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Strong, stubborn and powerful, bearkin are a race of fierce tribal warriors. The bipedal blood relative of their ursine ancestors, bearkin live in small tribes or clans of about a dozen deep in forests, caves and sometimes arctic wastelands where they are able to hunt and kill their prey with vicious ferocity. Their use of weapons and keen battle sense give them an edge over their unevolved kin, and are often a formidable foe.  

Protective Nature

Bearkin have strong parental instincts and are willing to fight to protect their clans and families. To a bearkin blood is thicker than water, and few situations would result in a bearkin abandoning their clan and joining a life of adventure. Powerful and protective they tend to be wary of outsiders but make very loyal allies, though they rarely side with large kingdoms or armies due to their disinterest politics. As strong in heart as in muscle, Bearkin have a strong natural parental instinct. In their families, both parents are expected to provide and care for their children (known as 'cubs') as best they can.  

Tradition and Honor

Traditionally, Bearkin tend not to be religious creatures, though all owe faith to Grizzus, their patron god of Bears. While clans differ vastly in beliefs and ideals, all owe allegiance to Grizzus and his ideals of clan law and leadership. Tribes and families of bearkin are often found fighting and feuding, although complex politics and tmany of the concepts of ownership, such as money, are unfamiliar customs to them.   Grizzus, who Bearkin believes watches and guides them through play and battle, often contacts Elders or shaman within tribes as well as particularly righteous or powerful warriors. They claim to have seen visions of their god in their sleep designating them a specific task, and it is not uncommon for a member of the tribe to leave in pursuit of this mission, which is a sign of honor.  

Uncertain Origin

While Bearkin have only been around for a few generations their origin is surround in mystery. Most believe that they are the result of malevolent druidic rituals; The bearkin, it is said, upon achieving true sentinence did not obey, killed their masters and escaped. In bearkin families gathered around campfires, they tell scary tales of evil druid pacts and monsters that will come to take children who do not perform simple chores or behave, though no bearkin truly knows where they came from.   Other theories of bearkin origins are less credible, such as their role as native guardians in the Feywilds escaped to the Material Plane after a war, or that they owe their creation to a pact made by an army of great warriors, given the bodies and strength of bears to dominate their enemies. Intelligent or scholarly bearkin often wish to discover this detail.  

Blood Ties

A traditional bearkin tribe consists of one alpha male, the strongest, as a leader with several females. Young bearkin who wish to become alpha must battle in honorable unarmed combat to claim the throne - otherwise the youth of the clan usually show great respect to their elders. Bearkin clans tend to have tough, intimidating names like First Tooth, Furious Swipes, and Bloody Roar, and often use simple symbols that they scratch into tree trunks to designate their territory. Veteran travellers who recognize these symbols when travelling know to deviate their course to avoid getting attacked by aggressive tribes.   Most often, a bearkin leaves as a result of disgracing their family in battle or breaking code, though many bearkin found in cities credit their abandonment to a family massacre, being lost, forest fires or other causes that physically ejected them from their home. Bearkin away from their homes are often drawn to a life of adventure as a result of their natural instinct and origin in the wilds.  


Ability Score Increase +2 Str
Size Medium
Speed 30 ft

  Age Bearkin reach adolescence at about the same time as humans, but usually only live to about age 60.   Alignment Bearkin naturally tend towards neutrality, though they tend to be more good than evil. They also tend to favor a balance between the law of their clan and the chaotic nature of their life.   Size Bearkin tower over their companions at around 7 to 8 feet tall, and weigh anywhere from 300 to above 450 pounds.   Keen Smell You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) schecks that rely on smell.   Animal Instincts You have proficiency in the Survival skill   Claws Using your bear claws to attack, your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 slashing damage.  


Differences in the backgrounds and the locations of their environment have resulted in five different subraces of bearkin: Black bears, Brown bears, Polar bears, Panda bears, and Koala bears. Choose one of these subraces.  

Black Bear

The smallest and most timid of the bearkin varieties, Black Bears tend to be smarter and make up clans of single families in caves or other underground locations, occasionally including the Underdark. They mostly keep to themselves and protect their lairs and territories without moving about, but will happily interact with others of their kind.   Ability Score +1 Wis   Darkvision Familiar with the darkness, you have superior vision in dark or dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.   Stealthy You gain proficiency in the Stealth skill  

Brown Bear

Fiercely protective, honorable and strong, and usually friendly to outsiders, the most common of the bearkin varieties have a strong protective instinct and make up large clans with a lax hierarchy. They often live nomadically, moving from forest to forest to cycle their prey and avoid retaliation from nearby developed settlements.   Ability Score +1 Cha   Protector When an ally within 10ft of you must make a Strength saving throw, you may choose to have the effect target you in their place. This feature can only be used twice every short rest.  

Polar Bear

The most well known of the bearkin, Polar Bears have thick winter hides, tend to be very aggressive to outsiders and have very large territories. During harsh winters, Polar Bear tribes raid human settlements at their weakest for food and supplies when their natural prey runs low. For this reason, especially in colder regions, Polar Bears are usually regarded as hostile.   Ability Score +1 Con   Winter Hide You have resistance to Cold damage. You are also able to weather much colder climates than most other races, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.  

Panda Bear

Found in the islands of the Far East, Panda Bear tribes and customs are largely unknown and foreign, partly as a result of their rarity. As spiritual as their notorious appetite, they have a long history and a keen sense of wisdom, preferring to keep out of the eyes of civilized society.   Ability Score +1 Wis   Folk Healer You gain profiiency in the Medicine skill   Spiritual Communication
by Shaun Keenan
You have the ability to cast the spell Speak With Plants using Wisdom as your spellcasting modifier. Using this feature, you are only able to communicate with plants, not command, move or control them. Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until the end of a long rest.  

Koala Bear

From distant lands to the untamed islands of the south, the connection of Koalas to the Bearkin lineage is often in dispute. They still carry the ferocity of the race however, despite their smaller size. Forming small nomadic communities in the trees in their notoiously hot and dangerous homeland, they drop from low hanging branches to surprise and attack prey which is often many times their size. The rumors of their cannibalistic nature are unfounded (though not entirely dismissed).   Ability Score +1 Dex   Size Koala bears are much smaller than their common relatives. Your size is Small.   Nimble You have a climbing speed of 30 feet.   Bear Drop When falling onto another creature, you only take half falling damage and gain advantage on that attack roll, if attacking.   Expert Survivalist When making a Wisdom (Survival) or Wisdom (Nature) ability check, you can double your proficiency bonus if already proficient.  

Languages. You know Common and Bearic

bY /U/Tr11obyte

Related Ethnicities

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