October 1, 2015

Dragoon

Martial Archetype

**Woo! Another one from Dan Powell! This is one I've been told for a long time to do, but it took Dan's vision to put the pieces together. Make sure to thank him in the comments!**

Dragoon

Masters of spears, lances and polearms and adorned in uniquely crafted armor, Dragoon's have become legendary for their grace and power. Their intense training, said to have been passed down by the dragon riders of old, allows these warriors to leap unnaturally high into the air and strike their foes with deadly force from above. Sometimes the enemy is unaware of the Dragoon's presence until they see the shadow around them growing larger.

Lance Specialty
Beginning when you select this archetype at 3rd level, when you wield a Lance, you do not suffer disadvantage when attacking creatures within 5 feet of you. However, you must still wield a lance two handed when not mounted.

Velocity
At 3rd level, you can leap to incredible heights. You can expend your entire movement to leap into the air, up to a height of 10 feet per two fighter levels you possess, and land within 20 feet of where you originated.
     Additionally, as long as you are conscious and wielding a melee weapon, all damage taken from falling is halved and you always land on your feet.

Jump
Beginning at 3rd level, when you leap into the air, you may use your action to strike a target beneath you. While falling to a location adjacent to a target, make a melee weapon attack with advantage against it. On a hit, the target takes an additional 1d6 damage of the same type as your weapon for every 10 feet you fall. Additionally, if you hit, you take no falling damage.
     Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. You can use this feature twice between rests starting at 5th level, three times between rests starting at 10th level, and four times between rests starting at 15th level.

Lancet
Starting at 7th level, you gain the ability to drain a creature's energy with your strike. As a bonus action, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack you can choose to gain temporary hit points equal to half the damage dealt. After using this feature, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Tactical Jumps
At 10th level, you have learned how to augment your jumps. Choose one of the following features:
     Double Jump. After hitting an enemy with your Jump feature, you can use a bonus action to repeat the Jump against another creature within 15 feet of the first creature. Doing so counts as expending another use of the of the Jump feature.
     Earthshaker. As an action when you fall, you can expend a use of your Jump feature to strike the earth with immense force. Each creature in contact with the ground within 15 feet of where you land must succeed a Dexterity saving throw with a Save DC =  8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice) or take 4d6 bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. On a successful save, a creature takes half this damage and is not knocked prone.
     Passenger. When you make a leap into the air, you can expend a use of your Jump feature to carry one willing creature of your size or smaller to your destination.

Terminal Velocity
Beginning at 15th level, as long as you are conscious and wielding a melee weapon, you cannot take damage as a result of falling.

Meteor Jump
Beginning at 18th level, as an action, you can leap hundreds of feet into the air, disappearing from sight, only to strike moments later with the force of a meteor. Until the start of your next turn, you are high in the air and immune to effects on the ground. On your next turn choose a single creature within 60 feet of the point you left to make a Dexterity saving throw with a Save DC =  8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, your choice. If no such creature exists, you fall back to your original spot. The creature takes 10d10 damage of the same type as your weapon on a failed save and half as much on a successful one. You then land in a space adjacent to the target. After using this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

31 comments:

  1. It's ridiculous and anime as hell, but I kinda' love it. Sucks in enclosed spaces though.

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    1. I actually considered this while trying to balance the class. It will definitely have more power in outdoor environments.

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    2. it's mostly similar to the Final Fantasy games Dragon Knight class

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  2. This could interact badly with winged kobolds...

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    1. Wow, I never would have thought of that gliding abuse! Winged kobolds can glide really, really far in a round with the velocity feature. Though velocity /does/ state that you land within 20 feet of where you jump, so there's a bit of a contradiction between the rule sets.

      If I were DMing this, I would either rule that a player can't be a Winged Kobold Dragoon, or I would rule that Velocity's limitations take precedent to the Kobold's wings since it seems to refer to a more specific situation.

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    2. Also, Eldarin with their Misty Step ability...

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    3. I don't think I understand how that causes problems. Care to elaborate?

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    4. Misty Step is a bonus action and can add height to the jump.

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    5. In previous editions (3.5 at least) creatures teleported or summoned couldn't be brought into being in mid-air. If some variant of that rule is absent in this edition, we have much bigger rule exploits waiting in the wings. Imagine using Conjure Animals to place a black bear mid-air some 60 feet above an enemy.

      I take 'an unoccupied space' (as mentioned in Misty Step) to mean one on the ground (otherwise, things become silly really quick.)

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  3. I was thinking of looking towards Final Fantasy jobs for some inspiration. This is great!

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  4. Making a Dragonborn Dragoon named Dragün Drah'gon. His background involves dragging dastardly dragons from drastic drow drownings.

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  5. Did Dan Powell make any other subclasses?

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    1. So far, he's made the Dragoon and the Gambler.

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    2. And the elemental barbarian ;)

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    3. I knew I forgot one! I'll make a tag for Dan's stuff.

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  6. Would this class option allow you to hit flying enemies as long as you Jump above them? RAW, it allows it since the power specifies striking a target beneath you. This also seems to say that you'd only do the part above the creature as the fall distance to figure the damage, but you'd still get to avoid taking the fall damage. Which is fine with me, I love this subclass a ton.

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    1. I think that's a deft analysis of the rules. Happy gaming!

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    2. One more question, if I may. Would jumping to make a Jump attack while standing next to an enemy count as leaving that enemy's range for an Attack of Opportunity? I ask because the rules (and how I would play it) would suggest yes, but it could be debated that the jumping action would be fast enough to avoid the enemy's reaction.

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  7. So lets say you were a gnome dragoon and you had a Goliath in your team could you jump off of him horizontally?

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    1. I'm not precisely sure what you mean here, but you could start your jump on the goliath's shoulders, placing you about where a medium creature would be, but the horizontal distance you can travel when using velocity is limited to 20 feet.

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  8. How does this work with the spell Jump?

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    1. The jump spell makes the velocity feature pretty exploitable, if you consider it a regular jump. I wouldn't recommend interpreting Velocity this way, since it uses very different mechanics from a jump, but if you want to stack these two abilities, rule that the jump spell only increases the horizontal distance.

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  9. I read this archetype and immediately decided that if I ever wanted to retire a character I'd suicide against a boss lol.
    Use passenger to take a magic user up 50ft. Have them use dimension door send me up another couple hundred feet. They feather fall down while my dragoon impales the current enemy to the ground. for about 35d6

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  10. The description says unique armor, what do you recommend to have this thematic part fit into the game mechanically?

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    1. Google final fantasy dragoon -- it's some pretty over the top stuff. I would basically go with plate armor, and see if I can pay some extra gold to make it aerodynamic.

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  11. So I was thinking about the indoor/outdoor factor, and it occurred to me that a potential fix could be changing uses between rests to feet-per-level between rests. Effectively it would be a foot pool. Granted this may have already been considered, so ignore the rest of this if it was; otherwise prepare for a long post.

    For example, when the ability is acquired the dragoon can jump a total height of 10 feet per two fighter levels, divided up into as many jumps as they wish. At 5th level they would then be able to jump a total of 20 feet per two fighter levels and so on.

    As far as I can tell, this would basically create a great multi-functional variant. Depending on the height limit of the environment, they may go for a select number of high-damage jumps, a variety of increased damage tactical jumps, or even a sort of leaping class where they only jump a few feet vertically but still jump up to 20 feet horizontally. In that last instance they might as well just be using their move action normally, so I would rule that attacks of opportunity against the dragoon during a jump are at disadvantage. That way the dragoon is still viable even in a tunnel with a 5 foot high ceiling. When dungeons and encounters can range between different height limits, the dragoon is still able to take full advantage of the full damage and tactical potential.

    My reasoning for how it would work in game is that the dragoon just has an energy reserve that dictates how much they can jump until they get tired. That makes perfect sense I think, and it could be considered a magical energy reserve if it's too ridiculous.

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    1. On one hand, I really like the original system's method which gives the Dragoon unlimited jumping but limited attacks from those jumps. It gives the class a lot of mobility and makes them feel extremely "Dragoon-y". It also encourages using your jumps for more than combat because using it that way maximizes its potential advantages.

      But on the other hand... This new version 1) cuts down on the gamey-ness that can result from the ability to jump over anything 2) makes the power more combat focused (for good and bad) and 3) increases the overall damage available to the jump as a whole.

      I'm torn. The original allows me to take off like a rocket at will, which I just adore. But the new version would bring it more in line with what I expect the Dragoon to actually be like.

      ...I think I'll have to kill my rocket jumping and support this version of the Dragoon.

      Maybe there's a middle ground, where at the highest levels the Dragoon can jump endlessly, but can only apply the damage boost to a maximal total (eg they can do the jump attack with 30 ft per level, but after that runs out they can continue to jump while being unable to do damage with it).

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    2. I figured the disadvantage on opportunity attacks creates a nice bonus in exchange for giving up unlimited jumps, but I haven't actually tested what kind of effect unlimited jumping has in gameplay. Disadvantage on attacks of opportunity almost seems a bit too powerful, but no existing ability comes to mind at the moment that has the same effect.

      The only comparison I can really think of to a jump ability is just the spell, so velocity is relatively a scaling, silenced 1st level spell at-will. Sorcerer's can get Subtle Spell as metamagic at 3rd level so I don't think that's an issue; Jump is a touch spell cast as a bonus action, so I figure that's still fine in comparison; and the fact that it scales is fine since it's the dragoon's primary ability.

      That leaves at-will, which is basically a milder version of what wizards get with Spell Mastery at 18th level, so Meteor Jump could have the side bonus of unlimited jumping. 18th level is pretty late, but it could be earlier since wizards also get to pick a 2nd level spell at will in addition. But yeah I like that balance of eventual unlimited jumping with a limited damage pool.

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