I'm fairly new to D&D, therefore I'd like to verify this to make sure I'm perhaps not overseeing some rule I'm not aware of (spoiler warning below about the stats of a NPC.)

Shalvus Martholio, from Storm King's Thunder Appendix D (made available by WotC in the link below) has a Wisdom of 14 (+2). Based on the skills bonuses, I derive that he has a proficiency bonus of +2. The mentioned skill bonus for Perception is +4 (makes sense +2 and +2). Yet, his passive Perception is only 12. Shouldn't this have been 14 by adding: 10 (base) +4 (perception bonus)?

The statblock comes from Storm King's Thunder, Appendix D, found here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Why does Night Hag have greater skill proficiencies than what they should be? \$\endgroup\$ – Olivier Grégoire Jun 16 '20 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlivierGrégoire: Seems to indeed be a similar situation. Also just now found this in the Cloud Giant (I just started on SKT), his Constitution save is +9, instead of an expected +10, given that is Proficiency Bonus is CR9/+4 and Con bonus is +6). Feels more like a bug than intended IMHO. \$\endgroup\$ – svenema Jun 16 '20 at 14:39

It should be 14 if following PHB rules

As you've noted, Shalvus has a Wisdom of 14, and seems to be proficient in it due to their +4 Perception in their Skill stat block.

However, they specifically call out the Passive Perception as 12, not 14.

There may be another reason, unbeknownst to us, that their Passive Perception is only 12 and not the 14 we'd expect to calculate. However, monsters don't have to follow PC rules and what is written is written unless there is an errata stating it was incorrect.

That leaves you, as the DM, the choice to utilize the stats presented as-is, or adjust if you feel that they are erroneous. But without an errata confirming it's wrong, the RAW is that the Passive Perception in 12.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't call that "RAW"... It may be printed as 12 in the statblock, but using the rules as written to calculate it, it should be 14. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 15 '20 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. THere are other instances where blocks don't match up with rules because monsters can be different. But I still think calling it RAW when that is the rule as written for Shalvus is correct. Feel free to downvote, but I don't think i'll change that. The stat block as written is the rules as written for Shalvus (but not necessarily for a PC.) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 15 '20 at 17:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ There are quite a few monsters in the MM with attack bonuses and skill bonuses, and save DCs that are somewhat off, e.g. the Night Hag, the Couatl, and the Dragon Turtle. There are also examples, such as the attack bonus of the Ghoul, were Proficiency would usually be added but it is not. \$\endgroup\$ – Anagkai Jun 15 '20 at 18:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Fivesideddice Riiiiight... Just like the PHB Ranger subclasses. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 16 '20 at 12:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Definitely agreeing with you on that. My answer was not about balance or internal WoTC quality of internal testing. Just that the rules for Shalvus are his stat block. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 16 '20 at 12:34

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