Minotaurs are downright iconic. Bullheaded monsters that stalk the labyrinth and hunt down those foolish enough to challenge their deadly maze. That whole “monster” thing has largely fallen by the wayside though, as we have playable minotaurs in both Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and Mythic Odysseys of Theros. They’re big, angry, and ready to charge into your adventures like a bull in a china shop. Try to keep track of all the twists and turns in this maze as we go through everything you need to know.
This gets a tad messy since there’s no unified minotaur culture, instead it’s better to show the minotaur cultures of the Forgotten Realms, Ravnica, and Theros.
Minotaurs of the Forgotten Realms
In the Forgotten Realms you’re going to have a lot of trouble justifying a minotaur character as their almost universally evil monsters here. Minotaurs love to prey upon the flesh of other humanoids, pray to evil gods, and are generally killed on sight. Very rarely minotaurs here get along with other humanoids, but usually only in a capacity to prey on yet other humanoids. They can become mercenaries, pirates, or can be simply directed to attack the opposing force in exchange for promises of riches and fresh humanoid meat. Here, they lack much of a unified culture, and are only rarely ever more than a clever and hungry beast.
Minotaurs of Ravnica
Minotaurs are widely accepted in Ravnica, their brute strength and tactical cunning is of great use to many guilds. Minotaurs here are united by ancestral history, legends of great minotaur heroes that have been elevated to the status of gods in minotaur eyes. Each minotaur is descended from one of these heroes, and which “line” they descend from often impacts what guild they belong to. The most common is the Ordruun line, a hero said to have taught all minotaurs the art of war. There’s also the Kharran line that often live within the Gruul Scab clan, and the Drendaa line which is usually scattered among other Gruul Clans. The last prominent line is the Tazgral, which is usually divided among the Boros, the Gruul, and the Rakdos.
Minotaurs of Theros
The minotaurs of Theros come in two major flavors: the savage monsters that feud over the badlands of Phoberos, and those “civilized” minotaurs that have banded together in the city of Skophos.
The minotaurs that inhabit Phoberos aren’t that different from the minotaurs in the forgotten realms. They’re huge, hungry, and ready to devour the flesh of those that dare enter their territory. They’re not mindless however, they live to bring honor and glory to their god Mogis, the god of slaughter. Though that’s a small comfort to the poor travelers they pick from their teeth.
Skophos is a literal maze, the walls of which are filled with the homes and temples of the first minotaur polis. Carvings of ancient minotaur heroes line the high canyon walls. Here the savage predation of the minotaurs in the ashlands are replaced with the strength of arms and the law of tyrants. Great gleaming temples to Mogis dot the labyrinth, though all the gods among the pantheon are recognized here. Erebos, Purphoros, Keranos, and a primal form of Karametra that still requires spilt blood to ensure the harvest feature prominently alongside Mogis. There is even a small temple to Ephara, where minotaur philosophers preach for law and order over the strength of tyrants so that the minotaur people may prosper.
Whatever a minotaur believes, they believe it passionately. Most minotaurs are actually quite slow to anger, but when really enraged that innate minotaur passion drives them forward. Everything a minotaur does they do so with passion and zeal, no half measures. They love their friends, they love life, and they believe in their deities.
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Regardless of the plane, minotaurs are large, hooved, muscular humanoids with the heads of bulls or cows. They are sometimes covered in fur, or often only have furred patches on their arms, legs, and backs. Their horns are usually between 1 and 3 feet long and are usually quite bulky.
Minotaurs have a ton of room to play with creatively. The amount of fur and what color pattern they have is largely up to you. Usually they have varying shades of brown, but the entire real-world variety of cattle is up for grabs. Make them stark white, ashen black, red, blonde, or even the classic black and white splotches. Your horns are also a great creative angle. Does your character sharpen their horns? Do they armor them in bronze? Do they carve glyphs of power or prayers to the gods into them?
Just as their cultures are wildly different by plane, minotaur names will be quite different depending on where your minotaur came from.
Forgotten Realm Minotaur Names
Minotaurs of the Forgotten Realms tend to have guttural names followed by a surname that proclaims their most notable deeds.
Male Names: Aamven, Derkar, Durtiran, Grarilak, Kinbur, Krumrakar, Magrath, Turnark
Female Names: Doutred, Duufen, Linera, Oenres, Rasmas, Tinatris, Veomas, Winatris
Surnames: Bouldercrush, Brightroar, Fistvigor, Greathorn, Nimblestep, Silentskull, Singleheart, Towerfell
Ravnica Minotaur Names
The Minotaurs of Ravnica name their children after ancient heroes, but also after every other minor character from those hallowed stories so that their names are never forgotten.
Male Names: Alovnek, Brogmir, Brozhdar, Dornik, Drakmir, Drazhan, Grozdan, Kalazmir, Klattic, Melislek, Nirikov, Prezhlek, Radolak, Rugilar, Sarovnek, Svarakov, Trovik, Vraslak, Yarvem
Female Names: Akra, Bolsa, Cica, Dakka, Drakisla, Eleska, Enka, Irnaya, Jaska, Kalka, Makla, Noraka, Pesha, Raisha, Sokali, Takyat, Vrokya, Veska, Yelka, Zarka, Zoka
Theros Minotaur Names
Minotaurs of Theros are named after ancient minotaur champions, though their parents may choose to invent new names in the hope that their child will create a legacy all their own.
Female Names: Bozzri, Dhazdoro, Erinimachis, Ghalantzo, Halafoti, Kerania, Mitévra, Philoprodis, Tavromiki, Ypoudoris
Male Names: Bamvros, Fotiyinos, Halafotios, Keranios, Menetavro, Nikavros, Prodos, Rhordon, Tavrostenes, Thyrogog
Your minotaur character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age: Minotaurs mature and age at about the same rate as humans.
Alignment: Minotaurs who leave the walls of Skophos have the opportunity to be free of its culture and pursue chaotic alignments, while those who remain within the polis and its tyrannical regime tend toward lawful alignments.
Size: Minotaurs average over 6 feet in height, and they have stocky builds. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Horns: Your horns are natural melee weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Goring Rush: Immediately after you use the Dash action on your turn and move at least 20 feet, you can make one melee attack with your horns as a bonus action.
Hammering Horns: Immediately after you hit a creature with a melee attack as part of the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to shove that target with your horns. The target must be no more than one size larger than you and within 5 feet of you. Unless it succeeds on a Strength saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier, you push it up to 10 feet away from you.
Imposing Presence: You have proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Intimidation or Persuasion.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Minotaur.
Minotaurs are all about those horns but let’s go through each trait one at a time and analyze what they’ll mean for your next minotaur character.
Ability Score Increase: +2 to Strength and +1 to Constitution. It’s hard not to see a melee build with this stat lineup. You’re pushed strongly towards Barbarians, Fighters, or Paladins.
Age: Standard age isn’t a help or a hindrance.
Alignment: You’ve essentially got free reign here thematically. Chaos, law, good, evil, minotaurs can fit any alignment role you’d like.
Size: This is probably the most egregious casualty of the “big but not large” trend, considering the basic monster “minotaur” is large sized. But c’est la vie, you’re stuck with boring but standard medium size.
Speed: Bog-standard 30-foot movement. It’s not a huge boon but at least it isn’t a penalty.
Horns: On their own natural attacks aren’t that great in 5e, but as most of your other traits work off them you’ll be getting more use out of them than most. Alone though, having a d6 weapon strapped to your head is a nice bonus. You’ll always have a backup weapon even if your hands are full or all your other weapons have been taken away.
Goring Rush: This means your effective attack range is 60 feet (your 30-foot speed + another 30-foot dash). You’re only getting the one swing off of this, but in most cases, you’ll be able to rush right in and smack enemies that even your DM may have thought were safe for a round. It also effectively makes it impossible for most humanoid creatures to escape your melee range, which is important in a few fringe fights where they rely on hit and run tactics.
Hammering Horns: Now we’re getting tactical. A shove as a bonus action each turn is always tactically useful. Bully your target into a corner, shove them off a cliff or into danger. Or get the enemy out of melee range of your allies so they can safely retreat and heal. This is a tool you’ll be using often, and if you’re smart with it this little “shove” can turn the tide of battle.
Imposing Presence: Unless you build a paladin, you’re unlikely to have the high Charisma score you’d want to make use of Intimidation or Persuasion. But extra skill proficiencies are always nice, grab the one you plan to make the most use of.
Languages: Common and Minotaur. Unsurprisingly, only minotaurs speak minotaur, so unless your DM is planning on a rather minotaur-centric adventure you’re unlikely to get much use out of it.
Alternate Minotaur Stats
Currently, there are two officially released sets of minotaur traits, one from Ravnica and one from Theros. Both are correct and are identical in everything except their lore-specific alignment traits (also the Ravnica version seems to be missing its age trait but we’re pretty sure that’s a typo).
There is also a version of Minotaur from an Unearthed Arcana still floating around. This early build didn’t change much in the transition, but it’s still an out of date version that you probably shouldn’t use (it’s not really better anyway). Simply make use of either the Ravnica or Theros versions.
5e is easy to make characters with, and while minotaurs lean hard into melee builds you can still create whatever you’d like. A minotaur wizard probably isn’t optimal, but it’s not wrong. If you are interested in optimization or build synergy, then the following build is a good place to start:
Minotaurs feel tailor-made for Barbarians and work especially well using the path of the ancestral guardian. With ancestral protectors, you can tag an enemy and seriously nerf their next attacks if they don’t specifically target you. At 4th level, take the mobile feat which bumps up your movement and prevents the target of your attacks from making attacks of opportunity at you. By 5th level you’ll become a mad pinball whipping from one enemy to the next, tagging enemies (and heavily nerfing them) each turn as you launch up to 50 feet over to the next guy and repeat the process. Not to mention you can perform mad dashes of 100 feet with a horn attack AND shove at the end!
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Last updated: January 27, 2019
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