I am making a level 11 witch. Looking at the viper familiar bonus for perception it's +9. What gives?

I know 4 is from race, and 1 is from WIS. Where is the other 4 from?

Ranks: 11
Race: 4
Class skill: 3
Wis: 1
Mystery: 4?

Total: 23?

Also, why is the bite damage 1d2-2. STR mod is -3. Shouldn't it be 1d2-3?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I understood most of the question but what is that other calculation starting with Ranks: 11 and getting a total of 23? \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Mar 13 '19 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ wizard/witch familiars use the master's ranks to calculate the bonus \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Mar 13 '19 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that as-asked, this question is unclear. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Mar 13 '19 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ What are you using to get +23? I'm not seeing a problem with the normal viper's Perception skill: 1 rank +3 class skill +1 Wis +4 racial bonus = +9 bonus. That means a level 11 witch that's maxed out Perception would give her viper 11 ranks +3 class skill +1 Wis +4 racial bonus = +19 bonus. Where's +23 from? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 13 '19 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Kyle's answer explained it. I didn't know it had one rank to start with as a class skill \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Mar 13 '19 at 19:16

The snake by default has 1 rank in perception as a class skill, giving it 1 from ranks, 3 from the class skill bonus, 1 from wisdom, 4 from its racial bonus to perception checks, for a total of +9. If the familiar's master has higher ranks in perception those ranks and the class skill bonus would replace the existing +4 bonus.

As for the damage, it is inconsistent. With its strength of 4, the damage modifier should indeed be -3, and the statistics for other familiars have no such inconsistencies. This may just be a typo or minor math error.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ (On the bite point, I think the developer misread If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls as the viper receiving for its one bite 1½× the viper's Strength modifier and gave the viper a little damage bump. <- Feel free to take that as your own, by the way. You figured out what the asker really needed.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 13 '19 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yeah, I was thinking it might be that, but they didn't do it with any other familiars, which is weird. I was also thinking they might have been copying over stat blocks from D&D 3.5 and accidentally referenced the small-sized viper, which does have a damage of 1d2-2. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle Doyle Mar 13 '19 at 20:41

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