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If you have a fly speed, can you 5-foot step directly up?


From the Fly skill:

Without making a check, a flying creature can remain flying at the end of its turn so long as it moves a distance greater than half its speed. It can also turn up to 45° by sacrificing 5 feet of movement, can rise at half speed at an angle of 45°...

  • Fly: When a character or creature is flying, and that creature decides to ascend at a 45° angle, the rules states that it moves at half speed? Do the rules for diagonal square counting still apply when moving up diagonally in this way?

    No. Since the game is generally assumed to be played in two dimensions, even when representing three dimensional combat, the rules for ascending are handled by the speed reduction instead of asking players and GMs to ascertain the diagonal vertical movement.


Does this negate your ability to '5-foot step' vertically, or could you still move diagonally one square?

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No.

You cannot take a 5-foot step upwards because doing so would take at least 10 feet of movement, which invalidates the 5-foot-step action and becomes a Move Action instead.

Anytime you cannot spend only 5-foot of your movement to enter a square, it should require a move action, and thus it is no longer a 5-foot step.

You can move 5 feet in any round when you don’t perform any other kind of movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of opportunity. You can’t take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and you can’t take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

If you moved 10-foot, it is no longer a 5-foot step. This has been discussed on paizo's messageboards here and here.

According to James Jacobs (Pathfinder's Creative Director), a creature should not be able to fly upwards as a 5-foot step.

The only exception for this, back in 3.5, was creatures that had Perfect maneuvering, which allowed them to move upwards without using double their movement, so they could move 5 feet upwards without using 10 feet of their movement. This exception no longer exists in Pathfinder, but if a creature has a similar ability, the exception should apply.

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If you have an applicable movement speed1, then there's nothing in the rules that states you can't take a 5 foot step.


Flying Maneuver                                                    Fly DC
Move less than half speed and remain flying             10


Forum: "I think the rules clearly state that this would fall under the DC 10 'Move less than half speed and remain flying' category."
Careful examination of 5-Foot Step Rules:

Take 5-Foot Step

You can move 5 feet in any round when you don't perform any other kind of movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of opportunity. You can't take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

Assuming you don't "fly" anywhere else, except a "5-foot step" directly upward, or diagonally upward, I don't see a problem here.

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round.

Seems you can, while "hovering," draw a potion as a move action, drink it as a standard action, and take a "5-foot step" directly upward, or diagonally upward. I don't see a problem here either.

You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness.

Unless there is severe weather or winds, and you aren't prone to some sort of darkness difficulties, I don't see a problem here either.

Any creature with a speed of 5 feet or less can't take a 5-foot step, since moving even 5 feet requires a move action for such a slow creature.

Unless your fly speed is 5 feet, it seems you can take a "5-foot step" without any rules violations here.

You may not take a 5-foot step using a form of movement for which you do not have a listed speed.

If you have a fly speed, it appears you should in fact be able to take a 5-foot step within that means of movement. Since you would have a fly speed, even with a fly spell, then a simple fly check of DC 10 would allow you to take a "5-foot step" worth of flight.


1You may not take a 5-foot step using a form of movement for which you do not have a listed speed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My question's crux was that moving 'up' costs twice as much movement. Is there anything saying you can 5 foot step even if it 'costs' 10ft of movement? \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 13 '17 at 5:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for expounding on your answer, I just wanted to make sure we'd considered everything before making it official. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 13 '17 at 13:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zangief, it's also worth noting that flying up more than a 45 degrees requires a DC 20 fly check. Going up should be more than 45 degrees \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 13 '17 at 18:15
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You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness.

For corner cases I tend to (even if not strictly RAW) read this as : You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered, for example by difficult terrain or darkness.

That way every form of movement that takes more than the normal amount care (needing either 10ft for 5ft movement or a successful roll) is hampered and as such doesn't work. This is what I see as RAI behind the rule and it works very well in actual gameplay.

For me the idea behind the 5ft step is that it is the amount of movement you can easily take without lowering your guard. But if you need extra care to safely take the step you can't keep your guard up while doing it.

As such having your movement hampered in any way makes 5ft steps impossible. This includes: Moving through caltrops, through a greased area, difficult terrain, movement while blind, in darkness, up a steep hill (not steep enough to need climb checks but steep enough to reduce speed) or flying upwards.

Exceptions I make are movement reduction through armour, encumbrance or the lame curse.

While this relies on interpretation of the rules I am well aware that it at least borders on houseruling territory. With arguments open on which side it ends up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your list of exceptions will be huge if you rule it broadly like that. There are many ways to reduce movement speed by a certain amount of feets, like poisons, feats, rogue talents, slayer talents, spells. I would prefer to rule it as your movement is hampered whenever your speed is reduced to half or it costs you double your movement to enter a space. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 15 '17 at 11:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or, in other words, if you must spend more than actual 5 feet of your movement speed to enter a square. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 15 '17 at 11:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @umbramus The idea of disallowing 5' steps when your speed is minimally reduced is, I believe, against the intent. The two concrete examples in your quoted text both halve movement rates. To me, that's quite different to a single 5' or 10' reduction in speed. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Sep 10 '18 at 21:14

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