply to the new lineage?

I would say that RAW a lineage can fly while wearing (medium/heavy) armor because the Ancestral lineage trait doesn't say that you keep the trait that grants/granted you your speed but only the speed itself. At the same time I think that this is probably not RAI.

Would this assumption be correct?


3 Answers 3


The flight speed should include the restriction

It makes no sense thematically or for balance for a reborn Aarakocra to be better at flying than a standard, living Aarakocra. Unfortunately, it is likely that the designers did not take Aarakocra into account when designing the reborn lineage, and a very strict reading may indicate otherwise.

Unclear wording means that you should talk to your DM

Contrast the Aarakocra with the Tabaxi. The trait that gives the Aarakocra flight also gives it a restriction on that flight. Meanwhile, the trait that gives Tabaxi its climb speed also grants claw attacks. In my opinion, the intent would be for the Tabaxi to have its climb speed, but not claw attacks, and the Aarakocra to have its flight speed including the restriction.

Thankfully, the DM is there to handle this kind of inconsistency. Either way, when using lineage like this, you should work closely with the DM to make sure you are both on the same page.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I find it hard to agree that flight speed is not an element of the race. It may be listed under a trait, but then so too is an Elves' Perception skill under "Keen Senses", but I'm sure we'd all agree that that is carried over. By RAW, what is kept is the skill proficiencies and the speed, not the traits that grant them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mwr247
    May 20, 2021 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ If we don't count the fly speed because it is given by a trait then no additional speed would be granted to you by the lineage trait. E.g. the wings that you gain as a variant tiefling are granted to you by a trait. So is the climbing speed you have as a tabaxi or the flying speed you get from being a fairy(UA) or Owlfolk(UA). The triton would be more in line with what you are saying as the swimming speed is listed under the speed trait but I dont think that that is reasonable because the lineage trait doesnt mention how you gain the speeds other than that they have to come from your race. \$\endgroup\$
    – Soulstreak
    May 20, 2021 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tabaxi is an even worse case - the same Trait that grants the climb speed grants natural attacks. I think (perhaps counter to my answer) that the tabaxi should keep its climb speed, but not attacks. I'll probably rework my answer to take a less hard stance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tal
    May 20, 2021 at 18:59

An Aarakocra does not have a fly speed while wearing medium or heavy armor, so there is no fly speed while wearing medium or heavy armor to inherit.

The Aaracokra's Flight feature states:

You have a flying speed of 50 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor.

Therefore, while wearing medium or heavy armor, an Aarakocra does not have a fly speed. You only have a flying speed while you are not wearing medium or heavy armor. Ancestral Legacy states:

you can keep...any climbing, flying, or swimming speed you gained from it

Since an Aarakocra definitively does not have a fly speed while wearing medium or heavy armor, there is no fly speed while wearing medium or heavy armor to gain from the race.

Therefore, an Aarakocra who takes a lineage retains their fly speed, but only while they are not wearing medium or heavy armor.

This makes sense from a game balance perspective.

The Aarakocra's flight is known to be a very strong feature, and the rest of its racial features are balanced against this. The lineage introduces a new set of racial features that have not been balanced against having a feature as strong as 50 feet flying, much less 50 feet flying in heavy armor.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the clarification. Reading it now, I actually think this might be a stronger argument than my own, as it dodges dealing with the contradictory nature of splitting up traits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tal
    May 21, 2021 at 18:47

Your new race inherits the fly speed, without the fly condition of your previous race

As you pointed out in the Ancestral Legacy feature, the speed is what copied over to the new race, not the feature that gave you that speed. Thus by RAW you are correct and you would no longer have the Aarakocra armor limitation imposed on your fly speed, since that was a condition specific to the Aarokocra.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What makes you think that the trait is separable? To me, they have a Trait that grants (fly speed with a restriction), not a fly speed, and then a trait that limits it \$\endgroup\$
    – Tal
    May 20, 2021 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tal The text says you keep ...any climbing, flying, or swimming speed you gained from [your race], not the racial traits or conditions that grant those speeds, hence separable by RAW. Aarakocra have flying speed as a part of their race (the same way other races might have proficiencies granted by racial traits that would also be kept), and thus the flying speed would be what is carried over. I do understand your interpretation as valid as well and could understand a DM ruling that way, but I'd argue that this is also a valid interpretation as written. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mwr247
    May 20, 2021 at 17:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, I don't think this is a valid interpretation - partly for balance reasons, partly for theme reasons (why is the reborn aarakocra better at flying then a normal one?), but mostly because I think that the restriction is part of the fly speed. it's one thing, and splitting it up feels like being dishonest. It's not even in the entry for "Speed" in the statblock. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tal
    May 20, 2021 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ An Aarakocra wearing heavy armor does not have a fly speed. So what fly speed are you gaining while wearing heavy armor? \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2021 at 18:04

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