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Noble Bear

Bears are large land mammals with a large body with stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and a short tail. Most bear species are omnivorous, with varied diets.

Bears are generally diurnal, but may be active during the night (nocturnal) or twilight (crepuscular), particularly around humans. Bears are aided by an excellent sense of smell, and despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they can run quickly and are adept climbers and swimmers. In autumn, some bear species forage large amounts of fermented fruits, which affects their behaviour. Bears use shelters, such as caves and burrows, as their dens: most species occupy their dens during the winter for a long period of sleep similar to hibernation.

Species Descriptions

Symbols of strength and healing to many humanoid cultures, noble bears enjoy a position of both respect and menace in the noble animal community. Everyone is glad of a noble bear healer showing up to lend assistance, and at the same time terrified that they might do something to offend such a great beast.

Noble bears of either variety are usually content to leave well enough alone, but they are fiercely protective of any creature they consider to be their responsibility, whether that creature is their young or a guest in their territory. While the smaller noble black bear will often need to contend with other large predators, or even packs of wolves, the noble brown bear is almost always the undisputed master of his domain.

Despite their obvious strength and the influence they wield over other animals, both noble and natural, most bears will tend towards a humble outlook. This is one of the reasons they are regarded so highly. Noble black bears have a somewhat adversarial relationship with wolves, cougars, and other predatory species. Noble brown bears fear no beast or man; an entire pack of wolves would usually be necessary to threaten even a natural brown bear, let alone a noble one. Smaller woodland creatures will approach noble bears for assistance, but carefully.

Noble Bear, Common Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: -2 Strength, +6 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom.
  • Size: Small.
  • Size Threshold: 2nd and 5th Hit Dice.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d3), and 1 bite (1d4).
  • Natural Armor: +1
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus to Swim checks.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble bears have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: None.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Ursine.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, and Woodland.

Noble Bear, Black Sub-Species Traits

  • Size: Noble black bears do not grow larger than size Medium.
  • Natural Talent Track: Endurance, Run.
  • Social Group: None.

In all other ways, the noble black bear shares the same species traits and progression listed for the common noble bear, except that they can never advance in the noble bear class beyond 3rd level.

Noble Bear, Brown Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble brown bear shares the same species traits and progression listed for common noble bears.

Racial Feats

The following feats are available to a noble bear character who meets the prerequisites.

  • Linked Feat

Noble Bear Class

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The noble animal’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Noble Animal Species
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Bonus feat, natural armor +1
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Speed increase +10
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Bonus feat, grab
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Natural armor +2
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Bonus feat
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Natural armor +3

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the noble bear species class.

Bonus Feat

At every odd level, the Noble Bear character gains a bonus feat from the following list: Aggressive Attitude, Awesome Blow, Improved Bull Rush, Cautious Attitude, Endurance, Power Attack, Roar, Run, or Skill Focus (Survival).

Natural Armor

At 1st level you gain a natural armor bonus of +1. This bonus increases to +2 at 4th level, and +3 at 6th.

Speed Increase

At 2nd level your Base Speed increases by +10.

Grab (Ex)

At 3rd level, you gain the Grab special attack. When you hit with a bite attack, you deal normal damage and may attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Grab only works against opponents that are at least one size category smaller than you. You have the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use your jaws to hold your opponent. If you choose to do the latter, you take a –20 penalty on your CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but do not gain the grappled condition yourself. A successful hold does not deal any extra damage. Each successful grapple check you make during successive rounds automatically deals bite damage. Noble bears with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple.

Alternative Racial Traits

You can exchange one or several of your character’s normal racial Traits, but of course you cannot exchange the same racial trait more than once.

As with any alternate or optional rule, you must first get the permission of your GM to exchange any of your character’s normal racial Traits for those listed here.

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Favored Class Alternatives

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, noble bears have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to all noble bears who have the listed Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.

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Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Noble Wild. Copyright 2009 by Lee Garvin and Skirmisher Publishing LLC.