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In the SRD it states:

https://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm#abilityScoreImprovement

Ability Score Improvement

Treat monster Hit Dice the same as character level for determining ability score increases. This only applies to Hit Dice increases, monsters do not gain ability score increases for levels they "already reached" with their racial Hit Dice, since these adjustments are included in their basic ability scores.

Meaning that for every 4 hit dice a monster has it gains an ability score improvement of +1 on any one ability score. In the SRD in the monster entry for Lycanthrope under abilities section of the Creating a lycanthrope subsection is stated this:

https://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lycanthrope.htm

All lycanthropes gain +2 to Wisdom. In addition, when in animal form, a lycanthrope’s physical ability scores improve according to its kind, as set out in the table below. These adjustments are equal to the animal’s normal ability scores -10 or -11. A lycanthrope in hybrid form modifies its physical ability scores by the same amount. In addition, a lycanthrope may also gain an additional ability score increase by virtue of its extra Hit Dice.

A werebear in human form has the following stats:

https://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lycanthrope.htm

Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 8

And is based upon:

The werebear presented here is a 1st-level human warrior and natural lycanthrope, using the following base ability scores: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

Otherwise known as the 'non elite array' or 'low powered campaign / 15 point buy'

The +2 increase to wisdom is the Wisdom bonus that a lycanthrope receives. Where is the +1 ability score increase to a stat from having 4 or more HD? As the statement '...monsters do not gain ability score increases for levels they "already reached" with their racial Hit Dice, since these adjustments are included in their basic ability scores.' seems to be incorrect because the adjustment has not been included.

Is this a mistake or something I am missing? Incidentally I have checked Cooper’s Compendium Of Corrected Creatures and no mention of this seeming discrepancy may be found in that source which makes me question whether it's something I've forgotten?

Further research of this problem indicates it isn't just constrained to lycanthropes take the Hound Archon Hero for example:

https://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/archon.htm#houndArchon

Page 6 & 7 of the Monster Manual inform that:

Advanced creatures such as the hound archon hero are built using the elite array: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.

The ability scores of the hound archon hero are: Str 21, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16

If the racial ability score modifiers (+4 Strength, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma) are deducted leaves: Str 17, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 14.

How were these scores arrived at from the elite array 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8? The only possible way this was done was if the total ability score increase from class and HD was +3.

Str 15, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 14 with ability score increases of +2 Str and +1 Con.

This has been calculated by taking 6 Racial HD adjusting an ability score by +1 for the increase at 4 Racial HD and then taking 11 class levels of paladin adjusting ability scores by +2 for the class ability score adjustments at 4 and 8 class levels.

Because there is no other way of arriving at those totals this demonstrates that both racial hit dice and class levels comprise the calculation to adjust ability scores. However this then would still be incorrect because a 17 HD creature (6 Racial HD + 11 paladin class levels) should receive a +4 total ability score adjustment.

I believe the error is in that Racial HD and Paladin levels were calculated independent of one another for ability score adjustments.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven’t investigated these particular creatures, but it may be worth knowing that D&D 3.5e statblocks are notorious for errors like this. It would not be the least bit surprising if such a mistake had been made. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 30 at 3:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I'm not certain of this statement 'monsters do not gain ability score increases for levels they "already reached" with their racial Hit Dice, since these adjustments are included in their basic ability scores' hence my reason for demonstrating the case of the Hound Archon Hero who it appears has gained adjustments from both racial HD and class levels. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30 at 3:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh yeah, creature stat blocks are supposed to include those bonuses; I’m just saying it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if some did so incorrectly, or failed to do so altogether. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 30 at 3:47
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The passage you have quoted comes into play, when you manage lycantrope's advancement. if it is only the base creature and the base animal, their stats already include advancement for those types of creatures.

For a human werebear it is one increase a bear has included in it's six racial Hit Dice.

For a lizardfolk werewolf, their four Hit Dice come with no ability score increases, but count against the total of Hit Dice to calculate the number of Hit Dice which actually provide increases.

So, for you to see resulting lycantrope's ability scores different from the sum of base creatures' scores, you will need something like werewolf lord - advanced version of werewolf basically.

He gains two ability score increases for his "additional" ten class levels (class levels deffinitely are Hit Dice), which both come to Strength in the case of werewolf lord.

Be it a lizardfolk warrior 6 werewolf, she would have only one increase - for her fourth "additional" Hit Dice of six.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A werebear is a 6HD creature Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 8 this is the same creature as a 1st level human warrior Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8. A werebear gains +2 racial bonus to Wisdom, where are you seeing an ability increase? Other than the racial bonus nothing was adjusted. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelDorf The bear part has already gotten an ability score increase, so having the human get one, too, would be double-dipping? (I think that may be this answer's crux, but I think that its point could be clearer.) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2 at 17:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelDorf HeyICanChan is correct. Your human form wouldn't see this increase, that is true. But to add it to your human form stats, it would be necessary to subtract it from "bonus stats" bear and hybrid forms are giving first. As far as I can tell, the game doesn't do it. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp I don't understand what you're saying. All I'm asking is where's the ability score increase for reaching 4HD which any 4HD creature would receive? We have the lycanthrope abilities based on a 1st level human warrior and as a 6HD creature, comparing the two shows no ability increase at 4HD. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2 at 22:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelDorf after checking more creatures with the template, I see my example is incorrect (while the main point stands). I'll edit in few days, making calculations for both human and lizardfolk for completeness. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3 at 19:13

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