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Mishka the bear, charmed by a winter witch.
Grizzly bear
Black bear
Cave bear
Dire bear1E
A short-faced bear.

Temperate or warm jungles
Source: Animal Archive, pg(s). 29
Polar bear

Bears are powerful, furred carnivorous animals. Their various species that can be found in all of Golarion's climate zones. They include the powerful, brown grizzly bear found in forested hills,1 their smaller black bear cousins,2 and the polar and Taraskan bears of northern Avistan, who can be found on and near the Crown of the World.34 Cave bears, also known as dire bears or short-faced bears, are more powerful versions of their lesser cousins found far from civilization.1 Pandas are climbing, bamboo-eating bears who live solitary lives and are far less aggressive than other breeds.5 Kokogiaks are monsters resembling gigantic, ten-legged polar bears.6

Bears are sometimes found as the animal companions of druids, rangers, or other professions with close ties to the animal kingdom,7 especially among the dwarves, gnomes, orcs, and humans.8


Bears span several species, but they are generally large carnivorous mammalian quadrupeds with stocky legs, small ears, shaggy hair, clawed paws, and short tails. At their largest, polar bears can weigh up to 1,500 pounds at up to 10 feet in length.9

Habitat and ecology

Bears typically hibernate during winter months in their dens, which are often natural shelters such as caves or logs.9

In culture

Stone giants often keep domesticated cave bears, and believe that their races were both born from a union between Fandarra and Estig the Hunter.10 Ettins are also known to keep cave bears as pets.11

As symbols

Because of their popularity, strength, and ferocity, bears are popular, symbolic creatures that appear in many cultures.

  • A black bear is part of the crest of House Medvyed, one of the noble houses of Brevoy.12
  • Cave bears are among the totems held in high regard by the Lyrune-Quah and Shadde-Quah of the Shoanti.13

In religion

Bears are sacred to a number of deities, including Trudd, the dwarven god of bravery and strength;14 the demon lord Urxehl;15 and the daemonic harbinger Laivatiniel.16 The demon lord Kostchtchie holds the polar bear as his sacred animal.17

One of the four heads of the rakshasa immortal Mursha is that of a bear, and he is said to be able to control these creatures.18

Bears and magic

Bears and ursine themes are also common in magical spells and items.

On Golarion

An animal trainer with her bear as an animal companion.

The Bearleg Lakes in the Crown of the World are home to numerous Taraskan bears and cave bears, which come there to feed on the yearly salmon runs and give the area its common name.4

Polar bears live along the Shining Sea,23 and are also found on the ice sheet covering the Antarkos Ocean.24


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary, 40. Paizo Inc., 2019
  2. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 31. Paizo Inc., 2009
  3. Neil Spicer & James Wilber. “Bestiary” in The Snows of Summer, 82. Paizo Inc., 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jason Nelson. “The Hungry Storm” in The Hungry Storm, 21. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. Amanda Hamon, et al. “New Animal Companions” in Animal Archive, 29. Paizo Inc., 2013
  6. Jason Nelson & Sean K Reynolds. “Bestiary” in Maiden, Mother, Crone, 86. Paizo Inc., 2013
  7. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 51–53. Paizo Inc., 2009
  8. Amanda Hamon, et al. “Racial Animals” in Animal Archive, 5. Paizo Inc., 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bear, Wikipedia
  10. Wolfgang Baur. “Born of Stone” in Fortress of the Stone Giants, 58. Paizo Inc., 2007
  11. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 130. Paizo Inc., 2009
  12. Tim Hitchcock, et al. Stolen Land, 31. Paizo Inc., 2010
  13. F. Wesley Schneider, et al. Varisia, Birthplace of Legends, inside front cover. Paizo Inc., 2012
  14. Sean K Reynolds. “Other Gods” in Gods and Magic, 46. Paizo Inc., 2008
  15. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 1: Fiendish Divinities” in Book of the Damned, 100. Paizo Inc., 2017
  16. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 1: Fiendish Divinities” in Book of the Damned, 114. Paizo Inc., 2017
  17. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 4, 49. Paizo Inc., 2013
  18. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 1: Fiendish Divinities” in Book of the Damned, 131. Paizo Inc., 2017
  19. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Spells” in Core Rulebook, 351. Paizo Inc., 2009
  20. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Spells” in Core Rulebook, 353. Paizo Inc., 2009
  21. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Spells” in Core Rulebook, 246–247. Paizo Inc., 2009
  22. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Magic Items” in Core Rulebook, 502. Paizo Inc., 2009
  23. Amber E. Scott & Mark Seifter. Golarion's Seas” in Aquatic Adventures, 32. Paizo Inc., 2017
  24. Amber E. Scott & Mark Seifter. Antarkos Ocean” in Aquatic Adventures, 4–7. Paizo Inc., 2017

External links

  • Bear (real-world animal) on Wikipedia