Dragoon, Variant3 (3.5e Class)
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Spear in hand, a dragon’s fang shines in the peak of a mountain, then disappears high in the sun, only to strike down on an unlucky foe – this is a dragoon, a formidable friend to have, or a hated enemy for life. With his extraordinary jump ability, he strikes at those foolish enough to have challenged him.
|“||I'm sure his Majesty has his reasons...||”|
|—Kain Highwind, Human Dragoon|
The dragoon’s most powerful weapon is his ability to jump great heights and strike down with amazing precision. Dragoons almost never team up with other dragoons because they understand each others’ need to prove themselves, though the occasional comrades can be found.
Making a Dragoon
Abilities: Strength is important because of the dragoons’ role in combat. Constitution is also important to provide the dragoon with extra hit points needed in battles. Dexterity proves to be very useful because of the Superior Defense ability.
Races: Humans, with their ambitious souls make great dragoons. Half-elves, who often share their human lineage ambition, can also become dragoons. Elves, with their chaotic lifestyle, hardly follow the dragoons way, though the few elves who actually do it have proven to be very deadly. These elf dragoons usually choose tests that take them far from elven lands due to their opposite lifestyles. Quite a good number of dwarves become dragoons, mostly to bring pride to their clans and family. Halflings and gnomes are rarely dragoons, and the few who actually become one, usually stay near their communities to protect them. Few brutal humanoids are among its ranks.
Alignment: A dragoon’s training requires strict discipline. Only those with a lawful soul are capable to undertake it.
Starting Gold: 6d4 ×10 gp (150 gp).
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Superior Defense I|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||Superior Defense II|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+10||+5||Superior Defense III|
1 See Table 1-2: Dragoon Jump for more information.
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, × 4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the dragoon.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dragoons are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor and with shields (except tower shields).
Jump (Ex): Starting at 1st level, once per day, a dragoon is able to do a Jump Attack as a full-round action, to produce a devastating blow to the opponent. Upon declaring the Jump attack, move your character up to the max jump distance allotted for your level according to Table 1-2: Dragoon Jump (this jump is Extraordinary and ignores normal jumping skill rolls) then make a normal attack roll. On a successful hit you deal normal damage plus bonus damage (again, according to Table 1-2: Dragoon Jump). A successful critical attack roll increases normal damage, not the bonus damage added by Jump. Special attack actions such as a sunder or trip cannot be performed during a Jump attack. A Jump attack may be used without a target to attack in order to avoid a normal jump skill roll. Maximum vertical height of Jump when considering clearing obstacles is one half of the max jump distance allotted for your level according to Table 1-2: Dragoon Jump.
Bonus Feats: At 2nd level a dragoon gains a combat oriented feat. The dragoon gains an additional feat at 5th level and every three dragoon levels thereafter. A dragoon must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat. These feats are in addition to the feat that every character gets every three levels. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats.
Superior Defense I, II, III (Ex): A dragoon learns special techniques to overcome their armor encumbrance as they train their Jump ability.
I - At 4th level the maximum dexterity bonus for any medium or heavy armor you wear, including mithral versions, is increased by 1.
II - At 10th level the increase to maximum dexterity bonus becomes 2 and the armor check penalty for any armor or shield the dragoon uses is reduced by 2 (to a minimum of 0).
III - At 16th level the increase to maximum dexterity bonus becomes 3 and the dragoon no longer reduces their movement when wearing medium or heavy armor. (They still reduce movement if carrying a medium or heavy load, however.) If you know the Spring Attack feat, your unimpeded movement allows you to use Spring Attack even while wearing heavy armor.
Dragon Talon (Ex): At 6th level, a dragoon can use a polearm weapon as a one-handed weapon. This is because of the dragoon’s extensive practice in the use of polearm weapons.
Area Jump (Ex): At 19th level, a dragoon has developed a superior use of the Jump ability. This Area Jump follows normal area of effect rules, damaging any creature in the radius. Declare a Jump attack as an Area Jump using 2 of your normal daily uses of the ability and move your character as per Jump attack rules. Roll all weapon and Jump attack damage dice then deal half of the result, rounded down, to all creatures in a '15 radius. No attack roll is required. Creatures in the area of effect must make a reflex save, DC equal to the Dragoon's Base Attack Bonus + 10, taking half damage upon success.
|Level||Times per Day||Max Distance to Target2||Extra Damage3|
1 The distances jumped by the Dragoon in this manner are not determined as per the rules in the Player’s Handbook. Instead, the Dragoon automatically jumps the intended distances with no roll necessary. Spells like Haste or Jump do not affect the maximum distances a Dragoon may jump. Jump attack is a full round action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity and is considered an extraordinary ability.
A dragoon who ceases to be lawful cannot gain new levels as a dragoon but retains all dragoon abilities. Like a member of any other class, a dragoon may be a multiclass character, but multiclass dragoons face a special restriction. A dragoon who gains a level in any other class may never again raise his dragoon level, though he retains all his abilities. The path of the Dragoon requires a constant heart. If a character adopts this class, he must pursue it to the exclusion of all other careers. Once he has turned off the path, he may never return.
|21st||Epic Bonus Feat|
|24th||Epic Bonus Feat|
|26th||Epic Superior Defense|
|27th||Epic Bonus Feat|
|29th||Epic Dragon Talon|
|30th||Epic Bonus Feat|
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Epic Bonus Feats: The epic dragoon gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic fighter bonus feats) at 21st level and every 3 levels after.
Epic Jump (Ex): Starting at 22nd level the epic dragoon has mastered the jump attack, able to use it 8 times a day, leaping up to 50ft and dealing normal weapon damage +10d8 on a successful hit with an additional +1d8 damage when using a polearm.
Epic Superior Defense (Ex): At 26th level the epic dragoon masters special techniques to overcome their armor encumbrance. The increase to maximum dexterity bonus for any medium or heavy armor you wear, including mithral versions, is +5 and the epic dragoon’s mastery of heavy armor and shields allows them to reduce any armor check penalty for any armor or shield the dragoon uses by 5 (to a minimum of 0).
Epic Dragon Talon (Ex): At 29th level the epic dragoon has honed his skills with polearms to an unmatched degree. +2 to damage and attack rolls with polearms. The dragoon may attack adjacent foes with a reach weapon without penalties.
Human Dragoon Starting Package
Armor: Scale mail (+4 AC, armor check penalty -4, speed 20 ft., 30 lb.).
Weapons: Longspear (1d8, crit. ×3, 9 lb., two-handed, piercing).
Longsword (1d8, crit. 19-20/×2, 4 lb., one-handed, slashing).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to (2 + Int modifier × 4) + 4 bonus skill points (human).
Feat: Weapon Focus (Longspear).
Bonus Feat (Dragoon): If Strength is 13 or higher, Power Attack; if Strength is 12 or lower, Improved Initiative instead.
Bonus Feat (Human): Blind-fight.
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel.
Gold: 2d4 gp.
Playing a Dragoon
Adventures: A dragoon sees an adventure as a personal test. While not prone to showing off, dragoons are willing to try their skills against whatever obstacles confront them. They eagerly seek whatever can help them develop their skills.
Background: The Order of Dragoons was originally formed to train elite warriors in special ways to slay dragons. However, the abilities learned within proved to be very effective in many ways, turning the Order into an organization spawning several academies teaching the path of the dragoons. A few elder dragoons have been known to teach its ways to a few selected individuals to high success.
Religion: A good dragoon typically follows Heironeous, while an evil dragoon follows Hextor. These are not the only deities, as followers of Kord and Pelor can also be found. Dwarven dragoons follow Moradin, and elven ones follow Corellon Larethian.
Other Classes: The dragoon excels in straight fight, but he relies on others for magical support and healing. However, if a whole troop of dragoons cooperate, magic won’t be of much need when the enemy is killed before it can react. Dragoons may not completely understand the ways of wizardry, or the workings of faith, but they recognize the value and the potential of teamwork.
Combat: In most adventuring parties, the dragoon serves as a melee combatant, attacking the enemy while his friends support him with magic or ranged attacks. His jumping ability can also provide support to other party members as well, and the respect given to him also gives leadership opportunities.
Dragoons in the World
|“||Having your head in the clouds isn't always a bad thing.||”|
Dragoons, for the most part, are solitary, focusing on their training. Those who do adventure often have a target in mind, seeking only their own improvement.
Daily Life: The vast majority of their time is spent in training or maintaining their armour and weapon.
NPC Reactions: Dragoons by nature are a mysterious bunch; most NPCs may have heard of them, but few will have seen them.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge: History or Knowledge: Nobility can research Dragoons to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Dragoons are melee combatants.|
|15||They favor spears.|
|20||They maintain mobility even while encumbered by armor.|
|25||They can leap through the air to strike opponents at range.|
Dragoons in the Game
With their Jump ability, Dragoons can eliminate weaker targets quickly or help the party with stronger ones. They are often a secondary melee fighter; although impressive, their damage tends to be sporadic.