Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Centaurs and Minotaurs

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.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Forget the auras, that's nothing.

Dealing two d12 damage with a greataxe is a huge deal, however. They can't introduce large characters because they would completely overshadow every Half-Orc Barbarian and Dwarf Fighter there is.

Grappling would be even worse. Nobody would EVER create a medium-sized grappler when large ones can grapple Huge monsters.

Squeezing would of course be a small price to pay, but still a nuisance.

*DING*

This I think is the first and only real reason we don't have Large PC races.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
*DING*

This I think is the first and only real reason we don't have Large PC races.

It seems that way to me too.

But then, the problem of larger weapons is what the designers need to resolve. If it by itself is preventing the important fantasy archetype of a Large character, then it is almost negligent to let it remain unresolved.

For example, I suggest the Constitution size bonus replaces the larger weapon damage mechanic. Done. In other words, a Large weapon deals the same damage as a Medium one but is unwieldable by a Medium character. Only a Large character can use it, and then adds Constitution to its damage.

Whatever works best as a fix, that needs to be fixed.



Adding Constitution size bonus to grapple might resolve that issue too.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
It seems that way to me too.

But then, the problem of larger weapons is what the designers need to resolve. If it by itself is preventing the important fantasy archetype of a Large character, then it is almost negligent to let it remain unresolved.

For example, I suggest the Constitution size bonus replaces the larger weapon damage mechanic. Done. In other words, a Large weapon deals the same damage as a Medium one but is unwieldable by a Medium character. Only a Large character can use it, and then adds Constitution to its damage.

Whatever works best as a fix, that needs to be fixed.

Adding Constitution size bonus to grapple might resolve that issue too.

No they don't. All they need to do is make it implicit that players can DESCRIBE their character however they want. Which in my opinion they already do.

If you want to say your half-giant PC is 9 feet tall? Great! Go nuts! WotC's still going to tell you to use the mechanical function of the Goliath for this race... but you can describe how big he is however you want. That's all WotC needs to do, and all they probably will do.

If that's not enough for players, then they have to admit what they want are mechanical benefits for being Large, and the story of being a large race doesn't really matter that much. And personally I don't think WotC is under any obligation to cater to those players if they decide they don't want to right now. Maybe they will in the future? Maybe they'll decide at some point later they are okay to making a race Large the same way they decided it was okay to give a race limited flight. But if I were any players out there, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
1. Horses and ponies are a single species (a subspecies actually). Heights (measured to the withers) range from 38 to 72 inches. This does not include the heights of miniature horses, which were developed in modern times. I'd expect a similar range of sizes in the centaur population. The average human sitting height of 35 inches, when combined with the average height of Equus ferus caballus of 55 inches, yields an average centaur height of 90 inches (7' 6"). The full range of centaur heights, however, when extrapolated from the range of horse and pony heights, is 62 inches (5' 2") to 118 inches (9' 10").

2. The monster entries in the Monster Manual do not necessarily represent the average specimen of a given creature. They represent the typical combatant of the creature type that one might expect to encounter on the battlefield. In the case of centaurs, the MM centaur represents the "regular soldier" of a fielded centaur force. Like herd animals, centaur society is protected by the larger "bull" males, those in the heavy or draft horse range of sizes. A centaur standing at 9' 10" sounds like it would fit solidly into the Large size category.

3. A PC race entry does represent the average specimen of a given creature. A centaur standing at 7' 6", with a horse body the size of the smallest light riding horse or the largest pony and the upper body of the average human, could well be considered a Medium creature.
 

In terms of Large races, I think a centaur would be easy since they'd be Large but use Medium weapons. Medium sized hands and all.

For an ogre or something, limiting them to Large-sized simple weapons would be a pretty easy fix.
 

Gardens & Goblins

First Post
:confused: And they eat via their human mouth.. which then travels aaaaall the way down the muscle tube, which in turn is shaped like a human torso, complete with ribcage for protecting...

Wait. There voices must be pretty ...interesting? Horse lungs pushing air over a human-ish (?) larynx? Large sack... small outlet. So.. bagpipes!

Now that gets me thinking... WHY DO CENTAURS HAVE HUMAN RIBS? Surely a muscle-tube (nothing like a penis) with a simpler spine (say, 2 joints, tops) would be stronger. More effecient. Less... er..

These fantasy races don't really make sense. :erm:
 

No they don't. All they need to do is make it implicit that players can DESCRIBE their character however they want. Which in my opinion they already do.

If you want to say your half-giant PC is 9 feet tall? Great! Go nuts! WotC's still going to tell you to use the mechanical function of the Goliath for this race... but you can describe how big he is however you want. That's all WotC needs to do, and all they probably will do.

If that's not enough for players, then they have to admit what they want are mechanical benefits for being Large, and the story of being a large race doesn't really matter that much. And personally I don't think WotC is under any obligation to cater to those players if they decide they don't want to right now. Maybe they will in the future? Maybe they'll decide at some point later they are okay to making a race Large the same way they decided it was okay to give a race limited flight. But if I were any players out there, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

For me the problem with that is primarily is about space and squeezing. And it isn't from a mechanical framework--it's from a conceptual one. I hate it when something that should be based on the physical thing in the world is instead very, very different based on whether the creature is wearing a PC or NPC tag. So if a character is described as looking the same as one that can't fit into dungeon corridors or squeeze through small spaces, they better have those same restrictions. Heck, that's even more important to me than getting the benefits.

As far as Large characters in general, I don't think we should have them as 1st level PCs, because they would just have more hp than that. A 20' giant (Huge) commoner isn't going to have 5 hp. Maybe an 8' Medium creature can. But at some point we need to draw the line of "you can't be a 1st level PC", and I think Large should definitely be beyond that line.

So I'd prefer Large centaurs, but I think we need rules for monster characters that are more powerful than 1st level characters to handle that.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
The Monster Manual centaur is not a centaur commoner. Here's a centaur commoner I made based on the UA article:

Centaur Commoner
Medium humanoid / monstrosity, any alignment

Armor Class 10
Hit Points 4 (1d8)
Speed 40 ft.

STR
12 (+1)​
DEX
10 (+0)​
CON
10 (+0)​
INT
10 (+0)​
WIS
11 (+0)​
CHA
10 (+0)​

Skills Survival +2
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Sylvan
Challenge ⅛ (25 XP)


Charge. If the centaur commoner moves at least 20 ft. straight toward a target and then hits it with a hooves attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage.

Equine Build. The centaur commoner is considered to be a Large creature for the purpose of determining its carrying capacity and its suitability as a mount. In addition, any climb that requires hands and feet is especially difficult for the centaur commoner because of its hooves. When it makes such a climb, each foot of movement costs 4 extra feet, instead of the normal 1 extra foot.

Actions
Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
These fantasy races don't really make sense. :erm:

How dare you sir! These things of course make proper sense to properly educated and trained individuals based upon the great body of work gathered by the sages of *mumble mumble mumble*

I would tell you, of course, but if you can't be bothered to do the research yourself I don't see the need.

Good day :lol:
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
In terms of Large races, I think a centaur would be easy since they'd be Large but use Medium weapons. Medium sized hands and all.

For an ogre or something, limiting them to Large-sized simple weapons would be a pretty easy fix.

I would call that a work-around rather than a fix. But for ‘primitive’ Large creatures simple weapons are fine.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
:confused: And they eat via their human mouth.. which then travels aaaaall the way down the muscle tube, which in turn is shaped like a human torso, complete with ribcage for protecting...

Wait. There voices must be pretty ...interesting? Horse lungs pushing air over a human-ish (?) larynx? Large sack... small outlet. So.. bagpipes!

Now that gets me thinking... WHY DO CENTAURS HAVE HUMAN RIBS? Surely a muscle-tube (nothing like a penis) with a simpler spine (say, 2 joints, tops) would be stronger. More effecient. Less... er..

These fantasy races don't really make sense. :erm:

I assume the neckbones of the horse become, instead, the backbones of the human torso.

I find the issue with the stomachs more baffling.
 

I would call that a work-around rather than a fix. But for ‘primitive’ Large creatures simple weapons are fine.

I’d probably phrase it as “you can use Large versions of any simple weapons you are proficient with.”
It’s still funky, but allows you to have the giant club if you want.

Maybe paired with a feat that lets you use Large martial weapons. But, because they’re unwieldy, you take a -5 penalty to attack rolls.
 

Gardens & Goblins

First Post
Heck breathing - that's a human mouth. It's sucking in air to oxygenate a mostly-horse circulatory system!

Which makes you wonder - to strangle a a centaur do you go for the neck or.. lasso the abdomen? If the lungs are in the horse part then the air is passing down the human neck, past the not-actually-human-lungs, past the stomach...

:eek: Medium centaurs make a lot more sense.. Planescape's Bariaur, for example. O apparently the actual centaurs from myth.

View attachment 97868

Hmm..
 
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Heck breathing - that's a human mouth. It's sucking in air to oxygenate a mostly-horse circulatory system!

Which makes you wonder - to strangle a a centaur do you go for the neck or.. lasso the abdomen? If the lungs are in the horse part then the air is passing down the human neck, past the not-actually-human-lungs, past the stomach...

:eek: Medium centaurs make a lot more sense.. Planescape's Bariaur, for example. O apparently the actual centaurs from myth.

View attachment 97868

Hmm..
It has a cutie mark!
 

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