Friday, March 7, 2014

The War-Bear: Yet Another B/X or LL Class

But first the news...

Once again the eastern borderlands of the Overkingdom will be filled with the sight of shaggy, dejected columns of soldier-bears lumbering back to the hollow-seeming duties of garrison life. For Yambor, the great biennial pilgrimage of those furry myrmidons to the Slumbering Ursine Dunes, is over. But some younger cubs and war bears resist the melancholy by striking out on the road of vagrant adventuring scumbaggery.

Popping of up seemingly everywhere that a party may need a hired paw is one bear in particular, Preved!, who makes the same offer “for 40 shiny golds and two fish I run with you tonight.” 

 Preved!, 2nd-level Soldier Bear, Hitpoints 12, AC:6. Uses Bohemian Ear Spoon (d10+1). Has an uncomfortable tendency to pop in at an intimate moments of the humans around him shouting his name.

War Bear
Requirements: STR 13, CON 14
Prime Requisite: CON
Hit Dice: 1d10
Maximum Level: 8

The Nurian Soldier-Bear stands alongside the Ostrovan pikeman, Kozak horse-archer and Northland atlatl-man as some of the most renowned examples of soldiery in the world of Zem. Lesser known are the wayward bears who strike out on their own in the world in search of quantitatively measured experience, the proud bearers of the appellation, War Bear.

War Bears can wear no armor other than a helmet and instead have a base armor class (a DEX bonus can be added). Magical devices can be used but must be able to fit around the large-sized limbs of the War Bear.

Though outside the comforting phalanx of soldier life, the War Bear retains the deep, obsessional love of polearms, including the traditional +1 to hit and damage when employing it. Indeed a War Bear who has been parted from the sight of such a weapon for longer than a day will sicken with dejection and beyond a constant audible and dramatic sighing will lose a hit point until he grasps it yet again. In a weaponless pinch they can strike twice a round with their paws for 1d4 damage each. 

At level 6, the War Bear can invent and name a polearm of his own design at a cost of 500 gold suns and two weeks of intense concentration, such a weapon will be +2 to hit and damage only in his own paws and can even strike those creatures only harmable by magic weapons. At level 8, the War Bear has reached such fame that he can automatically attract a warband of 50 soldier-bears on the creation of a comfy underground den complex of no less than 2000 square feet (and two latrines).

War Bears save as Dwarves and fight as Fighters of the same level.

Soldier-Bear Level Progression
Experience Level Hit Dice (1d8) Armor Class
0 1 1+2 6
2,300 2 2+2 6
4,600 3 3+2 5
9,200 4 4+2 4
18,400 5 5+2 4
36,800 6 6+2 4
73,600 7 7+2 3
147,200 8 8+2 3


  1. Great! Alll of it, down to the exclamation point in Preved!'s name.

  2. Very cool; is this a replacement for the soldier-bear class?

    Also, picking up Preved!

  3. "At level 6, the War Bear can invent and name a polearm of his own design"

    Using Dyson's Random Polearm Generator, I presume?

    Preved! proudly sports his new Reticulated Glaive with Can-opener!

  4. Replies
    1. The latrines are for visitors. Bears shit in the woods.

      (I know I'm 2 1/2 years late.)

  5. Just one quibble:
    You mention a d10 for hit dices, but the table says d8.

  6. Scalydemon approves this message

  7. Through my research, I have recently discovered the nemesis' of the Soldier Bears: Brewing Lions with Mash Paddles.

  8. Um Chris - Foglio has war-bears...