[RPG] Rules on taming animals?


One of my players' characters has a habit of taming random wild animals for use in combat in all the games I've hosted with him in them, and so far I've just had him make a series of Animal Handling checks, with varying DCs depending on the animal. I'm hosting another game with him in it, and I wanted to find out beforehand if I'm doing it right.

Are there any official rules for taming wild animals? Or should I continue what I'm doing already?

For anyone wondering, he is not a Beast Master ranger, nor is there one in the party.

Best Answer

There are no general official rules for taming wild animals (related)

Slight aside:

It should be noted that the Animal Handling skill gives a few examples of its usage, such as calming a domesticated animal, keeping a mount from getting spooked, intuiting an animal's intentions and so on. Emphasis mine.

These are only examples, but the skill clearly has limits. It seems reasonable that a DM may allow it to be used to temporarily calm and ward off a wild animal but "taming" a wild animal to the point it can be commanded in combat is far beyond this skill's parameters.

And, despite this being a fantasy game, using an ordinary skill to tame a wild animal isn't particularly feasible either in any realistic sense (it typically takes generations of breeding to get from a wild animal to a tame one, let alone one that will fight for you).

But mainly from a balance point of view, this would (a) be particularly overpowered if it effectively gives a character additional attacks over and above their normal and (b) steps on the toes of classes designed around this feature (such as a Beast Master ranger you noted and a druid's Summon Animal spells).