A cry for help : Bears deserve more love!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So now that we got ultimate wilderness and bestiary 5 a while back I would have liked to see some more bear options.

But woe is me, the new bear is literally a dire bear with advanced taped on to it! I look toward ultimate wilderness and we finally get a large bear companion! Wich is still weaker than a big cat in most ways, while cats get another unique specimen.

Not even after eight years do we get a fantastical bear of huge size, meanwhile those kittenhoarding litterboxlovers can prance around the demented offspring of a Tiger and a cantaloupe!

Even the Shifter with all of it's problems has bias towards Cats?!

I sense claws for alarm here, this kind of favoritism is both unbearable and insuffurable!

LET US COME TOGETHER AND SOLVE THIS PROBLEM WITH OUR BEAR HANDS!!

Except pandas though, nasty blighters they are.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yep. Well-worn paths here, but...

Bears are stupidly strong, pound for pound- but if we gave bears the strength scores they should have, they'd be effectively TPK machines the way strength damage bonuses are calculated...


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Just give bears one-and-a-half str on natural attacks, grab, and rend. More lethal, and more inline with their reality counterparts


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Cole Deschain wrote:

Yep. Well-worn paths here, but...

Bears are stupidly strong, pound for pound- but if we gave bears the strength scores they should have, they'd be effectively TPK machines the way strength damage bonuses are calculated...

Humans on Earth don't have the hit point pools of humans in D&D.


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Cole Deschain wrote:

Yep. Well-worn paths here, but...

Bears are stupidly strong, pound for pound- but if we gave bears the strength scores they should have, they'd be effectively TPK machines the way strength damage bonuses are calculated...

Maybe they should be given higher CR ratings to reflect this?


I know the opening post isn't serious, but if a GM wants to make a session bear-heavy, there are actually enough options:

Taxidermic grizzlybear (B5, CR 3)
Werebear (B2, CR 4)
Owlbear (B1, CR 4)
Polar bear (B5, CR 5)
Dire polar bear (B5, CR 8)
Kokogiak (Reign of Winter 3 / Archives of Nethys, CR 12)
Animal lord with bear affinity (B3, +2 CR)
Skinwalker with werebear heritage (varying CR)

As usual, there are several templates that could be applied to a bear - I readily admit that's not specific for bears. Finally, nobody stops you to throw a bear focused shifter NPC at your players. Or a druid (bear shaman). Or a ranger (shapeshifter) with bear form. Or a hunter (probably feral hunter) with bear aspect and bear companion. Or an arcane caster who polymorphs into a bear. Or...


Wow, yeah. They have basically the same stats, minus the pounce, rake and grab on bite. A shame but a huge upgrade from the original bear. The grizzly actually makes me want to play a Druid - Double bear combo!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
SheepishEidolon wrote:
I know the opening post isn't serious, but if a GM wants to make a session bear-heavy, there are actually/readily admit that's not specific for bears. Finally, nobody stops you to throw a bear focused shifter NPC at your players. Or a druid (bear shaman). Or a ranger (shapeshifter) with bear form. Or a hunter (probably feral hunter) with bear aspect and bear companion. Or an arcane caster who polymorphs into a bear. Or...

The first post is semi-serious, sure there are enough bear options but I am not saying that there are to little.

What I am saying is that a lot of bear options are either very lazy stat wise(dire polar bear is an advanced dire bear pretty much) or that they are flatout weaker than the Cat related options, even the Shifter is guilty of this.

level 4 major form differences for bear and dire tiger.
Grizzly Bear
Your shape changes to that of a dire bear (Bestiary 31). While in this form, you gain a base speed of 40 feet, low-light vision, scent (30 feet), a bite attack (1d8 damage), and two claw attacks (1d6 damage) with the grab ability
Dire Tiger
Your shape changes to that of a dire tiger (Bestiary 265). While in this form, you gain a base speed of 40 feet, low-light vision, scent (30 feet),a bite attack (2d6 damage), two claw attacks (2d4 damage), the grab ability with both your bite and claw attacks, and pounce

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Wow I derped on my last post, apologies, mornings are not my thing atm.
But the point still stands and to add to it (as if it has not been said before), the dire tiger is 1 cr higher than the dire bear but it has 4 more hitdice AND more strength. What must we do for some koality of life changes? At least give us a bear equivalent of the warcat....

But this has most likely been said more times than I have fingers at this point...


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irl, bears can run about 30 mph, but their in-game 40' movement (or 160' while running) rounds out to less than 20 mph. They should at least have a 50' movement (still only 22.7 mph).

Bears are also pretty good climbers and swimmers - they should get something like a 10' Climb and Swim speed. I know they get a Racial bonus to Swim checks, and I guess that's something, but they get nothing for Climbing.

In a Nat Geo article where an MSU researcher was studying the strength of Grizzly Bears, they were individually reported tossing around a 700lb dumpster like it was a beach ball. The article went on to say that they never tested the bears' strength while enraged or stressed in any way. Going conservatively in game mechanics, let's say that 700lbs falls into a Grizzly Bear's Medium Load. This would put its Str score at 28, giving it a modifier 4 points higher than its Bestiary entry. Again, that's a conservative number, seeing how they were observed easily moving 700lbs, and while not angry - a state of being most bears would be in while fighting an adventurer. Putting a more realistic number on that would have a Grizzly Bear's Str score comfortably in the 30's, maybe even pushing 40.

I'm sure irl stats on other animals - including big cats - also make their in-game counterparts look like little wusses, but I'm in agreement that bears always felt excessively weak compared to what they should have felt like. This just stems from Paizo's tenancies to make Animals easy to fight for some reason, just because they're not magical or mythical in any way. Maybe in 2E, Animals (and especially bears) will get their due respect!


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I don't know... I think they can bear it.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

You can find the ursine bearfolk race in the Book of Heroic Races Compendium. Also you can find the spiderbear in the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane.

JBE has always been supporters of bears.

Dark Archive

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Let's put patches on their chests and give them all special powers! If we Care about Bears, we will do this!


If I was going to design a bear from the ground up, there are a few special abilities that sound appropriate.

Damage Reduction: 2/- Bears have a tough hide and lots of fat. Shotgun is just useless against them. Maybe Damage Reduction as high as half their CR for tougher bears. And maybe Magic weapons cut through the DR.

Grab (Ex) on its bite attacks.
Trip (Ex) on its claw attacks. It is rather appropriate to have a bear push you down and then maul a victim on the ground.

Scent (Ex) 30 is appropriate for any bear.

That is my general feelings on bears.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

maouse33 wrote:
Let's put patches on their chests and give them all special powers! If we Care about Bears, we will do this!

Would the stare ability be a racial feat?

Yes, I know that is the wrong stare ability.

Shadow Lodge

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Care Bear CR 8
XP 4,800
Celestial black bear mesmerist 5 (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, 31, Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures 38)
NG Medium magical beast (augmented animal)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +16
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 125 (12d8+29)
Fort +8, Ref +12, Will +12
DR 10/evil; Resist acid 15, cold 15, electricity 15; SR 13
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +11 (1d4+3), 2 claws +11 (1d4+3 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks bold stare (sluggishness[OA]), hypnotic stare (-2), manifold tricks (2 tricks), mental potency (+1), mesmerist tricks 5/day (break stupor, enchanting words, reflect fear), painful stare (+2 or +1d6+2), smite evil
Mesmerist Spells Known (CL 5th; concentration +8)
. . 2nd (3/day)—hypnotic pattern (DC 15), mantle of calm[ACG] (DC 15), suggestion (DC 15)
. . 1st (5/day)—adoration[UC], charm person (DC 14), color spray (DC 14), sleep (DC 14)
. . 0 (at will)—dancing lights, detect magic, lullaby (DC 13), mage hand, message, prestidigitation
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 17, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +8; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 24 (28 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Extended Stare[OA], Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Run, Skill Focus (Survival)
Skills Acrobatics +3 (+7 to jump with a running start, +7 to jump), Bluff +5, Diplomacy +18, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Survival +5, Swim +13; Racial Modifiers +4 Swim
SQ consummate liar +2, touch treatment 6/day (Minor)
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Consummate Liar +2 Counts as Combat Expertise for some feats.
Damage Reduction (10/evil) You have Damage Reduction against all except Evil attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Energy Resistance, Acid (15) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Acid attacks.
Energy Resistance, Cold (15) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Cold attacks.
Energy Resistance, Electricity (15) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Grab: Claw (Medium) (Ex) You can start a grapple as a free action if you hit with the designated weapon.
Hypnotic Stare (-2, 40 feet) (Su) As swift action, target creature takes penalty on Will saves.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.
Manifold Tricks (Su) You can have mulitple tricks implanted at once.
Mental Potency (+1) (Ex) Increase HD limit and total HD of enchantment or illusion spells by 1.
Mesmerist Tricks (150 feet, 5/day) (Su) Implant hypnotic bond with allies. granting edge vs. foes.
Painful Stare (+2 or +1d6+2, 1/round) (Su) As a free action, hyp. stare target takes extra precision dam from a hit.
Run Run 5x your speed in light/medium armor or 4x speed in heavy armor and keep Dex when running.
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ ft. by sense of smell.
Sluggishness (Su) Hypnotic stare reduces target speed by 5 feet, and applies to Reflex saves.
Smite Evil (1/day) (Su) +3 to hit, +12 to damage when used.
Spell Resistance (13) You have Spell Resistance.
Touch Treatment (Minor, 6/day) (Su) Remove certain conditions from creature touched.

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You missed the bear form druid. They are quite capable, except when wrestling a succubus.

/cevah


When I saw the thread title I momentarily thought that I had ended up on a very different site. *Cough*

* A Druid(Bear Shaman) can gain Aspects of a bear and their Wild Shape acts as their Druid Level +2 when taking Bear form. Additionally, you can further boost the Totem Transformation (Aspect) Ability with a (12 000gp) Animal Totem Tattoo to act as your Druid Level +5. A different Druid or non-Druid can use the Tattoo to get the same Ability, acting as a Druid(Bear Shaman) 5.
* A Skinwalker can purchase a 15 600gp Pelt of the Beast to enchance their Change Shape Ability - they are not limited to a Bear pelt, they could augment their Bear form with an advantage of another beast. Otherwise a Bear pelt would give them two Bear features instead of one.
* The Totem Beast Feat also enhances an Animal Companion with an Animal Aspect, granting it a touch of the bear!

If you are not set on the Animal Type, these two might add to your game :

* A Greater variety of Ceustodaemon look like Humanoid Bears with extra features - probably more as Antagonists/special Summons, or possbily a higher level Monstrous Cohort?
* A Zentragt is an ursine warrior with Adamantine teeth/claws and metal plating! At CR4 they are much more credible as a Monstrous Cohort. Additonally, the fluff is adorable! *Imagines music-making, singing bears eating metal treats*

Templates can enhance your Bear options :

* Foo Creatures are fun an a Campaign could lead up to seeking the aid of an Imperial Foo.
* Summoned Bears can have Simple Templates such as the Celestial or Fiendish templates, (plus others with Feats). You can always encounter a Advanced or Giant version in the wild. *Pathetic attempt at roaring* *Slinks away*


On a related note, has anyone come across a decent forum avatar for a bear animal companion? The best I have found so far is this one, from the “Magical Beasts” category, for something called an “Akyrak” that appears in Curse of the Crimson Throne (I think the pop-up window said Book 4). It looks like a bear’s face, with streaks of blood and creepy eyes - not a bad choice for this particular animal companion, but I was wondering if there were any other options.

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