Owlbears are right at home as a Wild Shape option, due to their historical theme and their statistical similarity to beasts with matching CR.
If you run Druids by-the-book, then they can only Wild Shape into a limited number of forms that the Druid has seen: DMs have a lot of control over Wild Shape. Since the Druid doesn't get Wild Shape until Level 2, you aren't committed to allowing the player a certain number of Wild Shape options … Continue reading Druid Wild Shape Options by CR
We're going to make the adventuring day agnostic as to character class. That way, everyone's going to be on a level playing field, regardless of how many encounters you run. How do we do this with linear fighters and quadratic wizards? It's simple. We kill the short rest.