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Au'ra lancer/dragoons - What do?

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Posted (edited)

Good evening, everyone. It's my first time posting here and I'm in a bit of a rut that I need some real advice with.


With your patience and blessing, a bit of an explanation might be in order. If not, well, I guess I'll offer a "Skip past to the TL;DR"


• • • • •


I began playing the game last summer, right as Stormblood came out to play on Mateus with some RP friends who'd invited me to rp with them and stay away from warcraft as long as we could. These friends apparently had been rp'ing on Balmung for a number of years before transferring off to get to a less-congested server.


Before knowing much about the story or the game's canonical lore, I chose to roll an au'ra because they were really different and cool-looking and (at least until I got around to seeing them in Stormblood) had a wide-open backstory. I took a quick shine to lancer and dragoon because the class itself also was really different than others in the MMO trope, and I really loved their aesthetics, armor and weapons.


My rp free company leader quickly advised me of the problems with trying to write a story explaining how an au'ra somehow becomes a dragoon, for reasons I'd only really find out after advancing the MSQ to Heavensward. It didn't take long for me to realize that anything remotely looking dragonlike would be hunted and killed, and I had a dark knight rp'er friend in the FC (whom also knew me from warcraft) tell me that it was extremely unlikely my raen would receive any training from Ishgard.


Fast forward a little to advancing the story past Aymeric taking over and getting Ishgard into the Alliance, and I'd been writing a mostly tragic backstory that finagled how a Doman refugee not unlike Yugiri (who at the time was the only au'ra I'd seen in the MSQ) would or could hide/survive in the Coerthas Central Highlands. My FC lead and officers looked it over, asked me to change a few things, but otherwise said I wasn't treading into snowflake territory.


Not more than a week after getting my sleek new Dragonlancer glamour set, do I taking it out for a spin at one of the FC's public rp nights out to the Quicksand ... and I very quickly get rp shamed. Elezen dragoon rp'ers immediately start whispering me vociferously how there can't be any au'ra dragoons, how they don't have any ties to the Dravanian blood, how they can't have any real dragoon abilities, and how I should "enjoy myself being a little snowflake."


It took most of the evening for my friends to convince him to leave me be, while I spent most of the night wondering if I had gone too far trying to be a Doman dragoon.


With that being the sole exception, most of the other pickup rp I've encountered on Mateus has been friendly and willing to float the idea of an au'ra dragoon if they accepted the backstory I wrote for her. Most seemed pretty chill about it, and I didn't dwell too much on that winter rp outing. When December hit, my FC lead had a lot of RL problems force her to cut costs and her subscription, and many of the other FC members went back to rp in warcraft. I despaired and went back for a few months as well.

I had always missed playing my dragoon, missed working on her interactions with others within the FC, and generally wasn't all that happy with the way the warcraft story was taking some turns. Last week, I decided to try to come back to FF14 despite the FC essentially being dead. My old FC lead said she was cool with me leaving to try to find other communities, and she even got me the link to Mateus' RP Discord.


To put it politely, of the three FC's I've expressed interest in so far, two have turned me down because they thought au'ra dragoons were a bit too sketchy.


• • • • •



This is where my problems begin again, and where I ask for the advice from a community I'm hopeful can have either some constructive criticism or ideas, because although I almost am completely committed to rewrite my character backstory entirely, I'm not sure I want to keep throwing Gysahl Greens at the wall until I see what sticks. I love my au'ra, I love playing DRG, and I want to rp as both if possible.


  • Assuming there are zero circumstances a non-elezen would learn to be an Ishgardian dragoon, are there other acceptable iterations or variations of lancers / dragoon-like characters in other city-states?
  • Does Doma have its own cultural representation of the Ashigaru (spearmen) or those wielding polearms/yari? If not, is there sufficient breathing room to make a character who fights using that style?
  • Could a warrior draw on different entities for inspiration/strength other than Dravanian blood, such as the Kami?
  • If none of this is kosher, is there any way to make this work?


Thank you to those who both had the patience to read all this and the consideration to leave some advice for a hopeful, prospective and down-on-her-luck RP'er.


~ Reberta

Edited by Tiamatshade
spelling, grammar, concise word choice

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While the Dragoon job isn't locked to just Elezen ((One of the former Azure Dragoons was a hyur)) it is pretty locked up tight. The Order of the Dragoon is an elite military unit in Ishgard, so it would require some connection to Ishgard's military in order to get in. And by Elite it is a feat to even be chosen to undergo training let alone graduate from training and earn the right to be called a Dragoon. In addition to this both Ishgard opening its gates to foreigners and the arrival of the majority of Au Ra in Eorzea is a recent thing, making it even more unlikely that one would be given an honor above all others to train to be a Dragoon. The WoL in lore is pretty much the only one that circumvents this because the Eye of Nidhogg reacts to the WoL marking them as the Azure Dragoon creating a once in a history event of there being two Azure Dragoons at once. The final difficulty is the fact that there were only 10 remaining active duty Dragoons at the end of the Dragonsong War, all of which are accounted for as named npcs except I think one.


It would be far easier to sell yourself as a Lancer who has managed to tie aether based strikes into their fighting style and there are a lot of different Spear using units. Ishgard, Gridania, and Ala Mhigo are all well known for their Lancer units, and I'd be surprised if Doma or Hingashi didn't have something similar. As for the Blood of the Dragon effects... you can say they use aether to create similar abilities, but expect some to still raise eyebrows at that.

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Posted (edited)

I think it's very possible to play an Au Ra who is proficient with the lance/spear. You don't necessarily have to put the "Dragoon" label on it, unless you would specifically want your character associated with Ishgard's military (which is likely where all the stigma is coming from, since that's not really shown in game so it's generally regarded as "implausible.") 


If you're wanting to avoid most of the stigma, I'd just avoid putting the "dragoon" label on it, and just have your character know their way around a lance/spear. I'd say it's even feasible to have them use similar techniques as shown in game, since most of the martial classes utilize their own aether to bolster their melee attacks. Even a relatively normal Lancer from Gridania's Lancer Guild can combine aether and lancework in this way, so I don't think it's terribly snowflakey. 


I'm not sure about the dragon blood parallel, so you may just want to stick with "using one's inner aether to enhance their attack," in concept? 


Also, I believe many of the Lupin in Yanxia wield spears, so maybe your Au Ra could have learned it from them somehow? Either way, I think it demonstrates their prevelance in Doma. 


Of course, you can always play what you want and heck to the haters. But since this post seems to be asking about how best to avoid ruffling the feathers of others, I've offered what help I can! Best of luck and wishing many fun RPs to you! 

Edited by xelliexell

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My general take is this:


In the IC world, the guilds which exist do have a focus on particular arms, but, we also encounter myriad examples of NPCs who are brandishing arms which could not likely have come from a membership in the relevant guild. We can therefore conclude that there's no particular mandatory correlation between membership in a guild and use of that guild's preferred arm (or, to put it another way, one needn't be in the Lancer's Guild in order to be capable of learning to be proficient with a spear).


Play as an IC samurai complete with soulstone and visibly use a polearm or bow if you want, and I'd say that's totally fine.

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Posted (edited)

While I will generally agree that an Au'ra character being a member of the Order of the Knight Dragoons seems far fetched and difficult to believe, I think that on both sides a lot of shortcuts and misconceptions happen, and most of those are born from a lack of rigor in definitions.


- You can play an Aura with masterful skills at the spear. A lance wielder is as generic as it can get and you'll find plenty of those even in Othard born cultures, probably using things not disssimilar to naginata or the good old japanese yari. 


- You can play an Aura that learned and/or is part of the Lancer Guild, that is the guild in Gridania, the Eorzean current reference when it comes to the best teachings about the spear. Similarly, you can also play an Aura that learned the art of the spear in most other cultures, either in Othard as said above, or even in Ala Migho or whatever (since Ala Migho had the best lancer wielders of Eorzea before being invaded: their pikeman legions were considered the best of the best).


- What is being a Dragoon? Dragoon has at least 2 distinct definitions. A Dragoon is someone in ishgardian culture that managed to slay a dravanian dragon. Many knights are dragoons, but aren't part of the Order of the Knight Dragoons, which leads to the second definition, the job definition, which is an elite order of Ishgard composed of very few members (thus, not regular infantry divisions), which amounted to around 30ish during the Dragonsong War, constantly renewed since a lot of them died regularly, and now amounts to around a dozen only now the war is over, and this is including famous NPCs like Estinien or Heustienne. This in itself, is very special snowflaky, like a lot of jobs (which doesn't mean you can't play one, but having RPers playing official Knight Dragoons telling to someone they are special snowflaky is kinda hilarious). 


- You can go around being part of the Knight Dragoons by using different substitutes, and this is how I helped some dragoon RPers cope with the lorebook revelation of their so small numbers. You can say your character is only a trainee. You can also say your character used to be one, like Alberic was. You can say your character used to be one and got exiled. Or mutilated, or wounded, and so got dismissed from the Order. Those are all very convenient and easy ways to avoid the very unique status of being part of the Knight Dragoons without technically being part of it. 


- Saying that the Knight Dragoons (so the Dragoon job) require the use of the blood of the first Brood that got diluted and spread among all the ishgardian descendents of the first King Thordan is patently false as far as I know. The presence of said blood in the bodies of every native ishgardian has been 1) diluted in power over the centuries (we're speaking about 1000 years of war), and 2) makes them very vulnerable into turning into dragon spawns when they drink dragon blood, cf Heustienne or Ysayle's followers during 2.5. Any trainee can don the armor of the Dragoon if they follow the training and the traditions. The WoL being a perfect example of it and being a non ishgardian native. The blessing of the Eye and/or the ingestion of dragon blood unlocks certain abilities (HW and SB skills) is all.


- Sidurgu is one example of Au'ri being present in Ishgard (mostly Xaela though), way before Ishgard re opens to foreigners. He's not a Dragoon, yes. He's not a Raen, yes. But Ishgard hasn't been closed to foreign influences for all its history. And contact with Othard isn't exactly new either, thus why we saw several xaela migratory waves that ended up in Coerthas, among other things. Nothing to my knowledge forbids anyone to be of othardian descent in Ishgard, but it will sure be very rare, as Sidurgu is the perfect example of it. So, in a nutshell, it always boils down to how far are you going to go with the uniqueness of some background character traits? This is possible. Combine it with a very rare othardian native being somehow in Ishgard and also being accepted in the ranks of the Order of the Knight Dragoons, and you sure end up with a very unique, hard to believe scenario. Well at least, that Order is pretty much the only ishgardian organization that isn't concerned about lineage, classism, and xenophobia. 


Up to you.

Edited by Valence

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It is rather unfortunate that the way the developers wrote the lore of the classes, and especially the jobs, tends to make them very restrictive. In some cases, like the White Mage, the player represents the ONLY person outside of a select few who has learned that job. So we are left to fudge things a little. Often, because it only makes sense for certain professions to be more widespread than the given lore implies.


As people have stated above, it is very unlikely that an Au Ra could have learned the art of the Dragoon in Ishgard. But that doesn't mean that an Au Ra couldn't learn the arts of using a spear or lance. Such weapons are common across the world. Surely there must be people skilled with them to learn from outside of a couple tiny slices if Eorzea. Maybe your character isn't a Dragoon, but could still be someone very skilled with the weapon.


Just as an example, by game mechanics my Katarina is a Paladin. But in RP she's no such thing - she never spend time in the arenas of Ul'dah as a Gladiator. She certainly was never one of the Sultansworn to learn to be a Paladin. She's just a reasonably skilled fighter who favors a sword and shield - common weapons that anyone could learn to use if they put in the effort.

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Most of the Jobs are restricted one way or another.

Paladin and Machinist are fairly open - no major problem playing one of those. 

Ninja, Warrior, Samurai, Bard, Astrologer, Red Mage are all quite plausible, but do require a bit of explaining how a character learned them.

The rest (White Mage, Scholar, Summoner, Black Mage, Dragoon, Monk, Dark Knight) are all either very rare and/or illegal.


However all the classes are pretty much wide open - very few restrictions on belonging to one of those.

So if you want to play a spear-wielding warrior - play a Lancer, not a Dragoon.

If you want a healer - play a Conjurer rather than a White Mage.



Roleplaying as a Class instead of a Job will give you almost all the abilities of the Job, but will have much less lore-based problems.


Or you can just ignore the whole Class/Job thing when creating your character.

Plenty of people in Eorzea who fight with sword and shield while never having visited Ul'dah and the Gladiator's Guild - just as an example.

As an another example, you can be a Ishgard-based vigilante wielding two-handed sword without actually being a Dark Knight.




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Posted (edited)

I'm probably going on a tangent here and verging apart from the OP proper, but to my eyes and understanding RDM is one of the most restricted jobs, like BLM and WhM. Basically the only way to learn the job is to learn it the hard way: finding somehow a soulstone and parsing countless occult and arcane sources until you actually learn about the job itself being something more than a legend, then learning how that magic is used, what with (so being able to design your own aetherially conductive rapier and whatnot), etc, before even starting to learn about specific spells. Because there is no red mage left alive but X'ruhn (unless others are left and he doesn't know about it, but that's not lore, that's outside of it and on that territory you can make up anything for any job, create hidden communities and whatnot...).


Even saying that your character is quite old and has learned red magic under the Crimson Duelists during the reign of the King of Ruin makes little sense, since it would have made them a red mage, and the lore seems to say that they all ded naow.


Only thing that goes for you is the lack of enforced illegality around the job even if it makes use of black and white magic...

Edited by Valence

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My au ra character is one who has always been played as a samurai, even back when the class didn't exist in game. Before Stormblood launched I played her as a dragoon. There is a polearm that samurai were known for using called the naginata, There's a weapon you can get from centurio seals in Ishgard that bears resemblance to a naginata and I used it throughout the time I played my character pre-SB. So if you want to go the Doman polearm-user route, that may be a good option for you.

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As a few have said here its definitely possible to become a doman spearman, which I would advise as being the more better route with how elite the dragoon order can be in terms of its participants and how many are trained in the actions.


Saying that however if you wish to add a bit more flourish to the lancemanship its definitely possible to learn dragoon-like abilities from aetherical manipulation if you can pull it off, for example using wind aspected aether to simulate jumps, or fire aspected to infuse your lance for certain attacks.

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