In the real world, a dragoon is a mounted infantry fighter, a sort of shock-troop typically carrying spears or firearms. In fact, the word "dragoon" is derived from the name for the firearms carried by French dragoons, called (awesomely enough) "dragons."
But we're dealing with high fantasy, here. In (particularly Japanese RPG) fantasy tradition, a dragoon is a spear-wielding warrior capable of great leaps and jumps, who typically has some association with dragons.
Obviously, that's the angle I went with here, but mounted gun cavalry would've been pretty cool, too.
Represented here, a dragoon is a fighter who uses jumps as a way to be high-mobility and deal extra damage. Avowed hunters of dragons and other large flying beasts, dragoons are defenders of mortal-kind and thrill seekers who risk life and limb to bring down monsters that would gladly destroy or enslave entire civilizations.
Let's look at what they do.
- Aspirant Step, a highly mobile attack, more powerful than a standard Battle Master maneuver but with less usage availability. Scales in different ways throughout the dragoon's progression.
- Jump-based everything, because if you're taking this archetype, it's obviously to be the best at jumps.
- Needle of Heaven, a capstone attack somewhat diverged from what fighters typically get, but in-keeping with the JRPG feeling of having an ultimate attack.
- Scaling on Aspirant Step may or may not work as intended. I may want to make it 2/4 instead of 1/2 uses per rest.
- People may not see that I've bundled the typical level 10 fighter feature into Aspirant Step directly, but that's a weird thing some fighter subclasses do.
- Not 100% sure on the damage of Needle of Heaven. I tried to be conservative with it because I'm still not completely sure of the damage balance. I'm feeling like 6-8 d12 + STR (44-57 damage median) is about where it should be, though.
WHAT I LEARNED:
- Fighters are deceptively tricky to make well. I had to mentally unpack a lot of the balance inherent to the Battle Master, and I may want to take another look at it at some point.