Is a session today, my Barbarian Goliath (Uthrak) decided to be a hero.

We were fighting some giants, and one rocked up riding a mammoth. I decided a fun thing to do would be to try and highjack it, so after taking out the rider and other nearby hostiles, we did a series of animal handling checks to calm it down (while hanging on for dear life) and managed to make it docile.

Now, role-play wise, Uthrak really likes his new "pet", and wants to keep her, but I/We are struggling to figure out if that's even feasible.

As a totem warrior barb, I can use speak with animals as a ritual. Would this help with training? I'd guess at the very least advantage on further animal handling checks

Given this particular mammoth was already being ridden by mr giant, I imagine it would already be trained to a certain extent (and conveniently in a language my character speaks - even if I don't know what commands it has been taught)

I'm not concerned about training her for combat, I just want Uthrak to ride gleefully off on his new friend, to either free her from the giants' servitude and back into the wild or(my preference) to remain as a mount/pack mule.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Note to those close voters: Just because the answer to a question might be "Ask the DM" does not mean that the question is primarily opinion based. There are many situation we handle here in which the rules are unclear or non-existent and that does not make that question POB. Answers must always follow our Good Subjective Bad Subjective guidelines and this question seems like it can be answered with such answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AVeryLargeBear I think this question’s focus on how/whether a spell would make it easier makes it a different question that the other one’s asnswers don’t answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 0:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/59291/… \$\endgroup\$
    – user39842
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 2:00

1 Answer 1


Would speak with animals help with training a mammoth?

There are two ways to answer this question:

  1. Pragmatic:

Yes, being able to actually converse with any animal would obviously help in training them.

  1. Rules Based:

Speak with Animals says:

You gain the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts for the duration. The knowledge and awareness of many beasts is limited by their intelligence, but at minimum, beasts can give you information about nearby locations and monsters, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day. You might be able to persuade a beast to perform a small favor for you, at the GM’s discretion.

Since it says nothing about helping with training the animal or giving advantage on animal handling checks, it doesn't.

The rules for mounts say:

Mounts other than those listed here are available in fantasy gaming worlds, ... . Acquiring such a mount often means securing an egg and raising the creature yourself, making a bargain with a powerful entity, or negotiating with the mount itself.

Speak with Animals would help with "negotiating with the mount itself".

What are the rules for owning and training animals? There are none.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would say communication by a spell would help immensely while trying to get to an animal's good side; you can find out what it's needs and fears are, and work from there. Is it hungry? Offer it food. Was it mistreated by the giant's? Offer it kindness and safety. Speak with animals would allow the caster knowledge which otherwise wouldn't be available, or could only be guessed at. (All, or course, depending on the animal's memory capability / intelligence.) \$\endgroup\$
    – DocWeird
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 8:41

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