The Bugbear is the largest and fiercest of the Imperial Goblins, but also the least energetic. They like to bully lesser creatures into fulfilling all their needs. When this is not possible, they become like wild beasts, hunting as hunger drives them to. They care very little for the niceties of civilization, but are quick to establish their own pecking order when it suits them to, usually with themselves at the top.
Individual bugbears are often born to Lesser Goblin tribes, and usually end up as leaders of such tribes. Some Bugbears move about in imperial society, filling roles as bouncers, gangster, gang leaders, and general hoodlums. Others live among their own kind and form gangs. Strangely, they are generally more welcome in the world than either of the other goblinoid races, possibly because they rarely act in a coordinated manner and thus rarely turn into a large-scale menace.
Personality: A Bugbear is very much the opposite of a Hobgoblin. Discipline and order are anathema to the Bugbear, who much prefers to wallow in filth and depravity to making the effort to clean up.
Physical Description: Bugbears are very large and very muscular, standing 7 feet tall. Their hides vary in color from light yellow to yellow-brown, with thick, coarse hair of brown to brick red. Their eyes resemble those of a savage animal, being greenish-white with red pupils, and they have wedge-shaped ears. A bugbear's mouth if full of long, sharp fangs and its nose is like that of a bear, with the same fine sense of smell. This feature earned them their name, though they are not related to bears. Their tough hides and sharp claws also resemble those of bears, but they are far more dexterous. The second part of their name comes from the numerous bugs and fleas that most bugbears never bother to get rid of, and which are attracted to the filthy but very rich clothes bugbears favor.
Relations: Considering their personalities, it is strange they are not more reviled than they are. As it is, dwarfs, gnomes and elves detest bugbears, while halflings, orcs, and humans tolerate them out of fear. Many half dragons and drow consider them useful pawns and taskmasters.
Alignment: Bugbears are almost always chaotic, and most are also evil. Those that are not still suffer from the attitudes engendered by those who are, but there is little peer pressure among bugbears, so if they survive, they are given as much respect as a bugbear gives any creature - which is not much.
Bugbear Lands: Bugbears have no lands - they live as parasites in the lands of others. They prefer clannish or tribal areas where central authority is weak, such as the hinterlands or city slums. An area frequented by bugbears is likely to be worn and run down, looted of anything of value.
Religion: Bugbears honor The Destroyer and sometimes The Stormlord or The Adversary. Some become clerics of these deities and create personality cults around themselves, but most ignore religion unless they have need of divine favor.
Language: Bugbears speak goblin and common. Many also speak undercommon or whatever languages are spoken locally.
Names: Bugbears like to pick impressive names for themsleves, names that sound more like titles. But amongst themselves, the strong name the weak, who must often settle for derogatory nicknames.
Adventurers: Bugbears consider their regular lifestyle to be one of adventure, where they must constantly strive to stay on top of things or sink into the quagmire of their surroundings. While there is some point to this argument, true bugbear adventurers are as rare as clean bugbears - in fact, it is quite often the very same individuals. There is no common reason for bugbears to become adventurers - this chaotic race does not follow any trends.
Bugbear Racial Traits
- +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity. Imperial bugbears are lithe and strong, but unlike their feral cousins, they are not too healty - often a result of their lifestyle choices. On the bright side, neither are they as poorly spoken as feral bugbears.
- Medium-Size. No special rules applies to bugbears because of their size.
- Base speed 30 ft.
- Natural Armor: Bugbears have a +3 natural armor bonus.
- Darkvision up to 60 ft.
- +4 racial bonus on all Move Silently and Intimidate checks. "Civilized" bugbears have become masters of intimidation.
- Automatic Languages: common and goblin. Bonus languages: draconic, dwarf, elvish, gnome, halfling, orc, undercommon, worg.
- Favored Class: Rogue. A bugbear's rogue levels do not count when determining whether or not there is an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PH, chapter 3, experience penalty for multiclass characters). Bugbears often have a few rogue levels even if their chosen vocation is something else.
- Level Equivalent: +1