A bugbear was a massive humanoid distantly related to, but larger and stronger than, goblins and hobgoblins. Like many goblinoids, bugbears spoke the Goblin language.[10]


Bugbears resembled hairy, feral goblins standing 7 feet (2.1 meters) tall. They took their name from their noses and claws, which were similar to those of bears.[11] Their claws were not long and sharp enough to be used as weapons, so bugbears often armored and armed themselves with a variety of purloined gear.[4] Most often, this gear was second-rate and in poor repair. Many bugbears were chaotic evil in alignment, favoring stealth and surprising their opponents.[10]


Bugbears, like other goblinoids, had a reputation for being dim-witted and brutish. This claim was not unfounded and like their kin bugbears had easily provoked tempers and were prone to rages. Few bugbears overcame this flaw and their culture's brutal nature. Bugbear heroes, though rare, were heard of and could acquire significant renown if successful. Often the motivation for this change of heart came from the rewards earned from virtue, which in the long term were more pleasing than the short-lasting pleasures of evil.[12]


Bugbear and giant rats-5e

Balsag and his two giant rats standing guard in an underground chamber near Thundertree.

Unlike most creatures, bugbears were particularly susceptible to the effects of Bowen's flowers, which would knock them out within minutes.[13]


Bugbears were often found in the company of other goblinoids, particularly goblins, since tribes made up mostly of hobgoblins and bugbears tended to be wiped out quickly by other races as a precaution.[12] Some bugbears also operated independently, though tribes ruled by hobgoblins were better organized and less savage. This was in part because bugbears had little patience for diplomacy or negotiation, preferring violent solutions to conflicts unless obviously overpowered.[3]


Bugbears had their own pantheon, led by Hruggek. Bugbears often decapitated their enemies as a way to honor Hruggek, who was said to do the same.[3] Since the Spellplague of 1385 DR, the power of Hruggek was diminished and the god served as an exarch of Bane, the god of tyranny.[14]

Other bugbear deities included Grankhul the bugbear deity of hunting, senses, stealth, and surprise;[15][16] and Skiggaret. Local pantheons often included a god of earth, a god of fertility, and a god of death.[17]


Many scholars of the late 14th century DR believed that bugbears and goblins were both bred by the hobgoblins as slave races, with bugbears serving as elite soldiers.[3]


One useful trick: if ye face bugbears who have severed heads on spikes as trophies, cast a spell to make the heads speak. After that, ye can cozen the bugbears into doing almost anything.
— Elminster[9]


City of the Spider QueenDefiance in PhlanExpedition to UndermountainEye of the TempestHordes of DragonspearNymph's RewardReclaiming BlingdenstoneStorm King's ThunderTales from the Yawning PortalThe Accursed TowerThe Dungeon of DeathWaterdeep
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External LinksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  7. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  8. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wizards RPG Team (2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Wizards RPG Team (2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  11. David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  13. James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Thunder Peaks and the Storm Horns”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  14. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  15. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  16. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  17. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.


BakemonoBatiriGrodd goblinNilbog
Miscellaneous Goblinoids
BugbearDekanter goblinHalf-goblinHobgoblinKoalinthVerdanWorghest
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