Animal Training (Cha)

With this skill, you can attempt to ride and train animals. You are skilled at riding mounts, usually a horse, but possibly something more exotic, like a griffon or pegasus. If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount, you take a –5 penalty on your Ride checks.

Riding

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.

Task Ride DC
Guide with knees 5
Stay in saddle 5
Fight with a combat-trained mount 10
Cover 15
Soft fall 15
Leap 15
Spur mount 15
Control mount in battle 20
Fast mount or dismount 20

Guide with Knees: You can guide your mount with your knees so you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount. This does not take an action.

Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage. This usage does not take an action.

Fight with a Combat-Trained Mount: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action.

Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover. You can’t attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover. 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 move action (no check required).

Soft Fall: You negate damage when you fall off a mount. If you fail the Ride check, you take 1d6 points of damage and are prone. This usage does not take an action.

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 Ride modifier or the mount’s jump modifier, which is lower, to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Ride check, you fall off the mount when it leaps and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 points). 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 speed by 10 feet for 1 round but deals 1d3 points of damage to the creature. You can use this ability every round, but the mount becomes fatigued after a number of rounds equal to its Constitution score. This ability cannot be used on a fatigued mount.

Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for horses or ponies trained for 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 free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you fail the Ride check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. You can’t use fast mount or dismount on a mount more than one size category larger than yourself.

Action: Varies. Mounting or dismounting normally is a move action. Other checks are a move action, a free action, or no action at all, as noted above.

Special: If you are riding bareback, you take a –5 penalty on Ride checks.

If you have the Animal Affinity feat, you get a bonus on Ride checks (see Feats).

If you use a military saddle you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Ride checks related to staying in the saddle.

Handling an Animal

You are trained at working with animals, and can teach them tricks, get them to follow your simple commands, or even domesticate them.

Check: The DC depends on what you are trying to do.

Task Handle Animal DC
Handle an animal 10
“Push” an animal 25
Teach an animal a trick 15 or 20*
Train an animal for a general purpose 15 or 20*
Rear a wild animal 15 + HD of animal
  • See the specific trick or purpose below.

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 your 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 your check succeeds, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action.

Teach an Animal a Trick: You can teach an animal a specific trick with 1 week of work and a successful Handle Animal check against the indicated DC. 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. Possible tricks (and their associated DCs) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

Trick DC Description
Attack 20 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 (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) counts as two tricks.
Come 15 The animal comes to you, even if it normally would not do so.
Defend 20 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 15 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, a fear effect, or the like) or its opponent is defeated.
Fetch 15 The animal goes and gets something. If you do not point out a specific item, the animal fetches a random object.
Guard 20 The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.
Heel 15 The animal follows you closely, even to places where it normally wouldn’t go.
Perform 15 The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling over, roaring or barking, and so on.
Seek 15 The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.
Stay 15 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 20 The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (This requires the animal to have the scent ability.)
Work 15 The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.

Train an animal for a General Purpose:Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you 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 or higher.

An animal can be trained for only one general purpose, though if the creature 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 does, but no less time.

General Purpose DC Description
Combat Training 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 6 weeks. You may also “upgrade” an animal trained for riding to one trained for combat by spending 3 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. Many horses and riding dogs are trained in this way.
Fighting 20 An animal trained to engage in combat knows the tricks attack, down, and stay. Training an animal for fighting takes 3 weeks.
Guarding 20 An animal trained to guard knows the tricks attack, defend, down, and guard. Training an animal for guarding takes 4 weeks.
Heavy Labor 15 An animal trained for heavy labor knows the tricks come and work. Training an animal for heavy labor takes 2 weeks.
Hunting 20 An animal trained for hunting knows the tricks attack, down, fetch, heel, seek, and track. Training an animal for hunting takes 6 weeks.
Performance 15 An animal trained for performance knows the tricks come, fetch, heel, perform, and stay. Training an animal for performance takes 5 weeks.
Riding 15 An animal trained to bear a rider knows the tricks come, heel, and stay. Training an animal for riding takes 3 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.

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 an animal companion as a free action or push it as a move action.) For tasks with specific time frames noted above, you must spend half this time (at the rate of 3 hours per day per animal being handled) working toward completion of the task before you attempt the Handle Animal check. If the check fails, your attempt to teach, rear, or train the animal fails and you need not complete the teaching, rearing, or training time. If the check succeeds, you must invest the remainder of the time to complete the teaching, rearing, or training. If the time is interrupted or the task is not followed through to completion, the attempt to teach, rear, or train the animal automatically fails.

Try Again: Yes, except for rearing an animal.

Special: You 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 an animal companion.

In addition, a druid’s or ranger’s animal companion knows one or more bonus tricks, which don’t count against the normal limit on tricks known and don’t require any training time or Handle Animal checks to teach.

If you have the Animal Affinity feat, you get a bonus on Handle Animal checks (see Feats).

Untrained: If you have no ranks in Handle Animal, you can use a Charisma check to handle and push domestic animals, but you 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 non-domestic animals.

Areas of Knowledge: Animal Husbandry, pack animals, animal domestication, animal domestication history, animal diets, HORSES.

Animal Training (Cha)

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