[RPG] Would a winged Aasimar fall if it could not flap its wings

aasimardnd-5efallingflight

I have a player who has an Aasimar character. My player argues that the book does not state the Aasimar has to flap its wings, and instead can hover because the wings don't use concentration. This statement and assumption has led to odd arguments. If his character is knocked out or falls unconscious, do the wings stay? If the character is stunned, does it fall?

Best Answer

Your player is correct in that maintaining the wings does not require concentration. If it did, it would say so in the effect description. Once triggered, the wings will exist for 1 minute. Period.

Your player is incorrrect in claiming that the wings give him a Hover effect. If a creature has a Fly (Hover) speed, it is explicitly called out in their Stats. See: Banshee, Beholder, Air Elemental, etc.

Because flight is subject to the following rule:

If a flying creature is knocked prone, has its speed reduced to 0, or is otherwise deprived of the ability to move, the creature falls, unless it has the ability to hover or it is being held aloft by magic, such as by the fly spell.

In short, the default assumption is that "if you can fly, you will fall out of the sky if your speed is reduced to 0, unless you have one of these explicitly called out effects keeping you in the air."

The Protector Aasimar simply says "You have a flying speed." It doesn't call out any of the specific effects that let you hover even while unconcious, stunned, or otherwise deprived of the ability to intentionally stay aloft--and thus the general rule for flight applies, such that an Aasimar will fall out of the sky if their speed is reduced to 0. The 'Hover' effect laid out in the Flight Rules refers to the ability to remain airborne even if you are unconscious...not the ability to stay in one place while flying.

To address his point that "it doesn't say they flap their wings," I refer you to the Aarakocra in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion. These bird-people have actual physical wings that they use for flight, but nowhere in their write-up does it specify that they flap to stay in the air. The absence of an explicit explanation does not mean that's not how it works.