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A dire bear was a huge version of the typical bear.[2][note 1]


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.[2]


Dire bears ripped at opponents with their claws, grabbing hold of them, and they could also bite.[2] When the prey was grabbed, the massive bear would maul the creature with its ursine strength.[1]


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.[2] Dire bears were wild beasts, though, and would feast on human flesh as readily as any other game animal.[1]


A dire bear and an elf, compared for size.

Encountered alone or in pairs,[2] they lived in small groups or preferred to be alone.[1]


Many humanoids were known to train dire bears to act as guards or pets, such as hill giants and ettins.[1]

The demon lord Baphomet was known to sometimes have awakened dire bears serving him.[3]



  1. 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.


Video Games
Neverwinter Nights series (Neverwinter NightsNeverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the Moonsea)