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We're playing 4e Thunderspire Labyrinth and we've decided to let the tank play a large (2x2) Minotaur.

He has all of the stats from the Minotaur player character in the Players Handbook 3, but he's a large creature.

The labyrinth has several hallways that are only two squares wide and many doorways that he'll have to use Squeeze just to go through.

What are the advantages this will give him and what are the disadvantages?

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What type of tank is the Minotaur? There are big differences in the classes that size would affect differently. A mark-based tank wouldn't be too much different, but an aura-based one would be overpowered. –  dpatchery Jul 26 '11 at 16:20
He will be a Battlerager Fighter. –  Kalamane Jul 26 '11 at 16:28
I think you'll be fine then. Fighters just mark, so there's no gross abuse of the defender auras. My suggestion would be to play for a few sessions and if it feels overpowered give the minotaur a slight penalty (to AC, Reflex, speed, dex-based skills, or something like that) to even things out. –  dpatchery Jul 26 '11 at 16:34
Do minotaurs get bonuses to dungeoneering in labyrinths? :) –  Sam Hoice Jul 28 '11 at 22:03
@Sam Not according to Players Handbook 3, but they should! –  Kalamane Jul 28 '11 at 22:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

There are some major advantages and major disadvantages to playing a large PC. Here are a couple I can think of right off the top of my head


  • Access to Large weapons. This increases the weapon die size by one.
  • As a defender they have the ability to draw in more targets there are 12 squares around them instead of 8.
  • larger close bursts.
  • defender aura more powerful as its an opportunity action and affects all squares around you.
  • Some monster races have threatening reach, a property that should be very difficult for a PC to achieve (there is no always on threatening reach for PCs, and for good reason, it provides way too much area of control).


  • squeezing when passing through narrow hallways (grants CA)
  • more flanking opportunities for enemies (grants more CA)
  • more adjacency means more potential hits absorbed
  • marks mean less as you can only enforce 1/round
  • reduced ability to use cover and concealment (not a big deal for defenders but its a valid disadvantage to other roles)

Personally the only thing I find game breaking is the larger bursts, but that will be up to your discretion as DM. I don't think things that are designed to target a max of 8 creatures should get to go up to 12. But its possible that the trade offs of being able to be flanked more ways, and having to squeeze out weight the advantages of extra targets and more damage.

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I think a large defender is too powerful because of your first and second bullet points alone. A large essentials Knight could lock down an awful lot of enemies with defender aura. If I were the DM I would impose some penalties to adjust for this advantage, like -2 AC and Reflex due to increased size. –  dpatchery Jul 26 '11 at 16:19
@dpatchery its debatable to me. They can draw more targets, but there is a high expense to it. They area already granting combat advantage nearly any time there are two people around them (the flanking possibilities are huge) and they are going to get hit a lot because its not worth hitting anyone else. sure they are big, but if they haven't invested in a lot of defense they will be big and dead very quick –  wax eagle Jul 26 '11 at 16:22
The large weapon thing can also be a hindrance. Few published adventures include treasure for Large+ or Small- races. Changing the treasure loadout (especially arms and armor) makes it quite obvious to the other players. Plus, I'd ask the other players. –  basilard99 Jul 26 '11 at 16:25
@basilard99 True, but there are easy ways around that. You can resize magic armor for free with the Enchant Magic Item ritual, and use Transfer Enchantment to handle the weapons. –  dpatchery Jul 26 '11 at 16:28
@basilard99 We've established that he will be using medium two handed weapons with one hand because of that very reason. If he happens to find a large weapon, great, but there won't be changes to the loot tables just for him. –  Kalamane Jul 26 '11 at 17:02

Large creatures have a -1 to AC and Reflex but a greater weapon die and +1 to attacks. (Not 100% sure of attacks, may not be incorporated anymore)

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Citation please. I can't tell if you're talking about 4e or 3.5 –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Mar 17 '14 at 9:44
Welcome to the site! Please take a look at the tour and the help; they're a useful introduction to the site. And once you have 20+ rep, feel free to join the chat! As Brian mentioned, do you have a link, or a book and page number for this information? –  Tridus Mar 17 '14 at 12:37

I'd add these points to those already enumerated by @wax eagle.


  • Large WardensDDI may mark much more creatures.
  • Even it is fuzzy and not really covered by rules, someone would eventually try the minotaur-riding gnome tactic.


  • A Large creature has less safe-path choices while traversing patches of difficult, hindering or challenging terrain.
  • Reduced space for maneuvering out of close quarters. Two enemies could lock a Large creature in a corner, forcing it to squeeze or bull rush.
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