[RPG] food chain in the Forgotten Realms? What would prey on an Owlbear


Although I am running a homebrew campaign, a lot of the typical fantasy tropes carry over, such as large forests filled with a wealth of creatures.

Specifically, I'm looking for a forest creature that would hunt an Owlbear, but in a broader sense I would like to know if there's any kind of food chain, or something to that effect, established in the Forgotten Realms.

I'm thinking of this mostly because I want to show my players that not all creatures they encounter need to be killed — I have a suspicion a predator targeting Owlbears will invoke some sympathy from them!

I'd love to use a dragon, but I've already established some lore surrounding dragons that means they won't just be trivial finds in a forest.

Best Answer

A quick search of the AD&D Monstrous Manual indicates that Gargantuas, Trolls, Yeti, and (white) dragons eat bears, but no mention of owlbears specifically. The classic Dragon Magazine article "Ecology of the Owlbear" (Dragon 214) is similarly tight-lipped on the subject of creatures that eat Owlbears (but points out that humans consider the meat poor).

Elminster's Ecologies describes Owlbears fleeing Pyrolisks, but again does not mention Owlbears being consumed by them.

A lot of the ecology descriptions hint (or outright state) that owlbears are the creation of a "mad wizard", which places them in the position of being an invasive species in most settings. In this case, they would not have a natural predator, per se, but wold likely still occupy some of the same space as bears. This, combined with their famously bad temperament, makes them something of a poor dietary choice for any but the fiercest predators.

If I were looking to introduce something that was not a dragon that ate owlbears, I would make them prey for wyverns and trolls: wyverns tend to favour owlbear cubs, and only occasionally attempt to eat an adult; and trolls possess the regeneration ability to survive a fight with an owlbear. I suspect seeing an owlbear cub being suddenly snatched from above by a wyvern will give your player sufficient sympathy for them. Also remember that wyverns are quiet when doing a dive attack, like an owl. Feels poetic, somehow.

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