Men and Monsters of the Aegean Bonus Content - The Mountain Bear!

Clint Staples

Mountain Bear

B5 A3 M2                25 Soak/ 35 vs. Piercing weapons  50 Hits

Attack -1x4, Defend -1x3        

Powers:

  • Size 1 (+5 Brawn rolls, Damage, Soak; -1 Dice Penalty to hit, defend, Agility)
  • Natural Weapons 2 (x7+5 Dmg Claws, x8+5 Dmg Bite)
  • Claw Technique 1: x1 Bonus to hit with Claw
  • Bite technique: x1 Damage with Bite
  • Paired Weapons: -1 Dice penalty to attack with two claws or with Claw and Bite.
  • Bronze Hide: Toughness 2 (+20 Soak)
+10 vs. Piercing Weapons
  • Keen Senses: Hearing x5 , Scent X5

31 pts

Here is another creature that we could not fit into Men and Monsters of the Aegean:

Art is by the incredibly talented hand of Vadim Gorbatov!

North of the Gulf of Corinth, in the land of Calydon, there have always been tales of animals that are more than simple beasts. Here roamed the Calydonian Boar, of which we have already spoken in the pages of Men and Monsters of the Aegean. Atalanta, slayer of the Boar, is also associated with the beast of which we will speak. In the rocky uplands of Calydon, where the infant Atalanta was abandoned to the elements and her fate, there dwelled the Mountain Bear, a creature greater than normal bears as men are greater than apes. In the case of the child, a she-bear found her and raised her as its own cub.

The Mountain Bear is a reclusive animal, rarely seeking out those who are not of its kind. Given the history of their encounters with men, this is understandable. The golden coat of the Mountain Bear is thick, luxurious and coveted by foragers and kings alike. Few of these hunters however, are aware that when they kill a Mountain Bear, they are killing a creature with thoughts as complex as their own. For Mountain Bears have been blessed with sentience.

Mountain Bears are at least as large as the european bear and heavy bodied like them, but their coats rival the Golden Fleece for handsomeness. These coats are also more resistant to injury, especially piercing attacks like arrows and spears. This resistance to damage, combined with the equivalent cunning to that of a man and the savagery and armament of one thousand pounds of bear, makes hunting them especially risky.

Yet it is still done. Sometimes out of misunderstanding the nature of the beast. But occasionally, Roman Procuratores seek them for the arena. As often, they are killed for their hides, which are worth a small fortune and can be crafted into strong armor. And, of course bears must eat, and some Mountain Bears defend their hunting grounds with every iota of their considerable strength.

Many Mountain Bears have little or no human language (though they are capable of speech), but they occasionally meet with others of their own kind, and there are hints of Conclaves of Bears that convene for companionship, mating, and conversation when food is plentiful, such as annual fish runs, or similar. Humans are rarely welcomed at such gatherings.

Player Character Option:

For the right player, a Mountain Bear could present interesting challenges. As written, the Mountain Bear is more powerful than most starting BASH characters, but with the removal of some of the attack routines or techniques and the reduction of the Toughness to a base of 10, the point cost is a lot closer. Reducing the Brawn to 4, to reflect a younger bear, would make the character easily fit into a lot of games. Some of these deficiencies can be made up with Advantages - Fearless, Frightening Presence, Never Surrender or Quick Healer, for example. 

Bear (sorry) in mind, that although the character is fully sentient, it will still be largely quadruped, without manipulatory digits, and will generally be regarded with suspicion and fear. At best, in most places, it might be passed off as a trained animal, which could work in some games and with some players. Another option is to alter the setting such that Mountain Bears are better known and understood - something like in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials series of novel (of which the Golden Compass is the best known). In such a setting, Mountain Bears could be rare, but known visitors to settled lands, and gain greater acceptance 0 which would allow the character more freedom of action.

 

Mountain Bear Armor - Cost 70

Armor made from the hide of a Mountain Bear is Light Armor that protects for an additional 5 Soak, +5 more Soak vs. Piercing attacks like knives, spears and arrows. If the fur is retained, it can also grant some benefit against cold climes and exposure rolls (+2 Dice Bonus to such Checks) but will not add any extra to Soak vs. Cold magical attacks. If the fur is removed, the armor looks much like normal leather armor. If the fur remains, any Mountain Bear will recognize the source of the armor, and will be hostile to the wearer.