Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Keep scrolling to learn more about naming Bugbears and how to use their unique characteristics when creating the perfect name.
Coming up with a name for your generic human cleric typically isn’t that hard. After all, we’ve probably been around human names our whole lives. The struggle really comes into character creation when we start naming strange monstrous creatures.
Fortunately, we’re here to solve those problems. This generator will provide you with bugbear names for your next exotic 5e character. Of course, we don’t just stop there.
We’ll also be discussing some bugbear naming traditions to help you come up with your own name. And, as a little bonus, we’ve included some little details to make your goblinoid stand out.
Unfortunately, not every race in D&D has a thought-out naming system in place. When it comes to bugbears, we really only have a handful of names to go off of when we’re coming up with our own.
Scanning through several published 5e adventures I was able to find Morga, Klarg, Mosk, and Grol. Of these, the only one with a clear gender was Grol, and that’s only because he was a king.
So what can we see from these names? Well, bugbears follow some of the same conventions that their goblinoid brethren use. Short, harsh, guttural names with not a lot of meaning attached to them.
This makes a lot of sense, right? Bugbears aren’t particularly wise creatures. Strength and lethargy are the two most noteworthy traits found in this race, and neither of those are really associated with impressive etymology.
Of course, if we’re making a bugbear adventurer, we might want them to be a bit more sophisticated than your average furry beast. How we go about showing this is really a matter of preference, but I think honorific titles are a nice subtle way to go about it.
Instead of just naming our bugbear Gronk, we could name them Gronk the Smasher or Gronk the Two-Eyed. Name them for some great act they’ve done or for some noticeable feature they have.
Still, they probably aren’t the brightest bulb in the crayon box, so we can play around with that. This is where Gronk the Two-Eyed comes in. Our bugbear might think it’s a fancy-sounding name, but be unaware of how painfully obvious it is that most humanoids have two eyes. The level of sarcasm we build into their ‘title’ can give the other players some insight into what kind of a character we’re playing.
With all that being said, the best part of naming a bugbear is that it can be as silly as we want it to be. A bugbear named Sewage might’ve heard the word and thought it sounded badass, or Plump might’ve been reminded of a club striking someone’s head when he named himself. Throwing some irony in is always fun if we don’t want to resort to just simple sounds.
Bugbears are large, hairy goblinoids with far more muscles than brains. With long, goblinoid ears, squashed canine snouts, and rippling muscles, they look much closer to a nightmare than they do to your average bumbling goblin.
When coming up with unique characteristics, we should really highlight the fact that bugbears are violent creatures. Tribes don’t often fall to infighting, but that doesn’t mean a bugbear won’t at very least have a few scars from a hunt or a power dispute.
It’s a shame that bugbears aren’t described in more detail anywhere in the 5e sourcebooks, because these really have the potential to be some of the scariest looking creatures. After all, these goblinoids are named for their association with causing fear (the name Bugbear takes inspiration from the Bogeyman).
Taking what we know already, let’s elaborate a bit on what we should actually be envisioning when we picture bugbears.
We start with a seven-foot-tall hulking beast, a mass of muscles that borders what one could call humanoid. Its face resembles that of a goblin, but only enough for you to know you’ve run into a problem.
The face of a bugbear resembles that of an angry dog whose snout has been flattened with a frying pan. Sharp fangs protrude from a wide, whiskered mouth. Out from the sides of its head stick two large, pointed ears covered in fur.
Their angry eyes are set deep in their skull, almost buried under their heavy brow. Beyond that, these creatures are covered in coarse, thick hair, much like the ursine creatures they take their name from.
A bugbear’s fur ranges from dark browns to pale oranges, accenting the bare-faced skin hues of all sorts of shades from green to red to black. The only other places that aren’t covered in fur are the pads on the palms of their hands and feet, the pads from which long nasty claws scratch their way out.
If we want to make our bugbear unique, it’s all about adding in little details that say something about the personality. You might want to add in pointed teeth for a particularly heinous bugbear character, or you might want tattered ears for a bugbear that’s been constantly picked on for being small.
How you make your bugbear stand out is up to you, but here are a few options that you might enjoy
Bugbear Details (D6)
- Tattered Ears
- Sharpened Teeth
- Shaved head
- Tusk caps
- Braided hair
- Tattooed face
Remember, these little characteristics are more than just small physical descriptions. If you want, you can turn the smallest detail into the biggest piece of character backstory. Use these as a way to distinguish your character from other bugbears, or as a way to denote status within bugbear society.
However you decide to design, or name, your bugbear, it’s sure to be a good time.
As always, happy adventuring.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.