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Animal handling

skill (resolve)

This skill family regards the use, care, and knowledge of animals and their needs. Interacting with animals requires a firm will and an ability to empathize, so it is affected by Resolve. Below are examples of related skills and their respective difficulties


Domesticating an animal means to raise a wild creature from infancy so that it becomes domesticated. A successfully domesticated animal can be taught tricks while being raised, or it can be taught as a domesticated animal later

Example TaskDifficulty
Domesticating a wild animal from birthModerate
Domesticating a adolescent or adult wild animalHard
Domesticating a large creature or a untameable speciesNear Impossible

Action: You must spend several hours a day raising the animal to adolescence, which varies by animal. At this point, make the handle animal check. If the check fails, this creature cannot be domesticated
Try Again: No


This task involves commanding an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows. You do not need to make a check to perform this action

You can also “Push” an animal in an attempt to get it to perform a task or trick that it doesn't know but is physically capable of performing, or performing a trick it knows but does not wish to perform due to conditions. This category also covers making an animal perform a long march or to hustle for more than 1 hour between sleep cycles

Pushing an animal is a Moderate difficulty task

If the animal is wounded in any way, or exhausted, the check is made at disadvantage

Action: Standard action
Try Again: Yes


You are skilled at riding animals as mounts. In general, an animal must be suitable for riding, and must be one size category larger than you. If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount, increase the difficulty on all checks by one category

Check: Typical riding actions don't require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem. The following tasks do require checks

TaskRide DC
Spur mount, Fast dismountEasy
Evasive maneuvers, Leaping, Soft fallModerate
Cover, Control untrained mount in battleHard

Evasive Manuevers: If you mount is moving at least 10 feet in a segment, or if your mount is flying, you may use a swift action to make this Ride Check. A successful check allow your mount to dodge up to two incoming attacks in one segment

Cover: You can drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover. When doing so, you may only use one hand for other actions. If you fail your Ride check, you don't get the cover benefit. Using this option is an immediate action, but recovering from this position is a swift action (no check required)

Soft fall: In a situation where you would be thrown from your mount, you are able to avoid any damage and avoid falling prone. If you fail, you fall off your mount

Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. If the Ride check to make the leap succeeds, make a check using your mount's jump skill to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Ride check, you fall off the mount. This usage does not take an action but is part of the mount's movement

Spur mount: You can spur your mount to greater speed with a move action. A successful Ride check increases the mount's movement speed by 5 feet. The mount becomes exhausted after a number of rounds equal to its Constitution score (not its modifier). This ability cannot be used on a exhausted mount

Control an untrained mount in battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, your mount moves of its own accord and may try to throw you from its back, or flee combat

Fast mount or dismount: You can attempt to mount or dismount from a mount of up to one size category larger than yourself as a swift action instead of a move action. If you fail, you fall prone

Falling off your mount: You take 2d6 falling damage and fall prone

Action: Mounting or dismounting is normally a move action. Other checks are a move action, a free action, or a reaction, as noted above

Sense motive

This deals with a general knowledge of animal behavior and the ability to read an animal's behavior and sense their true intentions or emotions, even if the animal is bluffing

Basic animal behaviorEasy
Uncommon animals or uncommon behaviorModerate
Animal behavior that is intended to deceiveHard
Rare animals, obscure or subtle behaviorHard to Near Impossible

Action: Swift action
Try Again: Only if new information is presented


You attempt to use any combination of body language, noises, or ki aura to calm an agitated animal.

Animal ConditionDifficulty
Anxious animalEasy
Frightened animalModerate
Terrified or Enraged animalHard

If you are only spending one round to make this action, or the animal has a specific reason to distrust you, it is made at disadvantage

If you have a positive history with the animal, the check is made at advantage

Action: Must be at least a standard action
Try Again: Yes


You can teach an animal a specific trick with 3 days of work and a successful Handle Animal check against the DC indicated below. An animal with an Intelligence score of 1 can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence score of 2 can learn a maximum of six tricks. You can train an animal in more than one trick at a time, but it adds an additional day of training for each extra trick. Possible tricks (and their associated DCs) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following

  • Attack (DC 2): The animal attacks apparent enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. Normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures counts as two tricks
  • Come (DC 1): The animal comes to you, even if it normally would not do so
  • Defend (DC 2): The animal defends you (or is ready to defend you if no threat is present), even without any command being given. Alternatively, you can command the animal to defend another specific character
  • Down (DC 1): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down. An animal that doesn't know this trick continues to fight until it must flee (due to injury, fear, etc) or its opponent is defeated
  • Fetch (DC 1): The animal goes and gets something. If you do not point out a specific item, the animal fetches a random object
  • Guard (DC 2): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching
  • Heel (DC 1): The animal follows you closely, even to places where it normally wouldn't go
  • Perform (DC 1): The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling ver, roaring or barking, and so on
  • Seek (DC 1): The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate
  • Stay (DC 1): The animal stays in place, waiting for you to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to
  • Track (DC 2): The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (This requires the animal to have the scent ability)
  • Work (DC 1): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load

Action: You must spend 3 hours per day per animal working toward completion of their training
Try Again: Yes

Knowledge biology

You have a wide array of knowledge regarding the biology of non-human creatures. You know about their behaviors, their anatomies, and can tell when they are afflicted by diseases or other ailments.

Check: Answering a question regarding animal biology requires a check correlating to the difficulty of the question (Easy, Moderate, Hard, Near Impossible)
Action: Remembering information in a time sensitive situation requires a swift action
Try Again: No

wiki/animal handling.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/25 12:53 by caleymccready