Animal Handling Check 5e: A Comprehensive Guide for Effective Handling of Animals


Welcome to our in-depth article on animal handling check 5e! In this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of animal handling and how it relates to the 5th edition of the popular role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). Whether you’re a player or a Dungeon Master (DM), understanding the mechanics and nuances of animal handling checks is crucial for a successful and immersive gameplay experience. So, let’s dive in and explore this fascinating aspect of the game.

Animal Handling Check 5e: Explained

In D&D 5e, animal handling checks are a core mechanic used to determine a character’s ability to interact with and control animals. These checks play a pivotal role in various situations, such as taming wild beasts, calming agitated creatures, or training animals for specific tasks. The success or failure of these checks can greatly impact the outcome of encounters and quests.

How Are Animal Handling Checks Performed?

When your character wants to attempt an animal handling check, the DM sets a difficulty class (DC) for the task. The player then rolls a 20-sided die, known as a d20, and adds their animal handling proficiency bonus and relevant ability modifier (usually Wisdom) to the result. If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the check is successful, and the character’s desired outcome is achieved.

Strengths of Animal Handling Check 5e

1️⃣ Versatility: Animal handling checks allow for a wide range of interactions with animals, including taming, convincing, and training.

2️⃣ Realism: These checks add a sense of realism and immersion to the game by simulating the challenges of handling animals in a fantasy setting.

3️⃣ Roleplaying Opportunities: Animal handling checks provide excellent opportunities for roleplaying, allowing characters to showcase their charismatic or empathetic traits.

4️⃣ Helpful Companions: Successfully handling and training animals can provide valuable companions that assist the party in various ways, such as scouting or combat.

5️⃣ Environmental Interactions: Animal handling checks can also involve interactions with creatures specific to certain environments, such as underwater or aerial creatures.

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6️⃣ Adventure Enhancements: Successful animal handling checks can lead to unique storylines, quests, and rewards, adding depth and excitement to the game.

7️⃣ Immersive Experience: By incorporating animal handling checks, players can engage more deeply with the game world, fostering a sense of immersion and connection.

Weaknesses of Animal Handling Check 5e

1️⃣ Subjectivity: The outcome of animal handling checks depends heavily on the DM’s interpretation, which can introduce inconsistencies or biases.

2️⃣ Character Build Dependencies: The effectiveness of animal handling checks heavily relies on character builds with high wisdom or relevant proficiencies.

3️⃣ Risk of Failure: Failed animal handling checks can result in unpredictable behavior from the animals, potentially leading to unwanted consequences.

4️⃣ Time Consumption: Animal handling checks, especially for complex tasks like taming exotic creatures, can be time-consuming and require dedicated gameplay sessions.

5️⃣ Lack of Control: While successful animal handling checks provide temporary control over animals, the narrative may limit players’ long-term influence on the creature’s actions.

6️⃣ Environmental Limitations: Certain environments or scenarios may have limited opportunities for animal handling checks, restricting their utility in those situations.

7️⃣ Ineffective Against Intelligent Creatures: Animal handling checks are designed primarily for interacting with non-intelligent animals and may not be as effective against intelligent creatures or monsters.

Animal Handling Check 5e: Detailed Explanation

Now, let’s delve deeper into the mechanics and nuances of animal handling check 5e. Understanding these details will empower you to make informed decisions and create engaging gameplay moments.

1. Difficulty Class (DC)

The DM assigns a DC based on the complexity of the task and the disposition of the animal. Simple tasks like calming a domesticated horse may have a lower DC, while taming a legendary dragon might have an incredibly high DC.

2. Relevant Ability Modifier

An animal handling check often utilizes the Wisdom ability modifier, reflecting the character’s intuition, empathy, and understanding of animal behavior. However, the DM might allow other relevant ability modifiers, such as Charisma, depending on the situation.

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3. Proficiency Bonus

If your character is proficient in animal handling, they add their proficiency bonus to the check. Proficiency can be gained through class features, backgrounds, or feats.

4. Advantage and Disadvantage

Situational factors, spells, or special abilities may grant advantage (roll two d20s and choose the higher) or disadvantage (roll two d20s and choose the lower) on animal handling checks. These modifiers reflect advantageous or disadvantageous circumstances affecting the interaction.

5. Training and Bonding

Successful animal handling checks can lead to training animals for specific tasks or forming lasting bonds, providing long-term companionship and potential benefits during gameplay.

6. Animal Handling Tools

Specialized tools or magic items can enhance a character’s animal handling abilities, granting bonuses or unlocking unique interactions. Examples include whips, treats, or enchanted collars.

7. Animal Traits and Dispositions

Different animals possess unique traits and dispositions, affecting the difficulty and outcome of animal handling checks. Understanding these characteristics allows players to strategize and adapt their approach accordingly.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can animal handling checks be performed on magical creatures?

Yes, animal handling checks can be attempted on magical creatures, provided the DM deems it appropriate. The DC and outcomes may vary depending on the creature’s nature.

2. Can animal handling checks be used in combat?

Animal handling checks are primarily used for non-combat interactions with animals. However, the DM may allow creative uses of animal handling skills during combat in certain situations.

3. Can a character have multiple animals under their control?

Technically, a character can handle multiple animals if they pass the relevant checks and have the means to manage them effectively. However, the DM may impose limitations based on the game’s balance and narrative considerations.

4. Is it possible to tame and train fantastical creatures like dragons?

While extremely challenging, it is possible to tame and train fantastical creatures like dragons. However, the DM sets the DC and determines the process required, which may involve completing unique quests or fulfilling specific conditions.

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5. Can animal handling checks apply to humanoid creatures with animalistic traits?

No, animal handling checks are focused on non-intelligent animals and do not directly apply to humanoid creatures, even if they possess animalistic traits. Interactions with such creatures are better suited to other mechanics or checks.

6. Can animal handling checks automatically tame or control animals?

Successful animal handling checks grant temporary control over animals and influence their behavior. However, the DM ultimately determines the limits and duration of this control, ensuring a balanced and fair gameplay experience.

7. Are there any class features that affect animal handling checks?

Yes, some classes like the Ranger or the Beast Master archetype for the Fighter have class features that enhance animal handling checks. These features grant advantages or unlock unique abilities related to animals.


In conclusion, animal handling check 5e is a crucial aspect of the gameplay experience in Dungeons and Dragons. It offers players the opportunity to interact with, control, and form bonds with animals, adding depth and excitement to their adventures. While it has strengths and weaknesses, mastering the mechanics and understanding the intricacies of animal handling checks can greatly enhance your roleplaying sessions. So, take the time to explore this aspect of the game and unleash your inner beast whisperer!

Closing Words

In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide to animal handling check 5e in Dungeons and Dragons. We hope you found it insightful and informative. Remember, the key to successful animal handling checks lies in practice, creativity, and effective communication with your Dungeon Master. So, gather your companions, roll those dice, and embark on epic adventures filled with awe-inspiring animal interactions. May your animal handling checks always be critical successes!