Baldur's Gate 3: What is the Strange Ox?

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Windows Central)

In the opening hours of your Baldur's Gate 3 playthrough, you'll find yourself in the Emerald Grove area after you've helped the tieflings there defend their camp from a goblin raid. While you're checking the place out, you're likely to come across a trio of oxen standing around. There's nothing particularly notable about them at first, but as you get closer, everyone in your party will start running unprompted perception checks.

Upon further inspection, it becomes clear that the ox in the middle of the group is...different. It's labelled as a "Strange Ox," and is noticeably smaller than the other nearby cattle. So, what's going on here? In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about the Strange Ox, including how to talk to it as well as the loot you can potentially walk away from this encounter with.

How to talk to the Strange Ox in Baldur's Gate 3

Forest Gnomes can speak to animals innately, as can Druids while they're Wild Shaping. (Image credit: Windows Central)

You aren't able to initiate dialogue with the Strange Ox right away. To successfully talk to him, you'll first need to use a Speak With Animals spell or potion. Alternatively, you can also speak to him while playing as a Forest Gnome or a Druid that's Wild Shaping.

Speaking to the ox after this will result in him saying that it's quaint you're approaching him. You can then say the following:

  • [Arcana] The ox makes you uneasy. Try to discern why.
  • A fine-looking beast you are.
  • Ugh. Hideous cow.
  • Leave.

To progress further, you'll need to select the first option, and will need to roll to pass an Arcana check. If you succeed, you'll then be presented with three different options for Persuasion, Intimidation, or Deception, which you'll also have to roll for.

We recommend choosing Persuasion, as if you pass, the Strange Ox will finally spill the beans. He tells you that he's planning to travel to Baldur's Gate "with or without the rest of these poor sods," likely referring to his fellow oxen, the tieflings at Emerald Grove, or both.

At the moment, that's all there is to speaking with the Strange Ox, though it wouldn't surprise us to learn that the creature returns later in the campaign. If we catch wind of him, we'll make sure to update this article with details about when and where.

How to get the Shapeshifter Boon Ring in BG3

The stats of the Strange Ox. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Alternatively, you can choose to kill the Strange Ox (you'd be a monster for doing so).  If you loot his corpse, you'll find the Shapeshifter Boon Ring, which provides you with a 1d4 bonus to skill checks when you're Shapeshifted or Disguised. This makes it a useful item to have if you're a Druid that can Wild Shape or a class or subclass capable of learning Disguise Self, though you'll never be able to live with yourself if you kill the horned fellow just to get your hands on it.

Baldur's Gate 3 is available on PC now, with the PS5 version scheduled for Sept. 6. It stands tall as one of the best PC games of 2023, and is a must-play for fans of fantasy RPGs and the D&D universe.

Baldur's Gate 3 |  See at GOG

Baldur's Gate 3 | See at GOG

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.