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Old 06-01-2016, 09:59 AM   #1
joppeknol
 
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Default [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

I was going through Banestorm’s races in order to make them less like a human-with a prosthetic forehead and to give them more verisimilitude

I had a problem with the minotaur. His (or her) horns look very intimidating, but even though the rules permit it, I can’t visualise him with his horns in a sword-fight. He’s better of with a large sword or axe in his hands. Worse, even a head-butt looks difficult if you have a big snout getting in the way. Why on earth did this feature evolve or survive?

Also they’re solitary and are mostly depicted as males, but where do the cows and calves live?

Then I saw some youtube movies about african cape buffaloes (search for buffalo kill lion) and thought: ‘Hey, there’s my minotaur’.

minotaur 2.0:

A minotaur is about the size of a small horse but is built like a gorilla. It is possible for him maintain a walking pace on two feet, but if he wants to run he will drop on all four. His main form of attack is a slam with impaling damage, after which he will rise on two feet, grab his two axes and finished the job. He is not a long-distance runner. His thick arms and legs are mostly built for a sprint.

The bull either lives alone or is the leader of a small herd consisting of a bull, a few cows and possibly some calves. They hunt by slamming into their prey (mostly large grass-eaters). A group of minotaurs often works together by encircling their prey and attacking from different sides. It is even possible for a herd to attack a mammoth or rhino by repeatedly slamming into it from the side. The cows are almost as vicious and bad-tempered as the bulls. When defending they might use ]their forehead and horns to block.

So far, I’m quite content with my minotaurs. They were originally designed to be very effective as heavy cavalry in the magical war on Lorend’il. They roam the nomad lands and possibly the orc-lands and should be very dangerous for the other people that live there. They can use weapons but their primary attack is a slam with their horns. They should be feared for that weapon.

So my questions for the hive-mind:
1, Do people see inconsistencies of logical flaws in the minotaur 2.0? (My criticism on the original minotaur is a matter of taste. Please don’t feel attacked if you’re happy with the original.).
2. How do I model the above mentioned features. (Cannot run on 2 feet. blocking with head. easily fatigues while sprinting).
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

I like the idea

Any particular reason you made them carnivores? they really don't need to be. Bad tempered herbivores will work just as well.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

1) Not feeling attacked, just answering questions raised by your criticism of the classic minotaur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
Worse, even a head-butt looks difficult if you have a big snout getting in the way.
I'm puzzled why you think the horns point at the snout, instead of up, like they do in cattle and pretty much every other species with poky horns? Sheep's horns don't, because they aren't poky; instead they spiral around to form a helmet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
Why on earth did this feature evolve or survive?
Horns didn't evolve to compete with swords and axes. Horns evolved to compete with biting, kicking, clawing, and so forth.
That's natural selection.

Horns, in species with sex differences in horned-ness (cattle are one of such), are rapidly co-opted as a sign of sexual fitness. "Look at me I'm awesome, I can go about my life even though I have these big heavy things strapped to my head awkwardly! I'm so healthy I can grow really BIG horns! And I've lived long enough to do so, too, so clearly I'm one tough customer!"
That's sexual selection.

Once something becomes the target of sexual selection, it can become counter survival and still be retained, and even further exaggerated. The classic example is the peacocks tail, which is utterly pointless from a natural-selection POV.

Assuming your minotaurs are even an evolved creature, rather than the product of cranky gods cursing mortals, demonic in-breeding, mad wizard experiments, or other fantastic origins... Once they evolve into tool using bipeds, horns lose their primary function as an offensive/defensive weapon - but they won't lose their sexual attraction. If anything, they're now freed to be nothing but an advertisement to females about how studly you are.

If minotaur males contest with each other for control over females (like cattle, and many other sexually-differentiated horned/antlered species) then the horns will retain (ritual) combat functionality. The lady minotaurs think it's sexy when you smack heads awkwardly with other minotaur dudes. The horns may even be pointed away from the other dude, just straight out to the sides of the head (like in some cattle breeds) - you don't use them to smack heads, you hook in from the side and rip with them. I've seen the results of this from rodeo bulls and spanish fighting bulls, it's horrific.

If they don't (being largely solitary, or living in human-like mixed-gender groups) then they're freed to become as ridiculously shaped as quirks of mutation can make them.

Which would be an explanation for horns pointed at your nose, but those wouldn't be Impaling Strikers, they'd be Crushing Strikers (like a bighorn ram's horns).
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

All that said, I usually make them big, carnivorous, and toy with semi-upright. If yours have hooves, look at the Claws advantage, there's a hooves version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
2. How do I model the above mentioned features. (Cannot run on 2 feet. blocking with head. easily fatigues while sprinting).
Cannot run on 2 feet is the Semi-Upright disadvantage. -5 points. Consider also some long arms (check under the Extra Arms advantage, it's hidden in there) which is gorilla-like, and also Arm ST (I'd recommend anywhere from 2 to 4)

"Blocking" with the head is simply "parrying" with the head. You can do that with Strikers for free, they count as weapons. So as long as your impaling horns are on the head, you've got that in the bag. Add some DR to the skull for accidents, though :) Also for charging people in armor, walls, whatever.

Easily fatiguing is simply Reduced Fatigue. Also look at Unfit and Very Unfit. Another option is to give them half a level of Enhanced Move if they sprint extra fast, with Costs Fatigue. You also probably should put Temporary Disadvantage: Quadruped, -30% on Enhanced Move, since you can only do it on all fours.

Normally TD: Quadruped would be -35% but the minotaur is already Semi-Upright; you're effectively "upgrading" that to properly Horizontal while sprinting, so knock 5 disadvantage points off.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
1
I'm puzzled why you think the horns point at the snout, instead of up, like they do in cattle and pretty much every other species with poky horns? Sheep's horns don't, because they aren't poky; instead they spiral around to form a helmet.

).
Note that on the cape buffalo the horns don't just stick out. Their roots also grow together to form a brow ridge. That would also be armor and/or a striking surface.

I'm pretty sure that rodeo types would rate being trampled as a bigger danger than being gored too.

I believe that sharp horns are mostly used as a defensive threat. It almost certainly helps that bringing them into play involves putting the head low to help cover the throat.

There aren't any horned carnivores of course.

Then there's the gorilla as our other model. It does and any other knuckle walker would have arms as long and as strong as legs if not more so. That makes them formidable grappling weapons. I think that's what the gorilla mainly uses even though its' teeth can bite with over 1200 lbs of force and its' sagittal crest would give it a formidable head butt.

For these reasons and what Bruno said (correctly) about horns I think the concept of offensive horns has gone astray.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I like the idea

Any particular reason you made them carnivores? they really don't need to be. Bad tempered herbivores will work just as well.

If you make them herbivore they would need a larger digestive system. My biggest problem with my minotaur is that I didn't want to make them too big. If they're going to be a PC-playable race, they should at least fit in a tavern.

@Bruno
I agree about the horns being evolved out of sexual attraction is a possible explanation. I hadn't thought that out. Still, I personally don't like it to see them as an equivalent to a peacock's tail, but that's a matter of taste.

I wasn't clear about my head-butt problem: suppose the minotaur (v1.0) wants to head-butt a (slightly smaller) human. He grabs him and then rams his head downwards to the face of the human. The way I visualise it, it seems to me that his snout is in the way. Also, it is hard for him to point his horns downwards to the human.

The way for him to solve it is to headbutt like a normal bovine would do, moving his head low and then upwards. But he needs to go on four in order to do that.

Most horns are indeed not made to be lethal. I don't know why they cannot be. They could have the same function as a lance (a formidable weapon in TL-gurps). I agree that they hardly could have been evolved naturally.

(During this writing, I noticed that my english education was very negligent on teaching me how to explain non-human races on rpg-fora. My apologies if this post is hard to read.).
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
There aren't any horned carnivores of course.
Horned lizards not withstanding. ;)
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Note that on the cape buffalo the horns don't just stick out. Their roots also grow together to form a brow ridge. That would also be armor and/or a striking surface.
That's the skull DR, yeah. Traditional on minotaur templates in GURPS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I'm pretty sure that rodeo types would rate being trampled as a bigger danger than being gored too.
A bulls hoof can basically punch a hole in your torso. It's horrible. A horn gore can eviscerate you, while throwing you 10 feet into the air, to land prone so you can be trampled. There's footage of a lioness that had to be shot recently because a cape buffalo ripped her entire flank off and eviscerated her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That makes them formidable grappling weapons. I think that's what the gorilla mainly uses even though its' teeth can bite with over 1200 lbs of force and its' sagittal crest would give it a formidable head butt.
Gorillas slap, which is pretty brutal because of their size. It's interesting, because they basically can't punch, the knuckles are not set up right. They grapple, but for the purpose of biting. They don't wrestle so they can put you in a sleeper hold or something, they do it to bite your face off, to bite your fingers off, etc. They also bite without grappling - if you run from a silverback, you will probably get a (bad) bite on your ass to make sure you keep running.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edges View Post
Horned lizards not withstanding. ;)
Also Carnotaurus, a relative of Albertasaurus, iirc.

Edit: I hate phones. Alberta Saudis? Really?
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Minotaur 2.0

Two thoughts
From experience there is definately a throw/increased Knockback component to a strike from a bull/cow/steer ' s head. Which is typically an upwards motion from almost ground height. Bulls can throw other bulls of similar weights when fighting.

Incidentally bovine horn can be reshaped while attached
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