Minotaurs are the tenth entry in the humanoids as monsters series. As I did the drawing for these guys their society and personality evolved in my mind and ended up somewhere I really like. On the good-evil spectrum, minotaurs are a lot like humans. While in general they are somewhat good, they can be influenced by conditions to be very heroic or to be diabolically evil. Minotaurs are mostly more temperate in alignment than humans. Minotaurs are often looked down on by more quick-minded races and will usually live in sparsely populated regions to avoid persecutions. They do, however, tend to gather with small groups of other minotaurs. They have a strong family unit and will be fiercely protective of their immediate herd members.
Minotaurs can be found anywhere. They will seek out locations where they can make a living in solitude such as shallow mines, good farm land, or lumber camps. They do not generally engage in trade and avoid living on trade routes. Instead they will live at the ends of trade routes where they can sell their goods without getting to many intrusions. Minotaurs that do live in urban conditions will cluster in sections and be highly defensive of their neighborhoods.
The strong minotaur family unit is highly transferable and minotaurs will just as often live among other races in rural environments as form their own communities. They are willing to tolerate the laws of other cultures and play well with others as long as they are left alone. They will generally preserve their family cultures when transplanted and are highly resistant to outside cultural influences. Minotaur communities are happy to deal with other communities, but they demand their independence and autonomy.
Minotaurs are very large, bigger than orcs and far bigger than humans. They have great peripheral vision, on the level of kobolds and lizardfolk. Their incredible size is accompanied with a great deal of power and endurance (+8 Strength and +4 Constitution). They have a reputation for being slow and dull despite their simple pragmatism (-2 Intelligence and -2 Wisdom). They can also be a little clumsy, both physically and socially (-2 Dexterity and -2 Charisma) partly due to the strong arm and a strong family unit removing the need for finesse. They have a racial speed of 24 like all the other non-midget races. Unlike most humanoids, the bulk of minotaurs makes it hard for them to ride most mounts, but they compensate in battle with an automatic level in Rush (something we’ll discuss tomorrow).
Though female minotaurs tend to be calm, loving, and motherly (like cows) the bull minotaurs can be quite violent and protective of their families (like bulls). In general, their fighting styles are suited to their muscularity. While cow minotaurs are just as capable of crushing smaller enemies as the bulls, their peaceful nature usually prevents them from doing so and they tend to leave it to their men.
Brawler-Minotaur bulls are hard working and they frequently gather after work to drink. Being hot-headed, the bulls will often fall into brawls, even if their drinks are not alcoholic. Most bulls that reach adulthood are competent wrestlers and hand fighters. In desperate conditions their sharp claws and teeth will also be brought to bear in brawls.
Fighter-Where minotaur communities are frequently threatened, they will form a militia of all of the bulls. These militias will be trained in using weapons, usually large and heavy weapons. While most minotaur communities will see some trained fighters with a love of weapons, these will be much more common when the community is frequently threatened.
Battle Mage-It takes a very special minotaur to learn magic. Even a minotaur disposed toward study and manipulating magical energies requires significant training in order to learn magic. Even so, large minotaur communities will usually have a shaman who uses magic. These shamans will usually choose a successor from among the warriors and train him for magic to replace him.
Berserker-Minotaur bulls have great respect for strength and fury. Their leaders will often be raging berserkers. Whether or not they come from among the brawlers or the fighters, minotaur berserkers will be very strong and will wield large, powerful weapons. They are the figures enemies of the minotaurs will remember and tell stories about.
Minotaurs are highly independent creatures, but they are fiercely loyal to their families and their communities. Societies that treat the minotaurs well are certainly better off than those that treat them badly. All the same, many communities will look down on them, though many others have a respect for their work ethic and goodness.
Minotaurs are powerful combatants. Would you play a minotaur berserker? How would you plan to interact with a group of them? What if gangs of minotaurs were warring in a city? How would you react as a player? How could you use minotaurs as a Master Weaver? Let us know in the comments below!