When looking up any monster in any manual, are the stat blocs modified relative their feats, or must you modify them yourself? (Example weapon focus gives +1 to att. roll)

At the moment, I am DMing Corymyr: Tearing of the weave, and some NPC`s have the "dark" template. This gives characters +8 racial hide and +6 racial move silently.

I ask the question because the Shadow guards only have +3 hide and +1 move silently, which doesn't match the template.

It also makes me wonder about the feats and the DCs of spells...

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you give the exact statistics of the Shadow Guard NPC, or any other NPC/monster of which you believe the stats don't add up? \$\endgroup\$
    – Joninean
    Nov 26, 2015 at 10:54
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Could it be these creatuers have severe armor check penalties keeping the numbers low? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Nov 26, 2015 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Adding to Erik's comment: remember that the total for Hide (for example) will include: the Dexterity modifier (possibly negative), the number of ranks (zero or positive), the various bonuses and penalties (such as Armor Check Penalty). Could we have the full stat block to check it? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2015 at 11:39

3 Answers 3


Yes, the numbers that appear in monster stat blocks do include the contributions from their templates and feats.

For the example you asked about:

Shadow Guard (Cormyr: Tearing of the Weave p.29)
Dark human fighter 1
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Feats: Dodge, Weapon Focus (longbow), Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills: Climb +0, Hide +3, Listen +3, Move Silently +1, Spot +3
Possessions: longsword, longbow with 20 arrows, banded mail

The skills can be broken down as follows:
Hide: 0 ranks, +1 Dex bonus, +8 racial bonus from the Dark template, -6 armor check penalty from banded mail
Move Silently: 0 ranks, +1 Dex bonus, +6 racial bonus, -6 armor check penalty
Climb: 4 ranks, +2 Str bonus, -6 armor check penalty
Listen: 2 ranks (4 skill points cross-class), +1 Wis bonus
Spot: 2 ranks (4 skill points cross-class), +1 Wis bonus
total skill points: 12, as expected for a human fighter 1 with no Int bonus. There is no discrepancy here.


Stat blocks should include standard adjustments...

Stat blocks usually include constant bonuses. For example, the stat block for the storm giant (MM 125) doesn't include adjustments for the feat Power Attack but includes the benefit of the feat Iron Will.

...But errors in that book's stat blocks are listed here

It should come as no surprise that writers and editors aren't perfect. When reviewing Wizards of the Coast's and other companies' d20 System products, John Cooper1 routinely pointed out a product's stat blocks errors. His rather scathing mechanical assessment of Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave is here, and it says that the shadow guard's only issue is its flat-footed Armor Class. Many of the stat blocks in Cormyr do have problems, but, by comparison, the shadow guard's problems are minor, and don't include the ones the question mentions.

While not associated with Cooper, I would be remiss were I not to mention he brings the entire Monster Manual up to its own official standards through Skirmisher Publishing's Cooper's Compendium of Corrected Creatures.

1 The link goes to his EN World profile; clicking find latest posts seems to be easiest way to find his reviews


Yes, in general stat blocks are adjusted for feats and the like. That doesn't mean that WotC (or any other publisher for that matter) always get it right though, and things may have slipped through.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I just looked at some more NPCs and monsters, and it just doesn't seem to be the case... Everything I've looked at doesn't match with the stat block when the NPC or monster has feats... \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil
    Nov 26, 2015 at 10:29
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You will have to provide some concrete examples as the majority of the creatures are correct (and have integrated the creatures feats and so forth). \$\endgroup\$
    – Bas Jansen
    Nov 26, 2015 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a good exercise to check the stats, but I find generally when my calculations don't agree, on a second look, I find I missed something :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyrmwood
    Nov 26, 2015 at 15:19

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