Most dire bears were 12 feet (3.7 meters) long and weighed as much as 8,000 pounds (3.6 metric tons). While resembling bears, they also had bony brow ridges and extra-long claws, with a more feral aspect and cold piercing eyes.
Dire bears normally did not attack other creatures that did not bother them. However, they were aggressive in defending a food source or a kill. They were omnivorous, but would tear apart anything if they thought it had good inside. Dire bears were wild beasts, though, and would feast on human flesh as readily as any other game animal.
- It is possible that the dire bear is also known as a cave bear, because in the Monstrous Manual on page 17, the cave bear is twelve feet tall, which is the same height as the dire bear in the Monster Manual 3.5. On page 29 of the Monster Manual 4th edition, both a cave bear and a dire bear are represented, which would lead to the assumption they are two different creatures.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- James Jacobs (March 2006). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Baphomet: Prince of Beasts”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #341 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 27.