Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Minotaurs, Part I


Large, ruminant-headed monstrosities (often with that of a bull), minotaurs can be associated with various divinities and cults. Herein is described the likely qualities of such associations, the disposition of the monster, as well as the origin of its presence.

Associated Divinity/Cult (d20)
Poseidon (Greek/Achaean): bull head, bestial arms & torso, human legs & feet or bull legs & hooves. Bloodthirsty, lustful, or territorial disposition.
7-10. Potnia (Minoan): bull head, human arms & torso or bestial arms & torso, human legs & feet. Affirming dominance, guardian, lustful, or bloodthirsty disposition.
11. Fufluns (Etruscan- neutral version of Dionysus): bull head, human arms & torso, human legs & feet. Contemplative, guardian, or territorial  disposition.
12-13. Pan (
Greek/Arcadian): goat head (Aegipan), human or bestial arms & torso, goat legs & hooves. Lustful, drunken, territorial, or mad disposition.
14-15. Artemis (Greek/Dianic): stag head (Actaeon), human arms & torso, human legs & feet or stag legs & hooves. Affirming dominance, guardian, territorial, or lustful disposition.
16-17. Cernunnos
(Celtic): stag head, bestial arms & torso, human legs & feet or stag legs & hooves. Contemplative, guardian, territorial, drunken, bloodthirsty, or lustful disposition.
18. Utu or Tiamat (Mesopotamian): bull head (Kusarikku), bestial arms & torso, 50% chance of bull hooves instead of hands or claws, bull legs & hooves or centauroid body. Contemplative or guardian (if associated with Utu); bloodthirsty or mad (if associated with Tiamat).
19. Osiris or Ra (Egyptian- via Banebdjedet/ Heryshaf/ Khnum): ram head, human or bestial arms & torso, human legs & feet. Contemplative, lustful, or mad (if associated with Osiris);
affirming dominance, contemplative, or guardian (if associated with Ra).
20. Baphomet or Unharmonia (Demon Lords): bull, goat, stag, or ram head; human or bestial arms & torso; human legs & feet or bull, goat, stag, or ram legs & hooves or even centauroid body. Affirming dominance, bloodthirsty, or territorial disposition (if associated with Baphomet); affirming dominance, guardian, or lustful (if associated with Unharmonia).

(Listed physical qualities will be described next week.) 

Minotaur's Disposition (d8)
1. Affirming Dominance: acts to violently subjugate any who fail to submit to their divinity (or demon lord) immediately, especially those who would subjugate normal animals of their head type (thus goat-headed minotaurs would herd shepherds, stag-headed minotaurs would stalk hunters, etc.).
2. Bloodthirsty: seeks only to kill and then gorge upon the gruesome remains. +2 to hit and damage, -4 AC penalty, and must save vs. death to resist feasting on fallen foes even if others are nearby.
3. Contemplative: wishes mainly to mate and graze, though will also offer insight once every 1d6 hours to those seeking to solve labyrinths (physical or mental); only violent if provoked.
4. Drunken: wanders in a stuporous haze, violently seeks more drink. -1d6 to all rolls involving coordination; immune to fear.
5. Guardian: ruthlessly protects an area from interlopers, tolerates those aligned with the divinity.
6. Lustful: works aggressively to mate- those who resist are forced.
7. Mad: acts in a random fashion- reroll on this table once and every 3 rounds thereafter.
8. Territorial: challenges those who are in the area (likely some sort of labyrinths), attacking those who don't flee in time.

Origin of Minotaur's Presence (d6)
1. Native: born of some abominable pairing (in the tradition of Pasiphae), it now dwells here.
2. Divine Curse: was once a man who then angered the Gods.
3. Test: as some divine test, a cleric (or the like) has been turned into one for a limited time.
4. Summoned: called upon by a cleric (or the like) who has used a sacrifice based upon the minotaur's disposition to encourage it to remain here.
5. Totemic Item: grasping or wearing such a fetish makes one become a minotaur; that is, until it is taken from the sorcerer.
6. Unholy Mask: one has donned a mask and became a monster forevermore, though he likely had monstrous aggression in him beforehand.

Summoning Minotaurs
Clerics (and other spellcasters) of divinities and cults listed above can add the spell Summon Minotaur to their spell list. Treat it as Summon Monster, except that only 1 minotaur may be summoned per day, its HD (usually 6)  determining the appropriate Summon Monster spell's level. It takes 1d6 rounds to arrive and then the spell's duration begins- when the cleric can actually give the monster commands to follow. Once the spell's duration ends, the minotaur will act according to its disposition (if it still lives, either remaining or leaving the area) unless the cleric successfully casts another Summon Minotaur spell to control it once more. 
In any case, providing the minotaur with an offering (or sacrifice) that fits its disposition can increase the spell's duration by 50 to 100% (per Referee), as a promised reward given after the commanded deed is done. So offering a drunken minotaur a keg of wine can entice it to stay longer to obey the cleric's will, just as leaving the area can draw in a territorial one.
Next week: Minotaurs, Part II!