I'm a bit confused as to how this skill is carried out during combat.

If you have an animal companion/familiar/pet/or anything that follows you around, at the start of battle you roll for its initiative, but what parts of the combat happen during your turn and what parts happen during the companion's turn?

My best guess would be that during your turn you would perform a handle animal check. Let's say you order your pet to attack a foe. So now during your pet's turn he would carry out the task you ordered. Is that correct?

So would you need to order an attack every round for the pet to continue attacking a foe?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you would make the check during your turn, and if successful, you have communicated to the animal that it is to attack that target. The rest works just like if you talked to another humanoid and told them to attack that person. If they choose to comply (which the trick ensures the animal will), then they must wait until their own turn to act on the command.

As for how long they keep attacking on one command, the RAW is somewhat more ambiguous on that point, but the description of the "Down" trick seems to imply that the "Attack" trick lasts until the enemy being attacked is taken down or until something such as the "Down" trick or severe injury motivates the animal to fall back.

Down (DC 15) The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down. An animal that doesn’t know this trick continues to fight until it must flee (due to injury, a fear effect, or the like) or its opponent is defeated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that makes sense! I read the attacking tricks but did not notice what the down trick stated. That does seem to imply that attack is a continuous process then. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nerevar
    Apr 6, 2014 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nerevar Yea, it'd be nice if they gave us more to go on than an implication, and made some mention of it in the "attack" trick's own description. At least in this case it's implied rather strongly. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2014 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can also test with delaying the animal companion to the next action from the controller character. At groups I often play it seems to improve the initiative management and help move things smoother. \$\endgroup\$
    – Balacertar
    Sep 28, 2016 at 22:48

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