Whether wondrous or wicked, some monsters have a calling that reaches beyond the ordinary existence of their kind. Traveling alongside other intrepid characters, these heroic creatures carve their places in legend with sword, spell, tooth, and claw. This supplement for the D&D game provides everything you need to play a monster as a character or to make the monsters your heroes fight even more formidable. Inside are over 50 all-new monster classes that show how creatures develop their characteristics and abilities as they gain levels. Along with new prestige classes and monster templates, Savage Species also features new feats, spells, magic items, and more. Our sneak peek offers a look at the new minotaur character class.
Monster Character: Minotaur
The minotaur is one of the strongest and most combative of the monstrous humanoids. Graced with a powerful gore attacks and familiarity with weapons, the minotaur represents a tough opponent for dungeon-exploring heroes. Now, the minotaur class allows the cunning and ferocity of this classic foe to work to the benefit of player characters.
Building the minotaur monster class requires examining each of the components that make the monster formidable in combat: Strength, size, natural armor, and natural attacks. Then, slowly parcel out those benefits in stages until the minotaur reaches its final ECL of 8 (including its +2 level adjustment). A 1st-level minotaur has a hint of its eventual Strength but must tolerate penalties to Intelligence and Charisma. It also has a natural attack, the ability to charge for increased damage, and a small natural armor bonus. The rest of the minotaur's abilities are upgraded along these lines as smoothly as possible until it reaches 8th level (6 HD). For much of this time, the immature minotaur lacks the advantage of Large size (and the 10-foot reach it provides). The minotaur grows to its full adult Large size upon reaching 6th level.
After reaching 8th level, the minotaur can continue to advance using the monster advancement rules in the Monster Manual, if desired. Monstrous humanoids have a great base attack progression (equal to a fighter's) and two good saves, so there is good incentive to advance in this way. Other good options for continuing to develop a minotaur character include advancing as a fighter (for the bonus feats), a barbarian (for rage and certain skills), or a rogue (for sneak attacks and even more skills).
• Starting Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Str, +2 Dex, -4 Int, -2 Cha. While known for cunning and ferocity, minotaurs rely on Strength and natural weaponry to overcome their foes. The minotaur's Strength and Constitution increase as it gains levels, while its Dexterity decreases.
• Speed: Minotaur land speed is 30 feet.
• Darkvision: Minotaurs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
• Automatic Languages: Giant. A minotaur with enough Intelligence to receive a bonus language usually makes Common its first choice. Though they are classified as monstrous humanoids, minotaurs frequently associate with various giant kinds, including ogres, ettins, and true giants. Their size makes minotaurs accepted among these monsters when smaller beings would not be.
• Favored Class: Minotaur. The best multiclassing choices for a minotaur are fighter, barbarian, and ranger.
The minotaur's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), and Spot (Wis). On reaching Large size, a minotaur takes a -4 size penalty on Hide checks.
All of the following are class features of the minotaur monster class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Minotaurs are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields.
A minotaur receives one feat at 1st level, one at 4th level, and another at 8th level. After 8th level, it gains feats normally according to its effective character level (the total of its Hit Dice, level adjustment, and class levels) as shown on Table 2-5: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits.
Keen Senses (Ex): A 1st-level minotaur gains a +1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. At 4th level, the bonus rises to +2, at 6th level to +3, and at 8th level to +4.
Natural Cunning (Ex): Most minotaurs are not clever, but they all possess an innate logical ability. At 2nd level, a minotaur can never become lost. At 4th level, when it develops the scent ability, it can track creatures by smell. At 7th level, a minotaur becomes immune to maze spells and is never flat-footed.
Scent (Ex): A minotaur has a keen sense of smell. Beginning at 4th level, it can detect opponents within the given range (double range if the scent is upwind, one-half range if it is downwind) and may take a move-equivalent action to determine the direction of a scent. If an odor source, such as an opponent, is within 5 feet, the minotaur can pinpoint that source. Minotaurs can use the scent ability to track an enemy by smell.
Large Size: At 6th level, a minotaur grows to Large size and its natural reach extends to 10 feet. It incurs the usual penalties for Large creatures.
Gore: A gore is a natural attack. Beginning at 1st level, a minotaur deals 1d4 points of damage plus its Strength modifier when making a gore attack. At 3rd level the base damage rises to 1d6, and at 7th level to 1d8. When a minotaur charges to make a gore attack, it deals additional damage according to the following table. A minotaur adds one and one-half times its Strength modifier to its gore damage when charging.
Because a gore is a natural attack, a minotaur can use the full attack action to attack with a melee weapon and follow up with its gore attack as a secondary attack at a -5 penalty. It does get iterative attacks (multiple attacks with the same weapon at a cumulative -5 penalty), if it is entitled to any, with its melee weapon (but not with its gore) when using such an attack routine.
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