[RPG] Is the flight that a variant Tiefling (SCAG) has game breaking

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A Tiefling variant (SCAG) gains flight at 1st level. Is this game breaking? What kind of problems could this produce? I know that Fly is a 3rd level spell usually granted at 5th level, and draconic-bloodline sorcerers get wings and flight at 14th level.

Best Answer

While it may not be "game breaking", it is unbalancing enough that it is disallowed for Adventurers League play (same as the Aarakocra PC race, which also grants flight):

All sidebars and optional rules in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide are legal for D&D Adventurers League play with the exceptions noted below.
The following rules options are either not allowed, or are restricted in some way:

  • The “Winged” option granting a fly speed for tieflings is not legal for D&D Adventurers League play. Cosmetic wings from the “Appearance” option that don’t grant a fly speed are fine.

As you noted in your question, flight is an ability that usually only comes available at higher levels, and usually for a limited duration. Being able to fly enables you to bypass all sorts of challenges that ground-bound PCs face.

  • Many monsters (especially at lower levels) lack flight, so unless they have a ranged attack, they can't touch you
  • Difficult terrain is no harder to fly over than flat ground
  • Heights and falls are no longer a threat
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