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Owlbear: Wikis


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Alignment Neutral
Type Magical beast
Image image
Stats Open Game License stats

The owlbear is a magical beast in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Owlbears, or similar beasts, also appear in several other fantasy role-playing games.


Publication history

The owlbear is among the earliest monsters in Dungeons & Dragons and like the bulette and the rust monster, was inspired by a Hong Kong-made plastic toy purchased by Gary Gygax for use as miniature in a Chainmail game.[1]


Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)

The owl bear was introduced to the game in its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[2] It is described as a horrid creature which "hugs" like a bear, and deals damage with its beak.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)

The owlbear appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[3] where it is described as a horrible creature that inhabits tangled forest regions, and attacks with its great claws and snapping beak.

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)

This edition of the D&D game included its own owl bear, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1981 & 1983).[4][5] The owl bear was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991),[6] the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994), and the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)

The owlbear appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[7] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[8]

The owlbear was detailed in Dragon #214 (February 1995), in "The Ecology of the Owlbear", which also included the arctic owlbear and the winged owlbear.[9] These variants were later reprinted in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (1996).[10]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)

The owlbear appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[11]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)

The owlbear appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).[12]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)

The owlbear appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), along with the winterclaw owlbear.[13]


Owlbears are approximately eight to ten feet (2.5–3 meters) tall and resemble a cross between an owl and bear. Owlbears are carnivorous creatures famed for their aggression and ferocity[14]; they live in mated pairs in caves and hunt in packs, attacking any creature bigger than a mouse[14].

The actual origin of the owlbear has never been definitively revealed, but the various Monster Manual editions indicate it is probably the product of a wizard's experiments. The lich Thessalar claims to have created them, but his insanity and egomania put the accuracy of this claim in doubt.[15]

Owlbears in other media

Various kinds of owlbears appear as mobs in the MMORPGs EverQuest, and EverQuest II.

Owlbears can be found in the roguelike computer games NetHack and ADOM.

An enemy named OWL BEAR appears early into the Sega Master System game Phantasy Star.

Owlbears in the Warcraft Universe

Adaptations of the Owlbear appear in the Warcraft universe in two forms:


  1. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "Ecology of the Rust Monster." Dragon #88 (TSR, 1984). Account was later re-printed in the Ecology of the Rust Monster article in issue #346.
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  4. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Tom Moldvay. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1981)
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules (TSR, 1983)
  6. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  7. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  8. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994)
  9. ^ Richards, Jonathan M. "The Ecology of the Owlbear." Dragon #214 (TSR, 1995)
  10. ^ Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (TSR, 1996)
  11. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  12. ^ Williams, Skip, ed. Monster Manual: Core Rulebook III v.3.5 (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  13. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  14. ^ a b Owlbear in the d20 SRD
  15. ^ Jacobs, James. "Into the Wormcrawl Fissure." Dungeon #134 (Pazio Publishing, 2006)
  16. ^ "Wildkin". Mojo StormStout's Warcraft III Strategy Guide. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-12-09.  
  17. ^ "Balance talent tree of the Druid class in World of Warcraft". Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  


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