Saturday, October 25, 2014

5th edition Monstrous PCs: Minotaurs

Original Art here


As a race, minotaurs vary greatly from campaign to campaign. The creature presented in the Monster Manual is a carnivorous, demonic beast, where in classic campaigns like Dragonlance they are sophisticated sailors, and in video games like Warcraft they are a deeply spiritual and peace-loving culture. Even with their varied history, minotaurs possess key traits that carry over well from world to world.

Minotaur Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution increases by 1.
Age. Minotaurs become mature at age 20 and can live up to 150 years, though those raised within the cults of Baphomet die far younger.
Alignment. Though many minotaurs are seen as demonic children of Baphomet, this is not always the case. Minotaurs value freedom and strength, characteristics that lead them to chaotic alignments. Those who follow the cults of Baphomet are either born or beaten into evil alignments, but those living outside of the cults' influence are free to follow their own path.
Size. Minotaurs are the largest of the civilized races and are often underestimated for their intelligence and wisdom. Minotaurs average 7-8 feet tall and 400-500 pounds, but may grow significantly larger. You may choose to have your size be either Medium or Large during character creation. If you choose Medium size, you may later increase your size to Large at any time. Once you do so, this decision cannot be changed.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You gain darkvision to a range of 60 feet.
Gore. You may use your action to make an attack with your horns. This attack deals 1d8 piercing damage plus your Strength modifier and you have proficiency with the attack. This damage increases to 2d8 at 11th level.
Charge. Once per short rest, you may make a charge attack with your horns. If you move at least 20 feet straight toward a target and make a gore attack against that target during the turn, your gore attack damage is doubled. In addition, the target must make a Strength saving throw or be shoved 5 feet. At 6th level, the target is also knocked prone on a failed save. At 11th level, the distance shoved increases to 10 feet on a failed save. The DC for the Strength save is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier.
Keen Senses. You gain proficiency with Perception checks and may double your proficiency modifier for any rolls involving hearing or smell.
Labyrinthine Recall. You always know which direction you are facing and can perfectly recall any path you've taken. You can double any proficiency bonus you are allowed to prevent becoming lost. You also have immunity to the maze spell and advantage on saving throws against the imprisonment spell.
Languages. You speak, read and write Common, plus one additional language of your choice.

Behind the Development: Two notable features are missing from the core minotaur found in the Monster Manual, their reckless attack and natural armor. Since the minotaurs in the MM are described as savage followers of Baphomet, it's easy to see them being built around the barbarian class. Any barbarian minotaur will gain both of these features by 2nd level--reckless being a standard class feature, while their natural armor is represented by the unarmored defense feature, allowing them to add their naturally high Constitution modifier to their AC.

Minotaurs of Krynn: Minotaurs in the Dragonlance setting are well known for their seamanship and as such many have the sailor background. The minotaurs' heightened senses and perfect sense of direction make them superior navigators. Unlike minotaurs from other realms, Kothians are known for their organization and military might, leading them toward lawful alignments instead of chaotic.


Barbarian minotaurs are common, even among the more civilized race found on Krynn, but minotaurs of any class should not be underestimated. Bards from the college of valor are brilliant warriors that inspire their comrades with subtle words and heroic deeds. Though rare, minotaurs who go against their chaotic nature to follow the mental and physical disciplines of the monk become both brutal combatants and deeply contemplative spiritual guides. Minotaur druids are quite common spiritual leaders of their communities, whether guiding the cannibalistic cults of Baphomet or more peaceful shamanistic communities. Arcane casters among minotaurs are rare, but more common than most people realize. Minotaurs with sorcerous blood master the chaos of wild magic, while warlocks following the fiendish path of are the cornerstone of many cults of Baphomet.

ADDENDUM (12/5/14)

Made the following changes after realizing unarmed strikes are not considered 'light weapons' in this edition and cannot be used as an attack with a bonus action:

  • Gore attack is now a normal attack that can be used as part of an Attack action, but cannot be used as an attack with a bonus action (unless subject to a feat or class feature such as Martial Arts).


  1. " You also have advantage on saving throws against the maze and imprisonment spells."
    Do you feel it would be too overpowered to allow then immunity to Maze and advantage vs Imprisonment? I am thinking it would be the little tweak that I would want to make to the awesome class design you have here. Quite well done indeed.

    1. Thanks so much. I'm glad people are enjoying these builds.

      I hear you. I went back and forth on this several times before settling on advantage. They are both extremely rare spells, so I don't think immunity would break anything from a game-balance standpoint. I finally decided on advantage because, though rare, both spells are very high level, meaning a lot of magic is getting pumped into them. Completely shaking it off would be impressive. Also, I feel that rolling advantage offers more opportunity for drama should the situation come up. I think it would be perfectly reasonable to house-rule it into immunity instead, depending on the flavor of your campaign.

    2. Ahh, just reread your post. Yes, I think immunity to Maze and advantage on Imprisonment would work nicely as a compromise. I'll fold that in, if you don't mind.

    3. Nicely done. I think I prefer the advantage over immunity mechanic, at least at low levels. If it is something they develop immunity for around the same level as the spell being cast, it would make more sense. But to counterpoint, the mythical Minotaur was not able to escape his prison maze...I always wondered where the idea for the trait came from.

    4. Nicely done. I think I prefer the advantage over immunity mechanic, at least at low levels. Maybe immunity is something they develop at the same level that the spell can be cast. Although the mythical Minotaur was unable to escape his maze, so I wonder where the idea for this trait comes from?

    5. I know these are advanced player-made races, but I just never see any disadvantages. For example: +2 strength and +1 Con. Why not include a -2 intelligence and -1 wisdom? I love the detail you put into each race. I just wish it felt more balanced.

    6. The reason is simple: PC races in 5th edition do not have negative ability score mods. It's a standard design choice by WotC for, reasons. Now, for a few of the more advanced monsters as races I agree with you; neg stat mods might help balance some of their abilities. I don't feel the Minotaur requires it but by all means, add them for your games! The beauty of 5th is its adaptability.

  2. This is the best player-made race I have seen for 5e so far.

    1. Why thank you. Feel free to browse the site for more classes and races, and pop over to for other gaming tools and advice.

  3. I really like it. It has given me some ideas for a race I am working on.