Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs

Yaarel

He Mage
I think it is hilarious that the word ‘booger’ comes from bogie, in the sense of a frightening apparition.

I can already picture the 8-year-olds tormenting each other.
 

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Ilbranteloth

Explorer
I like your nomenclature ‘goblinkin’ much more than ‘goblinoid’.

Do you do the same thing with ‘humankin’ for ‘humanoid’.

I think it came from earlier editions or Ed Greenwood if I were to guess. Forgotten Realms Gray Box maybe?

Back in AD&D days humanoids were monsters and demihumans were elves, dwarves, etc. so I’m used to those.

But I do prefer goblinkin myself. Giantkin too. And unlike later editions, I still consider orcs goblinkin.
 



I am regularly underwhelmed by these. I think it's because the power level of the features of the PHB races is so minimal that they don't have a lot of design room to make bold choices or features that matter.

I wish a STR/CON dwarf fighter played significantly differently than a STR/CON half-orc fighter than a STR/CON Minotaur fighter - even at high levels.

This was a criticism i had about 5e when it first released. I would have much rather seen a higher baseline for all racial abilities right out of the gate so that there's more room to make interesting things later down road, but they decided to keep things stripped down, which makes for awkward kludges when designing more powerful PC options.

One of the issues i have with both the minotaur and the centaur is that they're more pigeonholed into a specific build than other races. The centaur has 2 main abilities that revolve around melee and the minotaur has 3. If you want to make a minotaur sorcerer, for example, you're essentially throwing most of the your racial abilities out the window, and that's a shame because they could have chosen to create abilities that were a little more versatile. Ironically, i remember how this was the main criticism of the 4e minotaur, who had (iirc) the only racial ability in the game that required you to run a melee build in order to fully utilize. Either the centaur or the minotaur could keep the natural weapons as a cute, but generally useless, ribbon while then having mobility or broadly applicable damage features.
 

One of the issues i have with both the minotaur and the centaur is that they're more pigeonholed into a specific build than other races. The centaur has 2 main abilities that revolve around melee and the minotaur has 3. If you want to make a minotaur sorcerer, for example, you're essentially throwing most of the your racial abilities out the window, and that's a shame because they could have chosen to create abilities that were a little more versatile. Ironically, i remember how this was the main criticism of the 4e minotaur, who had (iirc) the only racial ability in the game that required you to run a melee build in order to fully utilize. Either the centaur or the minotaur could keep the natural weapons as a cute, but generally useless, ribbon while then having mobility or broadly applicable damage features.

It does provide a reason why humans and human-like races are generally the dominant ones in the settings.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
If you want to make a minotaur sorcerer, for example, you're essentially throwing most of the your racial abilities out the window, and that's a shame because they could have chosen to create abilities that were a little more versatile.

Either the centaur or the minotaur could keep the natural weapons as a cute, but generally useless, ribbon while then having mobility or broadly applicable damage features.
OR

They could have made natural weapons something fightery minotaurs could actually use AND given it some sorcerous abilities that complements spellchucking minotaurs.

As long as the fightery minos can't also use their mystical power, and the spellchucker mino can't use their horns, it's all good.

Too many people forget that for a wizard or sorcerer Horns can be damn good and still be useless. And that you can heap on extra magic power onto a Barbarian with zero utility.

If this ends up actually enabling gishes all the better :)
 

OR

They could have made natural weapons something fightery minotaurs could actually use AND given it some sorcerous abilities that complements spellchucking minotaurs.

As long as the fightery minos can't also use their mystical power, and the spellchucker mino can't use their horns, it's all good.

Too many people forget that for a wizard or sorcerer Horns can be damn good and still be useless. And that you can heap on extra magic power onto a Barbarian with zero utility.

If this ends up actually enabling gishes all the better :)

Intentionally designing it so that half of your features are useless is the opposite of what I'd like to see. My personal preference is for races that are constructed so that most, if not all, features are useful in a general way, regardless of build or class. The eladrin teleport is as useful to the fighter as it is for the re-positioning archer or wizard, for example. The 4e half-orc's extra damage die applied to any attack, magic, ranged, or melee. The tiefling's hellish rebuke is useful on any character, in most combats. This is the kind of design I'd like to see instead of most of the features invested in specific type of combat.

Doing centaur and minotaur in one go is kinda rough because they're both charge-y hooved guys but I wouldn't mind seeing movement-oriented features like overrunning, bonus movement, or bonus damage on ANY damage roll combined with movement, and other stuff that's more broadly useful to non-melee characters. I wouldn't mind either race getting a little more mystical flavor if that lead to more compelling flavor and features too. The mino's bullrush thing could apply to ANY one damage roll because it's the supernatural manifestation of Baphomet's horns, for example.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I prefer designing each race with a menu of optional features.

If you are a minotaur sorcerer, then choose the minotaur features that synergize with sorcerer.

If you are a minotaur barbarian, then choose the minotaur features that synergize with barbarian.

Enough choices to flesh out salient concepts.

Let the *player* choose what a minotaur should be like.
 

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