DnD Bugbear 5e race guide

DnD Bugbears are a classic monster, but in 2022 the 5e Bugbear is also a fully playable race with stats, abilities, and lore - here's the lowdown

DnD Bugbear 5e race guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing an armoured bugbear with a morningstar

DnD’s 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 DnD 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.

Here’s everything to know about DnD’s Bugbear 5e race:

DnD Bugbear 5e race guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Bugbear fighter with a spiked club

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 DnD Beyond 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.

DnD Bugbear 5e race guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a glade in the Feywild

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.

DnD Bugbear 5e race guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Bugbear with a Hobgoblin and a goblin

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:

Stat Value
Creature type: Humanoid, Goblinoid
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 feet
Trait Effect
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

DnD Bugbear 5e race guide - stock photo showing a gold D20 DnD dice

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:

Stat Value
Armour Class: 16
Hit Points: 27 (5d8+5)
Speed: 30 feet
Attribute Value Modifier
Strength (STR) 15 +2
Dexterity (DEX) 14 +2
Constitution (CON) 13 +1
Intelligence (INT) 8 -1
Wisdom (WIS) 11 +0
Charisma (CHA) 9 -1
Stat Value
Skills: Stealth +6, Survival +2
Proficiency Bonus: +2
Senses: Darkvision 60 feet
Passive Perception: 10
Languages: Common, Goblin
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


Melee: 2d6+2

Ranged: 1d6+2