Handle Animal

Handle Animal (Cha; Trained Only)

The PC can tame and train wild and domesticated animals.

Check: The DC depends on what the PC is trying to do.

Task DC
Handle an animal 10
"Push" an animal 20
Rear a wild animal Var.
General Purpose DC
Combat riding 20
Fighting 20
Guarding 20
Heavy labor 15
Hunting 20
Performance 15
Riding 15

Handle an Animal: This task involves commanding an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows. If the animal is wounded or has taken any nonlethal damage or ability score damage, the DC increases by 2. If the check succeeds, 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. This category also covers making an animal perform a forced march or forcing it to hustle for more than 1 hour between sleep cycles. If the animal is wounded or has taken any nonlethal damage or ability score damage, the DC increases by 2. If the check succeeds, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.

Teach an Animal a Trick: The PC can teach an animal a basic trick with one week of work and a successful Handle Animal check against the indicated DC. Advanced tricks require two weeks. A failed check for any trick means another day of training is required before the trainer can make a new check. An animal with Intelligence 1 can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with Intelligence 2 can learn a maximum of six tricks. Possible tricks (and their associated DCs) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the ones listed on the table below. Tricks are similar to feats - some are more advanced and have prerequisites; these advanced tricks also take up 2 or more slots.

The PC can spend up to 2 hours a day traing his animal in a given trick; less time per day lengthens the overall training time, but he can't spend more time per day - the animal can handle only so much training in a given skill before it becomes fatigued and refuses to obey anymore. Animals can be trained in multiple skills at the same time, however; a character can teach up to 2 basic skills (those with no prereqs) or 1 advanced skill at any given time.

Trick Prereqs DC Training Time
Attack 20 1d12+9 days
Come 10 1d6+4 days
Recall* Come 15 1d8+6 days
Defend 15 1d12+8 days
Guard* Defend 20 1d12+9 days
Down 12 1d6+3 days
Long down* Down 16 1d10+6 days
Fetch 15 1d8+4 days
Fetch specific* Fetch 17 1d10+8 days
Seek* Fetch, fetch specific 20 1d12+10 days
Heel 12 1d8+5 days
Mounted heel* Heel 15 1d6+3 days
House skills 15 1d10+10 days
Jump 13 1d8+4 days
Perform 14 1d6+4 days
Stay 12 1d8+3 days
Long stay* Stay 16 1d10+5 days

*Advanced trick.

Attack: The animal attacks apparent enemies. The PC can point to a particular creature that he wishes 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 (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) takes up an extra slot.

Come: The animal comes to the PC. This command will not work if the animal is in combat.

Defend: The animal defends the PC (or is ready to defend him if no threat is present), even without any command being given. Alternatively, the PC can command the animal to defend a specific person.

Down: The animal lies down. It generally remains there until the PC issues another command or is ready to leave.

Down, long: The animal lies down and remains there even if the PC leaves the area. It will remain there for up to 3 hours.

Fetch: The animal goes and gets something. If the PC does not point out a specific item, the animal fetches some random object.

Guard: This is an advanced form of the Defend trick; the animal stays in place and guards an item or location, preventing others from approaching. It will attack if anyone approaches to within the area it threatens (i.e., its reach).

Heel: The animal moves to stand beside the PC and will follow closely (remaining within 3-5 feet, even to places it normally wouldn't go.

Heel, mounted: The animal is trained to heel to the PC's mount. This takes a shorter amount of time because it's the same basic action, but the animal must spend time getting used to the mount as well.

House skills: This encompasses a number of basic skills that enable the animal to remain indoors without being destructive - housebreaking, excessive noise, destruction of furniture, etc., as well as reacting properly to strangers. Most establishments will not allow an animal that hasn't been trained. This trick takes up 2 slots and is advanced.

Perform: The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling over, roaring or barking, and so on.

Recall: A more advanced form of the Come trick, recall overrides the animal's basic instincts and forces it to return to the PC. If the animal is being magically controlled via charm (but not domination), the PC can make a Handle Animal check vs. the spell or effect's DC + 10; if the check succeeds, the animal will come to the PC, but he must maintain control (i.e., make a check every round) for the animal to stay.

Seek: The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate and sound an alert (bark, howl, roar, etc.) if it finds anything.

Stay: The animal stays in place for up to 6 hours, waiting for the PC to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to.

Stay, long: The animal will stay in place for up to 3 days, waiting for the PC to return. It will forage for food as necessary, but will return to the general area it was told to wait. As with Stay, it does not challenge other creatures that come by, but it will defend itself.

Track (DC 20): The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (The animal must have the scent ability.)

Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.

Train an Animal for a Purpose: Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, the PC can simply train it 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. The animal must meet all the normal prerequisites for all tricks included in the training package. If the package includes more than three tricks, the animal must have an Intelligence score of 2.

An animal can be trained for only one general purpose, though if it is capable of learning additional tricks above and beyond those included in its general purpose, it can do so. Training an animal for a purpose requires fewer checks than teaching individual tricks does, but no less time.

Combat Riding (DC 20): An animal trained to bear a rider into combat knows the tricks attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel. Training an animal for combat riding takes six weeks. The PC can also "upgrade" an animal trained for riding to one trained for combat riding by spending three weeks and making a successful DC 20 Handle Animal check. The new general purpose and tricks completely replace the animal's previous purpose and any tricks it once knew. Warhorses and riding dogs are already trained to bear riders into combat, and they don't require any additional training for this purpose.

Fighting (DC 20): An animal trained to engage in combat knows the tricks attack, down, and stay. Training an animal for fighting takes three weeks.

Guarding (DC 20): An animal trained to guard knows the tricks attack, defend, down, and guard. Training an animal for guarding takes four weeks.

Heavy Labor (DC 15): An animal trained for heavy labor knows the tricks come and work. Training an animal for heavy labor takes two weeks.

Hunting (DC 20): An animal trained for hunting knows the tricks attack, down, fetch, heel, seek, and track. Training an animal for hunting takes six weeks.

Performance (DC 15): An animal trained for performance knows the tricks come, fetch, heel, perform, and stay. Training an animal for performance takes five weeks.

Riding (DC 15): An animal trained to bear a rider knows the tricks come, heel, and stay. Training an animal for riding takes three weeks.

Rear a Wild Animal: To rear an animal means to raise a wild creature from infancy so that it becomes domesticated. A handler can rear as many as three creatures of the same kind at once. The DC for this task is 15 + the animal's Hit Dice.

Rear a Magical Beast: As rearing an animal, except the PC is raising a magical beast. The DC for this task is 25 + the creature's Hit Dice.

Train a Magical Beast: Add +10 to the DCs for all tasks.

A successfully domesticated animal can be taught tricks at the same time it's being raised, or it can be taught as a domesticated animal later.

Action: Varies. Handling an animal is a move action, while pushing an animal is a full-round action. (A druid or ranger can handle her animal companion as a free action or push it as a move action.) For tasks with specific time frames noted above, the PC must spend half this time (at the rate of 3 hours per day per animal being handled) working toward completion of the task before he attempt the Handle Animal check. If the check fails, his attempt to teach, rear, or train the animal fails and he need not complete the teaching, rearing, or training time. If the check succeeds, he must invest the remainder of the time to complete the task. If the time is interrupted or the task is not followed through to completion, the attempt automatically fails.

Try Again: Yes, except for rearing an animal.

Special: The character can use this skill on a creature with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 that is not an animal, but the DC of any such check increases by 5. Such creatures have the same limit on tricks known as animals do.

A druid or ranger gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Handle Animal checks involving her animal companion. In addition, a druid's or ranger's animal companion knows one bonus basic trick, which doesn't count against the normal limit of tricks known and don't require any training time or Handle Animal checks to teach.

Untrained: If he has no ranks in Handle Animal, the PC can use a Charisma check to handle and push domestic animals, but he can't teach, rear, or train animals. A druid or ranger with no ranks in Handle Animal can use a Charisma check to handle and push her animal companion, but she can't teach, rear, or train other wild animals.

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