I Tried To Get Tricksy With Them, But They Got Tricksy With Me!

Okay, I thought I'd pull a fast one on my players. Older editions of D&D had ways to support breaking the "medieval European" feel of the game, even beyond the "feudal Japan" flavor of Kara Tur and the "Mesoamerica" feel of Maztica. Support for modern and futuristic firearms were provided and they were fun to dip into once in awhile. So for Playtest 2 I thought throw them a curveball and set a 1e module in a modern day setting. I want to see if I can stretch Next as far as I could 1e. I warned the guys and here's one of the deals they came back with, throwing a curveball of their own:

"Benjamin" is a minotaur raised by humans. His hobbies include photography, film-making, and football. He really wanted to go pro, but the Royal Football League (RFL) couldn't accept him because of the injuries his horns could do. He still plays football with the guys back home who trust him not to gore them, so his "Background" would be sports themed, with football in particular.

Being a minotaur I gave him a +2 to Strength. I also have granted the gore attack from the Bestiary. (These are tentative while I hash things out.) How would you craft a minotaur PC, and how would you handle a modern-era sports-themed background?

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heh.  

Minotaurs were always one of my favorite creatures.  Loved tossing them into my campaigns.

For me, there are two big hurdles to get over.  

1) A basic Minotaur is still vastly superior than any other PC race, so you have to make them less than they normally are naturally.  Your +2 STR is already a bit unfair to the non-humans, so maybe introduce the first negative stat.  -1 INT.  As for Gore.  Obviously you'll have to dampen that as well because 2d8 + STR would be way overpowered to start. Maybe 1d6+STR with 2d6+STR on a charge.  Of course, it won't scale with levels very well, but you can worry about that later.

2) It's a monster.  I assume you are going to have a world where monsters are more commonly lived amongst?  Even so, there has to be some bias between races isn't there?  Or is this world without the good vs evil, hostile vs civilized, etc, theme?  No dungeons and evil realms of bad guys?  One way or another, I'd think the roleplay and the interaction with the world would be different for them.

As for the background, it looks fine "as is."  The problem is... in a modern world, there's not nearly the call for Dungeoneering, Nature Lore, and Spot.  If he's a photographer, let him have a camera.  He can use it to make short films.  As for Football, he could improvise actions that would reflect is football background, but not much beyond that. Anything "non-football" related would be more about his natural STR or AGI than any training as a football player.

Sounds like fun, but it always comes down to the theme of the campaign.  Is it "modern" or "advanced fantasy"?  Is it a world of evil/hostile or a world of cities and working professionals?  etc.  So many questions and changes that have huge impact on how a character would be perceived. 
I like the suggestions for the race, but how about cutting the STR to +1 to reflect the softer life he's lived and not dropping a negative? I think it's bit of a difference, cleaving peoples' skulls open in a labyrinth versus taking family vacation videos. I have nothing against the negative, I just cringe at overpowered characters at 1st level. Cutting the Gore to a d6 sounds good.

Some monsters would be, well, I wouldn't say "common", but they're not unknown. My thought is that in this particular area, as cities expanded and civilization encroached, many monstrous races (usually the more intelligent humanoids) had to suck it up or get plowed under. Within the cities they tend to live in ghettos, and some races are made to feel uncomfortable in certain parts of town, such as an elf wandering into a hobgoblin neighborhood. There is still plenty of wilderness, though, where you're going to find savage tribes of orcs, goblinoids, humans, etc. and have a traditional delve. It's largely the cities that will have the modern feel, kind of like "Urban Arcana" with a touch of "Mad Max".

Benjamin will know discrimination outside of his home turf. Minotaurs are man-eaters, aren't they? Who'd let something like that walk around on its own? Of course, his friends, family, and neighbors know him for the fun-loving party animal that he is and delight in trying to toss onion rings onto his horns when he's not looking.

The feel should be modern (I hope). But, to my players' chagrin, I will not be allowing firearms. Law enforcement only, and I'm not allowing any PCs to be in law enforcement (though they may have friends in law enforcement). Fortunately, they shouldn't be going up against law enforcement. If they end up in the wilds and encounter some bad guys with guns, I'll try to keep it fair and have the guns in a sorry state of repair, jamming a lot, etc.

The module I'm adapting is "Skarda's Mirror". I have to tone things down a bit since I'm starting everyone at level one. I'll run them through some level-building adventures to build them up. I've got 'til Saturday!
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