The buzz around the new trailer for the Dungeons & Dragons movie includes much discussion of a scene in which the druid character transforms into an owlbear.
As far as I know there’s no RAW way for a druid to do this in fifth edition without access to the ninth-level spell shapechange, since an owlbear is a monstrosity, and Wild Shape and lower-level druid shapechanging spells all restrict the druid to transforming into beasts. (See also this question about the history of this ability.)
While allowing access to owlbear as a wild shape option at a level where they can access beast shapes of the same CR seems perfectly fine and balanced on its own, I’m interested in a broader allowance of fantastic creature options. This question makes clear the balance issues of just extending Wild Shape to access monstrosities as well as beasts, so I want to know: what is a simple, well-balanced option to allow a fifth edition druid to transform into at least some monstrosities, including an owlbear?
This might include some limitations similar to the usual Wild Shape restrictions on movement speeds (to rule out special powers like teleportation or petrification), a limited list of acceptable forms (which would need to include owlbears), and/or a specific cost or requirement, like a feat, a magic item or choice of a Druid Circle based on the idea. Ideally I would like this to be available at a relatively low level, perhaps 5 or 6, but a higher level restriction is fine if that’s appropriate for balance reasons.
There will be multiple possibilities; I would prefer the simplest, by which I mean the one with the fewest steps or choices for player and DM (i.e. a simple list of additional forms, or a single feat, spell or magic item, would be preferred over designing an entire subclass, but I’m open to any option if it is better).
As an example, I’ve found this homebrew “Monstrous Shapes” feat, but it feels like it might be a bit underpowered?