The DnD Bugbear 5e race is a variety of long-limbed, hairy goblinoids who’re fearsome in battle, as adept at aggressive raiding and mercenary work as they are preternaturally skilled at sneaking. Though they’ve traditionally been enemy monsters, DnD Bugbears have been a playable race since 2016, and got some tweaked abilities and lore in 2022’s Monsters of the Multiverse. This guide includes all the stats and background you need to play Bugbear characters in your D&D games.
The Bugbear DnD race has been around since D&D’s ancient 1975 Greyhawk supplement – usually heading up ambushes and raiding parties of DnD Goblins, filling the role of a rather deadly low-level mini-boss for your party to defeat. Nowadays, as one of the playable DnD races, Bugbears can add some fighty spice to your party, and – like the revamped Goblin 5e race – provide a nice change from more commonly played character races like Elf 5e or Tiefling 5e.
Below you’ll find all the key info on the DnD Bugbear 5e race. If you’re looking to create a Bugbear character, this is the perfect starting point. After that, you’ll need to find the perfect DnD classes and DnD backgrounds for your DnD character build – we can help out with that too.
What are DnD Bugbears?
The Dungeons and Dragons core rules describe DnD Bugbears as “hairy goblinoids born for battle and mayhem”, who “survive by raiding and hunting, but are fond of setting ambushes and fleeing when outmatched”.
Their monster page on D&DBeyond adds that Bugbears “bully the weak and despise being bossed around”; they “usually enslave goblins they encounter”; and they worship Hruggek, a warlike lesser DnD god from the plane of Acheron, with whom they believe they will fight in the afterlife if they slay enough enemies.
Like goblins and other goblinoids, however, Bugbears got some extra abilities and a bit more three-dimensionality to their lore in 2022’s Monsters of the Multiverse DnD book.
It confirmed Bugbears (like goblins) have “roots in the Feywild”, and dwelled “in hidden places, in hard-to-reach and shadowed spaces” until the “conquering god” Maglubiyet drove them to spread out into the multiverse with warlike intent.
Bugbears’ unnatural ability to move silently and through tiny spaces (despite their hulking bodies) is a gift of “Fey magic” from those earliest days, we learn – just like the goblins’ talent for stabbing up creatures bigger than them.
Bugbear 5e race
The Bugbear 5e race lends itself strongly to Dungeons and Dragons characters built for melee combat, with some handy stealth-focused extras. Bugbear characters’ race traits and core DnD stats are as follows:
|Creature type||Humanoid, Goblinoid|
|Darkvision||Can see fine in dim light up to 60 feet away as if it were bright light and darkness as if it were dim light, with everything appearing in shades of gray.|
|Fey Ancestry||You get Advantage on making saving throws against, and on ending, being charmed.|
|Long-Limbed||Melee attacks made on your turn get an extra 5 feet of reach.|
|Powerful build||You count as one size larger (Large) for carry capacity, and in the weight you can push, drag, or lift|
|Sneaky||You’re proficient in Stealth, and can move through (and stop in) spaces large enough for a Small creature|
|Surprise attack||When you hit a creature with an attack roll, you deal 2d6 extra damage if the target hasn’t yet acted in this combat|
Bugbear 5e monster stats
Bugbears’ DnD 5e monster stats are straightforward for DMs to play with, armed with a fairly simple array of attacks and actions and a few unique racial features that set them apart from their more basic goblinoid cousins.
The Bugbear 5e monster stat block is as follows:
|Hit Points:||27 (5d8+5)|
|Skills||Stealth +6, Survival +2|
|Senses||Darkvision 60 feet|
|Challenge Rating (CR)||1 (200 XP)|
Brute: Melee weapons deal one extra die of damage when they hit
Surprise attack: If you surprise a creature and hit it with an attack in the first combat round, deal an extra 7 (2d6) damage
|Action||Type||Target||Range||Hit bonus||Damage||Damage type|
|Morningstar||Melee weapon attack||Single||5 feet||+4||2d8+2||Piercing|
|Javelin||Melee or Ranged weapon attack||Single||
Melee: 5 feet
Ranged: 30/120 feet
As far as DnD monsters go, Bugbears are as classic as they come. But with D&D evolving all the time, they can still surprise players and GMs.