In which our intrepid hero dreams of bears.

I had a dream last night about a bear attacking a village. It made me realise just how scary bears must be when they’re pissed off.

Strangely, during this dream, there was background narration on how to stat out this encounter in D&D. Looking at the d20 stats for a brown bear puts this into perspective. Say we try and model this bear—give him an elite ability array and max out his Hit Dice. He ends up with a CR of 6 or thereabouts.

Not much, by D&D standards, huh? True, but it’s still a challenging encounter for an average 6th-level party. And if you’re talking run-of-the-mill, 1st-level commoners, then it’s a nightmare; even a group of a dozen will probably lose two or three before Teddy loses interest and wanders off to rustle up some dire salmon for lunch or something.

A 1st-level commoner only has 4hp, and Teddy’s claws do, on average, 12-13 damage per attack, probably more when you factor in the elite array. The peasants can only hit Teddy 25% of the time, but Teddy has a 95% chance to hit the peasants back.

Teddy moves a lot faster than they do, too, plus grizzlies are nocturnal—he has Low-Light Vision and Scent, so he’s going to know about the peasants before they know about him. This makes him, potentially, a nasty ambush predator. Give him Power Attack and he’s even more of a peasant-killing machine.

You don’t even need a mad druid or something to sic Teddy on the village either; he’s a pretty scary beast in his own right.

Actually, it reminds me of GMing a Call of Cthulhu scenario, from Pagan Publishing’s Mortal Coils, if I remember correctly. The bear in that, also named Teddy, made a hash of the PCs, even though, by that stage, they’d collected a pretty impressive array of magic to back them up.

The moral: Don’t Fuck with Bears.

(Incidentally, today’s title comes from the animation I refer to in this post.)