The following is a sneak peek and DLC for our upcoming 5e book of one of our favorite species.
Take it away Jay.
Drawing of The "Roosevelt Bears", Teddy-B and Teddy-G.
Source The Minneapolis Journal. (Minneapolis, Minn.), January 07, 1906.
This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less.
This small, but burly animal-folk have been the salvation for many travelers who have lost their way. No one is sure of the true origins of little bears. They are clearly not some sort mutation of actual bears, nor do they seem native to the hallowed world or dream time. Best guest by most scholars is that these strange little creatures, like so many, where formed into reality by the collective conscious of those that perished during the revelations. Perhaps the strangest theory, held by some little bears as an odd pseudo-religious belief, that the species is the manifestation of the kindhearted human souls that were lost during the Revelations. That deep down below their cuddly furry exterior, that they are human souls looking for a second chance.
Little Bears congregate in close-knit communities deep within forests or high upon mountains. They live a very traditional way of life, crafting huts or tree houses from sod, evergreens, and hemp, with clay bricks being used on occasion to firm up walls and walkways. However, many little bear communities will attempt to repurpose pre-revelation technologies to take advantage of electricity and running water where they can.
These images are licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License.
From From the book GREAT POSSESSIONS by David Grayson.
Publication date 1917
There is a matriarch or patriarch within each community that runs most of the little bear affairs, including organizing weekly town meetings to come to a consensus on major issues. These head bears are often referred to as grandmama or grandpapa out of respect and endearment.
Little bears are omnivorous, and as a result, they grow a small a selection of hardy crops, usually supplemented with hunting and gathering. Little bears have a notorious sweet tooth and may travel days or weeks to gather fresh berries and fruits which they often preserve as jams and jellies. If given a chance they will trade for more contemporary foods such as sweetened chocolates and mints.
Their largest known community is built on the ruins of Churchill, Manitoba and has become a central pillar within little bear culture. Each little bear community will send delegates here to exchange gifts and tales, or to acquire mates for their local bachelors and bachelorettes.
Their unique language of grunts and growls is known as Bear Speak by outsiders but has no real name of its own. It is quite difficult to speak or understand for non-bear races, so little bears usually take a human name. This can be a based on a geographic location they were born or based on a quality of the little bear’s personality or look they exhibit early on. Churchill is perhaps one of the most common little bear surnames, with Winnipeg being a runner-up. First names might include Brown Nose (not an insult in bear speak by the way), White Tip, Black Chin, or other color related names to their fur pattern.
Little Bears get along with just about anybody. They understand the primal nature of the wild races but also appreciate good manners of the more civilized species. They do not generally enjoy the company of Desecrators or the Undead but will give most folks the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. It is really odd, that for all species they pine after, that Feylin considers Little Bears boring.
Little bears adventure for the noblest of reasons: to help their community. After all, a Little Bear that brings home a truck full of sweets will be considered a hero to his or her people. Other little bears go adventuring because their community is becoming stagnant and getting out into the world is the only future that makes sense to them.
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Polite but primal is the best way to describe little bears. While they exhibit fine human-like manners of high socialites, there is a wild disconnect when they fight or eat as they seem to revert to a more primal state. Despite their somewhat wild nature, virtually all Little Bears are good aligned, though can be a bit chaotic about how they spread joy and peace.
They are small bears and while they may look like a perpetually young bear cub, they walk upright like a human, and have fully articulated paws that act very much like human hands, though with stubbier fingers and short claws. In many ways, they also possess the uncanny features you might find on a stuffed toy: stocky legs, stubby snouts, soft fur, coal black eyes, and short tails.
They come in all colors associated with bears, including may tones and shades of brown, but can also include black, greys and white. Alternating colorations on their chest, back, and face is quite common and important for identification among individuals in a community.
Quite a few little bears like fur modifications. These are done in fur, not unlike hair highlights humans often use. Some bears even dye their entire body in bright colors, usually based on some sort of social norm they are trying to fit into, or occasional rebel against. While they do not need clothing, they usually grab a piece of clothing to put on, such as a hat or scarf. Rebellious little bears may shave small portions of their fur to make way for choice tattoos. Though shaving is usually limited as a shave little bear is far from cute or intimidating, and are often consider sad, pathetic or psychological troubled by their fellow bears.
Little Bears Traits
Creature Type: Monstrosity
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength increases by 2, up to its normal maximum.
· Talent Access: You gain access to the Senses and Stout species talent trees.
· Age: Little Bears reach maturity extremely early at age 5, and tend to be considered old at age 20 and have a maximum lifespan of about 40 to 50 years. A single ‘human year’ is equal to about 3 bear years.
· Size: Little Bears are between 3 to 3 '6'' feet tall and average about 80 pounds. Your size is Small.
· Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
· Languages: You can speak, read, and write Trade Tongue and the unique language of Bear Speak.
· Bear Tummy: You have advantage on saving throws against consuming cursed, diseased, poisoned, or spoiled food and liquids. You also have advantage on Constitution checks/saves to resist starvation or thirst.
· Claws: You have claws as natural weapons that do 1d4 slashing damage that you may treat as light finesse weapons.
· Natural armor: You gain natural armor of AC 12 + your dexterity modifier. This acts as normal armor and will not stack with equipment armor, you take only the better of two. Though it will stack with shields and coats or other items that grants "+" bonuses to AC. Natural armor is considered “wearing no armor” for the purpose of special features and powers.
Little Bear Diversity
Pick one of Jumpi, Polar, or Sensitive
These agile little bears are usually brown, black, or panda in coloration, and adapt to jumping around in the forest. Note that most folks call them jumpy bears, while little bears themselves pronounce it "joo-m-pie," with hard empathies on the "m."
· Ability score: Your Dexterity is increased by 1 point, up to its normal maximum.
· Bear Jump! You gain the spell jump as an innate spell that you may cast without spell flux or any spell components. You must take a short or long rest before using this feature again.
· Naturally Athletic: You gain proficiency with the Acrobatics and Athletics skills.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
These tough little bears are white or cream in color and are adapted to colder climates.
· Ability score: Your Constitution is increased by 1 point, up to its normal maximum.
· Thick Fur: You gain advantage on saving throws against effects that cause cold damage, or to resist cold weather conditions. Your natural armor is also increased by +1 AC from your thick hair.
Mike Dunn, NC State Museum of Natural Sciences Credit: NOAA Climate Program Office, NABOS 2006 Expedition.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
These little bears are a little bit psychic.
· Ability score: Your Wisdom is increased by 1 point, up to its normal maximum.
· Minor Psychic Powers: You must pick one of the following pairs of cantrips to gain as innate psychic-like powers: a) dancing lights and produce flame, b) daze (see new DRev Spells) and guidance, or c) message and vicious mockery. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these cantrips. This feature's cantrips cannot be dispelled, are not subject to antimagic, and not considered magical or a spell for the purposes of special features.
This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This applies worldwide.
Bear Species Talents
These can be taken any time you would be able to take a feat. These talents are only available to Little Bears
Prerequisites: must be a Little Bear
Benefit 1: Increase any one of your ability scores by 1 point, up to its normal maximum.
Benefit 2: You are always prepared or just really lucky coming across things you might need. After taking a short or long rest, you may add one nonmagical item of choice to your inventory that has a monetary value equal or less than two times your level, plus $5. That item will become ruined and fall apart (or spoil in the case of food or drink) after you take another short or long rest. The item has no resale value, though it can be used by others.
Prerequisites: must be a Little Bear with Sensitive diversity
Benefit: As an action, choose one creature that you can see (and that target must be able to see you in kind) and that is within 30 ft of you. That creature must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus. If the target fails the save, they become stunned until the end of their next turn. You must take a short or long rest before you use this feature again.
Prerequisites: must be a Little Bear with Jumpi diversity
Benefit 1: You no longer provoke opportunity when jumping and may choose to use either Acrobatics or Athletics for any required ability checks while jumping.
Benefit 2: If your Bear Jump! the feature is active (within the spell's duration), you gain an advantage on any attack roll, ability check, or saving throw needed to perform or resist a grapple, shove, trip, or overbear (see DRev new rules) action/maneuver.
Prerequisites: must be a Little Bear with Polar diversity
Benefit 1: On a critical strike with a melee attack that does bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, you may change any portion of that damage to being cold damage instead.
Benefit 2: If a creature hits your AC value exactly with a melee or reach attack, they must make a Constitution saving throw against a DC 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus before any damage or effect is applied to you from their attack. If the save fails, the target takes 1d4 + half your level in cold damage.
Little Bear New Years!
Plot hook: Little Bears celebrate winter and summer solstices as the end and the beginning of their year respectively. Though, a good-aligned little bear (which is most of them) will never pass up a change for a good dinner party, and more than willing to celebrate anyone else's holidays.
The situation: Oh Bother! The little bear community was so caught up in their chores to get ready for winter that they forget to celebrate winter solstice. What a scandal for the organizing party chair, Tawny Nose. What is she to do!
The twist: Some nearby humans, following the old ways, are having a big new year's party soon. But they have never encountered a little bear before, what to do? You are to help Tawny Nose to prepare for the first contact, and to party! You need to find some peace gifts, some food that both bears - and humans- will like, and safe transport home to and from the party. Most of these should be skill montages, and at least half the montages should be successful.
The finale: Depending on the successes of the montages, the humans might react kindly to the little bears, be confused, or unfortunately become hostile. Any sort of combat with the humans could be the ultimate scandal for poor Tawny Nose, and she would face losing her position. Though a battle might be able to be politically spun into a friendly party brawl; if enough mead begins to circulate and no one is grievously injured or killed.
The Paddington Build
In celebration of some of our favorite movies over the last couple of years.
Species: Little Bear (Sensitive diversity)
Starting Ability Array (including Species bonuses): Str: 10, Dex: 14, Con: 12, Int: 10, Wis: 14, Cha: 15
Suggested Feature choices:
- Little Bear Sensitive psychic powers (species): daze and guidance
- Secondary saving throw proficiency for Adventurer Wisdom or Charisma
- Skills (class): Acrobatics, Intimidation, Persuasion, Survival
- Skills (background): Athletics
- Tools (background): Cooking
- Tools (class): Disguise Tools
- Expertise (class): Persuasion, Athletics
- Daring Actions (class): In and Out, Hide Anywhere, Parkour
- Agony of Choice: Bear Necessities (4th level feat), Bear Stare (8th level feat)
Stockart - found on public domain pictures.net