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Critical Role Wiki

Bugbears are a race of goblinoids, resembling tall goblins covered with brown, black, or blue-gray fur.[8]



Bugbears have large ears and yellow eyes, giving them a more feline appearance than their hobgoblin cousins. Although they reach adulthood at age 16, and adults stand around 6 to 8 feet tall and weigh between 250 and 350 pounds, [3] their posture is generally stooped, so that their heads are still roughly at human height.[8]


Stereotypical bugbears are fiercely individualistic in contrast to hobgoblins, and they are the goblinoids most willing to collaborate with humans and elves. In the cities of Tal'Dorei they are renowned for being excellent bounty hunters and burglars.[9] Bugbears enjoy combat and brutality but also tend to be lazy, taking pleasure from making other creatures do their work for them.[10]


Bugbears have darkvision out to 60 feet and a walking speed of 30 feet.

  • Long-Limbed: When bugbears make a melee attack on their turn, their reach is 5 feet greater than normal.
  • Powerful Build: Bugbears count as one size larger when determining their carrying capacity and the weight they can push, drag, or lift.
  • Sneaky: Bugbears have proficiency in the Stealth skill.
  • Surprise Attack: Once per combat, if a bugbear surprises a creature and hits it with an attack on the first round of combat, that attack deals an extra 2d6 damage.[3]


During the Calamity, the evil god of war and conquest, Bane, the Strife Emperor, revealed himself to the dranassar, a strong, cunning, multitudinous race of humanoids then living in what is now Xhorhas. Many of them, enthralled by Bane's power, followed him willingly, and their capital of Ghor Dranas became the seat of the Betrayer Gods' power. Those who opposed him were bent to his will and were corrupted first. When Bane needed spies or brute force, he turned dranassar slaves into bugbears; for other roles he created the goblins and hobgoblins. As the war raged on, even those loyal to him were corrupted to fill the ranks.[11][12]

The Curse of Strife[]

Though Bane was defeated by Melora in one of the final battles of the Calamity and banished beyond the Divine Gate,[13] all three races of goblinkin are still affected by the Curse of Strife, which allows Bane's voice to prey on their minds and compel them to evil. Bugbears are specifically inclined to isolated brutality (chaotic evil).[3]

The curse can be broken, but it is nearly impossible for a goblinkin to do so on their own. There are several ways it can be done:

  • A goblinkin born within 100 miles of a Luxon beacon does not inherit the curse. Any creature transfigured or reborn into the body of a goblinkin (such as through consecution) is likewise free of the curse.
  • In the Lushgut Forest, the Vinewreathed Enclave is a druidic order of bugbears and goblins who broke free from Bane's influence decades before 836 PD.
  • After being reduced to 0 hit points and returning to consciousness, they can make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 20), with advantage if they were brought back to life. On a success, the goblinkin breaks free from the curse of strife.
  • A goblinkin targeted by remove curse can also make this saving throw, with advantage on the save if the caster is a trusted companion.[3]

Unless the curse is broken early in life, the individual is likely to retain the same attitude toward law and chaos. The bugbears of the Vinewreathed Enclave, free of the curse, can easily work with other defenders of nature.[3]


Many bugbears are solitary folk, living in forests and mountains where their thick fur protects them against the cold. On rare occasions, one to three times a year, they gather in large groups to socialize and play games with friends, reunite with family, and find love — a tradition that was embraced on the permanent basis by the settled communities. Such bugbears often live with a number of romantic partners under the same roof, or unify with goblin families and dwell in their loving and chaotic households.[8]

Kryn Dynasty[]

Jester tattooing Gluzo by Andrew Jensen

Fan art of Jester tattooing Gluzzo[14], by Andrew Jensen.[art 2]

  • Bugbears are a common sight in Xhorhas, particularly around Rosohna. Those born within 100 miles of a Luxon beacon are free of the Curse of Strife.[3] Half-elves in Xhorhas sometimes have the yellow eyes and tufted ears of a bugbear.[5]
  • The Many Hosts of Igrathad: One of the seven villages, Kranad, began as a bugbear clan of the same name.[15]
  • The Children of Malice: Network of Lolth-worshipping bugbears, hobgoblins, and drow. The bugbears, along with the hobgoblins, tend to raid the outskirts of the Dynasty.[16]
  • Lords of Strife: A secret cult of bugbears and hobgoblins who still worship Bane.[17]

Menagerie Coast[]

Vinewreathed Enclave: A druidic order of Melora led by bugbears, but also with goblins, that has broken the Curse of Strife and lives in the Lushgut Forest. They are slowly fostering friendship with the people of Gwardan.[4]


In the criminal underworld of Tal'Dorei's largest cities, bugbears are renowned for their talents as burglars and bounty hunters, and often work for the Clasp or the Myriad. Those who avoid a life of crime tend to live alone in the wilderness as druids.[9]

Known bugbears[]

Fjord and Umadon by AJ Illustrate

Fan art of Umadon and Fjord, by Andrew Jensen.[art 3]

See also: Bugbears


  1. 1.0 1.1 See D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 33.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 See D&D: Volo's Guide to Monsters, 5th ed., p. 119.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 174.
  4. 4.0 4.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 67.
  5. 5.0 5.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 176.
  6. See "The Fey Key" (3x47) from 0:50:22 through 2:24:23.
  7. See D&D: Xanathar's Guide to Everything, 5th ed..
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 159.
  9. 9.0 9.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 126.
  10. See "Feral Business" (2x52) at 3:31:09.
  11. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 125–126.
  12. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 173.
  13. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 79.
  14. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:45:31.
  15. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 141.
  16. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 46.
  17. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 134.
  18. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 13.


  1. Depiction of a bugbear, by Steve Prescott from D&D: Monster Manual, page 33. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  2. Fan art of Jester tattooing Gluzzo[14], by Andrew Jensen (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Umadon and Fjord, by Andrew Jensen (source). Used with permission.