Whirlwind of Death: Too weak and/or too late

One of my players wasn't happy.

He created a 8th level ranger for a test. We noticed something very soon.


  1. In order to trigger a lot of deathblows


    1. The ranger must use a two handed weapon for the damage.

    2. The ranger might have to use a reach weapon to hit a second target or die for being surrounded.

    3. The enemy must have less than ~15 HP to get the deathblow.


  2. Because of his level in order to fight brutes, he had to fight a lot of them. A whole lot. TPK amounts if the PCs lack AOE or the "brutes" use range.

  3. Dealdly Strike triggers only once a turn so killing the second guy or third guy is very difficult.

  4. The ranger has to still hit.



AKA Great Cleave still sucks.


Basically somehow the ranger must have high damage, high AC, and high HP just to get it to work.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I don't like the Brute Hunter much in general. Humanoid Lore gives advantage on easy checks where you don't need it, unless the DM specifically sets up something useful but obscure you could know. Pack Awareness is very situational, and I would probably play it that way anyway. (If the ranger sees them coming, wouldn't he warn everyone else?) Weave through the Fray is the only thing that's any good.

WoD should somehow give you autokills against low hp creatures.
In retrospect, this favored enemy concept is brilliant, but the benefits they have provided aren't on par with the class features other classes get.

WoD should somehow give you autokills against low hp creatures.


Similarly, there needs to be some kind of feat or manoeuvre that's useful for low-level characters against swarms of minor enemies - Cleave and Wide Arc don't hit enough targets (and if you're a wizard who whiffed his Sleep spell being swarmed by a dozen rats, as happened in my Caves Of Chaos test, you won't even have them).

Maybe something like 'Wild Swing' or 'Desperate Swipe' - attack with Disadvantage, if you hit roll an expertise dice to see how many enemies you clipped, and divide your total damage between them (rounded to a minimum of 1hp). Because frankly, rat-stomping against one target at a time is utterly tedious, and even if they only score 1 damage on a hit, they'll gnaw you down eventually.
The rub is the Fighter's Whirlwind Attack.

WoD deals more damage than WwA so it needs a restriction. So WoD deals full damage but needs a deathblow to continue and is limited to 3 targets. The current restriction is too much.

So how about a defense penalty,

WoD hits up to three targets but you lose you Dex to AC.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

They need to change the movement rules from "You can break up your movement on your turn, moving both before and after your action" to "You can break up your movement on your turn, moving before, duringand after your action."