I stumbled upon this question: My ranger has tamed an absurd number of Animal Companions with Handle Animal

In the uses of Handle Animal, most similar thing I have seen is:

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.

but I hear / see / read about people using this skill to tame adult animals, too. What rule or combination may be used for that effect? Wild Empathy could change animal's attitude from wild animal's unfriendly to domesticated animal's neutral or friendly all right, but I don't see how would it give an ability to teach said animal tricks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As a gm you can kill them if it becomes a problem. Just have a hungry peasant bag up all their squirrels. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2014 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VoronoiPotato but I asked how to do it, not how to prevent it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 5, 2014 at 7:08

3 Answers 3


By RAW, you can't turn an adult wild animal into a "domestic" animal. The only time making a wild animal domestic is mentioned is in the rule you quoted, and that specifically talks about raising an animal from infancy.

You can, however, train it. Training it gives it tricks and makes it easier to control, so functionally during games it doesn't tend to be a lot different (unless your campaign has you trying to leave a Wolf on a ranch, I suppose).

If you intend to bring your wild Dire Lion into town, you just want to make sure it knows a trick like Heel, as that's a great one to keep it by your side and not doing what wild animals do.

You do that with Handle Animal and it's "Teach a Trick" or "Train for a Purpose" abilities.


As I see it, you have a couple of options.

Option 1: Houserule Handle Animal DCs

Come up with a reasonable Handle Animal DC based on the DCs already in the rules and how wild the creature is. Maybe start with the DC for rearing an animal from infancy (15 + HD of animal) and make it a bit more difficult since the animal is already grown.

Option 2: Look at monster entries

Some creatures have a "Training" section in their monster entry. For example, the Griffon. For animals that don't have such a section, use this as a guideline. This would mean a Diplomacy check to ensure a friendly attitude toward the tamer, followed by several weeks of work and a Handle Animal check.

Option 3: Forget taming

As Tridus mentioned, you could argue that you don't need to tame the creature at all. Just use the DCs already in the Handle Animal rules for "Teach trick" and "Train for purpose," and then use the rules for "Handle an animal" to get the animal to perform those tricks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Griffon has Int in range of NPCs, and Diplomacy can't be used on creatures that does not qualify as NPCs... but Druids and Rangers could probably use Wild Empathy, as it works "as diplomacy", but on animals. Sounds like an idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 4, 2014 at 13:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot The Griffon is not an animal. It's a magical beast. Wild Empathy doesn't work on it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Jun 4, 2014 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tridus I was talking about using Wild Empathy in place of Diplomacy when applying Griffon rules to animals - exactly because diplomacy works on griffons, and wild empathy works on animals. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 4, 2014 at 14:33

Handle Animal is treated like Diplomacy for when dealing with lower intelligent animals: the same rule applies as if you were trying to befriend someone with Diplomacy and if you befriend it you can spend two weeks training it a trick like follow and heel so that it will be your pet but don't forget to feed it cause it may run off.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .