We will be playing simple campaign. No classes, feats etc that are not in 3 "base" books. Especially, we will try to stick to Player's Handbook. Starting level 2.

I was thinking that:

  1. You can ride if mount's size is one larger than your own
  2. Wolf is medium
  3. Druid can have a wolf from the beginning
  4. There are two PHB races that are small: halfling and gnome

I rolled pretty amazing character:

Male Halfling Druid 2

Strength        10  (+0)
Dexterity       16  (+3)
Constitution    13  (+1)
Intelligence    17  (+3)
Wisdom          18  (+4)
Charisma        15  (+2)

I think I should max Handle Animal and Ride. It will give me nice:

Handle Animal  7 = 5 ranks + 2 Cha
Ride          10 = 5 ranks + 3 Dex +2 [handle animal synergy]

But how do I make my wolf ridable?

  • My animal companion will have one bonus trick. But can I use it for Train for purpose: Riding or Train for purpose: Combat riding? Is "train for purpose" an equivalent of a trick? Or can I train my wolf using Handle Animal skill alone, without using tricks?
  • Does he count as ill suited as a mount and gives -5 to tests?
  • Do I need exotic saddle, or riding dog saddle would fit?
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hope it's not too broad. If it is, I'm willing to limit it to trick / train for purpose part. Exact stats just for reference, I don't expect them to really matter, but I see no harm in posting them if anyone might want to see them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 4, 2014 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


On teaching a wolf tricks

This falls under the description of Handle Animal.

To make a wolf ride-able, the creature must most likely be reared. Wolves are wild.

Rear a Wild Animal

To rear an animal means to raise a wild creature from infancy so that it becomes domesticated. A handler can rear as many as three creatures of the same kind at once.

A successfully domesticated animal can be taught tricks at the same time it’s being raised, or it can be taught as a domesticated animal later.

During this time, you also train it in combat riding. Succeed on a few checks (DC 17 to rear, DC 20 to train), and you have a now-domesticated wolf that knows the tricks of "attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel".

Then you hug and play with the thing until it becomes your animal companion. This teaches it an additional trick, which could be any trick you want.

As for whether you can use this bonus trick to teach it a whole new purpose - no. A purpose is just a selection of tricks, combined into one Handle Animal check for convenience. It does not give a discount on the number of tricks required for the whole package, just the number of checks.

On riding a wolf

The questions of whether you take a -5 on riding checks and need an exotic saddle is something that isn't addressed in the game, at least not directly. You will have to ask your DM.

To me personally, wolves and riding dogs look very similar. We also know from real life how physically similar wolves are to large dogs. I can't imagine one being physically well suited to riding and the other not, or them requiring very different saddles. I'd say once you have successfully reared the wolf into domestication, you're good to go.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wolf is Int 2, so it has 6 tricks available, covering attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel of "combat riding" pretty well - do I get this right? And the Druid bonus one stays unused. For rearing, I believe as a Druid I shouldn't really have to. I don't need him to be ridable by everyone, just by me. Also, Druid can teach his companion tricks without rearing it - this overrules the requirement you quoted, I believe. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 4, 2014 at 9:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Firstly, I would use the "unused" Trick to take attack other, since your Wolf won't attack a number of nasty critters, including undead, otherwise. On topic I think you are correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy
    Jun 4, 2014 at 12:17

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