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Beastfolk: Ursidians (Bears) (with PF points)

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Ursidians are a race of hulking omnivores originally bred to be elite pit fighters in Sascria.


Ursidians can be slow unless they are roused.  They are not necessarily stupid, but they are deliberate thinkers and poor negotiators.  Bearkin prefer to be solitary, and are not comfortable in large groups, towns and cities.

Physical Description

Bear-kin are among the largest Beastfolk ever created.  They retain the small, dark eyes of the bear ancestors wedded to tall, powerful, large-boned humanoid frames.  Their hands and feet retain claws, but are adapted for more dexterity and for walking upright.


Originally, Ursidians and Buzzkin hated each other, but since they have become staunch allies.  The Buzzkin's skill in alchemy and their ability to fly is allied with the Ursidians large size and prowess in battle.

Alignment and Religion

Ursidians tend to be solitary, living at most in small familiar groups while they raise children.  They are often willing to leave well enough alone, though they are loyal to allies.  Bearkin tend toward neutrality.


Ursidians who become adventurers most commonly focus on melee combat, playing to their obvious strengths.  Since the Collapse, some Ursidians have demonstrated a capacity for divine magic, and become Clerics of their clan totems or of a great bear-god who lives beneath the earth.


Lots of long, rounded vowel sounds; attempts to transliterate from the Ursidians' own language.  Brom, Aurorum, Goroom.

Ursidian Racial Traits

+2 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom.  Ursidians are large and powerfully built and are close to their animal ancestors, which gives them both a natural insight and wisdom as well as a lack of manual dexterity.

(5pts) Bear Claws: Ursidians have two claw attacks, each of which deal 1d4 damage and are made at a -5 penalty.  Ursidian claw attacks can be made as part of a full attack action as long as the Ursidian has an empty hand.  Ursidian claws also give them a +2 to Climb checks.

(1pt) Bestial Nature: Ursidians are able to communicate with bears of all types at will.

(-1pt) Hibernation: In cold weather, Ursidians become sluggish and sleepy, and must sleep at least 10 hours per night, and are most comfortable with at least 12 hours.

(~6pts) Hulking Frame: Ursidians receive a +1 to both CMD and CMB due to their large size and powerful build - they are hard to disarm, grapple with, or knock down.  Ursians also deal +1 damage with two-handed melee weapons.

(-1pt) Solitary: Ursidians are not particularly social, and take a -2 penalty to social rolls made in large groups, especially in the case of public speaking.  One-on-one or among a few allies, this penalty does not apply.


Ursidians speak Common and Sylvan.

Related content
Back references from Relationships in Creature type for Creature type: Beastfolk: Ursidians (Bears) (with PF points)
Title Author Last updatesort icon
Beastfolk mikeb 04/03/2011 - 11:17
Beorinvulk (Bear-Folk) (with PF points thanks Robo!) MrCrow1776 09/03/2010 - 22:58



Hey, I didn't start the punning :)

Hibernation: There should be a mechanical penalty for sleeping less than 10 hours a night in cold weather, something like being fatigued until enough rest is garnered.

Also, are they medium or large creatures?

When I read the trait, my

When I read the trait, my interpretation is that it would fall under the existing rules for lost sleep - instead of the usual 6 hours (I think it is 6 in the core rules) the minimum number in cold weather would be 10 hours, and that would determine the in-game effect. For example, in the PFSRD what I find is that in order to remove the Fatigued condition, a character must sleep 8 hours. For an Ursidian, this would be increased to at least 10 hours in winter.

In this case, this is the general bear beastfolk type, and they are Medium creatures. In my mind they represent black bears, asian red bears, those kinds of creatures, not enormous grizzlies or polar bears. Does that make sense?


Just saw your comment on mine. There is getting so much stuff to read on here it is hard to keep up with it all. You and Mikeb are writing machines!! LOL. I'm still going to go ahead and write up my version of the bearfolk in case it spurs any more ideas for other things later. Plus there's nothing stopping the Ursidians being the Beordinvulk who were thought to be regular bears (even though they aren't) and then transformed by Sascrian magic into the creatures they are now. So cousins but not really the same bearfolk. Think along the lines of Drow and High Elves. Something like that.

mikeb's picture

Not your average bear...har har

I think a lot of the races for popular animals can have potential subtypes much like the Egalit have. Instead of just being a generic bird of prey beastfolk, there are hawks, falcons, eagles and owls. Bears could break down into temperate vs. colder climes like black bear vs. Alaskan grizzly bear.

I was kind of thinking brown

I was kind of thinking brown bear versus polar bear - I recently watched the Golden Compass and thought of the Ice Bears, and linguistically they sound a bit like the 'Beordenvulk'

But yeah, sub-types, at least eventually. At first, I'd like to have one of each, just like back in the day there were just "Elves", and only later were there Sea/Dark/Grey/Wood/Wild/High etc. Elves.

Something I think I'll refer to as "subtype-gloat".

You also might consider

You also might consider making the Beordinvolk a package of alternate racial traits as a subset of the Ursidians. Anway, looking forward to seeing your ideas.

Sea-of-Stars's picture

Bear with me

Sorry, just seemed like a good header.

Since they are large and hulking, perhaps a -2 penalty to Stealth? And a -2 to Perception in cold weather when they are in the mood for hibernating?

For hulking frame, what if it also gives them +1 damage when using a two-handed melee weapon? I like the idea of them being large and powerful thus able to do more damage with heavy weapons but not able to use large weapons without penalty (which a recipe for abuse).


So, I took the idea for +1 damage with two-handed melee weapons - I liked that, and there were plenty of points left (4) once I did the math on the original. Right now it comes out to about 9pts according to the Pathfinder guidelines, so I'm happy.