I plan to give the party an opportunity to find a homonculus in a defeated necromancer lair and possibly make it their animal companion if they wish to.

The druid characters could probably make the animal handling checks easily. However, other characters could also be interested in the companion.

Is there an official mechanic (other than the help action) allowing Character A (with strong animal handling skill) to help character B (not as strong with the skill than A) to bond with an animal to make it a companion and train it?

If not, how would you implement a rule to do so and explain it narratively (not just "the Character A rolls for you")?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've moved the comments to chat as they were getting long, and drifting into multiple different issues. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:39
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ On that note, please don't edit a question so it invalidates answers (and on that note, please don't signal the edits in body, there's a revision history in the site). I haven't rolled back, as the revision that was answered was also closed as needing clarity. I'd love to hear input from the close/reopen voters (and maybe especially those more familiar with the system in question). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, lulling it over, I think it's better to keep this focused to the specific scenario it started with and have edited that info back in. It got a good and useful answer. Since you're still interested in the general case (ie. with an animal and nor homunculi) I suggest you ask that as a new question. Feel free to link to this Q for context. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 4, 2021 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the guidance, I admit it was a bit of a mess, I validated the previous answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Feb 6, 2021 at 6:15

1 Answer 1


Frame Challenge: Animal Handling is not what you need, and "animal companion" is not the way you should look at it.

A homunculus is a construct with int 10. It's not an animal, and even if it was, animal handling wouldn't really apply. Also, "animal companion" is a class feature that sorcerers don't get. Still, that's not to say that you can't or shouldn't let your sorcerer try to acquire a friend. It's just that you need to look at it somewhat differently. After all, homunculi are made to serve. So how do you approach this?

  • Arcana check: It's a construct in the lab of an arcane caster. Perhaps it's a broken homunculus, or one that otherwise has some sort of serious issue. Perhaps a high enough arcana check could help. Perhaps there's a book on homunculi somewhere in the dungeon that could make that check easier. (The book has the answer in it, but you still need to make a reasonably easy arcana check just to read and understand the book.) All of this is very easily justifiable in any of a wide variety of variations if the party is adventuring through the lab of a guy who was making homunculi in the first place.

  • Diplomacy check: it's a creature with int 10. Perhaps it was mistreated, or otherwise feels no loyalty. Perhaps it wants a master, but only one that will treat it well. Diplomacy promises and bribes might convince it that you'd be that master.

  • Bluff check: as above, but you're willing to lie. Probably won't hang around as long (he'll leave once he realizes you were lying) but convincing him to join up in the first place might be easier.

...and hey! All three of those are things that Sorcerers tend to actually be good at.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a great answer for my specific case and will probably apply it to my campaign. However it is not actually answering the question so I'm not sure what to do about the question post in itself \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Feb 3, 2021 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Alex Your general question is deeply flawed, as the animal companion rules in 3.5 are about a class feature (shared by rangers and druids), and not actually associated with the animal handling rules in any way. No, there is no way to have one character just give another character this class feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Feb 3, 2021 at 14:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Alex I also note that I posted this answer 6 hours ago, back when it was a valid response to the question you asked. My suggestion would be to revert the edits, accept this as an answer to the question that you asked, and then if you are still confused about how the animal companion rules work, ask a second question about that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Feb 3, 2021 at 14:07

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