The origin of the owlbear is a subject of great debate among scholars of the monstrous creatures of the world. However, most concur that at some point in the distant past, a deranged wizard created the original specimens by crossing an owl with a bear—perhaps as proof of some insane concept about the nature of life, but possibly out of sheer lunacy. Whatever the original purpose of such a freakish creation as the owlbear, the creature bred true and has become quite well-established in woodlands across the world, where it plays a key role in a region’s ecosystem as an apex predator.
Owlbears are notoriously bloodthirsty killers, well known for their short tempers, aggression, and savage nature. They tend to attack without provocation, slaughtering any living creatures that cross their paths. Many scholars that have encountered these creatures in the wild have noted that they all have red-rimmed eyes that roll about wildly when they close in for an attack. This is sometimes presented as a sign of madness, suggesting that all owlbears are born with a pathological need to fight and kill, but more level-headed researchers believe that it’s simply part of the way the massive birdbeast’s keen eyes are constructed.
Owlbears generally inhabit desolate areas of the wilderness, making their messy lairs within wild forests or inside dark, shallow caverns. They are equally adept at hunting during the day and at night, depending upon the prey available near their lairs.
A full-grown male can stand as tall as 8 feet and weighs up to 1,500 pounds.
Alignment: Most owlbears do whatever they can get away with. They typically are out for themselves, pure and simple. They sheds no tears for those they kill, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. They have no love of order and hold no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make themselves any better or more noble.
OWLBEAR RACIAL TRAITS
The following are an owlbear's racial traits.
- +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, –2 Intelligence: Owlbears are dangerous predators and more vicious than normal bears.
- Medium: Owlbears start out as Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Magical Beast: Owlbears are magical beasts.
- Normal Speed: Owlbears have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Darkvision (Ex): Owlbears can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Low-Light Vision (Ex): Owlbears can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
- Thick Fur (Ex): An owlbear’s thick fur grants it a +1 natural armor bonus to its AC.
- Quadruped (paws): Owlbears have four legs. As such, the DC of the CMB roll to trip them is increased by 4.
- Magic Item Slots: Wearable wondrous items typically resize themselves to fit a creature trying to wear them, the situation becomes a little more complicated if the creature simply lacks the requisite appendage or body part. Owlbears have magic item slots of: armor, belt (saddle), chest, eyes, headband, neck, shoulders, and wrist.
- Languages: Owlbears begin play speaking Common. Owlbear with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Elven, Giant, Goblin, Gnoll, Orc, and Sylvan.