I'm having some fun playing around with the GM stuff for Pathfinder for the first time, mostly I've only run other systems and been a player for Pathfinder, so I was wanting to take a crack at running it for once.

Okay, so we'll use the Ankheg for this, as that's what I'm working on right now.

In the Bestiary, the Ankheg is said to have Perception +8, and Climb +8.

But it has Int 1 and only 3 HD.

Now, even when you include the Skill Focus (Perception) and stats, that still leaves it with Climb ranks of 5, and Perception ranks of 4.

So what am I missing here? Because it doesn't have a Climb speed (and that would throw off the skill total anyway, as it should hit +11 then), and Tremorsense is very obviously not factored into the total Perception modifier. Do Racial Hit Dice get 'preferred class' bonus points? If so, that accounts for how both skills were getting points at once, but still leaves two ranks of Climb and a rank of Perception above rank maximum for level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 19, 2019 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


It is correct

Creatures are also assumed to have class skills, as such, they also gain a +3 bonus if they spend at least 1 skill point in those skills. The bestiaries doesn't make it clear which skills are considered class skills for monsters, so sometimes we have to guess those.

But if you account for that bonus, it matches the Ankheg's bonus exactly:

  • Wisdom Score: +1 bonus;
  • Class skill: +3 bonus;
  • Skill focus: +3 bonus;
  • 3HD: up to 3 skill ranks, but only 1 skill rank was invested here;

The other rank was invested in the climb skill, which is also correct:

  • Class skill: +3 bonus;
  • Strength bonus: +3 bonus;
  • Skill ranks: the 2 remaining points were invested here;

Finally, a list of common class skills may be found on the monster creation rules, sorted by creature type. But that list is known for not being followed 100% by designers, so the table may be off by a skill or two that they decided to give the creature as class skill for designing purposes.

Magical Beast

Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, Perception, Stealth, Swim.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You know, I even read that part of the Magical Beast monster skills section, but just didn't make the logic jump for 'monster class skills' to give the +3 bonus that 'player class skills' do. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – chinlamp
    Jan 19, 2019 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I cant remember where I read it, and I will search around to see if I can find it again, but it was said that any skill a monster is printed with in the bestiary is considered to be a class skill for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Semada
    Jan 19, 2019 at 13:35

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