View Full Version : Making the most powerful Minotaur PC? [3.5e]

2009-01-21, 05:05 PM
Well, my DM okayed it. I can roll a minotaur as my next character.

Starting at 8th Level (So with the +2 LA, 6th) I'd like to know the ways to optimize it before I make it into any other class.

Like, what feats to take, what weapons to take, what stats to distribute.

We're doing a 25 point build: all stats starting at 8, distribute the 25 as I'd like.

I was thinking just dumping CHA and WIS, but I'm not sure if that's a fantastic Idea.

What I was thinking:



Also: What sort of weapons should I take? And What class should I go into, once I can?

2009-01-21, 05:14 PM
First feat: Power Attack.
I would suggest a single-2-handed weapon barbarian, or something similar.

2009-01-21, 05:16 PM
Minotaurs also have 6 RHD (racial hit die), so at 8th level, you wouldn't be able to take a PC class. This is going by the MM entry at least.

2009-01-21, 05:16 PM
Get a great axe and go barbarian or fighter? Minotaurs has barbarian as a favored class, but the Fighter gets bonus feats. As for feats, take Rampaging Bull Rush and Knockback from Races of Stone and all of its prerequisite feats as they Push your foes back, and they are left prone.

2009-01-21, 05:22 PM
According to the rules you would technically be a 14th level character if you took 6 levels in a class (DMG pg. 172). Gah, ninja'd.

A minotaur is gonna suck at pretty much anything that isnt straight melee. If you wanted something that was more like a character and less like a monster, I'd try the bloodline traits from Unearthed Arcana. It'll give you the minotaur flavor without the crippling ECL.

IMO, a cool feat is Large and In Charge from the Draconomicon.:smallcool:

I'd also look into using a reach weapon and make everyone suffer for provoking AoO.:smallwink:

2009-01-21, 05:31 PM
Definitely take advantage of your size with a two-handed reach weapon. At least one level of barbarian, once you can take it, would certainly be helpful.

2009-01-21, 05:32 PM
I was thinking just dumping CHA and WIS, but I'm not sure if that's a fantastic Idea.
It depends, but generally no, I'd say it isn't. At least when "dumping" means 5 and not a modest 8 at least... Questions to ask yourself:

Can you roleplay someone with so low intuition and force of personality? And if not, do you care? Do your fellow players and DM care?
Do you have another way to reliably boost your will saves? Items, feats, buffing allies?
Is your DM likely to play a lot with social situations, where your 24 STR and 5 CHA will make your life difficult and your survival dubious?

2009-01-21, 05:49 PM
Well, this is rather straightforward. You have 6 racial HD and 2 points of level adjustment. Therefore, any sort of casting would really be wasted on you. You'd be 8 levels, or 4.5 spell levels behind a dedicated caster. Also, your ability scores suck for a caster. Therefore, it's obvious you want to be a warrior. You've got huge Str and Con, but no other special bonuses. Therefore you want to focus on a combat style that benefits as much from high Str as possible (to make up for your crappy BAB and lack of levels), which pretty much gives you the maneuvers in PHB.

Tripping in particular would be an excellent path as it's a straight Strength-check with size modifiers; no BAB involved, which is your weak link (on level 8, your BAB is 4, that of a Wizard). You should pick up a reach weapon given that you are naturally large. Since you have natural lack of Intelligence, you'll need either to cram huge points into Int (actually, you need the equivalent of 17 Int without racial adjustments to get Combat Expertise and Improved Trip - it requires Int 13 and you have -4 Racial), or get it through class features. Since the Int-investment is so huge, I suggest Wolf-totem Barbarian (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#wolfTotemClassFeatures ). Barbarian is the class for you anyways; it's based on Con and Str, and has little need for the other stats (other than Dex, which you'll have to pump a bit; Barbarians only wear medium armor and because of your Monstrous Humanoid HD and level adjustment, you'll ironically be short on HP).

Fighter-levels aren't a horrible idea if you have access to books other than PHB. If you're limited to SRD only, don't bother. Also, do pick up "Multiattack"-feat. It's in monster manual and basically allows you to use Gore for reduced penalties as a secondary attack. Note that you'll have fewer attacks because of the lack of BAB. Also, Power Attack will be worse than normal. You also need some improvement to your Will-save if you plan on dumping all the other stats. Your Will-saves are decent, but you really need a good stat to them to not-die. The best answer is the "Steadfast Determination"-feat in Player's Handbook II. Allows you to add Constitution to Will-saves, which should put you right up there with Druids and such in terms of Will-saves. Reflex is a bit harder, but I'd again turn to Barbarian-variant:
Whirling Frenzy (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/classFeatureVariants.htm#rageVariantWhirlingFrenzy ) gives you an extra attack in Rage and improves your Reflex-saves, at the expense of the Con-boost. Given that you have fewer HD than normal, the Con-boost is less useful for you than an average character anyways, and since you already have a rather huge Con, the Rage will last long enough.

So, as a total suite, I'd suggest the following build:
Level 1: LA
Level 2: LA
Level 3: HD - Feat: Endurance
Level 4: HD
Level 5: HD - Feat: Steadfast Determination
Level 6: HD
Level 7: HD
Level 8: HD - Feat: Power Attack (or Extra Rage [CW] if your DM allows taking it "for the future" without having the Rage yet)
Level 9: Barbarian 1 - Alternative class features: Whirling Frenzy (over Rage), Wolf-totem Barbarian (only apparent on level 2+), Pounce (over Fast Movement, if you have access to Complete Champion)
Level 10: Barbarian 2 - Bonus Feat: Improved Trip
Level 11: Fighter 1 - Feat: Power Attack/Extra Rage, depending on which you're missing; Bonus Feat: Improved Bull Rush
Level 12: Fighter 2 - Bonus Feat: Shock Trooper

And then, pick Combat Reflexes (if you have the Dex), Multiattack, Leap Attack [CAdv], Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain, Knock-Down (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#knockDown), Knockback [RoS], etc. You either continue Barbarian/Fighter or Prestige Class (you qualify for Frostrager [Frostburn] for example). Use Greatsword or Guisarme; Greatsword when you're charging, otherwise Guisarme (it allows Tripping, for example).

But yea, between huge Con, ok Dex, huge Strength, Steadfast Determination and Barbarian-abilities, you'll have huge saves, ok HP and huge offense so you should be pretty ok. Ask your DM if you could use Level Adjustment Buyoff. That would eventually allow you to catch up to other characters in levels. You would do it on levels 6 and 9. So few levels and you'd have no more level adjustment (it costs you some XP; the rules are in Unearthed Arcana).

Really, much depends on what sources you can use. What books are available, etc. Without Steadfast Determination, you can't afford to go that low on Wis. I wouldn't worry about the roleplay implications too much; since you're already playing a Minotaur, just play a stereotypical dumb, swayable brute. And Minotaurs already have natural social stigma so you shouldn't really be the guy talking either way; in fact, Hat of Disguise or such to take a less threatening form could be a fine idea.

2009-01-21, 05:56 PM
Minotaurs also have 6 RHD (racial hit die), so at 8th level, you wouldn't be able to take a PC class. This is going by the MM entry at least.

Well, there is a minotaur racial progression in Savage Species.

Here are the online ones from WotC's website in case you do not know what racial progressions are:

Savage Progression Articles (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/sp)

2009-01-21, 06:17 PM
Definitely take advantage of your size with a two-handed reach weapon.

Give this man a cookie. Do not miss your chance to gnab a reach weapon.

What sources are available to you? Can you buy off LA?

Here is what I would do, assuming you can't buy off the la.

LA2/Racial HD6/Barbarian 2 (Lion Spiritual Totem, Wolf Totem)/Fighter10 (Dungeon Crasher)

I know taking 10 levels of fighter sounds lame, this should be considered in place of going frenzied berserker however you could mix and match the two. If you don't want to rage, UA has a variant to turn it in for improved combat style/archery and a single favored enemy... not so hot but may be useful. Also getting your hands on some dragon mags will give you access to the Exoticist, which gives up martial weapon prof for some exotic ones for free. I also believe Faerun has some type of intimidation fighter variant that IIRC, gets bonuses with very few drawbacks.

1)Power Attack
3)Exotic Weapon Prof Spiked Chain
6)Improved Sunder
9)Shock Trooper (Might have bab pre req issues)
Wolf Totem Barbarian) Improved Trip
Fighter1) Combat Reflexes
12) Improved Bullrush
Fighter 4) Knock Back (Races of stone, on an attack you hit with power attack get a free bullrush)
15) Combat Brute
Fighter 8) Leap Attack
18) Stand Still*
Fighter 10) Deft opportunist*
*These are free really. (I am not sure if thicket of blades has a pre req, otherwise these two feats could be used to pick up martial training and martial stance... or a level of crusader, but multiclass-ing penalties)

This will let you, on a charge, make a full round. With each attack giving you a chain of possibilities (the most favorable being the following):
Sunder Attempt >Successful>Cleave>Touch Attack, trip>Successful>Extra Attack>Power Attack (with all the bonuses from the charge)>Successful>Bullrush (diagonally) into a wall> 8d6 X3 Str Damage

Damage wise for the above chain of events (if sunder bull rushed and tripped weren't bad enough by itself) = 54 Power Attack + 2X Str +1d6 (powerful Charge) + 2d6 (weapon) + 8d6 (bullrush) + 3X Str (bullrush). This tactic capitalizes on your high str, while a frenzied berserker method capitalizes on your bab (and questionable interactions with leap attack). Also, the extra feats in this build let you use your size to full effect with attacks of opportunity (which will generally leave the enemy on there butt and bullrushed away, with or without there weapon in tact).

Then when it isn't your turn you still have nearly the same options in your threatened square. For things that are much larger than you, standstill is a good option as opposed to tripping. Also, due to your size and reach, the intimidate skill has much more capabilities than once before. A skill trick, some magic items, and/or imperious command if you want to swap feats, can make you into a solid intimidation machine to debuff in your radius of pain.

Edit: I am pretty sure my feat progression for normal feats is one off. Also I know sundering is breaking loot, but it is still a good tactic that fits well with the build (by virtue of pre reqs).

Keld Denar
2009-01-21, 06:23 PM
HALF-Minotaur is WAY better, if you can finagle it. Its from a Dragon Mag, someone around here should know the stats for it.

Its only a +1 LA, is medium sized, and has Powerful Build.

Dwarf Half Minotaur
Use a Dwarven Urgrosh
1 LA
2 Ranger1 Track, Endurance, Skillz yo!
3 Dwarf Fighter1 (Alt Class Feature, 1d12 HD, Axe Focus)
4 Fighter2 Improved Init, Power Attack
5 Barbarian1 Mo Skillz yo
6 Barbarian2 Mo Skillz yo
7 Deepwarden1 Steadfast Determination
8 Deepwarden2 STONE POWAH!

There, from that, you can get into Exotic Weapon Master 1 and 2, from which you get the Flurry of Strikes and Uncanny Blow tricks respectively. The trick is to use only 1 head of the Urgrosh at a time, and wield it in both hands. Since it counts as a double weapon, you can use the Flurry trick even when not duel wielding, and since it counts as a 1handed exotic weapon, and you are wielding it in 2 hands, you get 2x your massive +str bonus.

After EWM2, you can head into Occult Slayer, a full BAB class that boosts your defenses against spellcasters, or Pious Templar, which gives you Mettle, a powerful defensive ability, along with Paladin casting, from which you can get Rhino's Rush (Pal1, SpC) for double damage charges and Righteous Fury(Pal3) for MORE strength, or Earth Hammer (Pal3, RoStone) for more base damage!

You will crush people, and be really resiliant. Your only weakness really, is your saggy reflex save, which is premissable, since you'll have sooooo many HP from your massive Con score that you can just grin and bear it.

Look good?

2009-01-21, 06:24 PM
Edit: I am pretty sure my feat progression for normal feats is one off.

You need to adjust it for the fact that LA doesn't grant feats. Also, you need to remember that he'll get mindraped with those stats unless you do something about the Will-saves (-3 from stats leads to 2 on level 8).

Also, Frostrager or similar low-entry Barbarian PrC (Frostrager needs one level of Monk to enter, which may or may not be hard to rationalize) is probably better finishing class after Dungeoncrasher levels than Fighter; even with Zhentarim Fighter Subs (in Champions of Valor web enhancements (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a)), the fact that he has a Cha of 5 means that the Intimidate-abilities are wasted on him. I also kinda dislike Dungeoncrasher here as he already has the Gore-attack which is kinda redundant. Barbarian is better than Fighter, even. Or Martial Rogue, or anything of the sort.

EDIT: Half-Minotaur is in Dragon 313. Basically, they have Natural Armor +2, +4 Str, +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Int, Gore, Scent, Darkvision, Search/Spot/Listen, +4 vs. Maze, know North, 40' movement and Large size (if core creature is medium). The downside is that it's a ridiculously overpowered race (for non-casters only, of course). And Magazine material so I don't expect to ever see it allowed. Still, if you want to be kickass (you'll still only be melee though) and your DM wants that too, go ahead.

EDIT#2: Exotic Weapon Master for e.g. Spiked Chain is an excellent way to round the build out either way. Flurry of Strikes, Exotic Reach and Trip Attack are all fairly awesome for a chainist.

2009-01-21, 07:15 PM
Not too sure how this would scale, but here's an idea for a slightly different Minotaur.
- DM to okay LA buyoff. Minotaurs are weaker later on than basic humans.
- Maybe reflavouring Ur Priest to something like Primordial Shaman. Ur priest is good mechanically, but not fluffwise here.

Minotaur 6/Wolf Totem, Lion Totem Barbarian 2/Ur Priest 10/X2

Otyuh Hole) Iron Will (B)
1) Power Attack
3) Improved Bull Rush
6) Combat Brute?
9) Combat Reflexes?
12) Awesome Blow?
15) Quicken Spell
18) Divine Metamagic (Quicken)

Use a Guisarme or other Martial tripping weapon. You don't have enough room for EWF, and besides, this is slightly less generic.

At the start you're a charger, especially around levels 6-10. Then, you gain divine spells. Righteous Might, Divine Power, et al are VERY USEFUL. Huge size + +10 Str bonus, etc etc. You're fine without them, but still.

- Caster level.
- You get 9th level spells too late for most campaigns.
- It's unoptimised and has a lot of stuff that needs tweaking.
- I haven't considered Skill prereqs as I'm AFB. I'm sure there's some way around it, though.

But it IS interesting. And it does get 9th level spells.

2009-01-22, 07:15 AM
Reading a story hour over at enworld I came upon a minotaur that completely obliterated every combat situation. The War Hulk is from the miniature handbook and your DM may disapprove but still it is a cool and efficient idea. You can find the specks here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20030914a

Basically gives no BA advancement but +2 str every level. The Minotaur in question was Tower Cleaver. If it can't be allowed for player characters it is also a good tip for DM's. Try it on your players and they'll demand prove about how the brute can have 40+ strength.


2009-01-22, 07:20 AM
40? Pfft, try 70, Colossal size and Hulking Hurler. Then throw a big rock. It'll literally be Rock Falls, Everyone Dies, only by the rules.

2009-01-22, 07:52 AM
You can try a Krynnian minotaur from Taladas.

No LA.
+4 Str bonus (I forget the rest)
Scent possible as a feat.