I want to make myself a homebrew system to better deal with how to reward experience points to my players for roleplay, spellcasting, and combat respectively rather than just the 1 experience bar that gives limited rewards as you level. I want to create a better system where the results of my players actions are better reflected than a basic standard number. This question has to do with wild animals (beasts).

Actual Question

What are the stages between a hostile animal and a tame animal?

What are the requirements to go from each stage to the next?

For example: You encounter a wild animal in the woods that is clearly agitated. What mechanics and DCs are involved in trying to take said animal and make it more friendly towards you and to calm it down? Being able to order and command it in combat would be a much longer process than just calming it down and making it more friendly towards you, but I want to know what is that process too and what are each of the stages of that process.

I know somewhere there are official guidelines for this, but I just can’t find them. I’m not looking for the Ranger/Druid specific abilities or the spells that do this, I'm looking for a nonmagical way anyone can attempt to do this.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related (closed) question: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/120468/43856 \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you aware of the fact that experience points are actually optional in 5e? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I am not a fan of chapter leveling at all as I feel it takes away from the appeal to roleplay when you are only going to level when you reach a certain checkpoint. I prefer experience points as it motivates my players to do more rather than just only focus on the plot they explore and interact with npc's to enjoy the world and people I created for them. 2nd off, \$\endgroup\$
    – KDodge
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ the homebrew system im creating is in effort to try and make a better system than chapter leveling or experience points and have in be based on logical in game sense and have the rewards you get be a better reflection on the actions you took to reach the point you are at. \$\endgroup\$
    – KDodge
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ How 5e with its levels is supposed to be related to this "better system"? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


Up to the DM

There are no official general guidelines, as far as I know, for that mechanic. The only non-magical thing anyone can attempt is the skill Animal Handling (Wisdom).

As any other skill, it's treated mostly as a binary result - either you fail that skill, or you pass that skill check. Note that, by the PHB, Animal Handling can only be used to calm down domesticated animals. Allowing anyone befriend a wild, hostile animal would make Animal Friendship a lot worse (and it's already not amazing).

One example of using that for calming down seemingly wild animals is given in the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure from the starter set (spoiler ahead)

In the first dungeon described in the book, there is a kennel with 3 wolves. Anyone can try to calm them down with a DC 15 Animal Handling check. If you give them food, the DC is reduced to 10 instead.

Again, it depends - somehow - on the animal itself. A hungry wolf might be calmed down by giving it food, while a bear trying to protect its little baby-bear might be calmed down by simply walking away and showing, somehow, you are not there to harm their child.

Similar to my answer in your other, similar question, it depends on the NPC's (and here I'm saying NPC as any character, including animals) motivations and personalities for the encounter.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was told to separate my question into 2 despite them being similar. \$\endgroup\$
    – KDodge
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 19:32
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @KaleDodge I do think they are better separated, as the way to role-play animals is different from how you role-play humanoids. The ability checks are also (arguably) different, in particular some Charisma checks should change to Wisdom here. The questions (and thus the answers) are obviously similar and related, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 19:34

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