Bugbears are massive, fur-covered goblinoids, which are larger and stronger than both goblins and hobgoblins.

Bugbears resemble hairy, feral goblins standing seven feet tall. They take their name from their noses and claws, which are similar to those of bears. Their claws are not long and sharp enough to be used as weapons, so bugbears often armor and arm themselves with a variety of purloined gear. Most often, this gear is second-rate and in poor repair. Many bugbears are chaotic evil in alignment, favoring the rogue class. Many sages believe that bugbears, hobgoblins, and goblins were originally bred by the Dark-Elves as slave races, with bugbears serving as elite soldiers.


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


Bugbears are often found in the company of other goblinoids; particularly goblins, since tribes made up mostly of hobgoblins and bugbears tend to be wiped out quickly by other races as a precaution. Some bugbears also operate independently, though tribes ruled by hobgoblins are better organized and less savage. This is in part because bugbears have little patience for diplomacy or negotiation, preferring violent solutions to conflicts unless obviously overpowered. In general, bugbears live short and violent lives.