"Sir Bearington" is a humorous game tale about an RPG character who is an ordinary bear that passes as a high-class human by using a high disguise skill. On rare occasions when somebody sees through the disguise and tries to expose the character as a bear, they are disbelieved by the bear's human associates, much like the character of Chicken Boo from Animaniacs.
The tale was originally recounted in 2010 by Dr Gunsforhands on the Giant in the Playground forums' "Funny D&D Stories" thread, although the tale became more famous from a version posted on 4chan in 2011 that changed a number of details (such as changing the bear character from a non-player character to a player character and renaming him "Sir Bearington") and was passed around on sites like imgur and reddit.
The tale of Sir BearingtonEdit
In the original game tale as posted by Dr Gunsforhands, the eponymous character of the story was the animal companion of Onar, a druid PC in a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5. The bear, whose name was Meatfists, was awakened (granted sapience) and turned into a cohort (a type of NPC henchman with PC levels) when Onar took the Leadership feat. Onar's player then spent time and resources to maximise the bear's disguise skill (both by giving the bear levels in rogue and by buying magic items), initially for an unknown reason.
During a time skip, the bear began to pass as a human known as Mr. Bearington (not Sir Bearington), described in the original post as:
- "a gentleman of high society wearing specially tailored bear sized suits and a monocle. A dandy of few words, he was a respected patron of the arts, medicine, and a known connoisseur of gourmet cooking. His attendance at upper crust functions was expected and though his thick accent often obscured his meaning, it only added to his mysterious allure."
If a character ever perceived that Mr. Bearington was not human but in fact a bear, they would be shunned by Mr. Bearington's high society associates, such as the local mayor.
A year after the original post was made, an anonymous user posted a retold and amended version of the tale on 4chan, where it became a meme. This version removed all attribution to the original tale and altered some of its details, as follows:
- the bear is a player character rather than an NPC cohort;
- as well as levels in rogue, the bear now also has spy as a prestige class, again to maximise ranks of disguise;
- rather than having a "thick accent" that makes him incomprehensible, the character now uses bluff to pretend to speak a language that he cannot speak;
- the bear has a butler with a magic item that lets him speak bear language and convey messages to other people;
- the bear is knighted, hence the name "Sir Bearington".
Scott Rehm of The Angry GM has said that, while the Sir Bearington story is very funny, it can teach new and potential GMs bad lessons about how to run an RPG. Something like the tale of Sir Bearington can work in an RPG, but only if it is appropriate to the tone of that RPG, in which case it will be less ridiculous (and therefore less amusing) than the anecdote makes it seem.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dr Gunsforhands (2010-11-18). "Have you ever watched Animaniacs?" on "RE: Funny D&D Stories". Giant in the Playground forums. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Anonymous (2011-09-25) (original); u/pizzatuesdays (repost). "Chicken Boo, eat your heart out" (the "Sir Bearington" post). r/rpg on reddit (post of a 4chan screenshot hosted by imgur). Retrieved 2020-01-18.
- ↑ Scott Rehm (2016-04-13). "Tone Policing Sir Bearington". The Angry GM. Retrieved 2020-01-18.