As a druid I tamed an Owlbear Cub, and was wondering how long it would take for it to be helpful in battles.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take a moment to check out the tour and get an idea of how things work. I've edited your question title, since your question appears to be about how long it takes an owlbear to grow up, rather than how long it lives for. It also might help answers if you specified which edition of D&D you're playing, since the answer might be different in different editions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Jul 9, 2015 at 5:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ As this is "ecology" fluff, I am not sure the specific version really is relevant here. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jul 9, 2015 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Citations become difficult without an edition. There is at least one "Ecology of the Owlbear" article in existence, but it's AD&D, and if anything else has been published, chances are even that contradictions exist too. Considering the ecology fluff changes for other creatures over the editions (piercers come to mind), knowing what game they're playing would help. It appears that they're not deliberately choosing the pan-edition tag anyway, just that they didn't realise the game they're playing isn't clearly indicated by saying "I'm playing D&D." \$\endgroup\$ Jul 10, 2015 at 18:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree. As a D&D player myself, I know that information like that is pretty rare and I'd be happy with anything from any D&D edition that actually got into that amount of depth. If the OP or anyone votes to re-open I'd pile on. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jul 10, 2015 at 18:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Voted to reopen. Seems an answerable question to me too, that can benefit from lore across editions. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 4, 2022 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


I found no information regarding the age of Owlbears.

I searched my old books (Editions are in the list below). I searched my old magazines (Dragon & Dungeon - covering 2nd and 3.5 Edition). I couldn't find anything on the lifespan of Owlbears. I couldn't even find anything about their ages in World of Warcraft d20, where there are multiple species of Wildkin.

What I would do as DM

I would base their age off something relatively their size, and found in the same wilds... Brown Bears.

  1. Brown Bears typically live to be about 25 years in the wild, according to National Geographic.
  2. Brown Bears are typically considered an adult at the age of 6, according to National Park Service.
  3. Brown Bear cubs leave their mother around two and a half years of age, according to Bear Life.

As a 'mature' cub, I would give the owlbear half the hit dice and damage statistics one size category lower:

D&D 5th Edition

  • AC: 12
  • Hit Dice: 3d10
  • To Hit: +3
  • Claw Damage: 1d4
  • Bite Damage: 1d4

D&D 4th Edition

  • Don't own any 4th Edition Material. Unable to configure.

D&D 3.5 Edition

  • Hit Dice: 3d10 (Rounded Up to give the second feat)
  • Natural Armor: +2
  • Claw Damage: 1d4
  • Bite Damage: 1d6

AD&D 2nd Edition

  • Hit Dice: 3
  • AC: 7
  • THAC0: 17
  • Claw Damage: 1d4
  • Bite Damage: 1d10

AD&D 1st Edition

  • Don't own any 1st Edition material. Unable to configure.

D&D (Original) (Greyhawk Supplement)

  • Hit Dice 5
  • Armor Class 5
  • THACO 14
  • 2 Claw attacks (1d 6 each)
  • 1 Bite attack (1d12)
  • Special attack: Claw attacks that score 18 or better cause 2d8 additional damage.

As a mature adult, statistics as normal for an owlbear.


Around two years, if it has been trained to hunt.

Dragon Magazine #214 published in February of 1995 has an article titled "Ecology of the Owlbear", by Jonathan M. Richards. In it, we see this note about owlbear young on page 90:

The young will be raised by the mother for the first two years, during which time she will teach the cubs how to hunt for themselves. After the end of the second year, the cubs will go off on their own and stake out their own territory.

So an owlbear is able to properly hunt and fend for itself at around two years of age, if it has been trained to do so, so this is probably a good estimate for when an owlbear will be able to engage in combat. I think the important observation here is that the owlbear mother trains her young to hunt, which is likely a crucial contributing factor in an owlbear's effectiveness in combat. I would expect an owlbear who spent its first two years in captivity to still hit hard when provoked due to its size, but I would also expect it to be generally less effective as a combatant without some kind of training.


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