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Both the skill Handle Humanoid that's from the April Fools Web column "Fabulous Cats!" and the skill Handle Animal can be used to teach tricks to a humanoid, giant, or monstrous humanoid with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2.

If an appropriate creature is taught both Handle Animal tricks and Handle Humanoid tricks, do the tricks count against the same limit? Can a handler use the Handle Animal skill to have an appropriate creature perform a trick that was taught by a handler that trained the creature using the skill Handle Humanoid and vice versa? When a handler "pushes" an appropriate creature to perform a trick that creature doesn't know, can the handler pick a trick from the other skill's tricks list or only from the tricks list of the skill the handler's using?

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Combining Skills

The language of the skills always describes a "trick that [the creature] knows", without specific reference to how it learned those tricks. Regardless of whether it was trained traditionally using Handle Animal or conditioned by a cat using Handle Humanoid, once it knows a trick it knows a trick, and thereafter can be commanded to use it by someone using one of these skills.

Tricks Known

Handle Animal specifies that a given creature can only know three tricks if it's Int 1, or six tricks if it's Int 2. Handle Humanoid says that a humanoid can know a maximum of six tricks; but it was probably written on the assumption that any humanoid the skill would be used against had an Intelligence score greater than 2. It is probably best to consider this an oversight and rule that the same limit of tricks known applies to Handle Humanoid as it does to the Handle Animal skill; that is to say an Int 1 humanoid can know up to three tricks, and an Int 2+ humanoid can know up to six tricks. Tricks learned by the use of either skill should count against this same limit.

Pushing

When it comes to using one of these skills to "push" a creature (the wording is almost literally identical, and is functionally identical, between skills):

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.

And also when it comes to the lists of tricks available to learn/do:

Possible tricks (and their associated DCs) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

The lists given are not intended to be exclusive, and if the task is something that the creature is physically capable of doing, you can try and get it to do so regardless of whether it knows this as a trick or if it is even listed as a trick or task in the skill descriptions. Thus you can happily use Handle Animal to push a creature to use a trick listed from Handle Humanoid or vice versa. You can push creatures to do anything, so long as they're physically able.

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Let's get this out of the way: We're talking about an April Fools article that focuses on cats and that, despite its publication date, predates the 3.5 revision (for example, look at the cheshire cat's special ability feats). A DM that allows a PC that's a catfolk (Races of the Wild 92-5), hengeyokai (cat) (OA 10-11), tibbit (Dragon Compendium Volume 1 21-5), or whatever should expect weirdness if the article's rules are used without modification!

This DM would keep the skills Handle Animal and Handle Humanoid wholly independent

The Handle Humanoid skill doesn't allow the feline to try again to teach that trick to an appropriate creature if the feline fails the Handle Humanoid skill check or—if the check's successful—if the feline pauses in its efforts to train the appropriate creature. In such a case, a different feline must attempt to teach that appropriate creature that trick.

Similarly, the skill Handle Humanoid puts no Intelligence-governed limit on the number of tricks an appropriate creature can be taught. All appropriate creature have a limit of 6 tricks that can be taught to it using the skill Handle Humanoid.

Given these key differences, this DM would keep separate the tricks taught to a giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid that has an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 by a handler with the skill Handle Animal and a feline with the skill Handle Humanoid.

Example

While on an adventure, Hicc the cloistered cleric 17 of no particular deity rolls a 1 on his Will save against the 5th-level Sor/Wiz spell feeblemind [ench] (PH 229-30), which, among other effects, reduces his Intelligence to 1. After escaping the dungeon, the other PCs realize that it's usually Hicc who would fix such a problem and usually Hicc who would get them home. They'll be spending months in the wilderness before reaching civilization.

Ekaj the totemist has ranks in the skill Handle Animal, and the Handle Animal skill can be employed on creatures that don't possess the type animal and that have an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but such skill uses see their DCs increase by +5. Ekaj sets about training Hicc for the purpose fighting.

Vitras the tibbit dread necromancer has ranks in the skill Handle Humanoid. He's already (and perhaps even without their knowledge) trained most of the party in the tricks defend and open!, but now he sees his chance to train Hicc (who'd always been smart enough before not to spend that much time around the tibbit) some tricks… like that trick fetch!

The two skills, while sharing a superficial resemblance, in this DM's opinion, don't overlap. Tricks taught using one skill can't be activated by the other skill, and tricks taught using one skill don't count toward a creature's trick maximum by the other skill.

By the way, the skill Handle Humanoid breaks campaigns

As written, the skill Handle Humanoid essentially allows a feline to take a full-round action to dictate the behavior of a giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid, and that creature can't resist. Whether this is for only the subject creature's next turn or several turns, this casually removes such creatures from the action. Although there may be some real-world truth to it, in a long-term campaign, the skill makes felines the world's masters. (Whether felines are the world's secret masters will depend on the campaign!) For example, felines will be capable of acquiring free material support (via the feed me trick) and items of all kinds (via the fetch trick!) from the creatures that most commonly build and (seem to) rule towns. A campaign that allows the use of the skill Handle Humanoid unmodified should have strict feline controls in place or see felines treated as gods lest the more experienced felines casually order their giant, humanoid, and monstrous humanoid minions to their doom (or, more likely, to their more amusing utter humiliation).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Question's for a campaign where all the PCs are cats, but yeah, it's pretty game-breaky otherwise, like most of the material in the supplement (Divine spells with no DF requirement whaa? D:) \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Oct 29 '17 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Huh. Now I'm curious (and had best, I guess, be careful, seeing as what curiosity does): Are the PCs all in some way feline; cats that have been subject to the spell awaken; or actual, for-reals animal-type cats terrorizing commoners? (And there must be other divine spells that lack a divine focus component!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 29 '17 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, looking at the real world, I can only conclude that real life game balance was broken by cats long, long ago. After all, they used to be worshiped as Gods, and they have probably never forgotten that little tidbit, not to mention expect humans to remember it to boot. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Oct 30 '17 at 1:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan actual for real MM domestic cats. I'm counting them as LA-1 cause why not. Fair amount of homebrew because cats. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Oct 30 '17 at 5:36

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