Say a wizard casts reverse gravity, if creatures with Flight are caught in the radius, are they affected by the pull?


3 Answers 3


To answer this question, in my opinion, you first need to establish the type of flight. Flight gained from "wings", flight gained through "magic", and finally, flight gained from "magic items"

Creatures with wings would be affected by Reverse Gravity, because they gain flight through pushing they wings against the pull of gravity. Reversing that pull would cause them to fall upwards in the same way as a creature without flight. The Dexterity Save would allow these creatures, rather than grab hold of something, to adjust their flight to the new gravitational pull. In other words, reverse themselves to fly upside-down.

However, creatures that use magic to fly, use forces to "defy" gravity, no matter if it is reversed or not. So they would be unaffected by Reverse Gravity.

And lastly, you have creatures that use magical items such as the "Broom of Flying", or a "Flying Carpet" to fly. The Reverse Gravity may not affect the item that is defying gravity, but it still affects the user of that item, because they essentially are now sitting on the wrong side of the item to be save from the gravitational pull. However, if a magic item were to give the user the ability to fly rather than fly upon, such as a "Potion of Flying", then they defy gravity rather than the item, and are thus unaffected by Reverse Gravity, just like the creatures who have their own means to defy gravity through magic.

This to me seems the most logical approach to ruling on the effects of Reverse Gravity on creatures with flight. However, in no means is this an official answer.



Reverse Gravity states:

All creatures [...] that aren't somehow anchored to the ground in the area fall upward...

It says nothing about flying creatures being unaffected. Therefore they are affected.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Presumably, though, it would affect them a little differently, in that depending on the source of their flight and their maneuverability, they could mostly avoid the effects - a giant eagle would probably "fall", but magically flying creatures with sufficient control could probably hold steady, no? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 2:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SirTechSpec -- it's a condition where the ocular and vestibular horizons disagree, which ties into some really nasty questions about "can D&D flying creatures fly stably while blinded or presented with a false horizon?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Apr 24, 2016 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that this answer requires a distinction between magical flying and non magical flying, and then the whole "innate" flying of a number of beings from other planes (is that magical or not?). Our current world's laws of physics do not translate over one-for-one into the default DnD world (FR) so any answer would be better if it accounts for that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2016 at 17:48

Flying creatures will not fall

Creatures with flight are able to escape gavity's pull and stay aloft. If you flip the direction of gravity with reverse gravity, they will be affected by the spell but will still not fall. The spell says:

This spell reverses gravity in a 50-foot-radius, 100-foot high cylinder centered on a point within range. All creatures and objects that aren't somehow anchored to the ground in the area fall upward

The new gravity is not tougher than the old one, it's the same amount, just reversed. The affected creatures fall upward as a result. Here are the falling rules for flying creatures from the PHB, p. 191

If a flying creature is knocked prone, has its speed reduced to 0, or is otherwise deprived of the ability to move, the creature falls, unless it has the ability to hover or is being held aloft by magic, such as the fly spell.

Since the creatures are not knocked prone by the spell, their speed is not reduced to 0, and they are not deprived of their ability to move, none of the conditions that would make them fall apply, and they will not fall in reversed gravity.

Your DM might consider that they are surprised by the effect, and being unprepared for it, cannot adjust in time and "fall" for one round in case the are using natural means to fly and are not able to hover or held aloft by magic such as a fly spell. This however would be a ruling, over the rules as written.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Assuming that PHB, p. 191 list of things that can make creatures fall seems unwarranted to me. Nothing says that these are the only things that make a creatures fall, and by the specific beats general, if specific spell makes a creatures fall, it makes creatures fall. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 27, 2022 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot Thanks for explaining the downvote. I think the spell makes them fall due to reversing gravity and they have no problem to fly in gravity, so I'll stick to my guns here. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2022 at 11:46

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