I am currently developing a tool which hopefully will allow me to choose a monster and a template. The tool will then automatically apply the template to the monster and change its stats accordingly.
I thought I'll start with something fairly simple so I chose the Dire Rat and the Skeleton Template to begin with. The template states:
Special Qualities: A skeleton loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks.
This got me thinking. What exactly are Special Qualities? I tried to find an official definition but I couldn't find one. Are they only the abilities listed under SQ? This doesn't seem correct, as for example the Owlbear Skeleton loses his low-light vision as well. I also don't believe that Special Qualities are everything which is SP, SU or EX as we already have a name for that: Special Abilities.
To give a summary of my question: How exactly do you define Special Quality? What falls into this category, what not and how do they differ from Special Abilities?
Thanks to annoying imp's answer I looked at the DnD rules and found the following definition which supports his point:
Many creatures have unusual abilities. A monster entry breaks these abilities into special attacks and special qualities. The latter category includes defenses, vulnerabilities, and other special abilities that are not modes of attack.
This leaves me with one final question: The template clearly states:
A skeleton retains none of the base creature’s special attacks.
The grab special ability defines itself as a special attack:
If a creature with this special attack [...]
Yet the Owlbear Skeleton I mentioned above retains its grab ability for his claw attacks. Something still doesn't seem to fit. My personal opinion is that the owlbear statblock is just wrong but I would be happy to hear another person's opinion on that.