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I am a druid in a game. We are tasked with bringing down a keep's defenses for a army. Since I am a druid I figured why not get the animals to help me out. The only time I have ever seen handle animal used is when they are a mount or familiar, so I am not exactly sure what is and isnt allowed.

Since I am not taking a week to train a single animal, I will be using the push aspect of handle animal which has a DC of 25. Would having animals like large predator birds and bears attack the keep be a valid use of the skill? There is also no mention of what kind of action using push is.

Edit: As the comments moved to chat say, yes it is the inhabitants of the keep that are to be attacked and not the structure itself.

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Handle Animal explains the type of action used:

  • 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 your druid, pushing (forcing the animal to do a trick it doesnt know) your own animal companion is a Move Action, while other animals would be a Full-Round Action.

Attack the keep! doesn't sound like a possible command by the rules-as-written, as none of the tricks available allow you to point the animal at objects or locations to attack. At best, you would have to make one animal attack a specific creature using the Attack trick, while others protect them using the Defend trick.

Attack: 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.

Defend: 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 a specific other character.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Curse Pathfinder for limiting the tricks available for animals to the printed ones. D&D 3.5e says, "Possible tricks (and their associated DCs) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following" list of tricks (PH 74), precisely so, I suspect, a handler can make the animal do stuff the game didn't anticipate—like Storm the keep! Sigh. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 3 '17 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be fair, those are listed as Common Tricks, leaving room for Advanced or even Complex tricks down the road. But aparently every new trick published is simply adding to the same list of common tricks. I will have to check my Animal Archive when I get home. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 3 '17 at 21:07
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The skill Handle Animal on Action says, "Handling an animal is a move action, while 'pushing' an animal is a full-round action." If a wild animal's attitude toward the potential handler is already indifferent or better, this GM would allow a handler to make Handle Animal skill checks to "push" the animal as per the animal attitudes listed in the extraordinary ability wild empathy.

However, the full-round action necessary to send the animals at the keep means that this is likely to be inefficient unless the handler is teamed up with other handlers doing the same or the handler is 'pushing' particularly mighty animals to attack the keep!

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    \$\begingroup\$ In game I have 1-2 weeks left. So the plan is to spend time collecting animals and then send them to harass the keep for as long as possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 4 '17 at 2:28
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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.)

From the Handle Animal skill description you linked. Since the army of bears isn't your companion, it'll be a full-round action each. Note that since they are wild animals, pushing the attack trick only causes them to fight a subset of living creatures, and they will not be able to attack the wall. You'd need them to already have the attack trick to push them to the second level of that trick. Birds, however, could be directed to use the 'Bombard' trick, instead.

You, however, should not need any sort of animal handling to accomplish your task. Instead, cast speak with animals and use Diplomacy, Wild Empathy, or out-of-character eloquence (as appropriate to your playstyle) to bargain with the animals for aid. This costs you no actions and does not subject the animals to the same limits as tricks do.

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