D&D General The Owlbear Druid: How Would You Do It? (A Poll)

The Owlbear Druid: How Would You Do It?

  • I wouldn't. It's against the rules, full stop.

    Votes: 6 4.3%
  • I'd change the druid's Wild Shape ability to allow owlbears.

    Votes: 6 4.3%
  • I'd change the druid's Wild Shape ability to allow all Beasts.

    Votes: 4 2.9%
  • I'd change the druid's Circle of the Moon subclass to allow owlbears.

    Votes: 14 10.1%
  • I'd change the druid's Circle of the Moon subclass to allow all Beasts.

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • I'd create a whole new druid circle just for owlbears (Circle of the Owlbear)

    Votes: 6 4.3%
  • I'd create a whole new druid circle for all Monstrosities (Circle of Monsters)

    Votes: 21 15.1%
  • I'd change the owlbear's creature type to Beast.

    Votes: 50 36.0%
  • I'd do something else (see my comment)

    Votes: 23 16.5%

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Remind the Druid that they get access to Polymorph when they reach 7th level....?
Very very very different beast (pun intended).

Polymorph and wild shape are not the same.
By the time you get polymorph, you can already take the form of a CR 7 Giant Ape, and are one level away from being a CR 8 Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It would seem to me that the absolute smallest rule change available to us to allow it would be to allow Polymorph to handle a CR 3 owlbear.
How is that smaller than just allowing owlbears and other very mundane (mechanically) monstrosities as wildshape options?
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'm starting to come around to the "make the owlbear a Beast" way of thinking. It fixes a lot of problems that might arise at my table if I just allow ALL Monstrosities. It's a minor change, and it would let me curate a list of "approved creatures" that could be used with Wild Shape.

Besides. Why does everything a wizard make have to be a Monstrosity? Who says wizards can't also create beasts?
 



Yaarel

He Mage
Regarding the creature types, Monstrosity and Beast.

A Beast is − or is comparable to − a reallife animal.

The result of splicing different animals together, such as by genetic engineering, is still an animal.

A duckbill platypus, or a newly spliced amalgum of different animals, or a Star Wars scifi animal physiology that "might" have evolved, are all Beasts.

A monster is something different.

A monster is mythic. It is dreamlike − typically nightmarish − with an ominous presence that psychologically connects and haunts its viewers. Somewhat like a ghost, a monster has a psychologically compelling aura of magic around it. One expects a monster to do things that are impossible to a natural animal.

A Dragon is a specific kind of Monstrosity. The dragon derives from Greek stories about the "drako", namely the python in Africa, but evolves in the collective storytelling and artistic reconstructions of what it looks like, which often blends the image of the "draco" Roman tubular military banner with various animal heads. By the Medieval Period, the classic dragon splices together snake-eagle-lion. The British dragon seems to be moreso snake-wolf-bat. If this is all it would be, a strange-looking animal, then it would be a Beast. But the Dragon has a nightmarish aura of magic. It is especially a manifestation of primal dangers and fear instincts. Fear of fire, fear of predatory animals, fear of poisonous snakes, and similar. A Dragon is a manifest nightmare with a psychologically haunting quality and influence. The Dragon is especially distinctive because similar snake-splicings with a haunting quality seem to show up across many human cultures. Because of the special characteristics, D&D separates it out from other Monstrosities, to give it its own creature type. Even so, the Dragon is a good example of the difference between a Monstrosity and Beast.

A Monstrosity doesnt just look scary, it is a magical manifestation of the fear itself. The monster is even moreso a dream inside the head of the viewer. Rather than a creature outside, over there. A ghost has a similar mythic quality. One expects a Monstrosity to do magical things that would be impossible for a natural Beast.
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
A monster is a dreamlike creature − typically nightmarish − with an ominous presence that psychologically connects and haunts its viewers.
I think (?) you meant monstrosity and not monster???

That is actually more an aberration I think.

FWIW, while people might think the whole owlbear thing is cool, it is a terrifying nightmarish creature, not a cute and fuzzy bunny.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I think (?) you meant monstrosity and not monster???
I am using these terms as synonyms, where "monster" is natural English and "Monstrosity" is technical jargon. Maybe like saying "human" and "Homo sapiens sapiens".

That is actually more an aberration I think.
Aberration is actually similar. But D&D distinguishes between their origins.

Monsters are typically native to the material plane.

Aberrations are from the farrealms, which in my view, is an astral dominion, native to the astral plane.

Where the material plane is more about encounters with the physical, sensorial, world, the astral plane is more about concepts, ideas, paradigms.

Personally I associate Aberrations with the aggressive, destructive, behavior by the collective unconscious. It is like, if ones personal identity isnt working well, dreams and so on can often suggest alternative ways of doing things. These new ways of being are often perceived as a threat to ones identity, and can be self-destructive, but with caution can also be useful. A similar phenomena can happen at the identity of an entire culture, across many individuals.

I associate Aberration with Neutral Evil − merciless destruction. But not every Aberration is Evil.

FWIW, while people might think the whole owlbear thing is cool, it is a terrifying nightmarish creature, not a cute and fuzzy bunny.
Cultures tend to domesticate scary things. Once upon a time, djinn were terrifying. Once upon a time, elves and fairies were terrifying. Once upon a time, vampires were terrifying. Once upon a time, devils were terrifying.

Regarding the owlbear, there doesnt seem to be any characteristic that isnt a normal natural animal. Hypothetically, a mammal could evolve a beak.
 
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Yaarel

He Mage
It seems to me, both the griffon eagle-lion and the hippogriff eagle-horse, have statblocks that should be Beast.

In these two cases, I would rather grant these creatures magical abilities − to make them actually mythic − so as to keep their Monstrosity creature type.

But the way their 5e statblocks are now, they are just normal Beasts.
 


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