How To Defeat The Owlbears In Baldur’s Gate 3

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  • How To Defeat The Owlbears
  • The Oakfather’s Embrace Armor

Morality and roleplaying are a big part of Baldur’s Gate 3, and few quests have decisions that quite challenge a roleplayer like the owlbear encounter in the cave just beyond the Blighted Village. With a high-value egg, a potential companion, and a rare piece of armor on the line, the choices you make and the strategies you make will be put to the test.


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What would you be willing to do for the sake of a piece of clothing? Would you make the hard decisions or leave those choices up to others? Whatever you choose to do, this guide will help provide the answers and perhaps smoothen out some of the torment these choices can inflict.


How To Find The Owlbears

Encountering The Wanderers Near Owlbear Cave

“A monstrous cross between giant owl and bear, an owlbear’s reputation for ferocity and aggression makes it one of the most feared predators of the wild. – Basic Rules, pg. 147”

After passing the Blighted Village, you’ll come across a group of travelers, including a man who has been inflicted by one of the Mind Flayer worms currently stuck inside your brain. They’ll tell you he was mortally wounded by a nearby owlbear.

You can choose to be honest with these adventurers and end up in a battle with them, chase them off, or even recruit them in a fight against the owlbear. If you choose the latter, you’ll have to take the violent approach, but at least you’ll have two people for cannon-fodder who can reward you for helping them achieve revenge for their brother.

Stumbling Upon The Owlbear Cave

Continue west and down the embankment to a flowing stream. Cross it to find a cave on the other side (coordinates: X:37, Y:446).

If you succeed on a passive Survival check, you’ll notice the tracks of an owlbear leading into the cave. This is a separate area, so ensure you have Group-Mode toggled for everyone to enter in your party to enter at the same time.

Sneaking Up On The Bears

Party Hides And Sneaks Up On Owlbears In Cave

There are multiple branching paths in this cave. You can stay to the right side and round a corner to encounter the owlbear head-on. This is good for those who might want to try a more peaceful approach.

If you’d prefer a sneaky approach, you can attempt jumping down a ledge on the left side near an arcane, booby-trapped chest you’ll need Dispel Magic to open. From here, you can climb up onto a ledge overlooking the owlbear (for those wishing to do combat) or take one of the two narrow corridors on the side. Your Stealth will be important here.

Rogue Sneaks Up On Owlbears While Invisible

If you don’t want any encounter with the owlbear, you can try taking the unique armor on the right side of the nest by casting Invisibility. Be warned, however, that taking it will drop your invisibility, so you should use a sneaky character and good timing to grab the armor and leave.

Don’t take the owlbear egg if you wish to leave unnoticed or unharmed. The smell of the owlbear egg will attract the owlbear to you, and you’ll force an instance of combat if you fail your saves (which comes with disadvantage if she notices you took the egg).

Dialogue Checks Available Against Owlbear To Avoid Combat

There are multiple dialogue options to take against the owlbear. These options expand and become more unique if you are a Druid or have “Speak with Animals” currently active. On a successful check against the owlbear, you’ll only be threatened and asked to leave the cave. If you do any of the following actions after you’ve been warned, the owlbear will attack:

  • Getting too close to her cub.
  • Approaching the nest.
  • Having taken the egg (and she noticed).
  • Taking the armor set and failing Stealth.

If you fail your saves, the owlbear will attack you, and you’ll be in a world of hurt.

How To Defeat The Owlbears

Owlbear Rears Up And Prepares To Attack

Basic Information – Mother Owlbear

Basic Information – Owlbear Cub

HP

81

29

AC

13

9

Speed

18m

9m

Size/Weight

Large/350kg

Small/20kg

Mother’s Stats

Cub Stats

Str

Dex

Con

Int

Wis

Cha

Str

Dex

Con

Int

Wis

Cha

20 (+5)

12 (+1)

17 (+3)

3 (-4)

12 (+1)

7 (-2)

12 (+1)

10 (0)

11 (0)

3 (-4)

10 (0)

7 (-2)

Resistances:

None

Mother’s Features

Cub’s Features

Darkvision

See in the dark up to 12m

Darkvision

See in the dark up to 12m

Owlbear’s Rage

Increases Strength by 2 when enraged and allows the use of Multiattack.

Easily Frightened

When this creature is hit and badly damaged, it will flee for 2 turns.

Mother’s Attacks

Cub’s Attacks

Multiattack

When raging, can use both a beak and a claw attack.

Beak

+1-3 to hit, 5ft; deals d10 + 1 Piercing damage.

Crushing Flight (Bonus Action)

Can jump and crush enemies within melee range. Range 40ft up or across.

Beak

+7 to hit, 5ft; deals 1d10 + 5 Piercing damage.

Claws

+1-3 to hit, 5ft; deals 2d8 + 1 Slashing damage.

Claws

+7 to hit, 5ft; deals 2d8 + 5 Slashing damage.

The owlbear is a tanky, hard-hitting enemy that becomes more difficult if you’ve activated her rage ability. This can happen if:

  • The cub is killed or grievously injured/in a state of Frightened.
  • The egg has already been stolen (and she will only target its holder if she can reach them and they are not hiding).
  • The owlbear mother has been grievously wounded.

You need to be particularly aware of her Crushing Flight, a bonus action that allows her to take a massive jump and crush all those that she lands on. If crushed, your characters take damage and can, on a failed Strength saving throw, be knocked Prone.

Rogue Sneaks Up On Owlbear During Fight For Sneak Attack Damage

While fighting the owlbear mother, the owl bear cub will also make attacks. However, you do not need to kill the owlbear cub to finish this encounter. This leaves the option of killing the owlbear cub up to you. If you’d like to spare it, you can either ignore it or hit it enough for it to flee.

The owlbear mother, on the other hand, is best dealt with by using all four of your characters against her. Encircle her with your tankiest units and try to whittle down her health quickly; the longer the fight goes on, the more danger you’re in.

As they have no resistances, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to damage types. Just attempt to give your ranged characters the high ground where possible and keep your melee characters in her face to guard your squishier supports.

If you’re up above on the ledge, use Hiding as the mother can jump up to the ledge and fight you up there. If you wish to fight from above, it might be best to leave one tanky melee character like Lae’zel to keep her attention below and invoke any Opportunity Attacks if she tries to leave.

Owlbear Cub Begins To Eat Owlbear Mother After Death

“A single strike will end its suffering…”

Once the owlbear mother is defeated, combat ends. If you chose to spare the owlbear cub during the fight, you’ll be given the option to end its life here or spare it again.

If the owlbear cub is spared, it will begin devouring its own mother. It can be encountered again later at the goblin camp and can, depending on your choices there, be spared a third and final time when it can join your camp as a companion.

If you’re playing a Paladin, unless you wish to become an Oathbreaker, you should not choose to kill the owlbear cub. This is a morality check question.

The Oakfather’s Embrace Armor

Rogue Models Oakfather's Embrace Armor In Examination

If you haven’t yet taken it, the Oak Father’s Embrace armor is on the skeleton to the right of the owlbear’s nest.

Embroidered with a simple maxim – ‘Nature is the True State of the World’ – this armour radiates a faint divine power.

AC

13 + your Dexterity modifier (maximum 2).

Type

Medium Armor

Special Effects

Order of Nature – Undead creatures that strike the wearer are dealt 1d6 Radiant damage. If the wearer is struck by a beast, the wearer is dealt 1d6 Radiant damage instead.

This armor is an interesting piece of equipment that rewards the wearer for dealing with the legions of undead and punishes you in fights against beasts. It’s the perfect Druid’s armor, and its AC isn’t bad either.

With the armor in-hand, you can choose to take the owlbear egg with you as you leave the cave, and if you’ve defeated the owlbear mother, you’ll also be rewarded with the head of a broken spear that can be reforged into the lance known as the “Vision of the Absolute.” Not bad, right?

NEXT: Baldur’s Gate 3: How To Get The Owlbear Cub

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