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I understand that for normal animals this is necessary, but what about the animals linked to the player? All the rules I see say Handle becomes a free action and Push becomes a move action, but it is never said if the player still has to roll to command their animal companion.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yep

You do still have to roll. The important detail is that you get a +4 circumstance bonus to Handle Animal checks with your companion, and you only need to get a 10 (12 if the animal is wounded) to use tricks your animal knows.

That means you only need +7 in the ability between skill ranks and Charisma, and it becomes impossible to fail for tricks your animal knows (remember that a 1 is not an automatic failure on a skill check). For your animal companion, a handle is a free action, so it doesn't take any time from your character to do it.

For pushing it's a lot harder to make it a guaranteed success, but as you get bonus tricks for your animal companion it tends to come up pretty rarely in my experience. If you do have to do it, it's a move action for your companion, so you can do it and still cast a spell or attack something in a round.

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Worth mentioning that druids get to handle their animal companion as a free action, and push it as a move action. –  KRyan Feb 21 at 0:25
    
@KRyan Good call. Thanks! –  Tridus Feb 21 at 0:29

Yes, you do. Since there's no rule saying you don't, then QED. I GM for a druid PC where we use that rule, and after a couple levels it doesn't come up much - it's basically "spend an action if you want the animal to do something totally freaky it wouldn't normally," which is fair.

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