D&D (2024) Monks Are Not Tanks And Shouldn’t Be

Mephista

Adventurer
This is because the monk is poorly designed.
Ehhh... Yes and no. Yes, the monk is poorly designed. No, I honestly don't think that grappling is part of the monk class fantasy, so its kind of ignored. Because of that, I don't think we can say "master of unarmed combat" is the monk's niche.
Yes, many martial arts movies have people using weapons. Many of them also DON'T have them using weapons. If they are just incredible weapon using characters... why aren't they fighters? Fighter's cover this aesthetic.
Fists should be on par with weapons with the monk. I believe we do agree on that much. I just feel that it should be a choice - fisting for those who like fisting, and weapons for those who like weapons.

Take Avatar for example, yes, it involves people throwing water and fire around. It is also based on martial arts, and only two or three main characters primarily use any sort of weapons.... and those are the characters who CAN'T bend the elements. It is more of a crutch.

Yes, there is a mystical aspect, but that SHOULD be present in other classes. That isn't unique to the monk.
I'm arguing that their particular brand of mysticism is actually central to the fantasy of the monk. More so than just fist and no armor.

Agreed. The monk needs to be better designed to fill its niche.
(y)
We just need to agree on what said niche is.
I never said the monk was overachieving at unarmed combat. No, they need to be redesigned. They are overachieving in fiction. Fighter is "the guy that fights, but not when angry, and not when pious, and not with magic, except when he does". If that is acceptable fiction for a class, then the monk "I am the master of my body, and using my body as a weapon" is plenty of fiction.
Fair enough, I misunderstood what you said.

To semi-quote a show I'm watching now, the main character needs to learn how to let their inner energy flow around their body, so when they strike the enemy they send that energy into the enemy to damage them from the inside out.

So... dealing additional damage, on a hit.... probably based on a limited resource? How does that not describe the exact mechanics of spending a spell slot to deal extra dice of damage? Are you seriously going to try and claim that because the spell is called "DIVINE" that the mechanics are somehow different?
Here's the thing. You are creating an arbitrary line between what happens narratively and what happens mathematically. When, in truth, they are linked.

Meanwhile, sending energy inside of an enemy does have a parallel in the game - the Mercy monk spending ki to deal extra damage on a hit. That subclass is the one meant to embody the fantasy of monks sending energy into an opponent to heal or harm them. Indeed, this is very similar to a smite. There's quite a bit of overlap with paladins and Mercy monks.

This is fundamentally different from how monks based on Avatar, or the like, act. Or should have mechanically represented. A smite feels fundamentally different from hitting someone with a blow to the head to stun them when you're playing a game.

As I've said elsewhere, vibes matter.


This is the point. You can take the lore and the fiction... and reflavor them. Heck, Eldritch Smite was an attempt to do this. It is literally Divine Smite, but powered by a warlock pact. The mechanics of Divine Smite aren't tied to some deep lore and thematics... they are spend resource do more damage.

What does +2 AC mean? Do I get a bonus to AC for magical forcefields? The Power of Faith? Preternatural dodging ability from future sight? Growing scales across my body? +2 AC can be any story we want it to be. The important part is the mechanics of it, not the story we attach.
Well, lets ask this. Where does that +2 ac come from? Like, if its coming from picking up a shield... you are NOT getting it from precognition or growing scales. You don't randomly get +AC out of nowhere. The fiction comes first (picking up a shield), which gives you a mathematical bonus. There's implications to holding a shield that are different from supernatural dodging or growing scales.

You want to strip all the numbers of any meaning, which is not how the game works at a base level. There's some wiggle room, sure, not everything is set in stone, but you're advocating for an extreme. An extreme that has ripple effects not intended.

Monk AC is based in part on wisdom because that's the attribtue that governs perception and esoteric insight. As a result, monks have insight into physiology and awareness of the world around them.

Dragon sorcerer AC is the result of scales growing on their skin, and are tied to the idea of elemental resistance they get later on. You cannot peel scales off a monk to make dragonscale armor. There's a very strong argument that you can with the sorcerer.

If someone is arguing that they should get AC from seeing the future, I would not allow them to sit at a roulette table and see the future of where the ball will land, even if it fits the rationale they have with AC. Assuming no other divination-based abilities at least. "I can see the future, so dodge well" has implications.

There are limits to "flavor is free."
It just isn't that hard to take a collection of mechanical features and reverse engineer the fictional logic to make them make sense.
The collection of mechanics exist to create a certain fantasy - a certain vibe, if you will. Your arguments center around completely ignoring that vibe, which... the vast majority of players and DMs do not do. You say its not hard. In truth? Most people don't like doing that, as it completely ruins the feel of the class.

And the feel, the vibe, the fantasy? Its EVERYTHING in a TTRPG like this. You might be fine with taking "flavor is free" to an extreme that the majority of gamers balk at. Others aren't. Indeed, we tend to see the opposite - large amounts of backlash when something is mechanically stepping beyond the class fantasy.

Hells, we have the phrase "class fantasy" and "tropes" specifically because they're so important.

You are arguing that you can erase the class fantasy and just use the mechanics to recreate whatever fantasy you want. But you are missing that a perfect bleaching of mechanics like that is impossible. There are always implications to mechancis that, in order for this to work that you have to just ignore. Mechanics don't just exist in a vacuum.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I'm not really sure I ever saw Paladins as being weaker than Fighters. Most of the time, it was the opposite, they were "Fighter+".
That was my experience as well. I don't know about 4e, but at least in 2e & 3.5 the two were on a very similar powerlevel with 3.x having the easiest comparison where one had lots of feats and the other had LoH+some very limited spellcasting before they jumped to a PrC. In 2e there were a lot of system differences that make it hard to summarize, but fighter ranger & paladin were all a subset of options under the warrior rather than a top level thing like the others (warrior wizard priest & rogue)
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I'm arguing that their particular brand of mysticism is actually central to the fantasy of the monk. More so than just fist and no armor.

There's a lot in your post that I disagree with but I hate getting into endless fisking back & forth. Plus thisone section sums up the problem woven into almost everything else in it.

very big IF that's true, then monk is a class that does not belong in d&d because that "particular brand of mysticism" is in conflict with the themes & tropes of everything else in d&d.

 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Sounds like you never played 3e and 4e. Or most Vidya Gaems.

Fighter is Warrior + Warrior
Paladin for the last 20 years is Warrior + Divine

His point was Paladins were never depicted as lesser warriors than Fighters... and I kind of agree? I think they shared a BAB in 3e, and the only difference was fighters got feats while paladins got class abilities and feats.

Even in games, you don't see them often depicted as being bad warriors, they are warriors PLUS divine power. Not Warrior - skill + divine power.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Sounds like you never played 3e and 4e. Or most Vidya Gaems.

Fighter is Warrior + Warrior
Paladin for the last 20 years is Warrior + Divine
Not at all, I played both and here's what I noticed:

In 3.x, the Paladin had the same base attack, hit points, armor and weapons as the Fighter. The Fighter had bonus Feats, but only a few Feats specially designed for them that were really worth taking. Everyone had Feats. In addition, Paladins had a...not very fantastic Smite, but they did have it. Immunity to disease. Charisma to all saves. Limited spellcasting. Special Mount as a class feature. Lay on Hands. Turn Undead (which could power Divine Feats). And Holy Avengers, while you weren't ever going to see one, totally still existed.

Given that most people who played 3.x felt the Fighter as a class was lacking because it's only special ability was Feats, the Paladin had a significantly better chassis, and more options for Prestige Classes. It was, Fighter+.

When it comes to 4e, both the Paladin and the Fighter were Defenders. The Fighter was better at marking and punishing, but the Paladin had healing powers and could do things the Fighter could not, due to their Divine power source. While their mark punishment was weaker, it didn't require the Paladin to be next to the target. With the addition of Divine Sanction, the Paladin got better at multi-marking. And again, both classes used the same weapons and armor, and were equals in durability. Once Essentials landed, the Blackguard was no less durable or offensive than the Slayer (once you solved getting Combat Advantage reliably), and the Cavalier was actually better than the Knight, once you were able to get their special mounts at higher level.

Despite being called a Knight, the Fighter variant was not a mount class; they could purchase one, but the Tiger and the Pegasus were top tier options, granting far greater mobility and combat options.

So yeah. If not Fighter+, then not really weaker than the Fighter.
 

Ehhh... Yes and no. Yes, the monk is poorly designed. No, I honestly don't think that grappling is part of the monk class fantasy, so its kind of ignored. Because of that, I don't think we can say "master of unarmed combat" is the monk's niche.

Fists should be on par with weapons with the monk. I believe we do agree on that much. I just feel that it should be a choice - fisting for those who like fisting, and weapons for those who like weapons.


I'm arguing that their particular brand of mysticism is actually central to the fantasy of the monk. More so than just fist and no armor.


(y)
We just need to agree on what said niche is.

Fair enough, I misunderstood what you said.


Here's the thing. You are creating an arbitrary line between what happens narratively and what happens mathematically. When, in truth, they are linked.

Meanwhile, sending energy inside of an enemy does have a parallel in the game - the Mercy monk spending ki to deal extra damage on a hit. That subclass is the one meant to embody the fantasy of monks sending energy into an opponent to heal or harm them. Indeed, this is very similar to a smite. There's quite a bit of overlap with paladins and Mercy monks.

This is fundamentally different from how monks based on Avatar, or the like, act. Or should have mechanically represented. A smite feels fundamentally different from hitting someone with a blow to the head to stun them when you're playing a game.

As I've said elsewhere, vibes matter.



Well, lets ask this. Where does that +2 ac come from? Like, if its coming from picking up a shield... you are NOT getting it from precognition or growing scales. You don't randomly get +AC out of nowhere. The fiction comes first (picking up a shield), which gives you a mathematical bonus. There's implications to holding a shield that are different from supernatural dodging or growing scales.

You want to strip all the numbers of any meaning, which is not how the game works at a base level. There's some wiggle room, sure, not everything is set in stone, but you're advocating for an extreme. An extreme that has ripple effects not intended.

Monk AC is based in part on wisdom because that's the attribtue that governs perception and esoteric insight. As a result, monks have insight into physiology and awareness of the world around them.

Dragon sorcerer AC is the result of scales growing on their skin, and are tied to the idea of elemental resistance they get later on. You cannot peel scales off a monk to make dragonscale armor. There's a very strong argument that you can with the sorcerer.

If someone is arguing that they should get AC from seeing the future, I would not allow them to sit at a roulette table and see the future of where the ball will land, even if it fits the rationale they have with AC. Assuming no other divination-based abilities at least. "I can see the future, so dodge well" has implications.

There are limits to "flavor is free."

The collection of mechanics exist to create a certain fantasy - a certain vibe, if you will. Your arguments center around completely ignoring that vibe, which... the vast majority of players and DMs do not do. You say its not hard. In truth? Most people don't like doing that, as it completely ruins the feel of the class.

And the feel, the vibe, the fantasy? Its EVERYTHING in a TTRPG like this. You might be fine with taking "flavor is free" to an extreme that the majority of gamers balk at. Others aren't. Indeed, we tend to see the opposite - large amounts of backlash when something is mechanically stepping beyond the class fantasy.

Hells, we have the phrase "class fantasy" and "tropes" specifically because they're so important.

You are arguing that you can erase the class fantasy and just use the mechanics to recreate whatever fantasy you want. But you are missing that a perfect bleaching of mechanics like that is impossible. There are always implications to mechancis that, in order for this to work that you have to just ignore. Mechanics don't just exist in a vacuum.
I'm not ignoring the vibe. I'm saying the mechanics are the source of it.

Holy warriors in fiction are not half-spellcasting smite machines. It is a collection of D&Disms that has become a trope. It is one that could have just as easily happened for the monk.

I also haven't said that fiction needs to be ignored or that designers need not consider it. I just don't think it's that delicate or fixed in any meaningful or specific way.

If you make the class fun to play, with relevant impactful, entertaining mechanics, the effort needed to apply the fluff required to pass the sniff test is minimal.

Edit: And to get back to the monk, while I personally enjoy the monk as fast skirmisher, something like a stance-based dodge or control tank would have an equally cromulent thematic backing and would be just as easy to sell me on.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Not at all, I played both and here's what I noticed:

In 3.x, the Paladin had the same base attack, hit points, armor and weapons as the Fighter. The Fighter had bonus Feats, but only a few Feats specially designed for them that were really worth taking. Everyone had Feats. In addition, Paladins had a...not very fantastic Smite, but they did have it. Immunity to disease. Charisma to all saves. Limited spellcasting. Special Mount as a class feature. Lay on Hands. Turn Undead (which could power Divine Feats). And Holy Avengers, while you weren't ever going to see one, totally still existed.

Given that most people who played 3.x felt the Fighter as a class was lacking because it's only special ability was Feats, the Paladin had a significantly better chassis, and more options for Prestige Classes. It was, Fighter+.

When it comes to 4e, both the Paladin and the Fighter were Defenders. The Fighter was better at marking and punishing, but the Paladin had healing powers and could do things the Fighter could not, due to their Divine power source. While their mark punishment was weaker, it didn't require the Paladin to be next to the target. With the addition of Divine Sanction, the Paladin got better at multi-marking. And again, both classes used the same weapons and armor, and were equals in durability. Once Essentials landed, the Blackguard was no less durable or offensive than the Slayer (once you solved getting Combat Advantage reliably), and the Cavalier was actually better than the Knight, once you were able to get their special mounts at higher level.

Despite being called a Knight, the Fighter variant was not a mount class; they could purchase one, but the Tiger and the Pegasus were top tier options, granting far greater mobility and combat options.

So yeah. If not Fighter+, then not really weaker than the Fighter.
WRT the 3.x fighter thing there are a couple points I'm not sure that I agree with you on. Feat diversity improved dramatically over the life of 3.x & those bonus feats helped dramatically with going through feat chains.* Also base classes were not really as important then as now, almost everyone would jump over to a PrC somewhere around 3-5 levels into the game unless they delayed it a bit with some multiclassing to qualify for a desired PrC.

When you say "just fighter+" it's the just that I agree with because the plus was mostly just a somewhat different shade on a similar paint swatch strip. On the power scale both were pretty similar until you started a much more complicated comparison of PrCs where minmaxing CharOp played a heavier role in the not quite having a real internet days.

* Feat chains were a good thing & helped limit egregious minmaxing abuses.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Ehhh... Yes and no. Yes, the monk is poorly designed. No, I honestly don't think that grappling is part of the monk class fantasy, so its kind of ignored. Because of that, I don't think we can say "master of unarmed combat" is the monk's niche.

Grappling is absolutely part of the class fantasy. Grabbing, redirecting, or otherwise entangling your opponent is a key part of many films and shows featuring monk-like characters. Grappling is usually horrendous in DnD and is currently designed to exclude monks, but that doesn't mean it isn't iconic for many such characters. In fact, it is so iconic it is often added on to with special techniques and moves.

Plus, it is grabbing someone. If you can't find someone grabbing on to someone else during a fight choreography, there is something weird going on.

Fists should be on par with weapons with the monk. I believe we do agree on that much. I just feel that it should be a choice - fisting for those who like fisting, and weapons for those who like weapons.

Sure, it can be a choice... but at that point, why not drop them as a class and put a d8 "fist" weapon on the weapon list? If they are not defined by HOW they fight... they are just fighters.

And as much as you keep denying it, the Monk is the class that comes to mind when people ask for an unarmed combatant. So the design should focus on that, then have weapon use as an option, but not the focus.

I'm arguing that their particular brand of mysticism is actually central to the fantasy of the monk. More so than just fist and no armor.

No, that brand of mysticism is the EXCUSE used to JUSTIFY the fist and no armor. Why are monks mystical? Because they are mysterious, why are they mysterious, because an unarmed, unarmored man can take down a man in armor who is wielding weapons. The two go hand in hand, but the execution of the "mystical" element is in service to the way they fight.

(y)
We just need to agree on what said niche is.

Well, it seems our two choices are "magical fighter" or "unarmed fighter" and frankly since everyone should be supernatural in DnD and magic is covered by the majority of other classes... I don't understand why this is a discussion. No one else has the primary fantasy of fighting unarmored and with their fists. Plenty of other people have "strange magical powers" or "religious beliefs"

Heck, the UA paladin of Redemption had abilities to go unarmored and use simple weapons, and would fit the aesthetic some of those characters would go for.


Here's the thing. You are creating an arbitrary line between what happens narratively and what happens mathematically. When, in truth, they are linked.

Meanwhile, sending energy inside of an enemy does have a parallel in the game - the Mercy monk spending ki to deal extra damage on a hit. That subclass is the one meant to embody the fantasy of monks sending energy into an opponent to heal or harm them. Indeed, this is very similar to a smite. There's quite a bit of overlap with paladins and Mercy monks.

This is fundamentally different from how monks based on Avatar, or the like, act. Or should have mechanically represented. A smite feels fundamentally different from hitting someone with a blow to the head to stun them when you're playing a game.

As I've said elsewhere, vibes matter.

They are linked in the final product by context. Seriously, this is very very simple. Let's try again.

My character uses an action to make a ranged attack that deals fire damage. Which class am I? Elemental Monks can do this, wizards can do this. Sorcerers can do this. Warlocks can do this. Druids can do this. Clerics can do this.

Fire damage is a flavor of story, the fantasy of dealing fire damage is reached from many different angle. And while the Mercy Monk does deal poison damage on a hit, that actually isn't the fantasy I was talking about, because the damage type I'm talking about would be better represented by Force damage. Because it turns out, even if mechanically identical, the damage creates a context. After all, hitting someone with thunder damage is different than hitting them with psychic damage. Not because the mechanics have to change at all, the mechanics can be identical, but the damage type changes the feel.

PArt of the issue seems to be, you are looking at the finished product, then declaring that that is how you start, with a finished product. No. When doing design work, you start with an unfinished product. The "vibes" of the story and fluff, like whether or not they deal fire or psychic damage, comes later. First you have to make them actually mechanically vibe in a useful way.

Well, lets ask this. Where does that +2 ac come from? Like, if its coming from picking up a shield... you are NOT getting it from precognition or growing scales. You don't randomly get +AC out of nowhere. The fiction comes first (picking up a shield), which gives you a mathematical bonus. There's implications to holding a shield that are different from supernatural dodging or growing scales.

You want to strip all the numbers of any meaning, which is not how the game works at a base level. There's some wiggle room, sure, not everything is set in stone, but you're advocating for an extreme. An extreme that has ripple effects not intended.

Monk AC is based in part on wisdom because that's the attribtue that governs perception and esoteric insight. As a result, monks have insight into physiology and awareness of the world around them.

Dragon sorcerer AC is the result of scales growing on their skin, and are tied to the idea of elemental resistance they get later on. You cannot peel scales off a monk to make dragonscale armor. There's a very strong argument that you can with the sorcerer.

If someone is arguing that they should get AC from seeing the future, I would not allow them to sit at a roulette table and see the future of where the ball will land, even if it fits the rationale they have with AC. Assuming no other divination-based abilities at least. "I can see the future, so dodge well" has implications.

There are limits to "flavor is free."

You almost get it, then you veer off in another direction. Yes, different expressions are different expressions. Here, let's try this.

How do you calculate AC? 10 + Dex. If you have a different AC calculation, it is generally 10 + Dex + another score. Here are four versions of that. Actually, let's do five, because there is another one that is easy to get

10 + Dex + Cha
10 + Dex + Wis
10 + Dex + Con
10 + Dex + Cha
10 + Dex + Int

Now, according to you, all five of these are completely different mechanics. They share almost nothing in common, according to your view, because the flavor is completely different for all of these.

But... two of them are literally identical. And mechanically... they are all the same thing. Sure, there is a different inherent in wisdom versus consitution, but mechanically this distinction doesn't matter. I even have a variant of a class that does 10 + Dex + STR to round it out and have one for every single other ability score.

The mechanic is the same. The logic behind it is largely the same. Don't wear armor, instead use a second score. Now, one of them cheats and does wear armor, but that is because it is a temporary ability, but just looking at this, if you didn't know exactly which class each of these belonged to... would you honestly be able to tell?

There is no "extreme ripple effect" here. There is an acknowledgement of how design works. "Make an attack as a bonus action" represents both extreme skill and training, and divine providence, and unbridled fury. Same mechanic, but put a different name and a different trigger, and you have created a different story.

The collection of mechanics exist to create a certain fantasy - a certain vibe, if you will. Your arguments center around completely ignoring that vibe, which... the vast majority of players and DMs do not do. You say its not hard. In truth? Most people don't like doing that, as it completely ruins the feel of the class.

And the feel, the vibe, the fantasy? Its EVERYTHING in a TTRPG like this. You might be fine with taking "flavor is free" to an extreme that the majority of gamers balk at. Others aren't. Indeed, we tend to see the opposite - large amounts of backlash when something is mechanically stepping beyond the class fantasy.

Hells, we have the phrase "class fantasy" and "tropes" specifically because they're so important.

You are arguing that you can erase the class fantasy and just use the mechanics to recreate whatever fantasy you want. But you are missing that a perfect bleaching of mechanics like that is impossible. There are always implications to mechancis that, in order for this to work that you have to just ignore. Mechanics don't just exist in a vacuum.

Of course they don't exist in a vaccuum. But you don't design a class by saying "I need the story of..." exclusively. The Monk has a story, it has a context, we agree on this. But you keep arguing that we have to only focus on that and we can't set that aside, look at the absolute garbage fire of mechanics we are dealing with and say "okay, mechanically, what do I want this to do"

We need "what does a baseline monk DO in a fight? What do they do in a social situation?" Not, what is the story of the avatar who does Z,X,Y, A,B C because that's a subclass, and we are looking at the base class, trying to figure out what it can do first.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
WRT the 3.x fighter thing there are a couple points I'm not sure that I agree with you on. Feat diversity improved dramatically over the life of 3.x & those bonus feats helped dramatically with going through feat chains.* Also base classes were not really as important then as now, almost everyone would jump over to a PrC somewhere around 3-5 levels into the game unless they delayed it a bit with some multiclassing to qualify for a desired PrC.

When you say "just fighter+" it's the just that I agree with because the plus was mostly just a somewhat different shade on a similar paint swatch strip. On the power scale both were pretty similar until you started a much more complicated comparison of PrCs where minmaxing CharOp played a heavier role in the not quite having a real internet days.

* Feat chains were a good thing & helped limit egregious minmaxing abuses.
And you triggered my trap card. I have a serious problem with Feat chains in 3.5 and the effect on the Fighter on Feat design in general. And while this isn't the thread for this derail, I'm not about to make a new thread on the topic 20 years later, so here we go.

So Feat chains are terrible. Why? Because you're forced to take a lot of Feats you normally would not in order to eventually get something good. There's unnecessary bloat, and the Fighter is the reason. Because the Fighter gets extra feats, anything good that you want to be a Fighter exclusive is locked behind a bunch of Feats that, frankly, are terrible. Let's start with the poster child, Whirlwind Attack.

So we start this chain with Combat Expertise, a generally pointless Feat. It's an improved version of fighting defensively (sort of) that requires you to have a BAB of 5 to get the full benefit of, by taking a -5 to hit (as opposed to the -4/+2...or +3 with 5 ranks of Tumbling you get from Fighting Defensively). Given the way iterative attacks work, this is really only useful if you're making a single attack in most circumstances. And rather than being an upgrade to fighting defensively, it's its own mechanic which could stack with fighting defensively?

Oh and it's the cornerstone of a lot of feat chains that (like Whirlwind) have nothing whatsoever to do with it's benefit. Like, say, improved combat maneuvers. And you need a 13 Intelligence on your Fighter or you'll be locked out of most feat chains.

Next we have Dodge. Need a 13 Dex for a situational +1 to AC. Wow, be still my heart. Next, Mobility, a Feat that gives you a +4 bonus to AC when you do something you shouldn't be doing, that is, giving enemies a free hit. I can't tell you how many times I provoked with mobility and the DM rolled a 20, lol.

But wait! With a BAB of 4+ now you can get Spring Attack, a feat that lets you make a single attack and dash...err...slowly walk away! It's not useless, as you can use it to get inside superior reach and not need to rely on Mobility, or avoid taking a full attack, but unless you get some serious speed, it's usually just turning a fight from "stand still and trade full attacks" to "move and trade single attacks".

Then from here, we get the super amazing ability to attack everyone adjacent to you one time. A Human Fighter can pull this off by level 6. Any other class? Well a Human Barbarian could get it by level 9. Non-Human? Level 12.

Whirlwind Attack is not a level 12 ability. But thanks to the Fighter, it technically is. Most classes are so Feat-starved that they can master one Feat chain before the game ends.

And then, as if that wasn't bad enough, books like the PHB2 add more top end Feats to make sure that a Fighter never masters a Feat chain, because it just gets more links! Double Strike, Karmic Strike, Robilar's Gambit, Combat Reflexes builds so you can, by top level, get the super amazing ability to attack twice whenever someone provokes from you, which they do by having the nerve to attack you in melee...all while Barbarians are charging for 300 damage and everyone else is just not attacking you in melee and using spells or ranged attacks.

Of course, all this did was make sure that if you really wanted to get the most mileage out of feat chains you just played a human, dipped 2 levels of fighter (or Feat Rogue from UA or both) and acquired the abilities of some other class to make them really shine.
 

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