View Full Version : Monsters as Players: Bullywugs & Bugbears

04-10-2010, 02:05 AM
I wish to make everyone monster race a race that my players could consider playing, and end up enjoying playing it. Sadly, with the Bullywug, I just hit a brick wall. I didn't like the race from the moment I set my hazel, hateful eyes upon it. I will note that most of it is fine for me. I will even admit I don't really mind the swamp walk THAT much.

The skill bonuses where were everything began going sour. Or I should say Skill BONUS. This was remedied for me giving them +2 Perception in addition to the +2 Athletics. But, the rancid air aura. Awful. It is good as a monster, but as a player race, not so much. How many monsters pull out a healing surge? I don't even like this aura for the monsters. This is remedied by "Nature's Release" which means Bullywugs heal players whenever they are hit for damage. I am still thinking, "What?! Do Bullywugs have ibuprofen for blood?". This is something I would like to remedy, but I don't know what I should replace those powers with.

Next are the Bugbears. I have hit a brick wall with these as well. I removed the Oversized because, frankly, if goliaths (the tallest playable race) don't have it, why should any other race? I can't figure out what to replace it with though. Any suggestions? Perhaps something involving combat advantage...

Anyway, I would like your opinions on what I should do to turn these races into races my players would want to play, and won't feel underpowered compared to the party's eladrin or shardmind.

Edit: Might as well add the Kenkus too. I hate hate hate hate hate how they do not have a racial power. I think something like a screech power is in order. Something that dazes or deafens and does thunder damage...a close blast or burst. Any opinions or advice?

04-10-2010, 05:54 AM
For the Bullywug remember to give them the aquatic keyword: allowing them to breath under water. I would also give them a swim speed. For a power, I'm not sure what would be appropriate, other than to change the healing surge instead to a -2 to attack.

For the kenku, I would give them a limited disguise self ability. Kenkus are traditionally suppose to appear as other humanoids.

The bugbear should make a good brutal scoundrel rogue build so any additional design for them should emphasize using a mace so give them proficiency with mace and allow them us a morning star in one hand as a versatile weapon.

04-10-2010, 12:31 PM
Oh yes, Bullywugs need aquatic and swim speeds. They are amphibious. I like that idea. For the power, I was thinking something poison related. Perhaps a croak of dooom. :P

I am not too big on the kenku disguise thing. If they are supposed to appear as other humanoid, they could always just traditionally disguise themselves with a bluff and thievery skill challenge.

I don't really like the idea of the bugbears mace and morningstar bonuses. The only one that I can think of that would be appropriate is a proficiency, but they are simple weapons. And I don't think bugbears make very good wizards.

04-11-2010, 11:26 PM
I would go with a version of Spasmodic Hop for the Bullywug. Maybe make it an Encounter (minor action), keeping the part about losing the mark and maybe allowing a shift of 1+ the characters Wisdom modifier. This way the character could use it, then attack or then use a move action to get away, whichever they might want to do. Making it a little more versatile than the Spasmodic Hop power from the MM.

04-14-2010, 03:21 PM

Matt James
04-28-2010, 05:08 PM
How about this?


04-28-2010, 05:19 PM
Ooh nice looking! However, I was looking for more of a ranged attack, or close blast/burst...do frogs spit venom?

Anyway, a few things I think your ability needs...but only if you actually want to use that power in your own 4e game, otherwise I would rather not strain myself. :p

Matt James
04-28-2010, 05:21 PM
Updated it! :)


04-28-2010, 06:04 PM
That was quick. What about a lick attack? :D *lick lick lick*

Matt James
04-28-2010, 06:46 PM
um, this? :D


04-28-2010, 06:51 PM
Oh. My. God.

The answer just hit me. :D

Nature's Release. Why not, instead of making it a god-awful debuff, make it like Dwarven Resilience?

So, here is my idea.

"Nature's Release: You can use your second wind as a minor action instead of a standard action."


04-29-2010, 12:59 AM
Finally got to making my kenku power.



04-29-2010, 04:10 PM
I had thought about the tongue attack with the Bullywug too. I was thinking you could use it as a minor action to grapple an opponent. It would certainly be amusing. I like the Frog Lick racial power too, very funny Matt.

04-30-2010, 04:08 AM
Not really into the tongue thing. After all, what if someone chops it off? ^_^

What about your opinion on Nature's Release 2.0? I mean, sure, I am ripping off dwarves, but they didn't really have an actual racial encounter power in the first place. :3

Matt James
04-30-2010, 06:15 AM
A minor action Second Wind is quite potent and a staple of the dwarf race. I am not sure I would apply it to the Bullywugs. Perhaps instead of an ability like that, you could give them a bonus to their surge value? Or, allow them to regenerate X amount of hit points at the start of their turn as long as they are not at 0 or below. Admittedly, this is still quite powerful. I just don't view bullywugs as being a resiliant, stalwart race.

04-30-2010, 08:07 PM
Regeneration is more powerful that a minor second wind in my opinion. The longtooth shifter has an effective grasp of it, but then again they are pretty much barren of any other racial traits.
The +X to surge value is like the dragonborn's Draconic Heritage, a trait I find to be rather weak, especially in the higher tiers. Besides, bullywugs don't have some awesome ancestry. They are frog people.

And, trust me, frogs are very resilient, especially tadpoles. Google "frog regeneration" if you don't believe me.

I just think Nature's Release deserves better. :)