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  1. #1

    Blind Fight or IBF vs Melee Reach with 50% Concealement ?

    Hey everyone,

    I've already asked that on Steam but couldn't get a clear answer. Since the threads don't drop as fast into oblivion here, and in the hope that someone will know the answer (dev team member, maybe ?), I'm posting here too.

    To make it clear, I'm wondering:

    - If I nailed it right when making the assumption that BF isn't working because the mobs have a 6 ft reach attack (in addition to full concealement),
    - If BF not working vs Melee Reach with 50% Concealement is a bug or an intended behaviour,
    - If IBF would prevent from being FF in those situations.
    - And finally, as a bonus question, if there's a spell that would help not being FF in those situations (Echolocation, maybe ?)

    So, here's the copy-paste:

    I've noticed 2 mobs that target my tank's Flat-Footed AC with their attacks (not only at the beginning of combat): Primal Spider Matriarch and the lone daemon in Vordakai's tomb.

    Both those mobs have 50% concealement, which indeed allows to target Flat-Footed AC.

    However, my tank has the Blind-Fight feat... which should negate this.

    Unless maybe... both mobs have 6 ft reach attacks (I seem to remember that for the spider, and I couldn't check that for the daemon, but his attacks seemed to have some reach).

    I'm under the impression that melee reach attacks are treated as ranged attacks by the game on several occasions. That would explain why Blind Fight doesn't work and, if this is so, IBF should work.

    Has anybody worked that out and/or tested if IBF does work ?

    (as a side note, my tank had 43 Flat-Footed AC thanks to Smite Evil and this was enough to counter the +23 attacks from the daemon, but I'd really like to understand those mechanics).

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    I'm so sorry to not be able to answer to your question, but I really wonder how you can get to 43 flat floot AC with your tank (which I assume would be something like fighter/monk?) I'm only level 5 and cannot seem to go over 31 straight AC, I wondered how I should build to have higher AC?

    sorry again for not being able to answer your question and instead give you one :(

  3. #3
    +1 (size)
    +7 (other, from CHA)
    +7 (deflection, from Smite Evil)
    +5 (armor, from bracers)
    +2 (armor enhancement, from Magical Vestement)
    +4 (shield, from the Shield spell)
    +3 (natural armor, from Sorcerer and DD)
    +4 (natural armor enhancement, from Barkskin)
    = 43

    Tank is SF1/Pala3/Sorc1/DD6, will stop at 8/Something4 (Aasimar musetouched, 8/18/12/11/7/19, all points to CHA)

    When not Flat-Footed, AC is much higher (DEX, Dodge, Fight Defensively, Crane Style & Wing, Combat Expertise, Wings, Haste). Saves are quite good, too: For instance, in Vordakai's Tomb (challenging difficulty), the only way to fail a save vs Hold Person (from the Cyclop Priests) is to roll a 1 (and WILL is his weakest save).

    I'm planning to take Improved Blind Fight at level 13, and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to fight either a Primal Spider Matriarch or another mob with 50% concealement and a reach attack before reaching level 14 (so that I know if I need to take 2 Archeologist levels to avoid being Flat-Footed by such mobs)...

    ... Or maybe, the bug (if there's any) will have been corrected or - even better! - this thread, with the help of the community, will have helped in better understanding the mechanics related to being Flat-Footed ;)
    Last edited by Matt; 01-30-2019 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #4
    UPDATE: My tank has reached level 13, and got the Improved Blind Fight feat. After that, I've had the opportunity to fight a Primal Spider Matriarch (the Spider Cave location has one). As a first, I can confirm that its melee attack is a reach attack (in the sense that it has a range greater than 2 ft; precisely, it's 6 ft for the PSM). And secondly, it was now targetting my tank's normal AC rather than his Flat-Footed AC. As a conclusion, it is very likely that:

    The game treats melee reach attacks as ranged attacks. In particular, to avoid being Flat-Footed by a monster with total (=50%) concealement, Blind Fight doesn't work but Improved Blind Fight does.
    Last edited by Matt; 02-08-2019 at 10:56 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    Well, it's pretty easy to quote Paizo's own rules to see why this might be thought of as "working as intended":
    "When making a melee attack against a target that isn't adjacent to you, use the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks."

    It's reasonable to read the rule as "reach attacks are treated as ranged attacks for purposes of resolving concealment" or "ranged concealment rules apply to reach weapons" including standard ranged concealment but also auxiliary effects specifically pertaining to ranged concealment. The rules text only says "the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks" and doesn't limit itself to "standard" rules for that, auxiliary effects (in this case, from Feat) distinguishing concealment for ranged vs melee attacks are also "rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks".

    Also IMHO a relevant context is that an adjacent (non-reach) Invisible attacker's location is automatically "pinpointed" (exact square known) whereas being attacked by Invisible enemy with Reach only allows knowing "general location" (not specific square), thus unsurprising that Blind Fight would be less effective vs Reach enemies.

    To be honest though, I had never thought of this until now, and probably had always treated Reach weapons identical to other melee weapons re: Blind Fight... If anything the "Reach as Ranged" concept most commonly applied re: Cover, and Concealment rules blurred to not distinguish Melee/Ranged (but rather 'is there concealment between weaponand target?' agnostic to M/R). Really that is quality of 3.x/Pathfinder ruleset, that even very well acquainted players can overlook some nuanced corner of the rules... I don't think anybody really knows Environment rules 100% :-).

    Aside from that, by tabletop rules Magical Vestment and Bracers/ Mage Armor should NOT stack with each other.
    I will not go into detail on that, a simple search of Paizo forums for those terms will show the consensus understanding.
    I can see why a simple translation of mechanics into code might have missed that, but IMHO that should be fixed if fidelity to tabletop is goal.
    Last edited by Quandary; 02-08-2019 at 01:18 AM.

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