[RPG] How does the Slow spell affect flying creatures with minimum forward speeds


Suppose a Slow spell is cast on a creature with a minimum forward speed while flying: is it required to spend his/her sole action on movement to prevent falling and crashing down?

The relevant rule from the SRD:

If a flying creature fails to maintain its minimum forward speed, it must land at the end of its movement. If it is too high above the ground to land, it falls straight down…

The reason I raise this question is because the rules seem to indicate the answer is "yes", but on the other hand I can quite well imagine an adult dragon that gets Slowed mid-air to glide on and take standard actions while gliding?

I guess that leads me to ask this question in a rephrased way: Can a creature with poor or clumsy maneuverability glide as a swift or even free action?

Best Answer

You can choose to just fall, if you want.

There’s nothing saying that you have to use your singular action to stay aloft, you just need to if you, ya know, want to say aloft.

Some sources of flight specify the ability to glide or use wings as parachutes of sorts, even when paralyzed or what have you (see Dragon Wings from Races of the Dragon). This is not the default however. In the absence of such a feature...

Yes, the dragon falls straight down, taking the appropriate falling damage, unless he spends his singular standard-or-move action maintaining forward momentum.

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