Beast Interactions

By default, most beasts avoid contact with humanoids due to fear. While normally neutral in their attitude toward other creatures, beasts will become hostile if they feel in danger or at risk. Hostile for most beasts results in them fleeing rather than attacking, provided they are able.

The following triggers will change a beast’s attitude from neutral to hostile.

  • A nonbeast or a beast predator approaches within 30 feet of it.
  • It believes its territory is threatened by an intruder.
  • It has offspring within 300 feet.
  • It is confused from some means, such as disease or a magical effect.

If the beast is already friendly or has been tamed, its attitude isn’t affected by these triggers unless the triggering creature is hostile or an unnatural creature type (aberration, elemental, fiend, monstrosity, or undead). A hostile beast will almost always choose to run away rather than confront a creature its size or larger. A confused beast is more likely to attack (70%). Provided the beast remains neutral (or friendly), it will continue to behave normally.

Abnormal Mannerisms

Certain triggers or conditions will cause a beast to behave abnormally. Abnormal behavior usually results in a beast attacking a perceived threat, even if only to injure the threat to escape it. By observing a beast, a skilled naturalist can identify if it is hostile, or will become hostile, and why by succeeding on a DC 10 Intelligence (Nature) check.

A sick beast often lacks awareness of its surrounding while feeling pain. As such, it is more likely than a healthy beast to attack if approached. A sick beast is also more likely to wander near another creature, which can trigger its attitude to change to hostile. A rabid beast is a common example of a sick beast that is likely to attack a nearby creature. A sick beast will often act differently than another of its kind, serving as a warning to those who recognize the signs. A successful DC 5 or 10, depending on the cause of the beast’s sickness, Wisdom (Survival) check will identify if a beast is sick and acting unusually. A beast cleansed of its sickness won’t revert to a neutral attitude; it will retreat unless cornered.

When a beast is territorial, it will be more aggressive than normal. Typically when humanoids and other creatures are attacked by a beast or a pack or beasts, this is the cause. If the beast is solitary, it will confront intruders in its domains, first by attempting to frighten them, then by attacking if that fails. The beast will roar, rear up on its legs, or employ some other device to seem more threatening when it spots an intruder. If the intruder retreats, the beast will likely watch it for a time before returning to its normal patterns. If the intruder stands still, the beast will often continue to attempt to menace the intruder. Should the intruder approach, the beast is likely to attack unless it is frightened by the intruder. If outmatched, the beast will attempt to retreat. Beasts that operate in groups will alert its fellow before attempting to drive away an intruder. If the pack outnumbers the intruder, the beasts will attack first instead of attempting to scare the intruder away.

A care giving beast for its offspring seeks to protect the young. If its offspring haven’t been detected by another creature, the care giver will try to lead the other creature away from the nest or den, attempting to flee and sneak away once the creatures have been led sufficiently away. If the other creature gets too close to either the care giver or the location of the offspring, the beast will attack, often fighting to the death. The beast may act as a territorial beast before attacking, and if it has a pack, will call for help. Older offspring may assist the caregiver if they are in range, but they are more likely to flee than fight to the death. Certain beasts are less protective of their young and will flee if outmatched.

A cornered beast is one that has no avenue for retreat. Once a wild beast has been cornered, its fight or flight response leads it to fight to the death if pressed. Typically a cornered beast will attempt to menace other creatures like a territorial beast does in the hopes of creating an opening for escape. A cornered beast is also more disposed toward having its fear broken as it is easier to interact with the beast, provided the would-be tamer respects the beast’s personal space to avoid making it attack.

A controlled beast, such as through magical means or a trained domesticate one, always behaves abnormally as it no longer behaves as a wild beast. A controlled beast will follow the dictates of its master to the best of its ability and the rules within this section don’t apply to it interactions. A trained beast will follow its training and disregards interactions to break its fear or tame it, but in certain conditions, can be retrained, such as in the event of its master’s death or if rescued from an abusive master.


Each beast has a pattern of behavior that will influence how difficult it is to break, domesticate, or train. This difficulty is represented by a modifier to the DC for an ability check or an increase in time for each operation as indicated on the Beast Behavior table. The DM decides the behavior for each beast or can roll 2d12.

Aloof. An aloof beast is independent and prefers to keep to itself. While reliable at following commands, the beast lacks focus on learning those commands.
Docile. A docile behavior is adopted by passive beasts. Rather than struggle, the beast is prone to remaining still and hoping it isn’t harmed.
Friendly. When a beast has this behavior, it is unlikely to become hostile like other beasts, and is more prone to investigate unfamiliar creatures, especially those that seem friendly toward it.
Irritable. A beast with irritable behavior patterns doesn’t respond well toward interaction and is irascible when reproached, often attacking and fleeing the moment an opportunity is present.
Needy. A needy beast doesn’t like to be alone and will seek out companionship. While they are attentive learners, they are prone to demanding extra attention.
Shy. A beast that is shy avoids contact with unfamiliar creatures. Once befriended, the beast is more open toward that creature, but will never engage with strangers.
Spirited. A spirited beast is noted by higher levels of energy and enthusiasm. They are hard to break, but once that burden is overcome make for some of the best trained beasts.
Vicious. Vicious behavior may be considered ideal for guard-trained beasts, but presents a higher risk than other beasts as the vicious beast is prone to attack unprovoked.

Beast Behavior
2d12BehaviorBreaking FearDomesticationTraining
2–4Aloof+1 progress modifier+1 CR modifier
5–6Docile−2 DC+2 DC
7–8Friendly−5 DC
9–11Irritable+2 DC+2 DC
12–14Needy−2 DC+1 CR modifier
15–18Shy+2 DC−1 CR modifier
19–22Spirited+5 DC−1 progress modifier−2 DC
23–24Vicious+5 DC+1 progress modifier−2 DC