Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
  • Unearthed Arcana: Centaurs and Minotaurs


    Centaurs and Minotaurs are the topics of this month's Unearthed Arcana!Centaurs gallop into Unearthed Arcana this month—a playtest option for when you choose your character’s race. Another type of character from Greek myth joins them: minotaurs. We first showed off minotaurs in a 2015 installment of Unearthed Arcana, and we present revised versions of their traits today.





    Comments 234 Comments
    1. AmerginLiath's Avatar
      AmerginLiath -
      As a Dragonlance junkie, it’s interesting to see how they’ve pulled back the damage on the minotaur to make it more workable as a player race (I imagine that working with the Volo races gave them a better baseline). The Hybrid Nature mechanic is interesting here, especially given the number of Fey Ancestry races that we’ve seen so far (who aren’t both Humanoid and Fey), as well as the planar-descended races.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      It shows how determined they are not to allow large PCs, given that is states centur PCs are medium, even though they are normally large (as are horses).
      Nerfing minotaur horn damage seems reasonable, 1d10 was a bit OP. Shame they lose the Dragonlance nautical fluff (which I think was originally inspired by Voyage of the Dawn Treader).
    1. AmerginLiath's Avatar
      AmerginLiath -
      The nautical nerf is sad but understandable in that they still haven’t really come out with good rules on running a game on the high seas (like mass combat, that’s a genre-motif expansion that seemed effectively promised early on but never appeared).
    1. Elfcrusher's Avatar
      Elfcrusher -
      I don't like the Charge being 1/rest. Yeah, yeah, I get why they did that, but it just feels so artificial. I'd rather it came with some kind of downside or risk.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      It sure seems they ought to have had a finer grade of sizes when they designed the game, to allow for Large PCs rather than making them all Medium-Plus.
    1. TwoSix -
      Not much here.

      1) Natural weapons that are no better than a simple weapon. Has some utility if your running into issue with hands, so you can hold a shield and a focus and still attack. Otherwise pretty much a ribbon.

      2) Str/Con is overdone, and kind of boring. Str/Wis for Centaurs is a little better.

      3) Goring Rush doesn't even synergize with Hammering Horns. You can run at a monster and hit with your horns, but not shove it, or you can stand next to it and shove it? Seems counterintuitive.

      4) Equine Build might have some utility if you have a party member with Mounted Combatant.
    1. Bitbrain's Avatar
      Bitbrain -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
      It shows how determined they are not to allow large PCs, given that is states centur PCs are medium, even though they are normally large (as are horses).
      Nerfing minotaur horn damage seems reasonable, 1d10 was a bit OP. Shame they lose the Dragonlance nautical fluff (which I think was originally inspired by Voyage of the Dawn Treader).
      Minotaur as sailors is probably based on the Ancient Minoans of Crete.
      The Minotaurs were never presented in the Chronicles of Narnia as having any aptitude for sailing.
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      So Hammering Horns can be done on a melee attack that isn't horns?

      Like a Minotaur can swing with a greataxe and then shove with their horns as part of a reaction.

      As for the size thing, I always felt it was ridiculous when they made all large creature occupy a 10'x10' space. I remember the joke back when 3.5e came out about how a parade with horses had to be cancelled because suddenly horses were too wide to be in formation.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      s is, neither of these races grab me.

      I'd rather that Charge had been a duplicate of Goring Rush...

      The medium Centaur doesn't suit me. Make it a Bariaur if it is that size. A centaur should be as large as a horse.

      An idea I wish they'd explore would be "race classes". For some of these races that are too strong to be a first level PC, start them our weaker, but give them a class that only creatures of the race can take, and that they must have more levels in than all other classes combined. Then, give the class only so many levels as necessary to make the PC equivalent to the monster version.

      I used this technique to make several monster races and it works great.
    1. Yaarel -
      I really like ‘hybrid nature’, that assigns two creature types.

      In the cases of Centaur and Minotaur, they are both humanoid and monstrosity.

      This makes sense, and I like this mechanic to represent it.



      The mechanic works elsewhere. The Eladrin Elf is both humanoid and fey.

      The Genasi is both humanoid and elemental.
    1. MechaTarrasque's Avatar
      MechaTarrasque -
      Hybrid nature is interesting (they haven't moved from PC's being humanoid before). Off hand, I can't think of any spells/items that specifically target monstrocities, but if they expand this idea to other types, that could lead to some big downsides (anyone with celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend hybrid nature will be effected by a bunch of things that don't bother gnomes, dwarves, humans, etc.).
    1. MNblockhead's Avatar
      MNblockhead -
      So, PC centaurs are part human, part miniature horse?
    1. Yaarel -
      I assume ‘natural weapons’ can all be used simultaneously, and in the cases here, in addition to the standard attack being used for weapon.

      Similarly, it seems, a spellcaster centaur could both cast a spell and kick with the forelegs.

      (A kick with the hindlegs should probably push as well.)
    1. Yaarel -
      Quote Originally Posted by MechaTarrasque View Post
      Hybrid nature is interesting (they haven't moved from PC's being humanoid before). Off hand, I can't think of any spells/items that specifically target monstrocities, but if they expand this idea to other types, that could lead to some big downsides (anyone with celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend hybrid nature will be effected by a bunch of things that don't bother gnomes, dwarves, humans, etc.).
      Gnomes and goblins should be fey.

      The planar origins can come with benefits (such as prerequisite for cool magic items) as well as disadvantages (such as target of cool magic items).
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
      It shows how determined they are not to allow large PCs, given that is states centur PCs are medium, even though they are normally large (as are horses).
      Nerfing minotaur horn damage seems reasonable, 1d10 was a bit OP. Shame they lose the Dragonlance nautical fluff (which I think was originally inspired by Voyage of the Dawn Treader).
      Maybe the PC Centaurs are on a low carb deit compared to other centaurs to get to a size medium.

      Honestly I think this game really could have used a size Medium + for races and creatures that are between medium and large like Goliath's, Firbolgs, Centaurs, horses and so on.
    1. vincegetorix's Avatar
      vincegetorix -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yaarel View Post
      I really like ‘hybrid nature’, that assigns two creature types.

      In the cases of Centaur and Minotaur, they are both humanoid and monstrosity.

      This makes sense, and I like this mechanic to represent it.



      The mechanic works elsewhere. The Eladrin Elf is both humanoid and fey.

      The Genasi is both humanoid and elemental.
      I'd love to have more race with more ancestry than just humanoid.
      I still use the Gnomes and Goblinoid as races that come from the feywild/feydark, even if a play in FR and that makes them more distinctive.

      Also, having races that count both as fey and humanoid, or elemental and humanoid would allow me to as the DM to use some NPC statblock and add the racial trait to it to allow more interesting summons. What do you say about conjuring Genasi Bandits with Conjure Elementals or Eladrin druids with Conjure Woodland Being!
    1. MNblockhead's Avatar
      MNblockhead -
      Also, it seems weird that they would specify that the humanoid upper body can display all the human variety of skin tones and features but then state that below the waist, the horse coat tends towards "brown shades chestnut or bay)". Why couldn't they state that below the waist the coat can display all the equine variety of coat shades and features?

      Hell with that, if I'm allowing players to play Centaurs (would need to be a special campaign, generally wouldn't work), they can play rugged mountain white-with-black spot Altais, Zebra bottoms, a pinto with patches of white and black/brown.

      And you have to admit that the Golden Akhal Teke horse is just begging to have an elvan looking torso replace its neck and head (seriously, these horses look like they've just stepped out of the Fey Wild):

      https://featuredcreature.com/wp-cont...3/08/x4GrE.jpg
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/341077371755033703/
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      I dare to say somebody has read some comments by me about centaurs aren't so good to climb.

      About minotaurs' horns we should to remember they can't wear normal helms, and horns aren't so good natural weapons for bipedal creatures with the head on the top. How to give headbutting againts smaller enemies (kobolds, goblins, springans..)? If the PCs are smaller humanoids, the players could ask an attack of opportunity against because they head down too much to can use the horns. And natural horns by mammals weren't created to be used against enemies with metallic armour. A knife in the hand would be more dangerous or useful, or a simple fist.

      Could a D&D minotaur civilization use horns like "magic tattoos", single-use magic item? Sorry, I was remember some old 70's mecha anime about giant robots with horns shooting rays. And any power about horns in the fisst like Wolwerine's claws?

      Could the horns from dead minotaur be used to craft "blessed weapons" to fight enemies with damage reduction?
    1. Yaarel -
      For the size of the centaur, maybe make it composite.

      Your size is Medium with regard to your human upper body, such as for size of weapons and armor. But your size is Large with regard to your equine lower body, such as for armor, the amount of space that you occupy, or weight of equipment carried in saddlebags.
    1. Yaarel -
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