June 25, 2018

Dragoon Redux

Martial Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Tons and tons have tweaks have gone into this subclass with the Draconis Fundamentum book, so I decided it was time to make the redux public.

Dragoon Redux

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.

At 3rd level, you can leap to incredible heights. When you make a high jump, the following rules apply to you:
  • You can leap a number of feet into the air equal to 5 times your Strength modifier, plus an additional 5 feet. This additional height increases by 5 feet at 5th level (10 feet), 10th level (15 feet), 15th level (20 feet), and 20th level (25 feet).
  • You need not move 10 feet immediately before making a high jump.
  • Regardless of how high you jump, performing a high jump costs only 15 feet of your movement.
  • When you take the Attack action when falling from a jump or a great height, you can use your bonus action to perform a velocity attack. The first attack you make deals an additional 1d6 damage for every 10 feet you fell, up to a maximum of 10d6.
  • If your target is in the air, you can complete your Attack action before falling.  
Additionally, as long as you are conscious and wielding a melee weapon, you take no damage from falling from a high jump and half damage from falling when you did not first jump. You always land on your feet.

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. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Tactical Jumps
At 10th level, you have learned how to augment your jumps. You can use each of the following abilities once and regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.
     Double Jump. When you perform a velocity attack and miss, you can repeat your jump and perform a second velocity attack against another target within 15 feet.
     Earthshaker. You can use your action when falling from a jump or a great height 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 (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier.) On a failed save, a creature takes 4d6 bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, a creature takes half this damage and is not knocked prone.
     Passenger. When you make a high jump, you can carry one willing passenger of your size or smaller to your destination.

Terminal Velocity
Starting at 15th level, as long as you are conscious and wielding a melee weapon, you are immune to damage as a result of falling.

Meteor Jump
Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to 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 at such an altitude that you can’t be seen with the naked eye or targeted by attacks or spells. On your next turn, choose a creature within 60 feet of the space from which you jumped to make a Dexterity saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier.) You can't target a creature which has total cover from above. If there is no suitable target, you fall back to your original spot. On a failed save, the creature takes 12d10 + your Strength modifier damage of the same type as your weapon, or half as much on a successful one. You then land in a space adjacent to the target.
     You can't use this ability if there is not sufficient clearance to leap high into the air. Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

6/28/18: Tactical Jumps: Double Jump can only be used on a miss


  1. The dragoon was always one of the most fun and ridiculous fighters I've ever seen. It still is. There are some major balance issues though.

    Velocity means a 3rd level fighter (assuming greatsword) can deal 2d6+2d6+4 consistently each turn. At 5th level, your first attack would be 2d6+3d6+5, and then you have a second attack.

    At low levels, Velocity practically gives as much damage as a sneak attack, but for a fighter, who has a lot of other stuff affecting his attacks as well.

    Double jump means at 11th level, the fighter can do 4 attacks, 2 of which would have velocity. That's 10d6 more than another fighter. A battle master who wastes all his maneuvers on his 3 attacks would deal less damage and use more resources.

    Overall, I'd say the issue is simply too much damage. Also, the damage from velocity can be rerolled by GWF, which makes quite a difference with that many dice.

    1. Coffeelock and sorccadin, your argument is invalid.

    2. A warlock that doesn't sleep, I believe.

      Not that that invalidates Idan's argument. Finger! You're supposed to make the reduxes *more* balanced than the originals!

    3. Fine, I'll do my job!

      I think the general height progression makes sense, but I can remove the additional 5 feet at 3rd level, then balance from there (it's possible it needs a proper ceiling on the damage to keep it from growing out of control at high levels when fighter damage takes over.) I was iffy on keeping Double Jump in, since it's only 1/short and targets a separate target from the first one, but I can easily remove/replace it with something less powerful.

    4. Assuming you have 18 str which becomes 20 at 4th lvl, removing 5 feet (giving the first bonus at 5th level) would not matter for lvl 3 (you'd still get +2d6), and also wouldn't matter for lvl 5-9 (you'd still get +3d6). it would lower the damage at levels 10-14 form +4d6 to +3d6, and would again have no effect at 15-19.
      Since the problem is most prominent for lvls 3-10, this doesn't seem like enough of a solution. Maybe take half falling damage at those levels? it's not much (half of 2-3d6), but is enough of a balancing factor.

      As for Double Jump, maybe condition it so you can only do it if you hit (mario style), or only if you miss?

    5. Because 16 and a racial bonus. 16 is a pretty normal best starting stat- almost nobody (that I know, at least) uses the standard starting array or point buy without giving a bit extra.

    6. I /definitely/ balance against the standard point buy, which means you're getting a max of 17 in Strength at 1st level. This means (currently) 2d6 at 3rd level, 3d6 at 5th level, 4d6 at 10th, and 5d6 at 20th, barring magic items that buff your Strength past 20. Generally, I considered this balance progression to be pretty good, given that it takes your bonus action and a high ceiling to pull off. (At lower levels, the damage is comparable to a TWF build, so I was pretty sure it was /good/, but not crazy.)

      If I'm bumping the starting height down by 5 feet, we're looking at 1d6 at 3rd, 2d6 at 4th, 3d6 at 8th, and 4d6 at 15th level. I avoided this damped progression originally because I thought it would make 3rd level feel too weak for the bonus action cost.

      Assuming we balance against the point buy, what do you think about these two progressions?

  2. I remember you wrote an article on overwatch characters as dnd classes a while back, I feel like a goliath with this class and possibly the charger feat would make a really cool Doomfist.

    1. Actually, we've got a Street Fighter monk that might work a little better, if you check that out.

    2. Is Doomfist a street fighter? His signature move is jumping up in the air and landing on fools. Seems pretty similar to the dragoon to me.

      (Yes, I have finally started learning about overwatch. Been watching some pro matches so I don't feel so left out when everyone's going on about it.)

    3. Now you guys just need to get on the hero they just unveiled today. A fighter archetype whose armor is really just a giant metal hamster ball.

  3. Out of curiosity, but how would this effect a race like the Tabaxi who can 'double their movement speed'? Would it also double the height of the high jumps? I'm not hoping for a yes, just wanted to mention it.

    1. I'd rule that it doesn't, both because movement speed and jump height are calculated differently, and because it would cause unreasonable damage numbers.

    2. Things just get crazy when you have something like the Jump spell cast on you, or a race *coughcoughThri-Kreencoughcough* that has a built in Jump effect.

  4. Lancet seems a bit meh and kinda off the whole concept. Half your damage as temp hp, once per short rest, given the fact its a bonus action and velocity is also a bonus action, we're looking to half damage of a normal attack once per short rest (d12+str, best case scenario 8 hp, 15 if you crit).

    1. Completely forgot about great weapon master giving +10 on this. A bit better, it can solidly absorb a full round of damage on most average encounters around level 7, although still falls behind a whole lot on later levels (unless we go pretty loose on meteor jump and say it's a melee weapon attack XD).

  5. I have to wonder about the "do not take falling damage when concious and wielding a weapon". It makes sense to use a polearm to break the fall, but is it intended to work with a dagger, for example?

    As written it seems like it should probably be changed to only count large melee weapons. Or just spears/polearm.

  6. How would you rule Boots of Striding and Springing with velocity?