Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Martial Archetype: Dragoon [Second Draft]

Step One: Release a whole bunch of rough material.

Step Two: Receive a whole bunch of quality critique.

Step Three: Start a new job.

Step Four: Never revise anything, ever again, forever.

Fortunately, I managed to find some time, and spent that time revising our somewhat-contentious friend, the Dragoon. Let's see what got changed.


  • Aspirant Step now may be used twice/four times per rest, up from once/twice, scaling with level.
  • Aspirant Step does not initially modify attacks, which is now saved for the level 7 feature.
  • Ascendance is now Ascendant Strike, and modifies attacks/damage from Aspirant Step in addition to adding resistance to falling damage. 
  • Needle of Heaven has been heavily modified, and is now long-rest refresh dealing 10d12 + STR damage, befitting an "ultimate attack" type ability, and has a save versus prone and grounding flying targets. It has also been modified to deal radiant damage, and fluffed to be more obviously magical. 
  • Balance on the damage from level 7+ Aspirant Step is not 100% certain, but I'm still pretty satisfied with it versus the expected additional damage output of a Battlemaster fighter. 
  • Even if I give the historical dragoon a direct shout-out, some people still get angry about JRPGs co-opting the term. Ah well, can't please everyone. 


  1. Could you make a pirate subclass next? maybe for fighter or rogue?

    1. I feel like the Swashbuckler Roguish Archetype in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide does a really good job of being a pirate. I'm honestly not sure how I'd do one better on that.

      I also highly recommend the Mariner fighting style in the Waterborne Adventures issue of Unearthed Arcana, if you want to go a fighter route with it.

    2. I was thinking more of a drunkard jack sparrow type, rather than a swashbuckling sailor.

    3. Hm... I'll kick it around in my head - what makes that distinct?

      Think in terms of the 5 abilities a rogue, for example, would need to have. I'm not sure I'd be able to fill that many without stepping on the Swashbuckler's toes pretty significantly.

    4. being able to belch flaming alcohol from your mouth, being able to pull stunts, basically a martial archetype dedicated to having a character that stumbles his way through the campaign in a drunken stupor with a parrot on his shoulder and a pistol at his hip, basically a drunken brawler, with some ribbons thrown in

    5. Eh, outside of the occasional drunken monk, I try to shy away from making anything that can boil down to being Alcoholism: The Subclass.

      Still! I had some time today and slapped together a pirate rogue option. Kind of feels like the rogue version of the 4e warlord, with abilities focusing on inspiring your crew and frightening foes with your reputation.

      If all goes well, look for it soon.

  2. I've been playing your Awakened Undead (Ghost) along with your Shadow Weaver Rogue archetype and having a blast with it! I may be retiring her soon however for story reasons and was keen to give the Dragoon a try; with that said my DM has indicated that I could start with some boots of striding and springing.

    I'm curious how you might rule they interact with Aspirant Step?

    1. Meant to have this as a reply to your comment, but it got posted as its own thing. Ah well:

      The way I see it, you basically have two parallel jumping options:

      * BOOTS. Take a 10-foot running start, jump 3 times normal, but no further than your movement would allow. You may do this whenever.


      * ASPIRANT STEP. No 10-foot start, jump 2 or 3 times normal, exceed the distance allowed by your movement. You may use this ability 2/4 times before short rest refresh.

      The fact that the jump the boots provides is limited by your movement speed is what makes me think the two aren't compatible. Any jump given by the boots must be specifically limited by movement speed, while any jump given by Aspirant Step is specifically not limited in that way.

      You could (theoretically) use them both at the same time, but then you'd be able to jump 6 or 9 times normal BUT still be inherently limited by your maximum movement speed, meaning you'll only go 30 feet, which you probably would anyway without Aspirant Step.

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