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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Minotaur $2.80 $2.35
Average Rating:3.7 / 5
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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Minotaur
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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Minotaur
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2012 10:43:00
This is an 8-page (plus one for the licence) full-colour book all about, well... minotaurs. In terms of the production values, its very well done for the price, with four large and high-quality pieces of art. That the page background has a coloured parchment effect would, however, make it difficult to print out, and there are a few grammatical and minor layout mistakes here and there, although nothing truly annoying.

The minotaurs described in the book are not those of standard Pathfinder, or of D&D 3.5, although they do have a lot in common. They're about the same size (although a more realistic weight) and appearance, but they are less strong and more intelligent than the familiar version.

The book begins with a physical description - as an aside, I'll note that the word 'physiology' doesn't mean what the author seems to think it does - some possible mythic origins, and a description of their culture. As befits the greater intelligence of these minotaurs, the culture at least has the potential for greater sophistication than one might expect, although this isn't much expanded on.

After that, we come to the obvious advantage of reducing strength and raising intelligence: these minotaurs are suitable as player characters. Full rules are provided, with eight new racial feats, and a number of optional traits. Many of the feats are based around charging, which fully fits the usual conception of the race. Clearly, even if they don't have -3 to their intelligence, these minotaurs are still best suited to be fighters or barbarians, as they should be.

Two new weapons and a one-shot magic item are also described. The magic item strikes me as something that would be in very short supply, given it's nature, and consequently doesn't feel as plausible as the weapons.

This is followed by a one-page description of a location inhabited by a particularly powerful, and more traditionally monstrous, subtype of minotaur, followed by a stat block for them. The book rounds out with a full page NPC write up.

On the whole, this is a useful guide to making minotaurs into a playable race. Given the very concept of the race, they are going to be somewhat limited. Although they can gain some minor magic, charging, goring, and sheer physical power are - rightly - going to be their primary role in a game.

I'd have liked to see a bit more about minotaur priests, since they evidently have some, although they should be easily extrapolated from whatever war deities might exist for humans. Also, given that there are three pictures of minotaurs inside, couldn't one of them have been of a female? Female minotaurs are mentioned, and briefly described, but a picture speaks a thousand words, and when a book is entirely about the race it seems a clear omission.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: Guide to Minotaur
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/17/2012 17:51:50
Originally Published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/02/14/tabletop-review-racial--
ecologies-guide-to-minotaur-pathfinder/

This nine page supplement by Fat Goblin Games was designed primarily for the Paizo Pathfinder role playing game system but can be used in earlier D20 RPG games with little to no modification at all. This guide can be used in any fantasy gaming system that allow minotaurs as part of the creature menagerie in that setting as monsters that can be encountered, non-player characters (NPCs), or as a race that can be utilized as a player character (PC).

Reviewer’s Note: For all intents and purposes, I am going to review this product as if the minotaur was being utilized as a race made available to players by a gamemaster.

CONTENTS: This guide covers a lot of ground on the minotaur race. As most creature guides that have been available in the past, this particular one provides to the gamemaster a well defined history on this savage but misunderstood race, a descriptive physiology, a minotaur’s basic vital stats such as basic age, height, weight, and aging effects, racial traits, weapons available for use by minotaurs, special feats for use by minotaurs, and two examples of minotaur NPC’s utilizing the material in this guide. For those interested in playing a minotaur as a PC, there is a paragraph that covers all the racial modifiers to specific statistics such as +2 to Strength, + 2 to Wisdom, -2 to Charisma, minotaurs are Medium in size, Darkvision to 60’, and so on. There is also small mention of Baphomet, the deity of the Minotaurs.

PRACTICAL USE: The gamemaster can use this supplement by allowing players to play the minotaur as a fully fleshed PC and/or use it to create awesome foes for whatever personal use within that campaign. In any case, this supplement provides a lot of great information and brings something new to the table.

POSITIVE NOTES: This guide is well written and very easy to read. The layout is well designed and the artwork is top notch therefore kudos to Rick Hershey for providing GREAT art. The minotaur as a playable character race is well balanced and will fit in very easily into a Pathfinder campaign and/or even other D20 systems with minimal modification. This guide brings one thing for certain to the Pathfinder rpg and that is a playable race not yet covered by any of their main core rulebooks. This is one supplement the reviewer intends to have at his beckon when hosting his rpg sessions at his table. The example of the multi-classed Barbarian/Fighter minotaur NPC was a huge plus.

NEGATIVE NOTES: One thing the reviewer found lacking was the integration of available classes that a minotaur could possibly play. There is no doubt that a minotaur is a savage brute and will be a fighter and perhaps other sub-classes as well as clerics as it was mentioned in the guide, but what else can they be? Is it possible there are arcane minotaurs in existence? What about rogues? Is it possible for a minotaur to be a druid? Due to their feral nature, what about alignment restrictions? Why were minotaurs given a Medium size category instead of Large? Not knowing the intentions of the author as far as these questions being presented, a gamemaster will have to adjudicate these questions posed by players if minotaurs are a playable race in a fantasy game setting.

OVERALL REVIEW: This is an excellent supplement for those who like to introduce creatures of mythological proportions into a fantasy campaign setting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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