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Yes, the title is heavily inspired by the similar PF2 question about the Fly spell, with the difference that air walking is more walking than flying.


While Air Walk is on...

The subject can tread on air as if walking on solid ground.

Last session Alice, an air-walking PC with a good reach, managed to get near enough to enemy spellcaster Bob to threathen him.

Bob, obviously uncomfortable with Alice being this close, wanted to remove her from combat and cast the Slumber hex on her.

In my (and Bob's) mind, Alice would have fallen asleep on the spot, in mid-air, on the same air-feel-like-terrain ground she was previously standing on.

In the rest of the party's mind, Alice is not treading/walking on the air anymore, so she falls through air, takes some damage from the fall and wakes up, still threatening Bob and still going to full attack him next turn unless he moves away.

Some case could be made that if the need to be treading/walking is literal, then stopping and just standing should make you fall, but I think nobody rules air walk that way, and once you step on some air-ground it keeps supporting you until you take the following step, even if you stop there for hours.

So, witch is it? (Pun intended)

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No, they shouldn't fall... but RAW doesn't specify.

Air Walk opens with

The subject can tread on air as if walking on solid ground.

which leads to questions about what "tread" means and if they have to be moving "walking" to stay aloft.

On tread: Does this mean they must be on their feet... do we want to preclude amputees from using the spell? Can an acrobat hand-air-walk? Even a one legged creature should be allowed to air-hop via the spell. The spell specifically calls out mounts being able to be trained to air walk, what if my mount in a massive snake? The body part in contact with the solid ground would seem to be irrelevant. I should therefore be able to safely sit, lie, breakdance, or whatever else, as if it were solid ground.

On walking: If they stop moving and remain still, do they fall? It makes little sense that they would fall, either safely or rapidly, simply by taking a pause in movement. Hikes need breaks, it's normal. The only active decision the air walker needs to make is at what height their next step is (higher, lower, the same). If they don't move they stay at their present height, if they can't actively decide about what height to move to they should stay where they are.

Looking at the very similarly worded Water Walk spell a user can walk, run, charge, or otherwise move. Otherwise would cover standing still as well. Water walk goes further though, and explains what happens when it is cast underwater. It brings the user up to the surface and leaves them to

hover an inch or two above the surface

which makes no mention of conscious intent to go to the surface. The spell self-rights the user to meet the spell conditions. I see no reason why Air Walk should not also work the same way. The difference is that Water Walk has the level of equilibrium set by an external factor, the water level, and Air Walk has the level of equilibrium set by the last tread taken by the user.

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I would rule the same thing that happens when someone is under fly and falls asleep (asked this question because the exact same thing happened) and that was the answer. So they would fall from the sky and thus take fall damage (assuming they were high enough to require it).

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    \$\begingroup\$ This could use some further backing as to why air walk "should" be ruled the same as fly despite being worded very differently. As is, it feels like more of an opinion than a ruling that is backed by evidence or experience. (I don't disagree with your conclusion, although my group has historically gone the other way with it, just think that it could be expanded on) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2022 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ The difference is that with Air Walk you're (at least sometimes) treating the air as solid, and that is why, while being aware of that question, I didn't just use the answers there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Sep 4, 2022 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since unlike water walk where the surface of water is treated as a solid to you, your mental state is deciding what air is solid. So without being able to make that decision none of it is solid. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Sep 4, 2022 at 14:29

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