When building a minotaur character in DnD 5e, consider the following character traits and classes:
- Minotaur culture and background
- Special abilities and ability score improvements
- Champion Fighter
- Paladin Oath of Glory
- Barbarian Path of the Berserker
Introduced in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, minotaurs are beefy warriors (har, har) innately built for melee combat. For this character, I’m not concerned so much about social skills. Instead, I’m leaning into the monstrous, hulking nature of this beast-person and having a good time with it. Plus, I’ll mix in some Greek-inspired themes for my class and general character.
Minotaur culture and background
Minotaurs vary from three different regions: Ravnica, Theros and Amonkhet. Though they all share the characteristics of a warrior clan and massive strength. Therefore, backgrounds of arena fighting, war or mercenary work fit this character well.
Along these three clans, the horns can take different shapes and sizes. Therefore, each clan shares the ability to use them as a weapon. This means they take great care to protect these weapons, often decorating them in metal rings or sheathing them in metal to protect from damage. We can take these horns as a sign of honor—a central part of warrior culture.
Special abilities and ability score improvements
Minotaur’s all share the same ability score improvement: +2 Strength/+1 Constitution. However, abilities can vary between the clans.
Those who belong to the Boros Legion (Ravnica) lean toward a lawful good nature. Their Horns deal 1d6 + Strength modifier piercing damage, and they are able to make a bonus attack after the dash action with Goring Rush. Hammering Horns can also push enemies 10 feet away on a failed Strength saving throw after a melee attack. Finally, Imposing Presence gives me proficiency in either Intimidation or Persuasion.
The Theros variant can fall into more chaotic alignments. However, their abilities are the exact same as the Ravnica version.
Amonkhet minotaurs are slightly different, using their Natural Weapon for a basic horn attack that deals 1d6 + Strength modifier damage. I imagine this is more of a horn swipe than a gore. Plus, Menacing only gives them proficiency in Intimidation. However, Relentless Endurance grants me 1 HP when I fall to 0 (with rests in between uses). Finally, Savage Attack grants this minotaur 1 additional damage die when rolling for critical hit damage.
First, let’s look at classic arena fighter concept using a Champion Fighter class.
Fighters gain a number of cool abilities at early levels, including: Action Surge, Second Wind and Extra Attack. Therefore, they are built to take a hit and dish out punishment—protectors of the squishy wizards. The Action Surge and Extra Attack give me several more opportunities to attack and move, and Second Wind can grant me a little extra HP to keep going.
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At level 3, the Champion archetype grants me Improved Critical, which gives me a critical hit on a 19 or 20. This could pair well with the Amonkhet minotaur’s Savage Attack feature. Later levels focus on my physicality. Remarkable Athlete adds half my proficiency bonus to any Dexterity, Strength or Constitution saving throw. This bull is hard to take down.
For a complete Champion Fighter build, check out my Champion article.
Paladin Oath of Glory
Perhaps one of my lawful-leaning builds could fit this warrior well. Like the Champion, the Paladin Oath of Glory can fit well as an arena fighter or battlefield hero.
The basic paladin abilities grant me Divine Sense, Lay on Hands, a Fighting Style and the legendary Divine Smite. Divine Sense gives me the opportunity to sense celestial, fiend or undead monsters within 60 feet of me. Lay on Hands gives me a pool equal to 5 X my paladin level to heal myself or others. Then, I can choose a unique Fighting Style and spend spells slots on Divine Smite (add 2d8 radiant damage to melee attack).
The Oath of Glory pulls from Greek heroes and gods. Like the Champion Fighter, the Oath of Glory gives me athletic abilities like Peerless Athlete (advantage on Athletics and Acrobatics checks + move 2 X more weight than normal and jump 10 feet further). Plus, Inspiring Smite grants temporary HP to friends when I hit an enemy with Divine Smite. And these are just the beginning of my inspiring, athletic journey.
Read my guide to Oath of Glory here for more inspiration.
Barbarian Path of the Berserker
Something about a hulking beast person living as a barbarian just makes sense—especially since I can charge into battle with my horns before going berserk.
Barbarians are granted physical feats of combat prowess and hunting senses. The typical barbarian can enter a state of Rage, granting several benefits in combat:
- Advantage on Strength saving throws or checks.
- Special bonus to damage rolls.
- Resistance to bludgeoning, slashing and piercing damage.
As my barbarian grows, abilities like Extra Attack, Fast Movement and Feral Instinct make me an agile tank. Now, I can get to where I’m needed, hit a foe with my horns and begin a beatdown of surrounding enemies. How about that for cavalry?
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Berserkers gain extra features during this Rage with the Frenzy ability. Now, my Raging barbarian minotaur can make a single weapon attack as a bonus action. This grows to Mindless Rage at level 6, making me immune to the frightened condition.