Tuesday, April 28, 2020

OSE Encounter Activities - Owl Bear

The Owl Bear has stalked dank dungeons and dark forests of D&D since Greyhawk. I tend to support the theory that its real-world inspiration may have come from another re-purposing of yet another plastic China-saur. Based on the earliest depictions, there is a pretty strong resemblance, especially that Roslof frontispiece illustration in Keep on the Borderlands.

B2 is where I would end up first pitting them against Players. After the excitement of the initial encounter, we puzzled a little bit over how something like that would work: Is it oviparous? Does it hibernate? After raiding my Birding Books, I became utterly enamored with the idea of at least some of its treasure being found in massive regurgitated, and appropriately disgusting pellets. Besting the beast is just the beginning 😊.

You’ll find them more frequently in Forests than deep within a Dungeon in my games, even though they appear on the canon Dungeon Encounter Tables at Levels 4 through 7, which always struck me as strange. Still, I suppose it’s as good an opportunity as ever to improvise an alternate exit/entrance to one of these levels. Perhaps the poor thing fell into a deeper part of the dungeon from a pit above after a ceiling collapse? Providing these “short cuts” to lower levels is always useful and makes things far more dynamic than the more linear “the deeper we go, the more dangerous it is.”

Here are a hundred Encounter Activities that should be tailor-able to most Owl Bear encounters:

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