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Breaking the Minotaur Mold

May 7, 2010 in Player's Drawing Board

I’ve been building a Minotaur character for myself since ever since the Player’s Handbook 3 came out, even before I decided to put together a D&D gaming group. I’ve always been fascinated by the minotaur in classic mythology. So when I saw that Wizards of the Coast had added Minotaurs as a playable race, I just had to check it out. And since I rarely ever do things according to the norm, I decided to break the typical minotaur mold in my character creation as well.

In the vast majority of pictures you see of minotaurs wielding weapons, they’re either swinging axes or some sort of club with wicked spikes. I wondered what it would look like to see a minotaur wielding a regular sword. But again, I didn’t want to have a Minotaur PC who was plain vanilla Fighter, so I took a brief walk through some of the other classes available for play. What I decided to go with was a Minotaur Swordmage, mixing intelligence and strength (two stereotypical abilities) with magic and cunning (two abilities that one might not necessarily associate with a minotaur) — and frankly, I love the visual of a Minotaur teleporting all over the battle field.

Since then I’ve been massaging the statistics for my character and developing a backstory that explains his unusual choice of training and abilities. The articles that Wizards has published over the last few months have helped tremendously in decided which feats and powers to start with. As I learn more about the mechanics of 4th Edition, I’ve been able to make more intelligent decisions about how to adjust my stats to my liking. I might even share the character sheet later for anyone interested.

So now I have this teleporting Minotaur Assault Swordmage named Thogold Bloodsword. I see him as a character who has undergone severe hardship in his life, not least of which was by the hands of his blood clan. These and other hardships have caused him to seek out a somewhat different path and career than is typical for his race. He has trained hard and now stands on the cusp of testing himself against the real world. I’m eager to see Thogold join up with an adventuring group and watch the course of his progress in battle. I think he will be a formidable foe on the field of battle, one who won’t just let enemies slip away unnoticed.

13 responses to Breaking the Minotaur Mold

  1. Matt said on May 7, 2010

    Sweet. :-)

  2. Tourq said on May 8, 2010

    I just wrapped up a campaign in which my character was a swordmage – I think you should have fun with him.

    Incidentally, why don't you submit your character's background to the Stuffer Shack's contest? There's actually a huge-sized minotaur as the first place prize (not that you could use him as your mini, though, but it's still cool as a huge monster).

    I know, shameless plug.

    -Tourq

  3. Tourq said on May 8, 2010

    One more thing… I think I saw a movie recently where a minotaur was actually portrayed as a vicious monster (the Scorpion King?) I don't know, it was just a cool depiction of a savage beast.

    -Tourq

    • Jim said on May 8, 2010

      Yeah, I think the most famous Minotaur of myth is typically portrayed as an evil creature whose goal is to destroy anything that gets lost in its labyrinth.

      • Well, not so much evil as just animalistic (or deranged) and bloodthirsty by nature. At least, that how I've seen it portrayed. In Greek myth itself, It was the son of King Minos's wife and a white bull, and being an unnatural abomination, could only eat humans to survive once weaned. Minos locked it up in the Labyrinth, and then, well, you know the rest. I'm curious, where have you seen it portrayed as truly evil?

        • Jim said on May 13, 2010

          Ah, well, I was actually thinking of Minos and the minotaur, so I could well be mistaken. It's been a long time since I read that story. :)

          • Gotcha. Yeah, I had to refresh my memory on some of the details, too. Seems in Greek mythology, the deeper I delve, the grayer the morality gets. Even "good" characters do an awful lot of evil things (for example, Jason and Medea didn't last…to say the least…), or get flipped off by Fate anyway (Oedipus, anyone?). And most of the "evil" characters are either just selfish, or crazy and can't help themselves. Like the Maenids.

            Definitely not like D&D. :P

          • Jim said on May 13, 2010

            Oh, no, surely not. ;)

  4. Also, I do like your character, and I'm hoping we get to meet him. A future NPC?

  5. Hooray!