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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Minotaur $2.00
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.

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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Minotaur
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