# Does the altitude start from square 0 or square 1?

Some forms of fly have an altitude limit (like those granted by Form of the Vengeful StormDDI, Sky HookDDI, DuskwalkDDI and Wings of Elevated ThoughtsDDI).

Altitude limitDDI merely says that:

If a creature has a specified altitude limit, the creature crashes at the end of its turn if it is flying higher than that limit.

When a creature is at ground level, is it at altitude 0 or altitude 1? That is: does a fly speed (altitude limit 1) allow the creature to end its turn 5 ft. above ground? Or does it force the creature to be at ground level at the end of its turn?

• That rule is just silly. If you're at max altitude, shouldn't you have plenty of time to recover from a stall? I guess it depends on the altitude. Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 10:24
• Uhm... According to the math rolled out in this post, in the first 6 seconds round a crashing creature falls at least 550 ft. (110 squares). Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 12:53
• Just because the player can only select an action every 6 seconds doesn't mean the character is a paper airplane in the meantime. If you're familiar with flying at all, you know when you're approaching stall speed and adjust accordingly unless you're trying to stall (or are otherwise out of control). Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 7:06
• Of course, but for similar reason, you even know that a sword slash is quite going to kill or at least incapacitate you. D&D is a game of epic action. D&D 4th edition is not about simulation: is about simplicity. Furthermore, if you are familiar with flying in 4th edition then you know what your altitude limit is and avoid stall in this way. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 10:51

From the WotC Rule of Three article on the subject:

To be completely clear, Altitude 1 means you have 1 empty 5-foot cube under your heels. If you are at Altitude 0, you’re standing on the ground (or at least hovering in the square at the same height as someone standing on the ground). Altitude 1 means you’re in the next “square” up. You’re still in reach for melee attacks from people on the ground, and you can still reach them.

• The link no longer leads to the article. Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 22:57

The definition for crashing indicates that ground level (not-flying) is zero (0).

Per DDI : Crashing Falling while Flying: If a creature falls while it is flying, it descends the full distance of the fall but is likely to take less damage than a creature that can’t fly. Subtract the creature’s fly speed (in feet) from the distance of the fall, then figure out falling damage. If the difference is 0 or less, the creature lands without taking damage from the fall. For example, if a red dragon falls when it is 40 feet in the air, subtract its fly speed of 8 (8 squares = 40 feet) from its altitude. The difference is 0, so the dragon lands safely and is not prone.

I take this to mean the zero is landed (at ground level).

• It doesn't seem to be a strict implication, however it provides a logical, rule-driven answer to my question. Thank you. Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 12:55
• This issue has been recently address by Rule-of-Three: wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ro3/20111024#76941 Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 18:47