Species: mammal
No. Appearing: 1-4 (see below)
Distribution: tight group
Behaviour: ursoid
Intelligence: 2
Length: 3½ ft. at withers; stands 6 ft. tall
Weight: 350 lb.
Armor Class: 7
HD: 3+3
Hp/die: 2d4
Attacks: 3
THACO: 17
Damage: claws, 2-5 each; jaws, 2-8
Special Powers: mauling
Move: 9 AP
Range: mountain forest, snow forest, subterranean, woodland
Treasure: none

Mauling will result if the black bear hits a single opponent with both claws. The bear will always seek to attack at one opponents with both its claws, though it may attack at a second opponent with its jaws. Mauling will indicate that the bear has pulled down its opponent, who will be trapped and unable to take any action whether stunned or not. Mauling is equal to 4-16 +2 damage. The time spent being mauled counts against the mauled combatant's move - but when the bear is free to attack again (or if the bear is stunned), then the mauled character will be left and the bear will attack another opponent.

Encounters

#1 (foraging): single bears, usually male, will seek berries and other fruit, fish or whatever else it can find in the landscape, from May until November. Unless food is scarce due to a fire or blight, usually bears at this time will be standoffish and encountered at a distance of 6-18 hexes. However, if the bear is encountered it will take advantage of whatever food it can find in a party's camp, approaching from a place furthest from the party members - if shouted at, there is only a 35% that it will simply move off. If attacked, it will defend itself, but move off if stunned and allowed to recover.

#2 (hibernating): if encountered in a subterranean setting, this will always be within a hundred yards or so of the surface and the bear will always be hibernating. In December there is a 50% chance that the bear is awake; between January and April, this chance lowers to 10%. If encountered in its den and disturbed (rustling armor will be enough), the bear will wake up easily and will behave aggressively. If interlopers do not flee immediately, the bear will attack until driving them off or the bear is killed. Black bears at this time will attack with +1 to hit and +1 to all damage rolls.

#3 (rearing young): from May to July, mother black bears will travel with their young, meaning there will be 2-4 in number. The bear is extremely dangerous at this time, for if the party finds themselves between mother and cubs, the mother bear will rush to fight to the death against the perceived threat. When attacking, the bear will mercilessly attack with +2 to hit and +3 damage until the threat is dead.

#4 (territorial): black bears can live in close proximity to humanoids, but they will become aggressive and territorial at times. At such times it will make it's presence known at a distance of 9-16 hexes, often roaring or standing to indicate that others should move off and leave the animal alone. If approached within 2-8 hexes the bear will attack, continuing until it is stunned (if it is allowed to recover, it will then run off). Usually this behaviour involves a mated pair.


See Bestiary