MSRD:Handle Animal (Skill)

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Handle Animal (Cha; Trained Only)

Check: The time required to get an effect and the DC depend on what the character is trying to do.

Task Time DC
Handle an animal Move action 10
“Push” an animal Full-round action 25
Teach an animal a trick 1 week See text
Train an animal for a purpose See text See text

Handle an Animal: This means to command an animal to perform a task or trick that 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 an Animal a Trick: The character 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 three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence of 2 can learn a maximum of six tricks.

The character can teach an animal to obey only that character. Any other person attempting to make the animal perform a trick takes a –10 penalty on his or her Handle Animal check. Teaching an animal to obey only the character 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 the character teaches the animal by +5. If the animal already knows any tricks, the character cannot teach it to obey only that character.

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. Normally, an animal only attacks humans and other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including unnatural creatures such as undead and aberrations if they exist in your campaign) counts as two tricks.

Come (DC 15): The animal comes to the character, even if the animal normally would not do so (such as following the 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 some 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 it’s 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 still defends 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, the character 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. An animal can be trained for one general purpose only, though if 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 individual tricks.

Combat Riding (DC 20, 6 weeks): An animal trained to bear a rider into combat 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, and 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, 6 weeks): An animal trained for hunting knows Attack, Down, Fetch, Heel, Seek, and Track.

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.

Special: A character can take 10 or take 20 when handling animals.

An untrained character uses Charisma checks to handle and push animals, but he or she 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. Teaching or training an animal takes a number of days. The character does 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 days required.) The character cannot spread the days out; if the character does not complete the training during a period of consecutive days, the effort is wasted.

MSRD -> Skills

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