If a dire wolf (a large creature) is attacking a huge creature (a hill giant) will the wolf's Bite check affect them?

The rules for Bite state that the creature must make a strength save or be knocked prone.

I'm asking as a Druid who turns into a dire wolf who is using it against a huge creature.


1 Answer 1


The rules don't specify a caveat to that beast-on-monster interaction.

Since it doesn't specify, the chance to knock down the target is present.

Does that make sense to you and your DM?

If yes, go with it.

If not, consider a related ability: the Shove action from the PHB(p.195) which specifies that the Strength check attempt can only be used on a creature up to one size larger than you to shove it away or knock it prone.

If medium, up to a large; if large, up to a huge, if huge, up to a gargantuan.

In this case, Large Dire Wolf versus Huge Hill giant, it's still a roll for a possible knockdown. (Dire wolves are sorta badass, eh?) A medium sized beast (boar) could not do that.

I've seen a ruling that if you go one size up your Shove attempt is at disadvantage, but as I can't find the source that may have been a table rule. (@DerekStucki advises that this idea was floated during play test, and was in the 1st printing PHB for the grappler feat, but has been errata'd out. It said, under the grappler feat "Creatures that are one size larger than you don’t automatically succeed on checks to escape your grapple." but the errata says "this refers to a non existent rule").

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm asking as a Druid turning who turns into a dire wolf who is using it against a huge creature, so not really monster v monster. \$\endgroup\$
    – CBredlow
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 3:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ The disadvantage bit was erroneously referenced by the grappler feat, but didn't actually make it into the final rules. Errata and later printings remove the reference. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CBredlow "Beast versus monster" but I figured that was where it was coming from. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Monster grapples don't use the Player's Handbook grappling rules. They're not limited by size unless they take the Attack action to attempt a "normal" grapple. Strength correlates well with size in monster stat blocks so larger creatures are already naturally harder to knock down. Note that monks can also attempt to knock down arbitrarily large creatures with Open Hand Technique, and legendary creatures can always cheat with legendary resistance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 3:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ We recently encountered a similar "Huh? Really?" moment when we realised that a standard medium Wolf could potentially knock over any sized creature via Bite. I think you're suggestion of borrowing the Shove rules from PHB, p. 195, is a great houserule to adjudicate this. +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 9:07

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