Use this skill to drive a team of horses pulling a wagon over rough terrain, to teach a dog to guard, to raise a wild animal as a devoted pet, or to teach an elephant to do tricks.
Check: The time required to get an effect and the DC depend on what you are trying to do.
|Handle an animal||Move Action||10|
|“Push” an animal||Full-Round Action||25|
|Teach a trick||See text below||See text|
|Train for specific purpose||See text below||See text|
Handle an animal: This means to command an animal to perform a task or trick it knows. If the animal is wounded or has taken any ability score damage, the DC increases by +5. If the check is successful, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action
“Push” an animal: To push an animal means to get it to perform a task or trick that it doesn’t know, but is physically capable of performing. If the check is successful, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.
Teach a trick: You can teach an animal a specific trick, such as “attack” or “stay”, with one week of work and a successful Handle Animal check. An animal with an Intelligence of 1 can learn a maximum of 3 tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence of 2 can learn a maximum of 6 tricks.
You can teach an animal to obey only you. Any other person attempting to make the animal perform a trick takes a -10 penalty on their Handle Animal check. Teaching an animal to obey only you counts as a trick (in terms of how many tricks the animal can learn). It does not require a check; however it increases the DC of all tricks you teach it by +5. If the animal already knows any tricks, you cannot teach it to obey only you.
Possible tricks include (but are not limited to) the following:
Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. The character may point to a particular enemy to direct the animal to attack that enemy.
Come (DC 15): The animal comes to the character, even of the animal would not normally do so (such as following a character onto a boat).
Defend (DC 20): The animal defends the character (or is ready to defend the character if no threat is present). Alternatively, the character can command the animal to defend a specific other character.
Down (DC 15): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down.
Fetch (DC 15): The animal goes and gets something. The character must point out a specific object, or else the animal fetches from random object
Guard (DC 20): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.
Heel (DC 15): The animal follows the character closely, even to places where it normally wouldn’t go.
Perform (DC 15): The animal does a variety of simple tricks such as sitting up, rolling over, and so on.
Seek (DC 15): The animal moves into an area and searches for something of interest. It stops and indicates the first thing of interest it finds. What constitutes an item of interest to an animal can vary. Animals almost always find other creatures or characters of interest. To understand that its looking for a specific object, the animal must make an Intelligence check (DC 10)
Stay (DC 15): The animal stays in place waiting for the character to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it will defend itself if it needs to.
Track (DC 20): The animal tracks the scent presented to it.
Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.
Train an Animal: Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you can train an animal for a general purpose. Essentially, an animal’s purpose represents a preselected set of known tricks that fit into a common scheme, such as guarding or heavy labor. An animal can only be trained for one general purpose only, though it the animal is capable of learning additional tricks (above and beyond those included in its general purpose) it may do so. Training an animal for a purpose requires fewer checks than teaching an animal individual tricks.
Combat Riding (DC 20), 6 weeks: An animal trained to bear a rider into combat (such as a warhorse) knows Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Guard, and Heel. An animal trained in riding may be “upgraded” to an animal trained in combat riding by spending three weeks and making a Handle Animal check (DC 20). If the animal was trained in other tricks (in addition to those provided by training the animal for riding), those tricks are completely replaced by the combat riding tricks.
Fighting (DC 20), 3 weeks: An animal trained for combat knows the following tricks: Attack, Down, Stay
Guarding (DC 20), 4 weeks: An animal trained to guard knows the following tricks: Attack, Defend, Down, and Guard
Laboring (DC 15), 2 weeks: An animal trained for heavy labor knows Come and Work
Hunting (DC 20), 5 weeks: An animal trained for hunting knows Attack, Down, Fetch, Heel, Seek, and Stay
Performing (DC 15), 4 weeks: An animal trained for performing knows Come, Fetch, Heel, Perform, and Stay
Riding (DC 15), 3 weeks: An animal trained to bear a rider knows Come, Heel, and Stay
Try again?: Yes
An untrained character uses Charisma checks to handle and push animals, but they can’t teach or train animals.
A character with the Animal Affinity feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Handle Animal checks.
Time: See above lists. Teaching or training and animal takes a number of days. You do not have to spend the entire time training the animal; 3 hours per day is enough. Spending more than 3 hours per day does not reduce the number of required days. You cannot spread the days out, if you do not complete the training during a number of consecutive days, the effort is wasted. Thus, if training an animal takes 4 weeks, you must spend at least 3 hours per day with the animal, for 28 straight days, to make the Handle Animal check.