Holiday Tips from Advanced Gaming & Theory


TIP #1: Constantly forgetting to add the 10% to your kick-butt character's XP all the time? Instead of adding, just subtract 10% from your Next Level section on your character sheet, that way you'll never have to worry about it!

TIP #2: Don't know what to give the D&D geek in your life for Christmas? Well, check some of this swag out.

D&D Themed Soda Pop
A Real Bag of Holding
A New Book
A T-Shirt
Pimp Their Ride OUT!
Help them with their self-esteem
Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving

Managing and Judging Experience Points


Experience is a touchy thing. One in which each DM has their own system. I know back in my blasphemous days of ignoring any rule that required bookkeeping or math; we completely ignored the XP system. Anybody who played that day and didn’t croak gained a level, which was horrible now that I look back on it. We always started our characters at fifth level, but I don’t think that we played them very long, and never up to super high levels. I believe that I’ve only played one character that was above tenth level, but don’t quote me on that.

XP is a nice method of improving a character slowly. Unlike videogames, where a character gains levels really quickly, in D&D the characters are meant to be played long term. A good character can keep a player entertained for many many years, and the harder it is to build the character up, the more awesome the character becomes. I mean, who out there in computerland hasn’t sat back with fellow geeks and talked about the exploits of a few of their favorite characters? Is it dorky? YES! But it is still fun, and that is why we do it.

From 1st to 5th doesn’t take very long, however when you get up in levels it should take several games, and at super high levels it can take months of dedicated game play to gain a single level. This is offset by the fact that the game must change constantly. A DM has to be on his toes, and it can be very difficult to judge how much to throw at the adventurers that isn’t overly difficult, but isn’t too easy either. We get this through experience ourselves, and the best way to get this experience is by making mistakes until we get a feel for it.

Besides supplying challenging encounters, we must develop a method of rewarding the players. Now I’m not saying that players are greedy cusses always looking out for a cheap way to get a buck, but players are greedy cusses who are always looking out for a cheap way to get a buck. If they find out what you are rewarding for, and what you aren’t, then they will just focus on the almighty XP and toss all of the other stuff right out the window!

It is for this reason that we should keep our system of XP giving as mysterious as possible. While it is easier to just call out the XP gained from encounters once a fight is over, this can unfortunately program the players to think that Combat is the name of the game, and we really don’t want to reward this behavior. Just because a player kills a goblin, doesn’t mean that he automatically gets experience points for it. In fact, he may be docked! If the goblin has some information in his head which the party could had used, then this can be punishing enough, however if the goblin had no chance then the player who did it was just being a bully. This encounter will not only grant no XP, but ruin the PCs reputation as well. Once it gets out that the party is a bunch of mad bloodthirsty clouts, ain’t nobody going to parley with them, and may take their treasure and run if word gets out that the party is coming their way.

But I think that I am getting too far ahead of myself. The deal here is XP and how we judge dishing it out.

BOOKKEEPING XP

We need a way to record what everybody is earning, and it must be fast and accurate at the same time. What I usually do is keep a full sheet of paper next to me at all times. I write down all of the players names, and divide off most of the paper and use that for group XP.

For group XP I write down the number of XP earned per encounter, and I add it all up at the end of the game. Now if someone is late for a session, or made a surprise visit and decides that they want in on the game after you’ve been playing a while, then you need to draw a new section, this will reflect the new Group XP, because he shouldn’t have access to the bank which the others have collected.

Next to the players names, I tend to just record personal XP and number of times that they cast spells or use abilities or what have you. It is also helpful to record all of the hitdice of the monsters that they have defeated. This will be used for rewarding fighters.

MONSTERS

Monsters are the #1 source of XP, and the players know it. Keep a sheet of paper close by to add up all of the XP earned from monsters, and don’t give it out until the end of the session, unless somebody is super heroic and can somehow defeat a monster single-handedly with no assist what-so-ever from anybody else. In cases like this it is best to just give them the XP that they had earned immediately.

Like I said above, not all monster encounters should bare fruit. Only grant XP for monsters that actually challenged them. If you think that the combat was too one sided then don’t give them credit for it. XP is supposed to be earned, not just handed out like beads at a parade.

GROUP OBJECTIVES

Besides slaying monsters and finding loot, part of the game is discovering where to find the loot. They do this by discovering what their objectives are, and by completing them. Part of our prep should be locating the objectives and assigning an XP value to them. If a party isn’t completing objectives, or not into this aspect of the game, we can use these XP to let them know that they are being rewarded for discovering ways of completing them. Some objectives can be completed by the idea of one player, go ahead and call out the XP to him for figuring out a clue or devising a plan and let him, and the rest of the table, know what he is being rewarded for. If this isn’t a problem, then just jot down the value on a scrap piece of paper.

Objectives should be worth between 100-500 xp. The higher the level the players have, the more objectives that they’ll probably need to complete. Some objectives will be known, while others will be a secret. Say, saving a prisoner from a dungeon can grant big XP, maybe 10,000 for a noble who had gone missing.

Be inventive, and if you think that the party will gain something from it, go ahead and grant this XP immediately.

CLASS ACTIONS

Players also earn XP on an individual basis for using their skills in an effective manner. Thieves gain XP from using their abilities, and also earn 1 xp per every 2 gold pieces earned. Now this isn’t to say that every time a thief climbs a wall that he gets 100 xp, only if he uses this skill to complete some kind of objective. A thief who picks a pocket just for the gold gets nothing, however if he knows that a guard has a key and he is able to lift the key from him, then he qualifies for the XP bonus.

Wizards get XP for casting spells, learning spells, and creating magical items. Clerics are much the same, with the exception that they get even more XP if the spell that they cast or the ability that they use is beneficial to their faith. This aspect could stand to be further explored, but that will have to be later.

Fighters can be kind of tough, and require a bit more bookwork. They get XP per Hit Die of the creatures that they defeat. For this reason we record all of the hitdice.

Class Action XP should always be kept secret and tallied up at the end of the game.

PERSONAL OBJECTIVES

A good roleplayer should be rewarded. If a player really enjoys his character, he will be more then just an adventurer, but will have dreams and aspirations that are wider then just completing group objectives. If a player has set out some personal objectives, and he achieves them, he should be rewarded.

These kinds of objectives are completely up to the DM to determine their value. The harder something is to obtain, the higher the value should be. If it requires money, perhaps the suggestion for rewarding thieves (1xp per 2 gp) is sufficient?

TREASURE

Only thieves gain XP from money, at least in core rules. Now, the treasure listed in the DMG is all given an XP value, this is for constructing the item, and I also use it for NPCs. If an intelligent monster has magical items, I add the value to the monsters XP value, and it may (on my judgment) cause him to be a higher level then usual. I assume that the badguy was butch enough to acquire the item, thus he should be of a level that could survive the risk of obtaining it. No 0th level brigand will have a +4 Long Sword, he should be of a much higher level, else he is a poser with a dangerous toy, but then we go more into the story aspect of the game.

It is your judgment if you wish to reward XP for treasure, but me personally, I don’t do it. I have been pondering with allowing the players to purchase XP with the gold that they have earned; maybe 5gp to 1XP, but I honestly have never play-tested this theory, and I wouldn’t want to reward anybody for the same thing twice. This money would be spent to get training from a higher leveled, classed NPC, if there is one available.

Money and wealth has its own rewards, at least in my opinion. A rich party can use their money to buy specialty items and social standings, why folks feel this need to turn it into XP is beyond me.

PLAYER POINTS

This stuff is completely objective and open to interpretation. Mainly this is used to reward players for working on different areas, or for being a good player socially. If the player has a fantastic role-playing session that accomplishes a goal, give him points! If the party can talk their way out of a problem, rather then deciding it through combat, go ahead and give them all of the points for the enemy, plus a bonus. If the party did something quietly and preserved all of the lives in the place, as well as their own, give them a bonus. But Player points are more then that. It is also about behavior. If everybody at the table is being rude and obnoxious, reward all the persons who is not acting like this. If a player makes you laugh, go ahead and give him a small bonus. If you can think it, then reward it. A comparable bonus point is between 10-1,000xp depending on the situation. These are private points that you can either give out loudly or quietly depending on what you are rewarding. If a rules-lawyer went an entire session without second-guessing your work, grant him 200xp and let him know why he got the bonus, this might help him keep his opinion to himself.

END OF SESSION WRAP-UP

At the end of the session we tally up all of the points earned as a group and divide the number by double the players that you just ran. Thus if you have 4 players, you would divide the total points by 8. This is a bonus for surviving the game, granted if a player died during the adventure he does not get any of this bonus.

At this time you add up the entire group XP and divide it up evenly between the party. Then you add up all of the private awards which you haven’t awarded yet, and add that to the overall score. It is best to just give each player what he or she has earned at the end of the session. I usually have them add their 10% bonus themselves if they qualify for such because of a high ability score someplace.

XP POINTS & LEVELING UP

At low levels we need to be careful not to go crazy with the XP. A character can only gain 1 level per adventure, if you are playing with the core rules then all of the points above this are lost and they don’t gain any XP until they have had a chance to level up their characters. It is up to the DM to decide how level ups are handled, if they are using the training rules, then the players would need to surface and find a teacher to help him or her upgrade their abilities. I know that I only force training when a character gains a new Proficiency, and for non-warriors who improve their THAC0. All other stuff I assume can be learned out on the field, but the only time that I allow leveling up is at the end of the session. I find that this works best as a cool down. Leveling up can take some bookwork and I don’t want that to distract them from the game. This also gives them something to look forward to next game, which my player’s have always been verbally appreciative of. Whatever your system is, make sure that it works for you. If you are a new DM then keep it simple until you got that aspect of the game memorized, and then you can start keeping more detailed notes about rewarding your players.

I am also not above giving out homework at the end of a session. I’ll ask for histories, or something and grant XP for anybody who comes back on the next session with some of the information that I was looking for.

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I Want Sex & Chocolate with my Greyhawk


My brain has not been agreeable lately, but it has been a while since my last post, and I don’t think that this fog will lift on its own, so I think that it is just time for me to write incoherent rambles and, hopefully, shake off some of this rust.

I’ve been Dungeon Mastering World of Greyhawk, which is a new step for me. I am used to running games exclusively in Ravenloft settings, true fantasy is a brand new step for my personal gaming. I have played fantasy settings, namely Forgotten Realms, which I never really cared for because of all of the baggage that goes with it. Too much information is a problem, and that problem also infected my Ravenloft setting, however not to the incurable extent that it did to the Realms. Greyhawk attracted me first because of the history of it, and second because its incompleteness. There is a lot of stuff left completely open, and I find that completely brilliant! Of course, by nature I am a horror junky, thus my Greyhawk will be much darker and mysterious then what was probably intended, however that is the beauty of the setting, isn’t it; The ability for the world to work for you, instead of the other way around?

I’ve never really been all that attracted to fantasy. When I was a kid I enjoyed Pierce Anthony’s Xanth series, I read many books from that world; and as a teen I got into the Death Dealer series, which was based on the art of Frank Frazetta that I really enjoyed, but I find most fantasy novels to be unreadable, else so big that they are overly intimidating. The Conan series was like that to me, I prefer hardbound books over paperbacks, and with large series such as Conan, it can be very difficult to find #1. I know that my wife has a couple of Conan books in her collection, but, like I said, I don’t want to read a series out of order.

I also really got into the Red Sonya comic book, it was both sexy and violent, thus my love for that comic is a given. Sex and violence are two very important aspects to fantasy fiction which is a must have for me. If there aren’t any naked hot chicks getting sacrificed to greedy and evil gods, I just don’t find anything all that fun about it! Which goes into another problem with D&D, and that is the refusal for most male players to ever play female characters. Why? That just doesn’t make much sense? Of course all of my females that I’ve ever played on a full-time basis were super sexed up cheesecake babes who wore the awesome chainmail bikini. OH YEAH!!! I enjoyed putting them into danger and seeing if they could get out of it. A private little bit of erotica at the gaming table, but I tend to do that with all of my characters. I have always found danger to be sexy, and D&D can really satisfy this need.

As a DM, I will admit to not putting any blatant erotica into my games, nor introducing any sexual relations within the game itself. I think that that aspect is just too predicable, and if a PC gets married or finds romance then that is just an open invitation to abusing the players significant other, besides, we do stick to stereotypes. Adventures are supposed to be unobtainable. We don’t role-play bathroom breaks, so why would we role-play other private moments? Besides, there is just something creepy about a group of guys sitting around a table in the basement and getting all romantic about stuff. That and half of my players are females, and they most definitely wouldn’t appreciate that . . . well, not in any serious way. I do remember some hilarious games between just us guys where we used one of those infamous SEXUAL charts that were just uproarious! Oh, you rolled a 1, you prematurely finished and the whole village will be laughing at you tomorrow. I suppose that you know a game is going south when you introduce one of those charts into the plans, huh?

Chapter VI: The Bugbear


Once the cruel breath of winter warmed up, I braved the rain and elements barely making my way south to a warmer, more humane climate. This journey was hellish at best, I had contracted some kind of bizarre illness from living in the filth of the giants which gave me itchy inflamed spots which burned in the rain, but I knew that if I were to survive, I would have to endure it. I some how managed to make it to the city of Rookroost thanks to a band of kindly mercenaries who aided me and tended to my terrible wounds. I was in sad shape, and stayed in a fine room in the city until I felt better, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Though scared from my ordeal, I finally set out once again into the dark neither-regions of unwanted and uncivilized lands of the humanoids.

I didn’t have to go far, following a road East, I took up camp near a roadside cemetery, which was reported by several travelers, to be haunted, however the evidence that they reported did not necessarily fit what I knew of ghosts, thus I thought that it would be worth my time to investigate it personally.

This cemetery was used during the great migration when the plague of burning fevers wiped out more then half of the pilgrims. Since that time it has just been used by travelers who have lost friends and loved ones. The cemetery is very basic, all of the buildings have crumbled and returned to the earth long ago, many of the graves are no longer marked, however recent additions can easily be identified. Entering the cemetery it is easy to know why the place is reputed to be haunted, the place has become infested by thorny bushes, poisonous nettles, and other horrid weeds, which chock the life from a place.

Bits of bone, burned wreckage, and charred metal fittings are not evidence of ghosts, but of raiders, and despite its forlorn appearance, all was not dead in this place, for keeping base in this roadside field of corpses and failure resided a small tribe of Bugbears.

It appears that my illness has made my duty all the more easy. The bugbears assume that I am a racial turn-coat, which will give them a higher status by keeping me on. I must admit that I do look the part. I had suspected that the humanoids would be more generous with me if they believed that I was as dark and as twisted as them. It also doesn’t hurt that I pay them in fool’s gold, a nice little spell I had learned from my master. I shall keep the spell active as long as I am here.


CHAPTER VI:

The Bugbear


These creatures share characteristics of many different creatures, but for identification purposes, they resemble a cross between a giant goblin and a bear. On average, they stand over 7 feet tall, Males have yellowish brown skin, while females are much yellower; all bugbears are hairy, in fact they are born with it. Their hair is brown, a stone red, or a mixture of both. Their heads are unique to this race, they have a bear-like snout with a keen nose, and sharp teeth typical of carnivorous races. Their eyes are wild and deeply unsettling to gaze into, as they are green with red pupils, which are much more sensitive to light then our own eyes.

Bugbears carry weapons, however nature has given them curious hands; which are both human in shape however armed with the thick brutal claws of the bear. Their bodies are always in exquisite shape, which is typical for a society that dictates that only the strong survive. Bugbears are definitely predators, both physically and mentally!

They have their own language which is beyond a human's capacity to speak, as it is formed in a part of the throat which humans do not physically possess, thus the common tongue is beyond them, however they believe that our language is weak and that we are of lesser intelligence then they themselves are.


NATURAL FUNCTION OF THE BUGBEAR


I do not believe that these creatures are of nature, they are too out of place to be anything but an experiment gone terribly wrong. They serve only to kill, they are excellent hunters. Their subterranean fort made in the old catacombs below the cemetery is host to a grizzly sight, even by humanoid standards. While the bugbear hunts for food, he is incapable of not hunting, thus their lairs are full of corpses which have been gutted and hung to age. Besides humans, all manner of creature is on the menu: animals, goblins, demihumans, kobolds—it appears that the bugbear will eat anything which is smaller then it is, including their own children.

While all bugbears wear clothing, I have not seen any evidence that they themselves manufacture any of it, and it is a mystery to me as to where they get it, as all of them are too large for human clothing, and it is all of a style which I cannot recognize.

Bugbear’s do tend to weapons, keeping them sharp and clean, though this is rather mysterious since their natural weapons are formidable all in themselves, perhaps this is another example of mockery, such as is the case with Hobgoblins? At some point the Bugbear seen human society and simply chooses to copy it the best that they can, regardless of how much sense it makes.

The weapons of the bugbear are typically stolen, however they do possess the technology to construct their own, as well as to repair what they already own. Many of these weapons have been painted black, as has all of their armor. The only areas which aren’t painted are blades, nightly bugbear men sit around a roaring fire sharpening and repainting their arms while they chat.

The bugbear also seems to be artistic, they have their own music, and simple paintings which replace a need for a written language, however no bugbear seems to have any interest about things from the past, their art always talks about the present or their plans for the future.


RELATIONSHIPS


All creatures fear this race, for obvious reasons; however there are a few exceptions. I know from my time with the goblins, that these two creatures can form an alliance, however this alliance must be shakier then I originally assumed, as goblin flesh seems to be more prized than any other kind of meat.

I believe that the only alliance which is in any way stable is the mysterious relationship they have with the Dark Elf, perhaps it was the drow which created them? While left to its own devices, all bugbears are fiercely independent, however this strong sense of self instantly melts away into one of servitude in the presence of such evil.

They hate everything and everyone. The only thing that keeps me alive is the fact that I supply them with money which they know not where it comes from. It is their greed which forms their greatest weakness. When they think that I am asleep they ruffle through my things in some vein attempt to find my unknown catch, they are obsessed with money, and gems, but more to the point, shiny objects! They will do practically anything to obtain it, and this place is built upon this idea, close to the road which they ambush and slay all victims. They take all of their treasure and burn the evidence.


THE BUGBEAR GODS


As far as I can tell, there are three deities which they observe. The most praised god to this tribe is Grankhul, the bugbear god of thievery. They have regular sacrifices in his honor, killing the victim, giving the poor hapless creatures soul to Grankhul and they feast on the flesh to celebrate.

A higher god which is common to all bugbears is the cruel Hruggek, a god of war, but not one as warlike as the Hobgoblin’s, but of the pandemonium and chaos which war causes. It would take years to study this subtle religion to gleam some sort of sense from it, but that would be time that no creature but the bugbear could hope to gain. I believe that this god has actual priests, or at least at some point they did, but it is very hard to tell working with old drawings on the cave walls.

It is also noteworthy to bring up one of my own inner-feelings. I believe that this tribe is hiding from Hruggek, perhaps if this is a true religion then the priests hunt and kill those who do not worship the proper god? One of the cave paintings has depicted a strangely dressed hobgoblin saint holding a human head, the next section clearly shows the same bugbear slain and the tribesmen running away . . . but obviously this could mean many different things, yet according to the tribal king, this refers to a prophecy of things to come.

While Hruggek could be a devil, the third god most definitely is greatly feared by the bugbear, it’s name is Grankhul, the god of darkness of fear! Any bad luck, death, or ill omen is seen to be the work of Grankhul. The bugbear does not worship this god for pleasure, but out of shear terror for what would happen if they stopped! This I find to be curious, as in my travels I have encountered much fear and superstition among the humanoid races, but it is the bugbear which actually identified it and gave it a name and a persona.

In dealing with religion, it is always to the present or future in which the myths are in regards to, never the past. As a race, there is much doom to the myths, they have learned how they as a race will parish, however they know not where they have come from, nor how old their race is.


FAMILY STRUCTURE


Much mystery still haunts me in regards to these creatures. I have only my powers of observation to depend upon, but as far as I tell, all of the bugbears pay tribute to the tribal king, who in return gives them protection. This race is not as thriving as many of the others are, and they have themselves to blame. The only person who is allowed to procreate is the king, all of the other males serve him, and if they are caught with a bugbear woman, they are slain else forced to establish a bloody revolt.

Women who have a child tend to hide their newborns until they are old enough to present to the king, the king inspects them, making sure that they are his, if they are weak they are judged not of his blood and the child, as well as the mother is slain as well as the male whom the king suspects fathered it. Many times the mother presents only the strongest and healthiest of children, killing the weak ones themselves.

It is the women who raise acceptable children, there is no favoritism even from a child’s true mother, but all are brought up to understand themselves and what they are. By the time they reach maturity, they are already trained to except their rank in a complex social structure that I have to admit baffles me. How they chose who gets the choice cuts of meat, and divide up treasure amongst themselves eludes even my powers of observation and logic.

A revolt is truly terrible for everyone, but it does happen. A strong male can kill the king, and he doesn’t stop there, he kills all males who do not support him, and he always slays all of the king’s children who are not yet old enough to fight in the general ranks. This causes a chain reaction among the females of the tribe, those with child fight those without, and the social structure among the female bugbears change dramatically. Those who once used to be on top in the old harem are now on the bottom of the class and may never be allowed to breed again. This is the curse caused by marrying a weak husband who can’t maintain power for more then a couple of years.


OF MAGIC AND SCIENCE


While there is no priest in this tribe, I do believe that they exist. The spiritual leader is a shaman, a very wicked and manipulative thing. He is immune to the social pressures dictated by class, and he serves as a personal adviser to the king, as well as to everyone else. Much of his work revolves around double dealing his followers, casting curses for a price, as well as selling objects which counter the curse to his own victims. This creature has a collection of heads, these are the heads of former kings which he claims to consult and gleam occult knowledge from. In the event of a revolt, the head of the former king is recovered by him and hidden away where the current king won’t find it.

The spells of the shaman are not clerical in nature, but witchcraft and folk magic. His duties are to insure that the gods are happy, to observe time accurately, and to keep the tribe strong and healthy, yet he makes all of our most violent and terrifying leaches seem gentle in comparison.


DEATH & LIFE-CYCLE


These creatures, if they are allowed to survive past infancy, are rather long-lived, yet old age is unheard of. In a society were only the strong survive, venerable age is impossible. Those too old to function for the tribe or perform their duties typically leave, walking out into the wilderness where they are overcome by the elements.

In all other cases, the bugbear eats their dead. This is not done out of anger, but in ceremony. Mothers eat the young that they kill, believing that they are absorbing them back into themselves to try again with the same soul in a stronger body. Kings are devoured by their treacherous sons, great heroes are transformed into great feasts as it is believed by these creatures that by eating the flesh of their dead, they gain the powers of them.

In events of death by poison, or illness, the bodies are burned alive on a pyre before whatever aliment has a chance to spread, infecting the rest of the tribe. Sickness and illness is terrifying to these people, yet those with scars from such illnesses are held in the highest of esteems as they had the power to defeat it . . . of course this requires that you leave the tribe and suffer alone and without medications or potions of any kind.

Regardless of how this sounds on the surface, the bugbear is not suicidal and will never knowingly run to their own deaths, death is not worshiped such as it is by other races, and each creature places a high value on their own. As far as people, they may actually be more advanced then we are as far as understanding their own self-worth, however this can never be offset by their natural brutality for everything around them.


LAWS OF THE BUGBEAR


As mentioned before, it is the tribal King who controls everything. While inbreeding is common, and they do seem to be able to successfully copulate this way, obtaining new females is always a cause for war.

Money and treasure is always divided between the tribe in a way that defies my logic, theft is a high crime and all crime is punishable by either death or worse, expulsion from the tribe. Expelled bugbears must find some new means to survive, which they are highly social creatures so this is not preferred over death. Often expelled bugbears find each other and create new tribes but I have no evidence to support this outside of my own observations.

The king is a very wealthy creature, even by human standards! He gets the best of everything, and he rules with an iron fist. If he doesn’t he will be replaced, commonly the king will have an aid who is almost an equal to him, however if the aid is allowed to gain to much strength, then he runs the risk of being slain by him. It is up to the king to make the decision of if the aid is strong enough to support the tribe or not, if he is then his tribe will continue to live even after he is gone. Typically this aid is always the kings most favored son, which means that when he kills his father, he will be slaying all of his young siblings as well, and perhaps this is the key to understanding the complex hierarchy of the female harems, if they were kind to him when he was a child they will be seen in a better light then if they were cruel?


WAR


War is most common among the different bugbear tribes, and never with any other race. The spoils of war are greater wealth, new women, and more power to the king. A successful war will see all of the concurred kings belongings being taken, his children slain, his strongest warriors absorbed into ones own army, and the typical sense of glory which comes from defeating ones enemies. It is the people of the fallen king which suffers the most. All of their property is taken and they must start over again, which is forgiven as again, this race does not care about the past, only the present and the future. The defeat did not come from anything that you did, but from having a weak leader.

High ranking bugbears are always executed, but the common bugbear gladly pays the steep tribute as they are more assured to get a greater amount of the cut under the stronger lord.

For this reason, the bugbear throne is jealously guarded, while there is never any formal contact between the tribal kingdoms, each king is completely aware of all of the other kings standings and business’. If there is any hint that now would be a good time to strike, they always will.

In regards to all other races, they do not engage in any formal wars. They are predators who see others as just food, and while there is some jealousy in regards to human and demi-human social structures and desire for the land which they own, they lack the numbers to do anything about it, thus they rarely even try.

They will work as mercenaries if the king believes that a mission could be profitable, but this will be only for money, and money alone. The only employer who can safely depend upon Bugbear ranks are the Drow, and the drow alone.


THE BUGBEAR TRIBES OF THE REALM


It must be understood that the tribe in which I studied is one of the weakest, any attempt to study and learn of the more powerful Bugbear Kingdoms, such as those in the Bandit Kingdom or elsewhere in the world is simply to dangerous. The more powerful and successful a king is, the more aggressive that he must become. It is also my belief that there is a church of Hruggek, which is truly terrifying as to the implications that this means.

The bugbear is definitely intelligent, and possesses a social structure that may be even more complex then our own. If there is a true organized church that mirrors bugbear society then it would probably be in our best interests to discover it and do our best to raise it to the ground before it reaches a pentacle to rival that of the Temple of Elemental Evil, however I think that like the bugbear, deep down we humans ignore our past just as quickly as they do, which will, no doubt, serve to be our own undoing as well.

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