I'd like to play a centaur character from races of wild and I'm interested what skill penalties and bonuses I would face.

Centaur stands firmly on his 4 hoofs and I found no clues if doing so gives him any bonuses like dwarven stability or penalties for tumble and other task that obviously not suited well for 4 hoofed creatures.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want something similar that's Medium sized, there's always the Bauriar race. (They're very similar to centaurs, but based off of goats, rather than horses) I think the stats are in the Book of Exalted Deeds. \$\endgroup\$
    – Discord
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ medium size half-dragon can not fly \$\endgroup\$
    – ayvango
    Jul 11, 2013 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


While your title asks about 4-hooved creatures only, the question you made refers to centaurs.
The first points of my list specifically address the benefits and disadvantaged of being a quadruped and of having hooves, it then goes on with the implications of being a large size creature and specifically a centaur.

  1. Creatures with more than two legs get a +4 bonus against being bull rushed or tripped, or for blocking overrun maneuvers;
  2. Being a quadruped (or having more than four legs) means your carrying capacity is 3 times higher;
  3. When doing an high jump, you treat quadrupeds as if they were one size category smaller for determining their vertical reach. I guess this rule does not really takes into account the centaurs having two arms and a torso and I think it's ok to rule against it*;
  4. Creatures with at least 4 legs can wear horseshoes (useful because there are some magical ones);
  5. Creatures of large size have a +4 strenght modifier to several checks better detailed in the special attacks section (grapple, overrun, bull rush, disarm, trip and many more - I'm looking for a list but since it does not apply to every d20 roll you'd better check that special attack in detail every time you use it. These stacks with the aforementioned bonuses for being quadruped, when applicable);
  6. Creatures of large size can wield appropriatedly sized weapons. Yeah, even if their torso is human sized only;
  7. Armors made for large creatures with non-human anatomy cost 4 times as much and weight twice as much

Some other features like some bonuses and maluses, being able to deal double damage on a lance charge and taking up a 2x2 square on the battle map are already detailed in the Centaur's statblock, especially in the Combat and in the Centaurs as characters paragraphs:

  • Large size. -1 penalty to Armor Class, -1 penalty on attack rolls, -4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits double those of Medium characters. (Please note how the benefits for being large listed there only care about the size of the centaur, without taking into consideration the four legs.)
  • Space/Reach: 10 feet/5 feet.
  • A centaur’s base land speed is 50 feet.

*You won't hear me saying I'd do the same. I like being a jerk to my players.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Didn't know for the jump part. For the weapons and armor sized, the rule I mentionned is actually a Pathfinder rule, I didn't check its retro-compatibility with 3.5. Anyway I found it's a good rule, unless in your setting (don't know Races of the wild) the human torso of a centaur is effectively one of a Large humanoïd. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trajan
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not a large humanoid torso, but you also need to shield the horse part of the centaur. D&D 3.5 has no rules for large creatures with small hands, so the Centaur just uses large weapons. While it's completely ok to houserule similar things, the answer should be clearly pointing them as suggested house rules, while presenting the official take. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ large armor makes sense, but not part about large weapon. Centaurus torso is medium humanoid and so the creature should use medium size weapons \$\endgroup\$
    – ayvango
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree and I made that clear in my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trajan
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ayvango Unfortunately, what WotC should or should not rule is out of my control. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:28

Quadrupeds can carry more weight than Bipeds as stated on the D20 SRD. For a centaur, whose size is Large, it means it can carry three times the weight a human with the same Strength would.

Besides, centaurs inflicts double damage while charging with a spear, as a normal rider would do.

For weapons and armors restrictions, they have a human torso with human arms, so I guess they can wield any M-sized weapon and wear any M-sized torso armor. Your GM might want to prevent you from gaining full bonus of a full plate since it covers only a third of your body. This a pathfinder rule but I think it's a nice addition, although it ultimately depends on the game setting's opinion on human part of the centaur.

Don't forget that centaur is a Large creature, so they have -1 penalty to AC, -1 penalty on attack rolls, -4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks

EDIT : As for the stability bonuses, being a Large creature grants you a +4 for resisting a Bull Rush attempt, and having more than 2 two legs grants you the same bonus for resisting Trip attemps.

EDIT 2 : Tumble has many uses. I'd give no penalty for trying to walk on a slipery floor, but I wouldn't allow a centaur monk to backflip over his ennemies' head. Avoiding opportunity attacks would require players description of attempted maneuvers and allows Tumble check if plausible.

  • \$\begingroup\$ and what about tumble? \$\endgroup\$
    – ayvango
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think there's any rule about it, so you should discuss the matter with your GM (as you should always do when playing a race from addons), but I think you can forget that skill. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trajan
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:02
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Too bad. A Cartwheeling Centaur must be quite a sight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nigralbus
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ not so impossible if the penalty would be the same as for wearing full-plate. But this move would be really unpredictable for foes \$\endgroup\$
    – ayvango
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ A full plate weighs "only" 15-20kg, where a horse is a more like half-ton. It would be like wearing 20 full-plate. Besides the weigh is part of the problem, but there's also the lack of flexibility and the fragility of the horse body. What kind of move would you ask to your GM ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trajan
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:55

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