Bear PC Sourcebook is a certified DM's Guild Masterpiece by the Going Last Tabletop Gaming Podcast!
I didn't know I needed this book. I'd been scanning through the list of new releases when this one hit me on a double-take. "Wait, that didn't say Bear NPC... what in the..." And I was hooked! What author Matthew Gravelyn has created is an incredible guide to playing an actual bear as your PC in any campaign. Not some kind of bearfolk race. Not an elf with a werebear personality. An actual 100% bear. Until I read this guide, I didn't know that's what I wanted! I also didn't know how complex that goal might be.
Gravelyn begins by outlining four different species of bears, both small and large, and giving them abilities that are varied enough that it doesn't just seem like some bears are just taller than others. Strangely, each type of bear gains hit points from their species, though this change helps differentiate them quite a bit. From the nocturnal Kodiak to the majestic Winter Bear, these bring every kind of bear to life.
When it comes to classes, Bear PCs need to pick one of the two presented in this book. Which makes perfect sense, as your Bear Warlock would be a strange choice. The Feral represents a dangerous, destructive bear that always remembers the ancient fury of its species. On the other hand, the Hunter allows players to create a bear focused on the wilderness, but a little more at ease with humanoids.
With a pile of perfectly thematic backgrounds, including Captured Performer and Local Legend, Gravelyn wraps up a guide that truly allows a player to embrace the great challenge of playing a bear in a campaign. This guide does such an amazing job at giving a player a completely organic experience, that I almost forget that I might need the magical background archetypes that are included on the final pages! Things like being cursed or polymorphed into a bear and having to live and learn in this new form. This guide is so immersive that I kind of forgot that those options might be needed!
This book is such a cool and intriguing guide to something I didn't know I needed: playing a true hero among bearkind. If that sounds like it might be your jam, check this out!
You can hear more of my thoughts about Bear PC Sourcebook on Episode 224 of Going Last!