The Introspective Bugbear, A DM Tale

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Table top role playing games are, in a lot of ways, improvisational art. When something unexpected happens 1, everyone at the table has to play along so the world can adjust to the new circumstance. This is how the world in which the game takes place is breathed into life. A DM can create the background, but the game makes it come alive. And, in my experience, bringing the world to life often means “adopting” NPCs–even if an NPC may have been trying to kill the party the round before.

And this is what led to the creation of Gregor, the introspective bugbear.

Gregor was a monster I included in the Howlmark adventure to up the challenge level of a particular encounter. And in two run throughs of that encounter the bugbear served that purpose–the players’ jeopardy was elevated and he went down fighting. My third group 2, however, got the bugbear down to a single hit point. His turn then came up in the initiative before anyone could make another attack so he tossed down his weapon and surrendered. In that moment, unnamed bugbear vanished and Gregor was born.

Here’s his story.


  1. Usually because the players have decided to do something off the wall. 
  2. In this case their name “The Monday Murder Hobos” doesn’t apply.