Baldur’s Gate 3: What is the Strange Ox in BG3?

This ox acts quite strangely.

By GamesRecon

Lost in Baldur’s Gate 3‘s vast world, have you encountered a peculiar creature, the BG3 Strange Ox, especially in the Druid’s Emerald Grove? It isn’t just your everyday bovine. You might spot this ox alongside its two buddies. When you pass by them, you and your squad will undergo a sudden insight check.

Here’s when things become very interesting. Whip out your “Speak with Animals” spell, and you’ll discover this isn’t any ordinary ox. Our hoofed friend seems to be on a personal journey to the city of Baldur’s Gate. An ox with a mission? Now that’s not something you can expect from a regular farm animal. So, what’s the story behind this mysterious creature? Read this guide to uncover the secrets of the Strange Ox in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Strange Ox Location

Only a few hours into your game’s adventure, in the serene Emerald Grove, you’ll stumble upon a scene with oxen. But wait – one of these is not like the others. The Strange Ox is casually hanging out with its fellow oxen buddies, right above the entrance to the Druid’s sanctuary. This location is conveniently near Dammon’s shop and the spot where the young Tieflings are practicing their sparring skills.

Missed the Perception Check? Here’s a hint: this ox marches to the beat of its own drum. Unlike the others, it’s positioned facing a different direction, seemingly enjoying the sight of kids playing nearby. Before you rush to strike up a conversation, be warned – like most oxen, it’s not chatty. But, if you’re insistent on understanding bovine thoughts, here’s the game plan:

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  1. The Potion of Animal Speaking is your ticket. You can pick it up at various spots in Act 1.
  2. On the other hand, if you prefer company, bring Wyll along for the ride. By level 3, he’s skilled enough to learn the ‘Speak with Animals’ ritual spell. Let him cast it, switch to his character, and it’s conversation time.

Related: Should You Save the Brain in Baldur’s Gate 3?

How to Talk with the Strange Ox in BG3?

In Baldur’s Gate 3, you can communicate with animals by either selecting a class that has this trait by default or by using items, spells, or potions that have the “Speak with Animal” ability.

How to Start Conversation with the Strange Ox in BG3?

Here’s your handy guide to ‘animal whispering’:

  1. Potions:
    • Fancy a drink that lets you chat with animals? Keep an eye out for the “Speak with Animals” potions.
    • Places to check: merchants’ stalls and hidden chests.
    • Got a sneaky thief on your team? You may put your robbery talents to good use.
  2. Crafting Magic:
    • Mix some Essence of Accorn Truffle with any kind of Salt. You’ve got yourself a homemade Potion of Animal Speaking.
  3. Spells:
    • For the magic buffs, grab the “Speak with Animals” spells either from scrolls scattered across the game or by leveling up, provided you’ve got a character with magical prowess.
  4. Gear Up:
    • Sometimes, it’s all in the inventory. Look out for gear that’s enchanted with the “Speak with Animals” ability. It’s a stylish way to converse with critters!
  5. Born with It:
    • If you’re a Forest Gnome, you’ve got a natural gift. You can chit-chat with animals without needing any potions or spells.

What’s Your Conversation with Strange Ox?

Once the conversation starts, you’ll notice the ox is taken aback. The Strange Ox will act shocked when you initiate a dialog with it and will be especially cagey regarding its true character, and it tries to give you a lighthearted “moo”, you’ll feel there’s something fishy about it.

Now, attempt the Arcana Check! But be wary if you’re relying on Wyll: he’s not the brightest star in the intelligence department (with a -1 Intelligence modifier). It might be wise to save before the check or come prepared with Inspiration. If successful, a revelation awaits: this NPC isn’t an ox in reality. This discovery will give you some leverage – choose to intimidate, persuade, or deceive.

Even if you ace all your checks, this crafty Strange Ox remains tight-lipped about its true identity. The only hint? It’s set on journeying to Baldur’s Gate City. While you won’t snag a quest from this encounter, don’t be surprised if your paths cross again.

A quick side note for all the Druids – engaging with the Strange Ox offers an extra tidbit. It’ll hint that it’s a Druid in disguise, having transformed into an ox form. But trust us, you should take that claim with a grain of salt, especially if things get a little confrontational.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3 Devilfoil Mask Guide

What Happens If You Kill the Strange Ox?

You will get Shapeshifter's Boon Ring after killing Strange Ox

Tempted to confront the not-so-friendly Strange Ox in the Emerald Grove? Before you engage, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect and some details to help you in that scenario.

Why Bother? The Strange Ox isn’t just an ordinary creature; it’s got some impressive loot. For Druids who love shapeshifting or spellcasters who dabble in disguises, the Strange Ox holds a special treasure for you.

The Loot:

  • Early Bird Reward (Act 1): If you’re feeling brave and decide to face the ox early on, you’ll bag the Shapeshifter’s Boon Ring. This handy ring gives you a bonus 1d4 for checks when you’re shapeshifted or disguised.
  • Patience Pays (Later Acts): If you can hold off and deal with the ox in later acts, you’ll not only get this ring but also the snazzy Hat of Fire Acuity and two shiny Diamonds.

It’s not all fun and games as the Emerald Grove’s locals adore their oxen. While you may see the Strange Ox in Baldur’s Gate 3 as an anomaly, they see it as one of their own. Attack it, and you might find yourself chased down by some unhappy guards.

A Little Strategy: If you’re in it for the long game, wait it out. In this storyline, you will come across a battle involving the Druids, Tieflings, and Goblins. Once the dust settles and the Tieflings depart, they’ll take most of the oxen, leaving Strange Ox isolated. With fewer locals around, it’s the perfect time to kill the ox and claim your loot without causing a ruckus.

The Late Encounter with Strange Ox

Players fighting with the Strange Ox ooze in Baldur’s Gate 3

It makes a comeback in the Shadow-touched Lands, specifically at the Last Light Inn. But beware – things get a tad more intense this round. If you have spared the BG3 Strange Ox at Emerald Grove, you’ll see it hanging around the stable closer to Dammon’s blacksmithing shop.

Want to have a little chit-chat? Like before, talking to him directly might yield little. Either take a sip of that “Speak with Animals” potion or make sure Wyll is by your side. The once peculiar, albeit slightly aloof, ox is now downright grumpy. Push its buttons, and you’re in for a surprise: it morphs into a big, lousy ooze and will directly attack you.

A little tip – let the ox make the first move. Swipe at it prematurely, and the entire camp will turn against you. However, if it takes the initiative, good ol’ Dammon and the Harpers will back you up. But keep an eye on Dammon; he isn’t the toughest in a fight due to his low health bar.

With powerful blows, sturdy defenses, and a knack for leaving acid puddles, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. But if you conquer the slimy foe, there are some rewards after your victory. Besides the Shapeshifter’s Boon Ring, you’ll get your hands on the Hat of Fire Acuity (perfect for those who fancy casting fiery spells) and a pair of sparkly Malachite gems.

Related: How to Get the Blood of Lathander Mace in Baldur’s Gate 3