# Q: how much can a dragon carry and still fly?

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Medium sized dragon (listed fly speed 100', strength 20 [24 with bulls
strength]) is trying to pick up a human and fly away with it.
Rules I've found so far:
+++++++++++++++++
If a flying creature fails to maintain its minimum forward speed, it
must land at the end of its movement.

Minimum forward speed for Poor Maneuverability is Half

19 116 lb. or less 117-233 lb. 234-350 lb.
20 133 lb. or less 134-266 lb. 267-400 lb.
21 153 lb. or less 154-306 lb. 307-460 lb.
22 173 lb. or less 174-346 lb. 347-520 lb.
23 200 lb. or less 201-400 lb. 401-600 lb.
24 233 lb. or less 234-466 lb. 467-700 lb.

multipliers given above, multiply the value corresponding to the
creature’s Strength score from Table: Carrying Capacity by the
appropriate modifier, as follows: ... Medium ×1½, ...

Medium ... 70 ft.
Heavy ... 70 ft.

A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated
speed if carrying no more than a light load.

From the Fly spell: The subject can fly at a speed of 60 feet (or 40
feet if it wears medium or heavy armor, or if it carries a medium or

Grapple: You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in
the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check.

[all the above from the 3.5 SRD {http://www.d20srd.org/}]
+++++++++++++++
I admit I am trying to learn the rules, and don't have all the extra
rule books that many folk have (have the basic 3 + SRDs), but it seems
to me that for a dragon can only grab and fly away with a person if it
is a light load for the dragon and the dragon wins an opposed grapple
check - and then it is flying at minimum flying speed and in danger of
stalling. The rule about "a creature with a fly speed ... light load" is
a little ambiguous too about whether or not it can fly at all with a

Is there something I am missing?
Does the Dragon have to Grapple or is there some other way within the
rules to have it grab a character and carry him/her away?

thanks
--
Pete

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Pete Calvert wrote:

> Is there something I am missing?
> Does the Dragon have to Grapple or is there some other way within the

> rules to have it grab a character and carry him/her away?

AFAIK you're not missing anyhting. A creature can fly with a light
load. if it's past a light load they can't fly (IMC I usually allow
them to drag it on the ground a ways for effect). I don't think there
are any further rules.

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Pete Calvert wrote:
> Medium sized dragon (listed fly speed 100', strength 20 [24 with
bulls
> strength]) is trying to pick up a human and fly away with it.
> Rules I've found so far:
> +++++++++++++++++
>
> 20 133 lb. or less 134-266 lb. 267-400 lb.
>

Yes, but not when flying. Duh.

> A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated

> speed if carrying no more than a light load.

There you go!

> From the Fly spell: The subject can fly at a speed of 60 feet (or 40
> feet if it wears medium or heavy armor, or if it carries a medium or

Dragons don't use the Fly spell. They fly under their own power, which
limits them to carrying light loads.

> Grapple: You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in

> the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check.

Indeed.

> [all the above from the 3.5 SRD {http://www.d20srd.org/}]
> +++++++++++++++

> it seems
> to me that for a dragon can only grab and fly away with a person if
it
> is a light load for the dragon and the dragon wins an opposed grapple

> check - and then it is flying at minimum flying speed and in danger
of
> stalling.

As it should be. A size medium dragon isn't much of a dragon, and
SHOULD have a tough time carrying a size medium human. Look at bald
eagles carrying fish. It's hard going.

> The rule about "a creature with a fly speed ... light load" is
> a little ambiguous too about whether or not it can fly at all with a

"No more" is not ambiguous.

> Is there something I am missing?
> Does the Dragon have to Grapple or is there some other way within the

> rules to have it grab a character and carry him/her away?

A bigger dragon would have it much easier.
So much so that it could take a -20 penalty to its grapple check and
use only one claw to snatch and carry.

Silveraxe.

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Are you talking about an African or a European dragon?

Do Dragons migrate in winter?

Coconuts?

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avidroleplayer@yahoo.com says...
>
> Pete Calvert wrote:
> > A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated
> > speed if carrying no more than a light load.
>
> There you go!

"indicated speed" was my focus rather than "can move through the air".
There is nothing in the above rule that says that a creature with a fly
speed can't move at the encumbered (as opposed to indicated) speed with
--
Pete

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##### Guest

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 19:08:41 +1030, Pete Calvert <erucsbo@hotmail.com>
scribed into the ether:

>avidroleplayer@yahoo.com says...
>>
>> Pete Calvert wrote:
>> > A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated
>> > speed if carrying no more than a light load.
>>
>> There you go!
>
>"indicated speed" was my focus rather than "can move through the air".
>There is nothing in the above rule that says that a creature with a fly
>speed can't move at the encumbered (as opposed to indicated) speed with

Flying is not walking, you can't stumble along under a heavy burden at a
crawl while remaining airborne, unless you can hover, which dragons most
definitely cannot.

There is a minimum speed to stay aloft. Heavier than a light load makes the
flier incapable of achieving this speed. If you want to have the dragon
take off from a cliffside and go as far as it can in a pseudo-glide while
carrying a lot, that is certainly possible, but there are no rules for it.

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On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 12:38:45 GMT, Matt Frisch
<matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> Flying is not walking, you can't stumble along under a heavy burden at a
> crawl while remaining airborne, unless you can hover, which dragons most
> definitely cannot.

Ever seen a hawk fly away carrying something right at its limit to
lift? They do 'stumble' and they do move 'at a crawl'.

> There is a minimum speed to stay aloft. Heavier than a light load makes the
> flier incapable of achieving this speed. If you want to have the dragon
> take off from a cliffside and go as far as it can in a pseudo-glide while
> carrying a lot, that is certainly possible, but there are no rules for it.

The minimum speed for a creature that can't hover is 1/2 speed. As the
dragon could move-move if it needed to for it to be unable to stay
above stalling speed it would have to be so encumbered it couldn't
make 1/4 normal speed - something the rules don't say happens. The
reason a creature can't fly with more than a light load unless
otherwise noted (as in the Fly spell, for example) is that the rules
say they can't (MM, p.312).

--
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."

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On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 12:04:32 +1200, Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
scribed into the ether:

>On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 12:38:45 GMT, Matt Frisch
><matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
>> Flying is not walking, you can't stumble along under a heavy burden at a
>> crawl while remaining airborne, unless you can hover, which dragons most
>> definitely cannot.
>
>Ever seen a hawk fly away carrying something right at its limit to
>lift?

Which would describe what is a light load to that hawk. Ever seen a hawk
fly away carrying something beyond its limit? Neither have I. I have
however seen hawks (well, it was an eagle...semantics) pick up a rabbit
with its beak and carry it when it discovered that it couldn't fly with it,
so it wasn't just an issue of pure muscle-strength.

>They do 'stumble' and they do move 'at a crawl'.

Don't confuse the flurry of initial flapping to get up to flight speed with
stumbling...as for crawling, not even. They either fly well, or they don't
fly at all. I have seen birds of prey dragging something *really* heavy by
flapping their wings to give extra lift so they could pull it along, but I
don't think anyone would qualify that as flying.

A landbound creature can move something that weighs far in excess of what
they can easily pick up, fliers can't (at least, not while still flying).

>> There is a minimum speed to stay aloft. Heavier than a light load makes the
>> flier incapable of achieving this speed. If you want to have the dragon
>> take off from a cliffside and go as far as it can in a pseudo-glide while
>> carrying a lot, that is certainly possible, but there are no rules for it.
>
>The minimum speed for a creature that can't hover is 1/2 speed. As the
>dragon could move-move if it needed to for it to be unable to stay
>above stalling speed it would have to be so encumbered it couldn't
>make 1/4 normal speed - something the rules don't say happens. The
>reason a creature can't fly with more than a light load unless
>otherwise noted (as in the Fly spell, for example) is that the rules
>say they can't (MM, p.312).

This gets into some 3.5 rules that I don't have access to. Actually, when I
looked up the relevant rules in my books, it mentioned that fliers can
carry a MEDIUM load at their listed rate, so this is something else that
has changed.

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#### Guest

##### Guest

In article <9dk141hdbq9ou7bnvetgmr8kf6dqbqvu4q@4ax.com>, matuse73
@yahoo.spam.me.not.com says...
> On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 12:04:32 +1200, Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
> scribed into the ether:
>
> >On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 12:38:45 GMT, Matt Frisch
> ><matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
> >
> >> Flying is not walking, you can't stumble along under a heavy burden at a
> >> crawl while remaining airborne, unless you can hover, which dragons most
> >> definitely cannot.
> >
> >Ever seen a hawk fly away carrying something right at its limit to
> >lift?
>
> Which would describe what is a light load to that hawk. Ever seen a hawk
> fly away carrying something beyond its limit? Neither have I. I have
> however seen hawks (well, it was an eagle...semantics) pick up a rabbit
> with its beak and carry it when it discovered that it couldn't fly with it,
> so it wasn't just an issue of pure muscle-strength.

carrying it in its beak would be different to carrying it in its talons,
but I'm not certain we can rely so much on real-life examples unless we
also include insects etc. and even then there are problems.
Dragons are very strong - Griffons, Hippogriffs and Giant Eagles are
large, but have lower strength than a medium size Dragon. In fact I've
heard it argued that dragons (like bumblebees perhaps) couldn't fly
based on their size and that magic must be partly responsible for their
flight ability.

> >They do 'stumble' and they do move 'at a crawl'.
>
> Don't confuse the flurry of initial flapping to get up to flight speed with
> stumbling...as for crawling, not even. They either fly well, or they don't
> fly at all. I have seen birds of prey dragging something *really* heavy by
> flapping their wings to give extra lift so they could pull it along, but I
> don't think anyone would qualify that as flying.
>
> A landbound creature can move something that weighs far in excess of what
> they can easily pick up, fliers can't (at least, not while still flying).
>
> >> There is a minimum speed to stay aloft. Heavier than a light load makes the
> >> flier incapable of achieving this speed. If you want to have the dragon
> >> take off from a cliffside and go as far as it can in a pseudo-glide while
> >> carrying a lot, that is certainly possible, but there are no rules for it.
> >
> >The minimum speed for a creature that can't hover is 1/2 speed. As the
> >dragon could move-move if it needed to for it to be unable to stay
> >above stalling speed it would have to be so encumbered it couldn't
> >make 1/4 normal speed - something the rules don't say happens. The
> >reason a creature can't fly with more than a light load unless
> >otherwise noted (as in the Fly spell, for example) is that the rules
> >say they can't (MM, p.312).
>
> This gets into some 3.5 rules that I don't have access to. Actually, when I
> looked up the relevant rules in my books, it mentioned that fliers can
> carry a MEDIUM load at their listed rate, so this is something else that
> has changed.

The rule says
"A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated
speed if carrying no more than a light load. (Note that medium armor
does not necessarily constitute a medium load.)"

it does not say
"A creature with a fly speed can move through the air only if carrying
no more than a light load."

And then goes on to talk about maneuverability.

The semantics and context of the rule do not convince me of your
interpretation, but neither is it clear to me that you are wrong in your
understanding either.
--
Pete

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#### Guest

##### Guest

In article <MPG.1cabf89f49d8385d989685@news.on.net>, erucsbo@hotmail.com
says...
> Dragons are very strong - Griffons, Hippogriffs and Giant Eagles are
> large, but have lower strength than a medium size Dragon. In fact I've
> heard it argued that dragons (like bumblebees perhaps) couldn't fly
> based on their size and that magic must be partly responsible for their
> flight ability.

poor form to reply to my own post I know, but let me correct myself.
should be "lower strength than a Large Dragon".

The specific dragon I had in mind had slightly higher than average
strength, plus was under the effect of Bulls Strength - thus the
confusion on my part - apologies.
--
Pete

G

#### Guest

##### Guest

On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 22:05:53 +1030, Pete Calvert <erucsbo@hotmail.com>
scribed into the ether:

>In article <9dk141hdbq9ou7bnvetgmr8kf6dqbqvu4q@4ax.com>, matuse73
>@yahoo.spam.me.not.com says...
>> On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 12:04:32 +1200, Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
>> scribed into the ether:
>>
>> >On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 12:38:45 GMT, Matt Frisch
>> ><matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>> >
>> >> Flying is not walking, you can't stumble along under a heavy burden at a
>> >> crawl while remaining airborne, unless you can hover, which dragons most
>> >> definitely cannot.
>> >
>> >Ever seen a hawk fly away carrying something right at its limit to
>> >lift?
>>
>> Which would describe what is a light load to that hawk. Ever seen a hawk
>> fly away carrying something beyond its limit? Neither have I. I have
>> however seen hawks (well, it was an eagle...semantics) pick up a rabbit
>> with its beak and carry it when it discovered that it couldn't fly with it,
>> so it wasn't just an issue of pure muscle-strength.
>
>carrying it in its beak would be different to carrying it in its talons,

The talons would tend to be stronger, since they are the killing weapon.

>but I'm not certain we can rely so much on real-life examples unless we
>also include insects etc. and even then there are problems.

Insects would be a pretty huge problem, since they are capable of carrying
amounts far in excess of their own body weight...on land at least. Not sure
how those rules apply to insect flight.

>Dragons are very strong - Griffons, Hippogriffs and Giant Eagles are
>large, but have lower strength than a medium size Dragon. In fact I've
>heard it argued that dragons (like bumblebees perhaps) couldn't fly
>based on their size and that magic must be partly responsible for their
>flight ability.

Pretty much has to be, no dragon that I've ever seen described in the rules
has anything like the wingspan required.

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