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 Post subject: Bugbears
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:36 pm 
Caenyr Citizen
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:16 pm
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Location: Right Behind You
GSID: mastersuntzu
Name of Main PC: Faust Morphea
Bugbears

The campfire coals were burning low and the sounds of the forest started to creep in and hover in the minds of the paranoid, the old fighter grinned as he watched the younger boys get spooked by the creaks, cracks and crunches that littered the inky blackness. Wanna know what’s out there lads? I’ll tell ya, but ya gotta remember something first…he paused and smiled…it ain’t all shiats and giggles that’s fer sure. He looked to the boys as they leaned forward and readied themselves for another tale from the old fighter.

Bugbears…

Bugbears are huge brutes with bone crushing weapons and the temperament and bloodlust of a rutting grizzly sow. They’re mean spirited bastages who fight with no regard towards honor or cause. I’ve never seen a bugbear who didn’t see (or smell) me first and attempt to do me in. In fact, by the time you detect one in the bush, lying low behind some rocks or creeping in the underbrush by the edge of your camp, you can be sure he has sized you up, and that he and his comrades have already decided how they are going to divvy up your goods. Once you’ve seen one it’s too late. You’re in for a bad time and a fight’s about to be on.

Now there are those folk who will tell you they are slow-thinkers. Don’t you believe it. Their minds are constantly being honed for one thing…battle. When they aren’t fighting at any given moment they are thinking, planning or looking for the next fight. Not to mention these voracious carnivores are known man-eaters. One of the reasons they are so feared is because they are constantly looking to feed their appetites.

They love the ambush and sneak attack, and are expert at setting bait traps. Back during my days as a village provider near the port of Rheaves Isles, a pair of bugbears snatched a small lad when he wandered too close to the forest’s edge. One blink and he was gone without a sound. We tracked those goblibears for the better part of two days before we realized the tables had turned and we ourselves had become the prey. After leading us to a ravine where over a dozen of their brethren lay waiting, we found ourselves fighting for our lives. In the end, the child, along with four of my comrades-in-arm were lost. The monsters took their bodies from the field of battle and later butchered and ate them.


He stared at the boys, a look of horror and fear in their eyes and he mustered up the power to not bust out in a loud laugh. Ya see lads, the Bugbear don’t fear nothin’, not man, not even the Gods themselves I am told. He finished his story and sat back as he stoked the coals, letting the minds of the boys wander.


Description:

Members of this evil race resemble large versions of their smaller goblin cousins. Massive shoulders, large animalistic ears and a nose with a prominent bridge give them a different silhouette and facial features vaguely reminiscent of those of a black bear. Such a visage, when taken together with their large size and lumbering ursine gait, makes the origins of their namesake quite obvious. Their long arms extend almost to their knees and dangle just off the ground when they shuffle along. These frighteningly powerful arms end in massive, thick hands with long, sausage-thick fingers, which in turn end in jagged filthy nails. These nails are long enough to damage foes if a bugbear had a mind to claw, which they seldom do purposely excepting for a near-perfect defense, in which case they can inflict serious damage.

Bugbears are massively built. While their 6- to 7-foot (213cm) height makes them shorter than Gnolls and only slightly taller than most humans, their burly frame carries a beefy 350 pounds (159k) or so of bulk. Females are slightly shorter (3 to 4 inches) (10cm) and about 50 pounds (23k) lighter on average. Dark fur covers their body and ranges in color from various browns and dark reds to black. Despite their prodigious size and lumbering gait, bugbears are not slow by any means; in fact, they are quite nimble and just as fast as humans. Their thick hide gives them an impressive damage reduction even without armor.

Combat/Tactics:

Bugbears use their great stealth to lay in wait and ambush their prey or to sneak into an enemy camp, home, lair and attack with surprise. They prefer to begin an assault with a surprise ranged attack, typically using hurled weapons, although they can also use bows and crossbows to dangerous effect. After the initial barrage, they will savagely charge in, seeking to scatter their opponents with massive blows and sheer ferocity, eliminating the possibility of organized resistance.

Bugbears will seek to isolate opponents so that two of them can pulverize a victim and then quickly move to the next. The idea is to quickly neutralize enemies with grievous wounds and then overwhelm any more powerful survivors with sheer numbers. If forced to flee, bugbears always scatter in different directions, meeting up later at a designated rendezvous point, far from their lair. From here they either mount a counter-assault or head back to their domicile.

Ferocious in battle, the bugbear weapon of choice tends to be large crushing and physically imposing weapons, like the morningstar, mace, halberd, great axe and maul. That said they do employ the breadth of available weaponry. Their weapons are taken from fallen foes as bugbears do not inconvenience themselves with designing or making their own tools; why do so when there are ample quantities available for the taking amongst the other, smaller races?

Bugbears are large enough to wield most two-handed weapons in one massive paw, allowing shield use with all weaponry save pole-arms, bows and crossbows. They like to utilize ranged weapons to soften up their foes, especially from ambush. Their favorites are hurled weapons like axes, clubs, javelins, hammers and so on, which they can lob for full effect.

As to shields, bugbears can deploy any size from medium to tower with ease (smaller shields can be strapped to their arm and used as a buckler and bucklers are too tiny and produce little effect). They do not wear armor of the standard variety. Sometimes they adorn themselves with thick hides and furs, or have their slaves fashion leather or studded leather armors for them, but most often they tie together bits and pieces from various armors to provide protection.

Habitat/Society:

Bugbears can be found in any climate and are equally at home above or below ground. Their favorite dwellings are natural caves in forested areas not far from human populations (especially large populations with plenty of infants available). Otherwise, they inhabit homes (above or below ground) previously created by other races.

Bugbears live in a disorganized society where the strongest rule the weak. The chieftain will always be the strongest, wiliest and most underhanded. The chieftain’s position is under constant threat from rivals seeking to murder him and seize control for themselves. These rivals may be sub-chiefs or younger, foolish bugbears. As chief, his challenge is to supplicate his sub-chiefs and make life easy enough for them to enjoy the status quo, but not so easy as to appear weak. Further, the chief’s power only extends to his immediate presence as bugbears are generally an unruly, chaotic lot.

Females make up a solid 50% of the population of the tribe. While they are not liberated by any means, females can exercise great control over the males through sexual relations (or rather, lack thereof) and manipulation of rival males. Bugbears have an average lifespan of about 60 years, but replenishing numbers is a difficult task as they reproduce slowly. While females comprise a solid 50% of their population, they have a difficult time reproducing.

Females refuse relations when not in heat and only enter heat under odd circumstances. Females become fertile only after consuming an infant or small child (of any race) and then only for three days. Thus, males interested in copulation, will enter villages or farmhouses and whisk away small children from basinets. Because of this, in human lands, bugbears are sometimes known as bogeymen and many a children’s tale centers around these stealthy fiends.

A bugbearess’ gestation period is 7 months, although the infant mortality rate is around 40%, factoring thefts from rival male specimens. Those surviving infancy have a 70% chance of surviving to adulthood with sexual maturity arriving around 12 years of age.

Bugbears speak their own guttural language as well as Goblin and Hobgoblin. Some 50% percent of them can speak Orcish and 10% might speak a language of another nearby tribe, be it human, humanoid or demi-human. A bugbear lair typically has slaves equal to 10% to 30% of the adult bugbear population. These slaves provide a source of labor as well as fresh food.

While not extremely intelligent, they are not dumb, and are perhaps best characterized as cunning and clever. They put these traits to use tormenting those weaker than themselves – a category into which most sapient races fall. Like their smaller goblin cousins, they revel in torture, doing so for the mere enjoyment and rarely to extract information or confession, but rather just to hear the agonizing cries of another. Bugbears eat any type of meat, but vastly prefer to eat sentient races over say, venison.

Sages disagree as to whether it is the taste of the meat itself or the notion of eating a self-aware being that bugbears find most appealing. Although, the bugbear penchant for taking trophies from victims and their obvious delight associated with this act as well as the pride in which they display them indicates that the latter may well be the case. Prizes include very personal items like skulls, scalps, ears, fingers, hands and so on, as well as other items such as clothing, weapons, armors and additional treasures. Larger items taken from pillaging raids are also cherished, for example, whole pieces of furniture or mantles and so on, even a front door (and associated frame) yanked from a plundered house.

Although reasonably intelligent, bugbears are not industrious and are content to live in caves, abandoned areas and ruins. If not readily available, these creatures have no qualms about finding a nice location and then murdering the current owners and moving in. Sometimes, a bugbear tribe will simply move into a goblin warren, for instance, proclaim it theirs and lord over the little deviants. While intolerable for the goblins, this is a great solution for the bugbears who not only gain a nice lair, but also a large cadre of slaves. Most other potential slave-races seek to avoid this situation and mount a defense against the bugbears for as long as possible.

Home taking such as this seldom lasts in civilized lands, as overrunning a human settlement (for example) generally invites the ire of a larger military than the bugbears are equipped to handle. In these latter instances, the bugbears sneak away in the night, carrying whatever loot they can manage While energetic and enthusiastic in battle, bugbears are indolent when it comes to things like mining, chores and constructive efforts. They are a raider society living off the fruits of the races that they bully or conquer.

They are strong and can mine reasonably well, but do not unless forced by a powerful leader or the promise of some great end in short sight. That said, they are adaptable and survive well within the surface caves or living in the open lands. Bugbears can survive and indeed thrive in any climate, including both sultry and wintry conditions.

Bugbears care little for beauty or personal hygiene. They dress in flea-ridden and lice infested hides as long as the clothing is warm or can turn a blade. They never willingly bathe, but are good swimmers and have no fear of the water (and, in fact, greatly enjoy salmon and trout, which they are adept at catching with their clawed hands).

Bugbears tend to bully other humanoids unless their victims have sufficient numbers to make it dangerous, or at least thorny enough to make the attempt not worth the effort. Bugbears do show some friendliness toward goblins (and hobgoblins to a lesser extent) over the other races and sometimes cooperate with them. They dislike gnolls and consider them their nearest natural competitors. Bugbears view halflings and gnomes as little more than food and hardly even notice the various fairie-kin. They hate elves of all types and attack them on sight. Bugbears have a fondness for elf-flesh and rarely capture them, preferring to eat them raw just after the battle.

Ecology:

Bugbears sit at the apex of the food chain. While ogres and giants are larger and stronger, they lack the numbers to affect more than individual tribes in specific locations. And given the bugbear capabilities for stealth and guerilla warfare, they can seldom be driven away by a large determined force. A band of bugbears considers every living thing to be a possible food source with larger creatures taken individually by a group working in concert and smaller creatures slaughtered on a whim.

Luckily, bugbears are incapable of raising large numbers due to their slow birth rate and odd mating requirements and even when many bands have come together, after any major, pitched battle, any sorts of serious losses set them back for generations. Thus, even where very active, they are merely a nuisance and not a threat to the more populous races such as humans, demihumans and the larger humanoids.

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 Post subject: Re: Bugbears
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 2:41 am 
WoC Architect
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
Posts: 1464
Location: Vancouver BC
GSID: Waterjules
Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
More reading on the Natural History of Caenyr:


A Basic Guide to Faerie Dragons
The Bitter Pole – The World’s Crown
The Bitter Sea
Bugbears
The Cycles of Caenyr
The Deep Sea
Dragons of Caenyr
Dragon Settlements
Heavenly Forces
The History of Gem Dragons
History of the Yuan-Ti
The Githzerai
Hook Horrors
Illithids
Luhta Kanta: Cursed Children of Aryanaesis
The Lupinal
Master Trees and Barklings
Minotaurs of Caenyr
Moons of Caenyr
Plants and their Uses
Poison – the Whats and Hows
Owlbears
Rare Cloths and Other Materials
Rauk’hra – Terror of the Black Fathoms
Star Stories
Wemic

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 Post subject: Re: Bugbears
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 3:09 am 
WoC Architect
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
Posts: 1464
Location: Vancouver BC
GSID: Waterjules
Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
Other Races (playable if so stated)


The Ageless Kin
Breathstealers
Bugbears
Conception, Gestation and Maturation Across the Species
Erri’l
Gobley: Language of goblins and hobgoblins
Half-Celestial (playable race)
Celestial Races Revisited
Half-Demons (playable race)
Half-Dragon (playable race)
Half-Nymphs (playable race)
History of Languages
History of the Yuan-Ti
Hook Horrors
The Githzerai
The Illithids
Kitsune
Llith
The Lupinal
Lycanthropes (playable race)
The History of Lycanthropy
Master Trees and Barklings
Merfolk
Minotaurs of Caenyr
The Pedryfan’elfen
Ri’asa (playable race)
Sea Siren
The Sidhe
Spirit Folk
Unique Undead of Etaria
Vampyre (Playable race)
Wemic

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Teehee(c) Laurelicious Inc.
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Bringer of Shiny since 2002
My Blog


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