Monday, March 2, 2015

New 5e Race: Ursa

Ratha Orgon "The Brute" was the first Ursa
to grace our hangout. Art by Sarah.

I've started converting my most recent home game to 5e.

When I started the campaign last year, I had some rough Ideas for races, but told the players they should pick one and flesh it out themselves. Sarah looked at the list, said there should be bear people, and made some.


The Ursa are an intelligent but powerful people. Resembling black bears with slightly longer limbs and hands more suited for gripping tools and weapons. Their fur ranges from light brown, to red, to black. Extremely rare, albino Ursa are considered divine oracles, mouthpieces of their god Astromika, and are trained to be priests at a very young age.

Ursa tend to shed in the spring. This is a ritualistic time for the Ursa when they will typically gather as a family or community to shake off their winter down. It’s often accompanied with much ale and games to prove physical strength. The shedding is frowned upon by innkeepers everywhere should the Ursa not be home for the event.

Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.

Age: Ursa reach physical and mental maturity around 40 and tend to live to be around 180. It is thought that their generally detached nature and penchant for stargazing keeps them from suffering the toll that stress would normally take on a body.

Alignment: Ursa value family and friends above all things, and often turn a blind eye to conflict that does not directly involve them.

Size: Standing, they tend to compare in size to a male black bear with the females being just a bit smaller (About 6-6.5ft tall). They

Speed: 35 feet The Ursa typically run and walk on their hind legs the same way humans do, but they have been known to run short distances on all fours; up to about 2 miles before they need to stop. To ride on the back of an Ursa is said to be one of the greatest signs of trust it can give. Whenever available, Ursas prefer riding tremendous oxen to walking.

Languages: Common, Ursari Ursa speak with one another in their native tongue of Ursari, the language is similar to the ways that their cousins, the common bear, would communicate. Much of the language is based in body language and scent, making it difficult for outsiders without a comparatively developed nasal passage to communicate. Ursa do, however have command of the common tongue. The only complaint being that as stargazers, they often utilize metaphors that are often thought of as meaningless and confusing.

Improved Sense of Smell: Ursa have a very advanced sense of smell. They may add their proficiency bonus to Investigation and Perception.

Bear Hands: Ursa gain proficiency when making unarmed attacks. Their claws deal 1d8 + Str Mod damage.

She also wrote up the details for their religion.

Associated Race: Ursa
Associated God(s) and Goddess(es): None
- Astromikals, ie. Stargazers
- Never say very useful things (ie: Encha Minor is very bright tonight…)
- It’s looked down upon by most others as a silly and not very useful way of thinking
- Most Astromikals will assemble on Wednesday evenings in remote forest clearings designated for watching the stars and meditating. That’s it. Really.
- It’s common for members to get lost and never be seen again due to excessive wandering and looking up.
- Head injuries are likely as a result of running into trees and branches.
- Astromikals will also worship when certain astronomical events occur (planets aligning, solar/lunar eclipses)
- It’s common to find worshippers meditating at night
- Religious artifacts/symbols include:
- Small astrolabe worn around the neck of every worshiper
- A paper-map of the stars that fits in a tube
- A tiny, fold up scope (It’s not very useful)
- The main symbol is a simplistic outline of Ursa Major

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