How "powerful" a defense is Concealment?


Advice


For context, I'm looking at the Mutagenist Alchemist and the Mistform Elixir.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that the Mistform Elixir is what is intended to help offset the -1 AC for using Bestial Mutagen as well as being a light armor using class.

That said, it's only a flat DC 5 check to beat it. While on the whole, that represents a 25% reduction in damage, what it also means is that 75% of the time you are still a light armor wearing melee combatant with a -1 AC penalty.

Am I undervaluing the Concealed effect?

The Exchange

20% of the time they miss completely (only miss on 1,2,3,4). This is regardless of your armor class or their to hit. If you are high dex character, armor+dex tends to be +5 (except Full Platies) regardless of type so being forced to be a light armor is not as big a differential. Concealed also stops things like magic missile 20% of the time rather than auto hit normally. I tend to think it is one of the better effects


plus concealment allows you to spend 1 action to gain the hidden condition, which is a lot more powerful than raise shield.


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Right, "Light Armor" isn't really significant distinction in terms of defence using vanilla AC value,
Everything from Unarmored to Light to Medium has same (DEX + Item) cap, just differing DEX requirement to fill the cap.
(with Unarmored unnable to fill that until Level 10 w/ starting 18DEX, Level 15 w/ starting 16DEX, Level 20 w/ starting 14DEX and no Apex Item)
The level of proficiency is potentially more of a differentiator , although Alchemist is same as Barbarian and Rogue there, just slightly slower progression than Ranger or Fighter.

What really differentiates Medium and Heavy Armor is their compatibility with Fortification Runes, i.e. Crit Negation chance.
(and also ArmorSpec Resistance, although this is a Fighter and Champion and Hellknight Archetype Ability not available to all)
Since Fortification Rune really is their fundamental distinction, it should probably be "assumed" for high level Med/Heavy Armor.

Concealment has similar dynamic to Fortification (just inverted perspective), except Concealment also can negate normal attacks.
A 20% chance of negation is probably more valuable than a hypothetical +1 or even +2 to AC in case of Concealment.
Concealment also negating normal hits is more valuable than Fortification, but enemies can sometimes ignore or reduce Concealment.
(Fortification also has Greater version which I'm ignoring since it's so high level anyways)


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My bad on the 25% rather than 20% :)

And for what it's worth, the Mistform Elixir explicitly states that "being concealed when your position is still obvious, you can’t use this concealment to Hide or Sneak."

So from the perspective of a melee Mutagenist, relying on Bestial Mutagen and its -1 AC, it sounds like Mistform Elixir could offset some of the Alchemist squishiness while in melee.


No big deal, everybody miscounts those things...
If accurately knowing percentages was important, they would have used percentile die not d20. :-)

But sure, it's not strictly Bestial Mutagen specific, but it's good defensive buff to use for them.


Quintessentially Me wrote:

My bad on the 25% rather than 20% :)

And for what it's worth, the Mistform Elixir explicitly states that "being concealed when your position is still obvious, you can’t use this concealment to Hide or Sneak."

So from the perspective of a melee Mutagenist, relying on Bestial Mutagen and its -1 AC, it sounds like Mistform Elixir could offset some of the Alchemist squishiness while in melee.

Sorry,

I was responding primarily to concealment generally, not the mist form elixir specifically. I am not that familiar with the alchemist or alchemical items.


20% miss chance on things like targeted spells is also quite significant.


Unicore wrote:
plus concealment allows you to spend 1 action to gain the hidden condition, which is a lot more powerful than raise shield.

Not necessarily. If your opponent has a 40% chance to hit you, Raise Shield will lower their chance to hit to 30%. Concealment, on the other hand, would lower it to only 32%.


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Raise Shield also downgrades Crits to Normal, while Concealment has consistent chance to fully negate Crit as negate Normal hit. Raise Shield also can Resist Damage. So average damage avoided is probably best metric to use, although proportionate value of each would change VS high or low level opponents (and Deadly/Fatal weapons, or VS damage resistance which disproportinately reduces non-Crits). Of course even average damage isn't entire picture, reliable hits possibly more able to take down target already injured target (potentially from non-attack spells etc).

Something interesting I noticed is Fortification is defacto feature of Med/Heavy Armor Expertise+ which impacts things like Fighter Crit superiority, but no monsters have any Fortification ability (Oozes tend to have crit immunity). I would have expected it to be more widespread for better symmetry with martial classes, although monsters not working like PCs is a thing it's still strange consider how this disproportionately affects different classes (Fighters VS Others).


Strill wrote:
Unicore wrote:
plus concealment allows you to spend 1 action to gain the hidden condition, which is a lot more powerful than raise shield.
Not necessarily. If your opponent has a 40% chance to hit you, Raise Shield will lower their chance to hit to 30%. Concealment, on the other hand, would lower it to only 32%.

if you gained concealment from cloak of shadows or some other means, you can spend one action to hide and get the hidden condition, which is better than raise shield. That is what I was commenting on


However, concealment doesn't allow you to take the hidden condition if observed, and because or that if your position is obvious.

Unless probably some Ancestry perk or situational magic item, like the 2x Elvenking bonus, which works in Forest environement.


HumbleGamer wrote:

However, concealment doesn't allow you to take the hidden condition if observed, and because or that if your position is obvious.

Unless probably some Ancestry perk or situational magic item, like the 2x Elvenking bonus, which works in Forest environement.

According to the hide action of the stealth skill, it does. For the sake of cloak of darkness, you can’t become undetected, but you can gain the hidden condition. However it is over come with dark vision so it is not fool proof.

Generally speaking, concealment and cover are very strong effects in PF2, and can be exploited for even greater benefit. Which is wonderful because it allows combats to be more easily tactically driven by terrain and location.


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Has anyone happened across anything that improves your ability to make use of Concealed, or which synergizes with it? And again, I'm personally curious about the Mistform Elixir's effect, and my expectation of using this in melee where I *know* I'm going to be observed. (If you don't notice my mini-me crawling over my shoulder, jamming two syringes into my neck, seeing me grow claws and fangs, and lunge at you, I'm doing it wrong.)

I'm thinking of anything that e.g. increases the DC of the flat check above 5, or that allows additional options when concealed e.g. similar to being able to use the Hide action but only if you are undetected too. So, maybe something that helps you become Undetected?

If you're wondering where I'm going with all of this...:
While I really despise the (almost) requirement of an Alchemical Familiar to address the action economy, I'm trying to make the best use of what tools are available. I *want* to make the melee Mutagenist work.

I'm expecting to use Mistform Elixir to augment defenses, essentially relying on it to compete with the higher defenses brought to bear by... well, almost everyone else. To make that work in an unexpected combat (i.e. no chance to prebuff), I'm expecting to have a Bestial Mutagen and a Mistform Elixir prepped and held by my AF and use my first action to have him apply both to me. My next two actions would be used to Stride/Strike as needed.

I'm comparing this level of defense (e.g. light armor (i.e. no fortification), -1 AC, plus Mistform Concealment) to other melee combatants in order to determine fitness. My hope is that numerically the math works out. My fear is that the numbers are going to be too swingy, meaning the hit-or-miss nature of these defenses will make the hits feel worse since this is still a d8 class with what feels like some mitigation gaps. Mitigating this is the cheaper access to reliable healing in the form of Elixirs of Life and Revivifying Mutagen.


+1 AC roughly reduces incoming damage by 10%. So Mistform Elixir should be enough to put you on par with anyone else even when getting the -2 AC from Feral Mutagen.
The issue you'll meet is that you'll be less frequently hit than someone with +2 AC but more frequently crited. So it will be very swingy for a defense mechanism, even if being less often hit means also suffering less from poisons and these kind of effects.
Mistform will also protect you against targeted spells, which is a very nice feature. So, on paper, it should be viable.

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