Druid: Wildshaped and commanding your animal companion...


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Grand Lodge

I have a few questions around a druid's animal companion's moves while the druid has wildshaped.

Aside from shifting into the same type of animal, is it possible for a druid to command her animal companion while wildshaped in PFS play? Could the companions tricks be related to gestures or movements that a druid in animal form could do?

Additionally, if the companions intelligence is raised to 3 can it be assumed to understand common? If so can it be ordered to obey the commands of another party member while the druid is shifted? Would they gain any bonus to handle animal checks?

Thanks!

Sczarni 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

I will answer them in the order you asked them from my experience which is limited in regards to druids.

Yes, Wild Speech.
Maybe, never had it come up.
If you raise it to Int 3 and take a rank in linguistics it can understand whatever language you teach it, but cannot speak the language.
Anyone can tell your animal to do something if they succeed on a Handle Animal check unless your animal has the exclusive trick.
A person other than you does not receive any bonus on Handle Animal checks with your animal companion.


There's a feat called Wild Speech that let's you speak while wildshaped.

Your companion to accept signals from others as long as you don't train them with the exclusive trick, but that leads into the possibility of other not of your party doing the same. There is no bonuses to my knowledge for others trying to command your companion, but I'm also sure the don't have any penalties either if the option's open.

An animal companion does not automatically learn common or any other language just by increasing it's intelligence to 3, you still need to put points into Linguistics, and then choosing the language they respond to.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Steven Huffstutler wrote:
Anyone can tell your animal to do something if they succeed on a Handle Animal check unless your animal has the exclusive trick.

The exclusive trick is to prevent a charmed or wild empathied animal companion from taking orders. I don't think Handle animal generally lets you give commands to animals that don't know you from adam (that would make the skill better than charm animal and wild empathy)

Exclusive:
The animal takes directions only
from the handler who taught it this trick. If an animal
has both the exclusive and serve tricks, it takes directions
only from the handler that taught it the exclusive trick
and those creatures indicated by the trainer’s serve
command. An animal with the exclusive trick does not
take trick commands from others even if it is friendly
or helpful toward them (such as through the result of a
charm animal spell), though this does not prevent it from
being controlled by other enchantment spells (such as
dominate animal), and the animal still otherwise acts as a
friendly or helpful creature when applicable.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

0time wrote:

I have a few questions around a druid's animal companion's moves while the druid has wildshaped.

Aside from shifting into the same type of animal, is it possible for a druid to command her animal companion while wildshaped in PFS play?

DM's call. Expect table variation. Some might let you whinny or knicker in the general direction of what you need done. Presumably your companion has seen you in critter shape often enough to get the gist of it.

At the very least your animal should have the defend trick set to someone in the party, so even if its not going after the wizard in the back it will still attempt to bite SOMETHING that comes near you with a pointy stick.

Wild speech or being the same type of critter as your pet as pointed out will definitely work.

Speak with animals (you're a druid, I'm going to assume natural spell) - slightly iffier. The spell doesn't say that you have to be speaking a language, but some DM's may require you to.

Quote:
Additionally, if the companions intelligence is raised to 3 can it be assumed to understand common?

As per the PFS FAQ Linky The critter needs to spend a point in linguistics to understand (but not speak or read) common. This doesn't obviate the need for handle animal checks (but may give you more leeway in the complex commands)

Quote:

If so can it be ordered to obey the commands of another party member while the druid is shifted? Would they gain any bonus to handle animal checks?

Thanks!

That would be the serve trick from the animal archive (which if you have a critter class you really should pick up) It lets another party member use your bonus (which should auto succeed)

4/5

Wild Speech is a fantastic feat regardless of anything else, simply for enabling use-activated items while wild shaped, since you can speak command words.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

David_Bross wrote:
Wild Speech is a fantastic feat regardless of anything else, simply for enabling use-activated items while wild shaped, since you can speak command words.

Definitely. that and a polymorphic pouch give you all your wands and scrolls all the time.

5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Hamburg

Quote:
The exclusive trick is to prevent a charmed or wild empathied animal companion from taking orders. I don't think Handle animal generally lets you give commands to animals that don't know you from adam (that would make the skill better than charm animal and wild empathy)

Sure that's possible. But even if the animal is someone's animal companion, a handler other than that companion's master treats it as a normal animal (using move actions to handle it and full-round-actions to push it). I suppose if someone wants to "override" an order, he'd have to succeed at an opposed Handle Animal check (which makes the +4 bonus the master gains quite useful).

Quote:
An animal with the exclusive trick does not take trick commands from others even if it is friendly or helpful toward them (such as through the result of a charm animal spell)

This clearly states that those spells are just examples of how far the "protection" from the Exclusive trick goes.

Grand Lodge

Excellent. Thanks for the helpful responses everyone.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Andreas Forster wrote:
Sure that's possible. But even if the animal is someone's animal companion, a handler other than that companion's master treats it as a normal animal (using move actions to handle it and full-round-actions to push it).

Can you cite a ruling for that?

Think about what you're suggesting about how this works. A combat trained horse doesn't have the the exclusive trick. This means anyone can make a DC 10 handle animal check as a move action and tell the warhorse to either attack the person on its back or leave the fight with the "down" command. Peasants need never fear the mounted knight again!

Quote:
I suppose if someone wants to "override" an order, he'd have to succeed at an opposed Handle Animal check (which makes the +4 bonus the master gains quite useful).

But this mechanic isn't there.

Quote:
This clearly states that those spells are just examples of how far the "protection" from the Exclusive trick goes.

But also seems to suggest that the animal needs to be made friendly towards you before you can give it commands.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Actually, I can site the absence of a ruling.

Handle Animal states: You can make an animal... It doesn't say friendly animal, it doesn't say domestic animal, it doesn't say *your* animal. It just says "an animal" So anyone can use handle animal on any animal.

Exclusive says "No one else can handle this animal, not even if they charm it first."

Yes, that means that if you have a high enough handle animal skill, and are willing to risk a full round action in combat, you can push a wild bear to execute the Down command, and then turn and walk away from the encounter.

The only place where domestic or friendly animals come into it is if you are trying to use the handle animal skill untrained.

As far as the "opposed handle animal check" are you saying that because there are no explicit rules for head to head opposed skill checks, then if you use diplomacy on a mutual friend (dc 10) to ask them do you a favor, and then I use diplomacy on that same friend to ask them not to (dc 10), you don't get to oppose my check? (and because they have now refused your favor, you can't ask them again...)

No, in general, when two people are using their skills, in a way that directly opposes each other, the usual solution is to have them roll head to head.

(Handle animal vs ride is odd, because riding basicly seems to override the animal's free will to a degree. It moves where you move it, it acts on your initiative, etc. )

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Ok, so if the party is attacked by wild animals, You'll let someone make a DC 25 handle animal check to make one lion attack another? RAW there's nothing that says you can't command hostile animals after all.

A DC 10 possibly untrained check to make a knights horse attack its rider?

It is, at best, a ridiculous raw exploit, and not one I think DMs will let go the other way.

Its not even if they charm it 'or make it friendly'.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ok, so if the party is attacked by wild animals, You'll let someone make a DC 25 handle animal check to make one lion attack another? RAW there's nothing that says you can't command hostile animals after all.

Full round action, yes.

By the rules, this would work. (By flavor of play, I would probably describe it as tossing a big juicy steak right past the other lion.)

Note that the lion doesn't stop attacking till you push it again, and it's definition of "apparent enemies" probably includes the rest of the party if they have attacked it, so if it finishes off the other lion, it is probably turning on your friends. (Also it is DC 27 as soon as it takes damage.)

BigNorseWolf wrote:


A DC 10 possibly untrained check to make a knights horse attack its rider?

Actually, sure, now since the horse doesn't have a good practical way to attack the rider, at most the horse would be able to do is try to throw the rider, which requires the rider to make a DC 5 ride check, (Effectively DC 3 if they have a military saddle.)

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Its not even if they charm it 'or make it friendly'.

Yes, charming the animal or making it friendly does not override exclusive. That's all that is saying. It's not saying it has to be charmed or friendly to use handle animal.

(If it did, that would be a problem, because under wild empathy it says that domestic animals are considered indifferent, and wild empathy and charm animal is the only way to change that to friendly, so *no* animal could be handled by anyone unless they were a druid or spell caster.)

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:


Full round action, yes.

Thats not just wrong that's nuts

It makes handle animal 100 times better than a signature class feature wild empathy.

Quote:
so if it finishes off the other lion, it is probably turning on your friends. (Also it is DC 27 as soon as it takes damage.)

Until you give it the down command to make it leave.

Quote:
Actually, sure, now since the horse doesn't have a good practical way to attack the rider

You wanted to play strict raw with the handle animals rules. Strict raw the rider shares its space with the mount, and any creature (even a tiny one) can make an attack into its own space. So the horse spends its turn making a full attack action against the rider instead of going anywhere... on a DC 10 check. There is no raw opposed handle animal or ride check... the critter has a command it goes with it.

Quote:
Yes, charming the animal or making it friendly does not override exclusive. That's all that is saying. It's not saying it has to be charmed or friendly to use handle animal.

The alternative is pretty nuts.

Quote:
(If it did, that would be a problem, because under wild empathy it says that domestic animals are considered indifferent, and wild empathy and charm animal is the only way to change that to friendly, so *no* animal could be handled by anyone unless they were a druid or spell caster.)

Or you could conclude that the animal has to be at least indifferent towards you to give it a command. Its a common sense solution that stops most of the weird abuse and puts it in line with diplomacy.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Note that in the above example, the player could also mount the lion. (assuming he meets the size requirements.)

Then with a high enough ride skill (-10 for bareback and not an appropriate mount) He could steer it around the battle field.

Keep in mind we are talking some ridiculous levels of skill / luck involved in this.


The way I'd propose this to work is this.

Animal Companions have "Bonus Tricks" which do not require a HA check. If your AC knows common, any friendly companion could use the common command words for those tricks without an HA check. For example, I could have Attack, Come and Down as "Bonus Tricks" for my companions to help guide my companion simply. It would do default attacks prescribed by the attack command obviously.

Any other trick the AC knows which does require an HA check still requires the DC 10 check as long as it's not being pushed to do so. For example, you couldn't use Guard or Defend tricks without a DC 10 AC check.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

BigNorseWolf wrote:


You wanted to play strict raw with the handle animals rules. Strict raw the rider shares its space with the mount, and any creature (even a tiny one) can make an attack into its own space. So the horse spends its turn making a full attack action against the rider instead of going anywhere... on a DC 10 check. There is no raw opposed handle animal or ride check... the critter has a command it goes with it.

Nope. Again, strict rules as written. You get to force your mount to move, as a free action, no check. So it can't make full attacks anyway unless you let it. If you are really worried about it attacking you, you could just force it to double move. And as a move action you can bring it back under control with that same DC 10 check. So I just don't see this being a problem.

But then, as I said up thread, I would make it an opposed check, just as if we were both using diplomacy to get someone to do opposite things.

Now, if we want to go with the animal has to be at least indifferent to you to be handled, that's fine. Domestic animals are considered to be indifferent to everyone who hasn't attacked them. Still, anyone can ues handle animal.

Basically, what you seem to be saying is that the only purpose the exclusive trick serves is to prevent charm animal spells from working on your animal. And that this comes at the expense of preventing any of your allies from handling the animal. That seems pretty silly for a trick.

Shadow Lodge

FLite there is following RAW, and there is just being deliberately obtuse. You are using attack the ground with my body and miss so I must be able to fly logic here. Even a strict RAW DM is going to roll his eyes at this nonsense.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:


Basically, what you seem to be saying is that the only purpose the exclusive trick serves is to prevent charm animal spells from working on your animal. And that this comes at the expense of preventing any of your allies from handling the animal. That seems pretty silly for a trick.

Considering their will saves its an incredibly Good trick. You can also set the critter to defend another party member, or get the serve trick, or just rely on the animal not to be a robot if you go unconcious.

Handle animal as a skill has been around for 15 years without the exclusive trick. Do you think that, this entire time, the intent was to be able to make a handle animal check to control someone elses' mount or animal companion?

What I'm saying limits the usage of one animal trick. What you're saying obviates class features completely.


Think about trained police dogs as an example.

They are trained to learn single word commands in German. That would be similar to the "tricks" you could teach an AC. I bet you could teach it in "dwarven" or another language instead of common just like police dogs are trained in German.

My friend's dad growing up was a K-9 unit and had a police dog. My friend could command him with simple commands like "Sit", "Lay down", "Stay" and the command to go to his bed, things like that. As he became more comfortable with me and my brother we could also give him those commands and he would follow. But the Dad, who was the leader, could make him do more complex things and he would always follow him over anyone else.

Animals are definitely capable of discerning who they trust and who they don't. After traveling with your companions for a while a certain trust would likely occur and those simple commands of "Attack", "Down" and "Come" would be no problem. You couldn't direct it to not power attack, or move to a flanking position, take 5 foot steps or anything complex obviously. But pointing and saying "attack" wouldn't be out of the question I don't think.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Well, I tried to be reasonable and say "well you could just make it an opposed check. And I got told "No, you can't use common sense! There is no rules for an opposed check!"

So I looked at it and I said, okay, then by the rules, there is nothing saying someone can't push a wild animal, and I got told "No! you can't use the rules! You need to use common sense!"

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:

Well, I tried to be reasonable and say "well you could just make it an opposed check. And I got told "No, you can't use common sense! There is no rules for an opposed check!"

So I looked at it and I said, okay, then by the rules, there is nothing saying someone can't push a wild animal, and I got told "No! you can't use the rules! You need to use common sense!"

If you allow common sense into it, then the answer becomes -Animals do not listen to people they don't know or don't like giving them commands-.

Which was the point of taking your view of the raw to such absurd lengths requiring common sense in your answer.

Savvy?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Kayas wrote:

Think about trained police dogs as an example.

They are trained to learn single word commands in German

Duh, how else would you talk to a german shepherd.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Except most animals are trained to respond to a specific command. Not to a specific command given by a specific person. Otherwise hire stables would be pretty pointless. "Sure, you can hire a horse to pull your cart, but it won't listen to you unless it knows you real well, so you better take it home for a month."

If the players buy a guard animal, or any animal with a voice command, do they have to wait a game session before they use it?

If they want to have an animal that only obeys them, that's what the exclusive trick is for.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I would be fine with the arguement that there should be a penalty / bonus for how much the animal hates / likes you. But once again, although that is common sense, it is not the rules as written.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:
I would be fine with the arguement that there should be a penalty / bonus for how much the animal hates / likes you. But once again, although that is common sense, it is not the rules as written.

So why does common sense kick in when you decide there's going to be an opposed roll but not before?


Flite, I tend to see things your way. But, as BNW's protest make it obvious, the rules committee just didn't contemplate every possible interaction.

I think one problem that has to be addressed from a game-play perspective is one creature commanding another creature's AC.

Interestingly enough, I read the Exclusive rule as actually enabling the unthinkable, an NPC commanding a PC's animal to attack its owner.

I think the way around this is perhaps in the Wild Empathy/Diplomacy rules as you may have eluded to. Since Diplomacy states that a creature must be "indifferent" before you can make a request, this would suggest that in order to use HA on an animal, the same must be true.

In combat, there is no way to get an animal whose owner is attacking you, to be indifferent towards you without magic. So could a high level NPC druid order some level 4 paladin/ranger's AC/Mount to attack pre-combat? Theoretically, but there are some RAW issues with initiative and hostile acts.

If one creature orders an AC/Mount of another creature to attack, technically the GM should roll init before the action as combat is being initiated. Once in combat, you could argue the AC/Mount is no longer indifferent or friendly to the obvious adversary of the owner. Without at least an indifference, one could argue the the AC/Mount cannot be handled.

It's messy.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

BigNorseWolf wrote:
FLite wrote:
I would be fine with the arguement that there should be a penalty / bonus for how much the animal hates / likes you. But once again, although that is common sense, it is not the rules as written.
So why does common sense kick in when you decide there's going to be an opposed roll but not before?

I think common sense should kick in all the time. You said common sense says that it is not reasonable for someone to countermand the owner with a DC 10 check. I say it is not common sense that no one can ever countermand the owner.

I say that common sense says there should be an opposed check (to aleviate your concerns that the DC is too low.) You say that isn't in the rules, so we can't do that. Instead we must say that only you can command animals owned by the party (which isn't in the rules either.) (In other words, no one, no matter how high their skill, can ever countermand an animals owner, without magic.)

You say it is not common sense that someone untrained can make a horse attack it's rider with a DC 10 check. I say it seems reasonable that with that check you could cause the animal to attack it's rider but that common sense says that the animal wouldn't be able to do much beyond try to throw the rider. You say "Well thats not in the rules, so we can't do that. Instead we will just say that you can't use handle animal on horses, it's not in the rules, but it's just common sense so that must be the rule."

Frankly, in my opinion, if you want to use handle animal on an opponent's animal (or a wild animal), that falls under "Clever solution not covered by the rules." As such it is up to the GM to adjudicate it, and my opinion it should be a opposed check, possibly with appropriate situational bonuses.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:


I say that common sense says there should be an opposed check (to aleviate your concerns that the DC is too low.) You say that isn't in the rules, so we can't do that. Instead we must say that only you can command animals owned by the party (which isn't in the rules either.) (In other words, no one, no matter how high their skill, can ever countermand an animals owner, without magic.)

Do you think Ceasar Milan can get a police dog to attack its well liked owner just by walking up and saying a few words in german? Or even a family dog?

Its not a matter of being the owner: its a matter of getting the creature to like you. In africa the back of the classroom had a donkey that absolutely adored me (or at least my oranges). The owner wanted me to teach him english so he could talk to the donkey.

Quote:
Frankly, in my opinion, if you want to use handle animal on an opponent's animal (or a wild animal), that falls under "Clever solution not covered by the rules."

The steak is creative. Abusing the handle animals rules is the exact opposite of creative. It is banal, disingenuous, dishonest and deliberate rules lawerying that relies completely on an overly literal reading of the rules as written in order to gain a mechanical advantage. It is the literal definition of munchkinism and gives rules lawyers a bad name.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I would turn that around:

If a police officer was assigned a dog, and that same day, Ceasar Milan walked in to the room, and Ceasar Milan and the officer each ordered the dog to attack the other, who would the dog attack?

Two years of bonding latter, and Ceasar Milan walked up to the officer, and ordered the dog to attack, is it going to? Probably not (hopefully, Police dogs are not 100% predictable.)

What has changed? In rules terms, the owner has spent the last two years "teaching" (in rules terms at least) the dog the "Exclusive" trick.

The cop takes a partner. Over time the dog, cop and partner develop a trust. When the partner issues a command, the dog obeys. What has happened? In rules terms, the dog has been taught the "Serve" trick.

To extend your example: Ceasar Milan walk down an alley, and runs into a pack of wild dogs. Using body language and posture, he attempts to convince the alpha of the pack to back down and walk away. (in game terms, he is pushing for the the Down trick.)

Can he attempt it? Under your ruling, he can't even attempt it no matter how high his skill.

Now, do I think that it should be as easy to push wild animals as it is to push domestic animals? No. I think there should be a -5 (or higher) penalty. But that's not in the rules, so at a PFS table, I can't just say it is. (At best, as far as I can tell, I can say there is a +/- 2 GM discretion penalty.)

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:

I would turn that around:

If a police officer was assigned a dog, and that same day, Ceasar Milan walked in to the room, and Ceasar Milan and the officer each ordered the dog to attack the other, who would the dog attack?

Probably neither of them as the dog goes "Yeaaah.. who are you?"

Quote:
What has changed? In rules terms, the owner has spent the last two years "teaching" (in rules terms at least) the dog the "Exclusive" trick.

Or the dogs gotten friendly towards the person thats been feeding him and petting him for a few years.

Quote:
The cop takes a partner. Over time the dog, cop and partner develop a trust. When the partner issues a command, the dog obeys. What has happened? In rules terms, the dog has been taught the "Serve" trick.

Or the dogs gotten friendly towards the person thats been feeding him and petting him for a few years.

Quote:

To extend your example: Ceasar Milan walk down an alley, and runs into a pack of wild dogs. Using body language and posture, he attempts to convince the alpha of the pack to back down and walk away. (in game terms, he is pushing for the the Down trick.)Can he attempt it? Under your ruling, he can't even attempt it no matter how high his skill.

With good reason, because what you're describing is the wild empathy class feature (which ceasar would probably have, off of an urban ranger or something). What you have is not only a skill replacing a class feature, but being BETTER at it. (because it works faster and gives you more control)

Quote:
Now, do I think that it should be as easy to push wild animals as it is to push domestic animals? No. I think there should be a -5 (or higher) penalty. But that's not in the rules, so at a PFS table, I can't just say it is. (At best, as far as I can tell, I can say there is a +/- 2 GM discretion penalty.)

Even PFS does not ask you to read the raw mindlessly.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Do you think Ceasar Milan can get a police dog to attack its well liked owner just by walking up and saying a few words in german? Or even a family dog?

First off, can any other police K-9 officer command another officers K-9 dog? If the answer is no, then I would argue that police dogs are essentially taught the exclusive trick.

But the real problem with your example is the idea that someone can "push" a domestic animal to do something it hasn't been trained to do is largely nonsense. Sorry, nobody is going to "push" some domestic cat to fetch something or attack someone. So the whole HA thing on pushing animals to do things they aren't already trained to do is largely nonsense. So if we are forced to accept the whole "push" mechanic to begin with, you can't start arbitrarily talking about what makes sense. Once you agree to being able to "push" an animal, then you're stuck with what RAW allows.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Then you *are* saying that if I show up to your game, and I buy a combat trained / guard trained animal, I can't use it. I first have to get it friendly to me.

And if I am not a druid / caster, I can't do that, because there is literally nothing that lets me do that, and even if I did it through role play over several months, since effects do not carry over between scenarios unless there is a rule stating they do, I still can't do it.

So either trained animals obey everyone without the exclusive trick. Or they obey only the person who trained them, which if it is not the PC, means combat trained animals are a waste of money.

NN, I feel like if you really wanted to have a realistic system, that obeyed common sense, then each animal would have to have an inate set of behaviors that could be "pushed" (Though frankly, realistically, pushing an animal should take several minutes out of combat) And only those behaviors would be pushable. But yes, this is a cinematic pulp system. So really the common sense answer is not "could that happen in real life." The common sense answer is "could that happen in an over the top swashbuckling, swords and sorcery movie."

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

FLite wrote:
Then you *are* saying that if I show up to your game, and I buy a combat trained / guard trained animal, I can't use it. I first have to get it friendly to me.

No, I'm not.

Nor do you show up fatigued at my game because your character didn't sleep the night before. Nor starving because you didn't eat, getting blisters from not breaking in your boots, nor reeking to high heaven because you haven't showered in three weeks

Your character LIVES between scenarios/before the game starts. Presumably you've had Bill the Buffalo and some oats and gotten to know each other.

Quote:
So either trained animals obey everyone without the exclusive trick. Or they obey only the person who trained them, which if it is not the PC, means combat trained animals are a waste of money.

Or you could go with what I actually said which is animals need to know or like you before they'll listen to you. Not everything in the game has a mechanic.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Ok, so if the party is attacked by wild animals, You'll let someone make a DC 25 handle animal check to make one lion attack another? RAW there's nothing that says you can't command hostile animals after all.

A DC 10 possibly untrained check to make a knights horse attack its rider?

It is, at best, a ridiculous raw exploit, and not one I think DMs will let go the other way.

Its not even if they charm it 'or make it friendly'.

RAW , 10 bandits attack you, there's nothing to say you can't make a DC 30 diplo check to negate the whole encounter and make them go from hostile to friendly.

common sense though says that trying Handle Animal on a hostile animal likely won't work.
there is a reason Animal Empathy exists, its diplomacy for animals, which is more useful for "talking down" a hostile animal.

now. you get surrounded by a pack of animals, and you try to handle animal a hostile creature while its friends are attacking you... well thats natural selection, you should have run.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
RAW , 10 bandits attack you, there's nothing to say you can't make a DC 30 diplo check to negate the whole encounter and make them go from hostile to friendly.

The diplomancers newspaper: Diplomacy is generally ineffective in combat and against creatures that intend to harm you or your allies in the immediate future.

5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Hamburg

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
What has changed? In rules terms, the owner has spent the last two years "teaching" (in rules terms at least) the dog the "Exclusive" trick.
Or the dogs gotten friendly towards the person thats been feeding him and petting him for a few years.

And that's the way that person taught the dog the Exclusive trick.

In real life, people don't just roll dice, they actually have to "roleplay" everything.

In every situation that involves handling or pushing a creature an animal, I'd expect some description of how exactly this is done.
If a player says "I want to use Handle Animal to have the lion attack its mate.", the first thing I'd ask is "How are you trying to do this?".
If he comes up with stuff like throwing a steak, then I'll count it as a creative solution. If the player just wants to roll the dice and have the numbers talk, the GM can just say it won't work (I think it's important to encourage roleplaying over number-crunching).
Keep in mind that the lion would continue to attack apparent opponents (which is the party) unless the character uses another full-round action to have the lion stop attacking.

Also, on the topic of having another character's animal do anything that opposes its current commands, the DC is of course the HA check the owner used to give the original command (if he didn't roll because he has a modifer of +9 or more, have him roll the opposed check then).
In the case of a mount, the mount uses the same initiative count as the rider, so on his turn, the rider can make a Ride check to control the mount again (which, in the case of combat-trained mounts, is generally a free action or no action).
In the case of a non-mount combat animal, it will perform the action on its turn (if the opponent succeeded in the opposed check). On his own turn, the owner can try to override that command again. In the case of an animal companion, this is a free action for the owner.


FLite wrote:
NN, I feel like if you really wanted to have a realistic system, that obeyed common sense

That ship sailed back in the first iteration of which D&D decided that armor would affect the likelihood you got hit instead of the amount of damage you take.

Essentially, one cannot use "common sense" arguments in D&D because it becomes a wholly arbitrary and self-contradictory practice. When the rules themselves don't follow "common sense" it's nonsensical to appeal to it.

So while it's seems silly that I could order a mount to attack its rider, as you point out, RAW does not attach any "attitude" requirement to using HA. Nor do they even talk about opposed checks. So per RAW, the animal follows the last person to succeed at giving the animal a valid command. And as I said above, the "Exclusive" trick essentially mandates this. If a player or NPC doesn't want the animal to take orders from someone else, then it needs to have the Exclusive trick. I think Paizo should have added this as a free trick to all ACs'/Mounts.

Really though, this seems to be a question for Paizo under the Rules section.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Andreas Forster wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
What has changed? In rules terms, the owner has spent the last two years "teaching" (in rules terms at least) the dog the "Exclusive" trick.
Or the dogs gotten friendly towards the person thats been feeding him and petting him for a few years.

And that's the way that person taught the dog the Exclusive trick.

No, because unless your typical household dog has the exclusive trick and the serve trick 6 times it doesn't work.

Andreas Forster wrote:
In the case of a mount, the mount uses the same initiative count as the rider, so on his turn, the rider can make a Ride check to control the mount again (which, in the case of combat-trained mounts, is generally a free action or no action).

I'll be sure to have my bat land on the big bad's head and command him to walk off a cliff with a ride check then...

Also you can just delay until the rider has given the command and then countermand it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'll be sure to have my bat land on the big bad's head and command him to walk off a cliff with a ride check then...

Funny. Except that would be considered a grapple. Bring it on, my little leathery friend.

But the Ride rules as written certainly leave the door open for some real creative gaming...kind of like we used to have back before 3.x.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

N N 959 wrote:
FLite wrote:
NN, I feel like if you really wanted to have a realistic system, that obeyed common sense
That ship sailed back in the first iteration of which D&D decided that armor would affect the likelihood you got hit instead of the amount of damage you take.

True, let me amend that. I feel like if you really wanted to have a realistic system, you would be playing GURPS :)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
RAW , 10 bandits attack you, there's nothing to say you can't make a DC 30 diplo check to negate the whole encounter and make them go from hostile to friendly.
The diplomancers newspaper: Diplomacy is generally ineffective in combat and against creatures that intend to harm you or your allies in the immediate future.

that's generally up to the GM. but Animal Empathy spells out how its used ( or used to. 30 ft away from the party, not in combat etc.? ) Handle Animal lacks that common sense being spelled out.

following the Diplomancers Newspaper though :
Making a Handle Animal check against a knight's horse, in combat, to make the horse rear up and throw its rider seems like a similar situation though, you're in combat, pushing to get an animal to do something. its distracted, doesn't know you, and is hostile. why on earth should it listen to you?

similarly most burglars that break into homes can't tell a dog "down", or "stay" and actually have the dog listen, its too busy biting their ___ off.

GM twist though: the knight's stableboy in the heat of combat, might be able to make the horse rear, distracting the knight long enough for him to run. b/c the horse knows him.
The neighbor that feeds the dog a bit of steak through the fence every 4th of july might get the dog to recognize him, and lay down if he tosses it some food.

There's uses of Handle Animal in combat. Starting an opposed charisma check duel with the animal's owner isn't handled in the pathfinder rules very well. So it requires a lot of GM adjudication.

the Serve and Exclusive commands seem like an in game way of denoting who the animal knows and will listen to, when its mostly a case of common sense: if the animal doesn't know you, it won't perform tricks unless its comfortable around you. that just seems common sense. If its not even trained in those tricks, pushing a wild animal while its attacking you seems like something that flat should not work. off the cuff, DC modifiers for hostile should apply, raising the DC to 45 not 25 to push, besides being a full round action.

Silver Crusade

The exclusive trick exists for a reason, I'd imagine.


Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:
the Serve and Exclusive commands seem like an in game way of denoting who the animal knows and will listen to, when its mostly a case of common sense: if the animal doesn't know you, it won't perform tricks unless its comfortable around you. that just seems common sense.

Ignoring the "common sense" argument, the Exclusive trick essentially mandates that without it, anyone can give commands to your animal companion/mount.

Quote:
If its not even trained in those tricks, pushing a wild animal while its attacking you seems like something that flat should not work....

Unfortunately or fortunately, the HA rules don't say anything about their applicability in Combat or with regard to an animal that is attacking you. We already know you can push an animal in combat. So now its a question of it being wild/hostile/someone else's companion. No restriction from the rules on any of those. The only recognition of domestic vs nondomestic is if you have to use HA untrained. In that situation you can only push domestic animals.

We really can't talk about common sense with this rule because that gets blown up when we talk about allowing wild animals to be pushed into doing every single trick on the list. Common sense says a domestic cat could not be "pushed" by anyone to attack an owlbear dragon after six seconds of coaxing. Yet the HA rules says its allowed...with no modifier.

Paizo should really reexamine the HA rules and provide a few more guidelines to avoid the absurd that is currently allowed.


Interesting that nobody pointed to this trick on page 9 of Animal Archive.

Quote:
Throw Rider (DC 15): The animal can attempt to fling a creature riding it to the ground. Treat this as a trip combat maneuver that applies to all creatures riding the animal, and that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. An animal that knows the throw rider and exclusive tricks can be instructed to attempt to automatically throw anyone other than its trainer who attempts to ride it.

Notice the trick is explicit in stating that "all creatures riding the animal" can be thrown. There also no modifiers for being in combat or attitude between the handler and the animal.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I just found that one yesterday. I have the AA, but I hadn't really read most of the extra tricks. (I had read exclusive and serve because they came up elsewhere.)

Having now read most of them, I am considering giving my hunter's gecko the "bombard" command, and equipping it with alchemist fires. :) But I need to go back and reread it and see if that will work.


It'll work. Except I'm going to delay until after you give it the command and then I'll tell it to bomb you!!!

Muahahahaha

In retrospect, perhaps the best way to handle this is not an opposed roll, but by who beats the necessary DC by the largest margin?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

resolve it like opposed charisma checks for charmed creatures?
just an idea.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Vincent Colon-Roine wrote:

resolve it like opposed charisma checks for charmed creatures?

just an idea.

As much as that would make my druid Fluttershy even more absurd, its very much against the intent of the handle animal rules to take over wild empathies job, replace charm animal, and more or less replace dominate animal with a skill.

What precisely is the point of charm animal if you can do an opposed handle animal/charisma check to get it to act as if its charmed anyway? You have the animal behaving exactly as if its under the effects of a spell whether it is or not.

Loopholing handle animal like that is walk away from the table worthy nuts.

Silver Crusade

Maybe they shouldn't have put in the exclusive trick then.

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