Cleric Bears – A New Player Race

Cleric Bears ResizedExplorers and adventurers alike have encountered many bizarre creatures across the planes, but few are more bewildering – or wondrous – than the cleric bears. These beings are good-natured sentient bears who protect the world from evil, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. In fact, cleric bears are an incredibly inclusive lot, determined to assist literally anyone in need no matter how different or strange they might appear. Even evil creatures showing signs of pain or repentance will be accepted by the cleric bear’s understanding community.

The source of a cleric bear’s strength is its “stare” – a magical rune which forms on its belly shortly after birth. Stares forge a permanent connection between a cleric bear and divine goodness, granting them abilities which sustain their quest to uplift all living things. Sadly, they are often tragically misunderstood by those who confuse their compassion for weakness – something many an orc learned far too late.

The name “cleric bear” is only accurate in terms of divine abilities. In reality, cleric bears belong to all classes, be they spellcasting wizard or stealthy rogue.

A pay-what-you-want, OGL compatible PDF of the Cleric Bear can be found at DriveThruRPG. You can also support our Weekly Beasties by giving to our Patreon page. The player race itself can be found below:

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength and Charisma scores increase by 2.

AC Increase. You gain +1 (natural armor) to AC.

Age. Cleric bears share the same lifespan as regular bears, and are considered adults at three to four years of age. On average, they live approximately 30 years. If they served with distinction, they are inducted into the Cloud Kingdom plane upon death where they can continue good works.

Alignment. All cleric bears are innately good, driven by a desire to uplift the world and all living creatures as their talents allow. They also tend to be lawful and respectful, although a few lean towards chaos in a well-meaning, good-natured way.

Size. Cleric bears are still freaking bears. When standing upright to unleash a stare, a cleric bear’s height clearly exceeds six feet. Your size is Medium or Large.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet. You can also scale objects like trees or ladders at 30 feet. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor provided such armor was designed for bears.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Bear. You may also speak and read Common, but cannot write any languages which require the production of fine scripts. (Basically all of them.)

Unbearable. You cannot handle melee and ranged weapons designed for humanoids, since they will not fit your massive paws.

Innate Starecasting. Upon reaching adulthood, a cleric bear develops a rune on their belly which grants them the ability to cast “stares” when exposing it as a spellcasting focus. This can be done simply by standing on their hind legs and unleashing the cleric bear stare.

At creation, you may choose one 1st level cleric or paladin spell to use as your starting stare. If any stare requires a spellcasting DC or attack bonus, it will be based on your Charisma score. Each cleric bear stare may be used once per day, and is refreshed following a long rest. You may gain additional stares while leveling up using the guide below:

3rd character level: 2nd level spell or less.
6th character level: 3rd level spell or less.
9th character level: 5th level spell or less.
13th character level: 7th level spell or less.
17th character level: 9th level spell or less.

Cleric Bear Stare. Cleric bears may expend a stare at any time to uplift the spirits of party members and allies within their sightline. The cleric bear leading the stare must make a DC 20 Charisma check to succeed, decreasing the difficulty by -2 for each assisting cleric bear. Each cleric bear using their action to assist must also spend a stare slot. Success cures all diseases and conditions not caused by old age.

Alternatively, the cleric bear stare can be used to drive evil creatures away as though a “Turn Undead” spell has been cast.

On a critical success, both effects may be applied.

Unarmed Strike. When attacking with your claws, unarmed strikes do slashing damage. You may revert back to bludgeoning damage by using the brunt of your paws.

Bite. While they are loathe to do so, cleric bears can attack targets using their teeth if required. You do not obtain a proficiency bonus for this melee attack, and deal 1d8 piercing damage plus your strength modifier. Gain an additional damage dice for every four character levels above first.

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