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My new 1st level druid likes to use the spell "Aspect of the Wolf" for combat. Now the question arose whether he can use Handle Animal in wolf form to use the Attack trick on his riding dog companion.

There is no mention of language in the Handle Animal description.

"This task involves commanding an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows." PHB, p. 74

Thus my question: Can a druid in animal form use Handle Animal?

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    \$\begingroup\$ How has the GM ruled with regard to "[y]ou los[ing] any extraordinary special abilities of your own form, as well as spell-like and supernatural abilities" in the aspect of wolf? That is, has the GM ruled that you keep, for example, the extraordinary ability animal companion while in aspect? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2 at 20:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Too bad the spell is not the same as wildshape, since one could communicate with animals in wildshape form.... \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jan 3 at 2:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan: Honestly, I assumed you keep those along with your class and the extraordinary attacks derived from class levels. I guess that's what my DM would rule, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giorin
    Jan 3 at 9:49

2 Answers 2

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No

A character can give a simple verbal command, such as “Attack” or “Come,” as a free action, provided such a command is among the tricks the animal has learned.

DMG on animal companions, 206 (emphasis mine)

So, if you want your animal companion to perform a certain trick you have to speak the appropriate command, like in this case „attack!“.

As a DM, I would rule that a command could also be a distinct sound like whistling, snapping your fingers, clucking your tongue or making some guttural sound. But in any case it should be something your animal companion is able to hear and clearly recognize.

Since it’s rather hard to think of an acoustic signal that you can give in humanouid form as well as in animal form this won’t help you much.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The passage quoted is actually closer to an example (of something doable as a free action), than to a statement, that commanding an animal only works in a sayed way. Given, the later part of that same passage contradicts PHB (and should, probably, be ignored) I'd give it some degree of doubt. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9 at 20:45
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This is about training

There is some trigger (or several) and related reaction. Generally, you may pick whatever trigger you want your companion to recognize as a command. There should be no need in words... untill your companion never seen you transmuted into a wolf.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Some sort of source for your answer would be nice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jan 4 at 9:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot For now, I can reffer only to Rules of the Game article Animals, Part One. "The rules don't give any conditions or range limits for giving an animal a command. Common sense suggests that the animal must be able to see or hear you -- so that it can respond to your gestures or voice." Unfortunatly (or for the better), those articles are a poor source of proofs. I know there is a statement somewhere oficial, that D&D worlds function identically to our world, unless stated otherwise. But I do not have a page number (yet?) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9 at 20:53

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