A dire bear was a huge version of the typical bear.[2][note 1]


Most dire bears were 12 ft (3.7 m) long and weighed as much as 8,000 lb (3.6 tons).[2]


This hulking bear has bony brows ridges and claws like sickles, with a wildness and destructive gleam in it's cold piercing eyes.
— Skip Williams, Monster Manual 3.5[2]

Dire bears ripped at opponents with their claws and could also bite.[2] When the prey was grabbed, the massive bear would maul the creature with its ursine strength.[1]


Being omnivorous, dire bears usually did not bother to attack creatures unless they were defending a food source or a personal domain.[2] Dire bears were wild beasts, though, and would feast on human flesh as readily as any other game animal.[1]


These bears lived in small groups or preferred to be alone. Many humanoids would train bears to act as guards or pets, such as hill giants and ettins.[1]




  1. It is possible, the dire bear is also known as a cave bear, because in the Monstrous Manual on page 17, the cave bear is twelve feet tall, which is the same height as the dire bear in the Monster Manual 3.5. On page 29 of the Monster Manual 4th edition, both a cave bear and a dire bear are represented, which would lead to the assumption they are two different creatures.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 56–59. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.