Let's say a character has to go down into a vertical gulf of about ten miles. A helpful NPC (wizard, character level of about 10) who does not want to join her on the way down casts feather fall on her as soon as she jumps down the cliff. (The feather fall itself would take about 90-120 minutes until landing safely on the ground below.) The spells description says:

Duration until landing or 1 round/level

Which one is valid? Until landing, or a couple of rounds and then she free falls down the abyss to her certain death?

If it's the second option, then how can a medium (to relatively high) level caster help the character in going down the ten miles without her dying?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't the character need breathing apparatus due to the pressure change going 10miles down, anyway? ;) (I.e. even with feather fall, you won't last long enough at FL528 to make it matter, and going from sea level to ten miles below sea level would cause hyperbaric toxicity...) \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Mar 28 '15 at 0:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting idea. This calls for some fortitude saves, I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – mawimawi
    Mar 28 '15 at 1:04

Both durations of the spell feather fall are valid

The 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell feather fall says that

When the spell duration expires, a normal rate of falling resumes.

As that can't happen if the spell's target isn't falling anymore, falls taking multiple rounds may exhaust the 1 round/level duration of the spell before the fall ends, at which point the target resumes falling normally.

However, one can't exploit the 1 round/level duration of the spell feather fall to make multiple jumps because the spell also ends upon landing.

In other words, the spell only allows one landing, but until that landing occurs the duration of the spell is 1 round/level.

The wizard might not have any choice but to join the leaper in the abyss. Assuming he doesn't want to jump then at the last minute cast on both himself and the leaper the spell feather fall then teleport himself back to the starting destination, the wizard may want to make things easier by just giving the leaper a wand of feather fall (750 gp; 0 lbs.) (if the leaper can use it but beware its 1-round duration—"Wait for it! Wait for it! Now!"), boots of the cat (1,000 gp; 1 lb.), or even a ring of feather falling (2,200 gp; 0 lbs.).

This event is, essentially, the falling character making a journey of some length straight down. Any method of long-term flight will be superior to the spell feather fall, which is intended to save hapless adventurers from death by pits and cliffs not near-bottomless abysses.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Fly does not hold long enough, and teleporting is not that great, because the caster never has been down there, so the risk of a mishap might be too big. Sorry, forgot to mention this in my original question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mawimawi
    Mar 28 '15 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mawimawi A fall taking a long time means the wizard has sufficient time to cast the spell fly while falling. If the end of the fall's visible before the fall starts, teleport's studied carefully includes being able to "currently physically see" the destination. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28 '15 at 1:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mawimawi I should note that, unlike D&D 3.5, teleportation in Pathfinder conserves momentum ("Casting teleport or a similar spell while falling does not end your momentum, it just changes your location, meaning that you still take falling damage, even if you arrive atop a solid surface.") (Have fun with paired teleportation circles a la Portal.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28 '15 at 1:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Boots of the cat. Max falling damage 20. It's fairly amazing to watch low-mid level characters leap off sheer cliffs and land at the bottom like "Hrm, that hurt a little, but at least I didn't fall down" \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28 '15 at 5:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .