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The Bugbear: A RM Conversion

Copyright © Kerry Drake 2003

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

Giant, hairy cousins of goblins, Bugbears roam the same regions as their smaller relatives.

Bugbears stand 7' tall. Their bodies are heavily muscled, with yellow to brown leathery hides and thick coarse hair (usually a reddish brown). Bugbears are vaguely humanoid but their greenish eyes and blood-red pupils suggest a more bestial ancestry. Their ears are wedge shaped, sprouting from the top of their heads. Bugbears have large sharp fangs rather than teeth. Their nose is shaped like a bear's and gives them an excellent olfactory sense. Instead of hands, bugbears have dexterous claws.

A bugbear has exceptional sight and hearing, they can also move with great agility when needed. Their vision extends into the infrared, giving them infravision out to 60 feet.

The bugbear language is a foul-sounding mixture of gestures, grunts, and snarls which leads many to underestimate the intelligence of these creatures. In addition, most bugbears can speak the language of goblins and hobgoblins.

Combat: Whenever possible, bugbears prefer to ambush their foes. They impose a 15 on others' surprise rolls.

Bugbear scouts will not hesitate to fetch reinforcements if a party looks dangerous. A bugbear attack will be tactically sound, if not brilliant. Before closing with their foes, they will often hurl secondary weapons; maces, hammers, and spears wreaking havoc in their enemies' lines. If they are outnumbered or overmatched, bugbears will retreat, preferring to live to fight another day.

Habitat/Society: Well adapted to living in caves and in underground locations, Bugbears operate equally well in daylight and darkness. A lair may consist of one large cave or a group of smaller caverns.

If 12 or more bugbears are encountered, they will have a leader (level 7). If 24 or more bugbears are encountered, they will have a chief (Level 9) in addition to their leaders. Each chief will also have a sub-chief who is of equivalent level to the leaders.

In a lair, half of the bugbears will be females and young who will not fight except in a life or death situation.

A race of hunters, they have no compunctions about eating anything they can kill, including humans, goblins, and any monsters smaller than themselves. Often drinking to excess, they are fond of wine and strong ale.

Bugbears are territorial, and the size of a domain may be several square miles in the wilderness, or a narrow, more restricted area underground.

Bugbears rarely negotiate, preferring violent solutions to diplomacy. Bugbears sometimes take prisoners to use as slaves or as food reserves. Bugbears love treasure, especially coins, gems, armor, and weaponry, and will often attack simply to acquire more loot.

Ecology: Bugbears are superb carnivores, winnowing out the weak and careless adventurer, monster and animal.

Appendix A: RM Statistics






FSPT / 10






M / --






55 Melee / 30 Missile









(f)-X@,ARU-4; 6'6" - 7'6" Tall. Stalk with a bonus of 35%.

Appendix B: System Reference Document Entry


Medium Humanoid (Goblinoid)
Hit Dice: 3d8+3 (16 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (+1 Dex, +3 natural, +2 leather armor, +1 light wooden shield), touch 11, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Morningstar +5 melee (1d8+2) or javelin +3 ranged (1d6+2)
Full Attack: Morningstar +5 melee (1d8+2) or javelin +3 ranged (1d6+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., scent
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 9
Skills: Climb +3, Hide +4, Listen +4, Move Silently +6, Spot +4
Feats: Alertness, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Environment: Temperate mountains
Organization: Solitary, gang (2-4), or band (11-20 plus 150% noncombatants plus 2 2nd-level sergeants and 1 leader of 2nd-5th level)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +1

Bugbears speak Goblin and Common.


Bugbears prefer to ambush opponents whenever possible. When hunting, they normally send scouts ahead of the main group that, if they spy prey, return to report and bring up reinforcements.

Bugbear attacks are coordinated, and their tactics are sound if not brilliant.

Skills: Bugbears have a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.


Bugbear characters possess the following racial traits.

+4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma.

Medium size.

A bugbear's base land speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision out to 60 feet.

Racial Hit Dice: A bugbear begins with three levels of humanoid, which provide 3d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +3, and Will +1.

Racial Skills: A bugbear's humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 6 x lvl (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Climb, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, and Spot.

Racial Feats: A bugbear's humanoid levels give it two feats.

+3 natural armor bonus.

+4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.

Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven, Giant, Gnoll, Orc.

Favored Class: Rogue.

Level adjustment +1.

Appendix C: Open Gaming License and Legal Matters

This article: "The Bugbear: A RM Conversion", Copyright &copy: 2003 by Kerry Drake, is an Open Gaming article.

This article is covered by the Open Gaming License. The title "The Bugbear: A RM Conversion" is Product Identity, all other material in this article (except the entirety of Appendix A and the Open Gaming License itself) is Open Game Content. Appendix A is Closed Content and may not be reproduced without permission of the author and The Guild Companion. Portions of this work are derived from the System Reference Document, Copyright © 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.



The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.

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Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

"The Bugbear: A RM Conversion", Copyright © 2003 by Kerry Drake, first published by The Guild Companion (


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