DESIGNER’S DIARY 17: DEITIES OF CONFLICT – BUGBEAR GODS
In many ways, Bugbear deities were easier to design and write than the others. Why is that?
Firstly, bugbears are less common in most settings. Additionally, they do not have a unique approach to religion and deities. In fact, they don’t take this matter too seriously. We crafted the concept that bugbears tend to worship the deity that suits their needs. Those part of a lawful evil army might worship a human deity. Someone living with hobgoblins might adopt their beliefs. A bugbear living among bandits might pray to the god of thievery that they believe in. In short, they should not be overly concerned about religion. However, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have deities, and like in the case of other Brutal Races, they needed careful development.
We started with active settings as always. Here, the names Maglubiyet, Hruggek, and Grankhul come to the forefront. We’ve already discussed the first two. Grankhul is the notable deity here. He is the god of themes like ambush, stealth, and cunning. However, he is by no means enough on his own.
Among the new deities, Murgakk is the most well-known and powerful bugbear deity. He embodies themes of stealth and cunning while also being a god of physical size and strength. He’s quite lazy himself and hides very well. This covers all bugbear themes, making him an ideal deity for most bugbears who live in caves and avoid going outside whenever possible. In fact, he’s a rather intimidating figure when you look closely.
The second deity is a goddess representing bugbears’ physical abilities (not just size and strength but also agility and resilience) and their savagery. Those who worship this goddess are as wild as gnolls. Falagru, with some demonic origins, embodies destruction and bloodshed.
The final bugbear deity is designed to pique the interest of those seeking alternative alignments and approaches. This deity, Tauvbrek, has the epithets “The Green Hunter” and “Peacekeeper.” Although it may appear to be a classic nature deity, it is not. For Tauvbrek, protecting nature isn’t important; being a part of it is. They have incredible stealth abilities, and their followers prefer to live in quiet areas where they can find plenty of games without conflict. They don’t go out of their way to help others. They just want to be left alone, and if you push them, they can become formidable hunters, just like Tauvbrek. However, they put a lot of effort into ensuring that it doesn’t come to that.
As you can see, two deities encompass themes of physical strength, two focus on stealth, two on laziness, and two on selfishness or evil. While they overlap and fit the bugbear theme, they are distinctly different from each other. Needless to say, you can easily adapt these deities to any setting.
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