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Fly (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

You are skilled at flying, either through the use of wings or magic, and you can perform daring or complex maneuvers while airborne. Note that this skill does not give you the ability to fly.

Special Requirement

You cannot take this skill without a natural means of flight or gliding. Creatures can also take ranks in Fly if they possess a reliable means of flying every day (either through a spell or other magical manner, such as a druid’s wild shape ability).

Table: Flying Maneuver DCs
Flying Maneuver Fly DC
Move less than half speed and remain flying 10
Hover 15
Turn greater than 45° by spending 5 feet of movement 15
Turn 180° by spending 10 feet of movement 20
Fly up at a greater than 45° angle1 20
1 When a character or creature is flying, and that creature decides to ascend at a 45 degree 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.


You generally need only make a Fly check when you are attempting a complex maneuver. 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 degrees by sacrificing 5 feet of movement, can rise at half speed at an angle of 45 degrees1, and can descend at any angle at normal speed. Note that these restrictions only apply to movement taken during your current turn. At the beginning of the next turn, you can move in a different direction than you did the previous turn without making a check. Taking any action that violates these rules requires a Fly check. The difficulty of these maneuvers varies depending upon the maneuver you are attempting, as noted on the following chart.

Retry? Varies. You can attempt a Fly check to perform the same maneuver on subsequent rounds. If you are using wings and you fail a Fly check by 5 or more, you plummet to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage.

Common Uses

Avoid Falling After Being Attacked

You are not considered flat-footed while flying. If you are flying using wings and you take damage while flying, you must make a DC 10 Fly check to avoid losing 10 feet of altitude. This descent does not provoke an attack of opportunity and does not count against a creature’s movement.

Avoid Falling After Collision

If you are using wings to fly and you collide with an object equal to your size or larger, you must immediately make a DC 25 Fly check to avoid plummeting to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage.

Negate Falling Damage

If you are falling and have the ability to fly, you can make a DC 10 Fly check to negate the damage. You cannot make this check if you are falling due to a failed Fly check or a collision. See Falling Damage if you fail this check.


High Wind Speeds

Flying in high winds adds penalties on your Fly checks as noted on the Wind Effects table.

Table: Wind Effects on Flying
Wind Force Wind Speed Checked Size Blown Away Size Fly Penalty
Light 0–10 mph
Moderate 11–20 mph
Strong 21–30 mph Tiny –2
Severe 31–50 mph Small Tiny –4
Windstorm 51–74 mph Medium Small –8
Hurricane 75–174 mph Large Medium –12
Tornado 175+ mph Huge Large –16

Checked” means that creatures of that size or smaller must succeed on a DC 20 Fly check to move at all so long as the wind persists.

Blown away” means that creatures of that size or smaller must succeed on a DC 25 Fly check or be blown back 2d6×10 feet and take 2d6 points of nonlethal damage. This check must be made every round the creature remains airborne. A creature that is blown away must still make a DC 20 Fly check to move due to also being checked.


None. A Fly check doesn’t require an action; it is made as part of another action or as a reaction to a situation.


  • Familiars A spellcaster with a bat familiar gains a +3 bonus on Fly checks.
  • Fly Speed Creatures with a fly speed treat the Fly skill as a class skill. A creature with a natural fly speed receives a bonus (or penalty) on Fly skill checks depending on its maneuverability. Creatures without a maneuverability rating are assumed to have average maneuverability and take no penalty on Fly checks.
    • Clumsy –8
    • Poor –4
    • Average +0
    • Good +4
    • Perfect +8
  • Size A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Fly checks depending on its size category:
    • Fine +8
    • Diminutive +6
    • Tiny +4
    • Small +2
    • Large –2
    • Huge –4
    • Gargantuan –6
    • Colossal –8
  • Feats If you have the Acrobatic feat, you get a +2 bonus on Fly skill checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in this skill, the bonus from the Acrobatics feat increases to +4.

Fly Unchained

Source PFU

About This Section Optionally, a character who reaches 5, 10, 15, or 20 ranks in a skill unlocks various bonuses and abilities unique to that skill. The unchained rogue uses these rules extensively, but others can gain access to them with a new feat.

In this system, characters unlock additional abilities when they attain 5, 10, 15, and 20 ranks in a skill. The skill unlocks system interfaces with the unchained rogue to make the rogue the true master of skills.

Skill unlocks give characters new abilities and ways to use their skills upon reaching 5, 10, 15, and 20 ranks in a skill. Any character with the Signature Skill feat can earn skill unlocks for a single skill, and they are a prime feature of the revised version of the rogue who uses her rogue's edge ability to gain skill unlocks for several of her most iconic skills. Alternatively, you might make skill unlocks a universal part of the game, but you should be aware they add significant power and flexibility to skills, so giving them for free to all classes would grant power boosts to other highly skilled classes such as the investigator and bard, particularly in comparison to the rogue. Another alternative is to eliminate access to the Signature Skill feat, limiting skill unlocks to rogues and rogues alone.

With sufficient ranks in Fly, you earn the following.

5 Ranks: A successful DC 20 Fly check allows you to make a 45-degree turn without sacrificing movement.

10 Ranks: A successful DC 30 Fly check allows you to ascend at a 45-degree angle at full speed. You treat falls after midair collisions as 10 feet shorter with a successful DC 10 Fly check, plus 10 feet for every 10 points by which you exceed the DC.

15 Ranks: A successful DC 30 Fly check allows you to make a 90-degree turn without sacrificing movement, or a 180-degree turn by sacrificing 5 feet of movement. You are considered one size category larger when determining wind effects on Fly checks.

20 Ranks: A successful DC 35 Fly check allows you to fly straight up at full speed. You are considered two size categories larger when determining wind effects on Fly checks.

FastPlay Rules
See this skill in FastPlay format.