When a character encounters a beast, the character may attempt to coerce the beast into a friendly encounter. By their nature, a wild beast will avoid interacting with a character, with the exception of one with the friendly behavior. Running away is the usual response to being approached. However, a character skilled in soothing beasts can attempt to pacify or even tame a wild beast. To even attempt this, the character must first overcome the beast’s fear by breaking it.
Since most wild beasts are afraid of other characters, overcoming that fear is necessary. This often involved capturing or confining the beast and feeding it without getting too close. Larger beasts are more temperamental than small ones. Failing to properly break a beast’s fear can result in the beast attacking its would-be tamer and any bystanders.
In order to break a beast of its fear, a character must use its action to make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check against a DC equal to 10 + the beast’s CR (rounded down) + the beast’s behavior modifier. In addition, the beast must be in a position where it can’t readily escape, such as mounting a wild horse, and isn’t in combat unless it is fully restrained.
You have disadvantage on this check if any of the following conditions are true:
- The beast is trapped and confined and hasn’t been feed appropriate food and given at least 10 minutes to acclimate.
- The beast hasn’t been provided appropriate food. Carnivores need to be provided meat, for instance, and many will eat both cooked and raw meat. The DM has final say on whether a provided food meets the beast’s needs.
- The beast is injured or sick, including any condition or while suffering from exhaustion.
- A Small or larger creature other than you is within 10 feet of the beast.
You have advantage on the check if the beast is charmed by you. You can choose to use your Charisma modifier instead of your Wisdom if you are under the effects of the speak with animals spell.
If you fail this check by 5 or more, the beast immediately becomes enraged and will attack you unless it has the Docile behavior, in which case it will attempt to run away from you. Further attempts to break the beast from you or another creature automatically fail for the next hour. On a success, the beast becomes neutral and unaggressive toward you, but other creatures within 10 feet of it can trigger a fight or flight response until it has been domesticated. As long as you remain within 10 feet of the beast, it becomes pacified unless triggered.
For each round you keep the beast pacified and neutral, it must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus (provided you have proficiency in Animal Handling). After it fails three such saving throws, its fear is broken and you can attempt to domesticate it. If the beast becomes hostile before failing three saving throws, you must begin the entire process again.
After breaking a beast of its fear, it is possible to reasonably domesticate it. Normally it can take generations of breeding to truly domesticate a wild beast, but player characters and trained NPCs can overcome this through will and patience. It is also easier to control a single beast and get it to be comfortable around civilization than to breed successive generations of multiple beasts. Even if domesticated through these rules, a wild beast may still behave like a wild beast toward hostile strangers. Further training the beast can help prevent such episodes.
Domesticating the beast is an endeavor that takes days of dedication, and is not suitable while adventuring in hazardous environments. For the best results, the beast and its tamer should relocate to a self environment where the process can take place without outside complications. In order to attempt to domesticate the beast must be kept well fed and be located within a safe and comfortable environment.
Taming Size Modifier
Domesticating a beast requires a number of days of progress equal to ( 10 + the beast’s CR + the beast’s behavior modifier ) × the beast’s size modifier (as defined in the Taming Size Modifier table). During this time the beast must be kept fed or no progress can be made. Once each day the tamer must spend four hours and make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check against a DC equal to 10 + the beast’s CR (rounded down) + the beast’s behavior modifier.
On a success, the beast makes 1 day of progress, and if you succeed by 5 or more over the CR, the beast makes 1d4 days of progress. On a failure, no progress is made, and if you fail by 5 or more, the beast loses 1 day of progress and regresses to its unbroken state for 1d4 days. Each day no attempt is made to domesticate the beast, it has a 50% chance to lose 1 day of progress.
You have disadvantage on this check if the beast is at least two sizes larger than you unless you have a number of helpers equal to the beast’s size multiplier. However, when you have helpers, you and your helpers make a group Wisdom (Animal Handling) check, with at least half needing to succeed to make 1 day of progress. If the group check succeeds and at least one member beats the DC by 5 or more, the beast makes 1d4 days of progress, and if the group check fails and at least one member fails by 5 or more, the beast loses one day of progress and reverts to its unbroken state for 1d4 days.
A beast that has reverted to its unbroken states can have its fear broken again as detailed under “Breaking Fear” or the tamer can wait it out, as the beast will lose its fear automatically after the time has expired.
Once a beast has been domesticated, it can cohabitate among humanoids peacefully. Provided the beast is riled or attacked, it will have a neutral or even friendly attitude toward the humanoid population. If provoked, it will behave as a wild beast unless it has been trained or a creature can pacify it before it is injured.
Various circumstances can see a domesticated beast rendered feral. Since such a beast has been domesticated before, it is much easier to domesticate it again; it takes only half as much time.
If a domesticated beast is abandoned for at least 60 days, it will begin to revert to a feral state. It loses one day times its size modifier of progress every 10 full days, losing its first portion of progress on the 60th day. If the beast has been mistreated by humanoids as part of its abandonment or during it, its behavior becomes vicious until it has been domesticated again, after which time it resumes its former behavior.