Centaur (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Centaur
Monstermanualcentaur.JPG
A centaur, as depicted in the original Monster Manual
Characteristics
Alignment Neutral Good
Type Monstrous humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Mythological origins Centaur

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the centaur is a large monstrous humanoid. Based upon the centaurs of Greek myth, they resemble humans with the lower bodies of horses.

Publication history[edit]

The centaurs of Dungeons & Dragons are based upon the centaurs of Greek mythology, though are much more civilized.[1]

The centaurs first appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons set (1974).

The centaur appeared in the D&D Expert Set (1981, 1983) and the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991). The centaur appeared as a character class in Tall Tales of the Wee Folk (1989).[2]

The centaur appeared in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual (1977).[3] The sea centaur appeared in Dragon #116 (December 1986).

The centaur appeared in second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989) as the "sylvan centaur",[4] reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[5] The Abanasinian centaur, the Crystalmir centaur, the Endscape centaur, and the Wendle centaur appeared as the centaurs of Krynn for the Dragonlance setting in Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix (1990). The nomadic centaur and the learned ones of the Forgotten Realms setting appeared in The Horde Barbarian Campaign Setting (1990). The desert centaur of the Al-Qadim setting appeared in the Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix (1992),[6] and the desert centaur of the Greyhawk setting appeared in the adventure module Rary the Traitor (1992). The centaur is presented as a playable character race in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993),[7] which allows centaurs to be wizards, but not to advance beyond 12th level.[8] The centaur is later presented as a playable character race again in Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995).[9]

The centaur appeared in the third edition Monster Manual (2000),[10] and the version 3.5 Monster Manual (2003). The hueleneaer (desert centaur) appeared in Dungeon #103 (October 2003). The centaur appeared as a player character race in Savage Species (2003), the Forgotten Realms book Races of Faerûn (2003), and in Races of the Wild (2005).

The centaur appeared in the fourth edition Monster Manual 2 (2009).

Environment[edit]

Centaurs are typically found in temperate forests.

Typical physical characteristics[edit]

A centaur has the upper body of a humanoid, and the lower body of a horse. They are usually unclothed, except for a quiver of arrows and, in rare occasions, light armor. Centaur warriors are usually equipped with composite longbows and longswords.

Racial traits[edit]

Combining the traits of humans and horses, along with their affinity for wilderness survival, gives the centaur incredible strength, slightly less than twice the strength of an average human and the dexterity of an average elven archer. They are also known for their astounding ability to take much punishment, and for their wisdom. They are as fast on land as a horse (usually up to 2000 feet a minute when running), and like dwarves and orcs, they have darkvision. Their favored class is ranger.

Society[edit]

Centaurs generally live in tribal hunter-gatherer societies. They have good relations with elves, being as they are both creatures of the forest. Their relations with elves are mutual, mostly trading gold and treasure from the tribe's horde for items in large supply in elven communities (mostly alcohol). Elves are welcome in centaur territory, and typically share land. Centaurs generally despise humans and dwarves.[citation needed] Neutral, jovial creatures such as halflings and gnomes are tolerated in centaur territory when not causing damage.

Religion[edit]

Centaurs revere their sylvan god, Skerrit the Forester, the god of Nature and Community.

Other media[edit]

Centaurs appeared in the D&D Miniatures: Harbinger set #17 (2003), the Centaur Hero appeared in the Deathknell set (2005), and the Centaur War Hulk appeared in the Blood War set (2006).

Other publishers[edit]

The centaur appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (2009), on page 42.[11]

Additional reading[edit]

  • Schutt, Matthew. "Professional Monsters." Dragon #163 (TSR, 1990).

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ DeVarque, Aardy. "Literary Sources of D&D". Archived from the original on 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  2. ^ Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 146. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  4. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  5. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  6. ^ Baur, Wolfgang and Steve Kurtz. Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix (TSR, 1992)
  7. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids (TSR, 1993)
  8. ^ Swan, Rick (May 1994). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR) (#205): 102. 
  9. ^ Niles, Douglas and Dale Donovan. Player's Option: Skills & Powers (TSR, 1995)
  10. ^ Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  11. ^ Bulmahn, Jason (lead designer). Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (Paizo Publishing, 2009)