Classic Monsters Revisited did for the rest of the humanoids what the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path had already done for goblins: making too familiar, almost passé monsters exciting and vital again. Bugbears opened the book, and they were one of the most radical revisions in it. By returning to the bugbear’s bugaboo roots, Paizo made them creatures that fed on fear—a far cry from the furry thugs they’d been in most incarnations of the world’s oldest role-playing game. Their more mythical reincarnation may feel alien to veteran players, but the revamp definitely turned an also-ran goblin subrace into a truly exciting threat.
A young noblewoman complains of being stalked in her new estate, which her parents have rented for the city’s fashionable season. Investigation reveals not only that she has been a target of a bugbear, but also that the house is riddled with secret passages, including some to caverns below the city.
A superstitious ranger fears for his young charges and his sanity, as members of his scouting patrol begin vanishing one by one, and the culprit defies his attempts at tracking it.
A hobgoblin general’s bugbear strike team has gone rogue, looting at random and pursuing fear-addled prey (including other goblinoids) rather than military targets. After surrounding and surprising an adventuring company that stumbled too close to his encampment, the general offers them a choice: whether to remove his bugbear problem or be dinner.
—Classic Monsters Revisited 4–9 & Pathfinder Bestiary 38
I’ve stuck to the core bugbears for this post, but check out Classic Monsters Revisited for a host of bugbear subraces displaying a variety of intriguing powers and habits. It’s a must-read if you like new monster variants.